Front panel, new bumper, grille clips

This post brings us almost about up-to-date with the current state of the Land Rover, hopefully there’ll be more progress and I’ll be more timely with my ramblings. I had a rare Saturday with no gig due to band members’ holidays and this normally provides a full workable weekend. Lately I find that gigs take up too much weekend, from loading up and going through my strict OCD-induced routines, driving there and back, lucky to be in bed by 3am and the inevitable migraine the day after. So this week I hoped for much.

Then I noticed hot water bubbling out of the kitchen wall. It seems that many years ago, a local firm of heating ‘engineers’ had buried 22mm copper pipes in the wall and cemented and plastered straight over them with no insulation or other barrier, so the copper pipes have now corroded. This took care of most of the Saturday, I created a mess of rubble and dust and have yet to effect a permanent repair.

The day was punctuated with heavy showers anyway, but I did get outside between the downpours to fit a few parts.


I wasn’t going to change this, after all, I am supposed to be working to a budget. The existing one had quite a bend in it and numerous holes had been drilled over the years. Being quite pleased with how the front panel job had turned out though I decided to replace it with one from Paddocks and although I felt it a ‘cosmetic extravagance’ at the time, I am now pleased that I spent £42.74 on it. It’s British made and seems as sturdy as the original, with a good hot-dipped galvanised coating. At first it looked way too shiny but after just a couple of days of English rain it has already begun its transformation, changing to a dull grey.

Working between heavy showers

I had purchased new number plates ages ago and a bracket for the front one that I had sprayed with Lidl’s matt black car paint.

The apron panel was complete so I bolted this to the brackets at the top and a couple of self-tappers into the existing holes in the chassis. My repair plates lined up nicely.

I fixed the refurbished radiator grille with self tappers into the nylon inserts. As I will be wiring behind here, this was only done to look better in these photos but I realised that the grille does help to keep out some rain from the bottom of the front panel so have left it in place for now.

Radiator grille, bumper, apron panel fitted

My rolled-on paint will never win any coachwork prizes but I’m pleased with how it turned out. It makes those wings and bonnet seem extra scruffy now though.

Radiator grille, bumper, apron panel fitted

Clips for the radiator grille

In addition to the 4 screws, there should be 3 spring clips to stop this flimsy item flapping about. Part number 347668 is an item that I have never seen in the flesh, and it will remain so, as they are advertised on Ebay at £15.99 each plus postage. So I made up some clamps using 2.5mm twin and earth cable clips (‘cleats, wiring’ for GPO / BT readers!) and stainless self-tapping screws with flanged pan heads. These work really well. I fitted them loosely through the fixing holes and as I offered up the grille, made sure the clips engaged under the rim of the front panel apertures, then tightened the screws.

Delightful radiator grille clips in place of 347668
One of the clips in use

Coming up…

Today I received a parcel from Vehicle Wiring Products:


It doesn’t look much, but it cost a lot. All correct gauges and colours to completely rewire the front half of the vehicle and rear lights. Adding this lot to the wiring and associated items that I’ve already fitted, it would doubtless be cheaper to buy a complete loom. But that wouldn’t allow me to improve cable runs or offer so much flexibility, so I’m rewiring as I go.

Also I have to fit the new exhaust and get the engine running, so lots to do before summer ends.

Just realised, I forgot to add a post about plumbing / coolant / thermostat / expansion tank etc, (complete) so that will follow shortly.

Thanks for your interest.





  1. Hi, just discovered your blog, which is great as I am about to tackle a number of the jobs you have covered so well. I hope you don’t mind a few Qs so long after your initial posts.
    1) In the dashboard post. you mention satin paint, did you use this on the external body panels as well? If so the finish is just the right amount of sheen that I am looking for – your radiator panel looks top notch.
    2) What type of roller do you use? the foam type or the shaggier emulsion ones.
    3) My radiator grill has been previously badly sprayed black and it is now all patchy. Do you have any tips for removing old spray paint from plastic? Great tip re the paper on the roller too do the lettering, I was wondering how best to do this as I am a hopeless artist!!


    • Hi and thanks for your comment! I’m only sorry that I haven’t been able to get out there recently due to health problems, one day!

      1) I used satin finish inside, but gloss externally, probably it’s not so glossy due to using a roller, but that suits me and the vehicle – we both have a few lumps and bumps.

      2) The roller refills I use are foam, 4″, with concave ends, this lets you get right up to internal corners. Not sure where I got them but I think it was from here:

      3) Not sure about getting the paint off the plastic, mine wan’t too bad so I just lightly rubbed it with scotch brite. Paint stripper might damage the plastic.

      The grille still looks as good as the day I finished it so the paint worked well.

      Good luck with your project and let me know how it goes.


      • Thanks for your prompt reply and the link. I tend to buy cheapo rollers when decorating, but for tackling gloss paint on the landy I think I will invest in some of these and at least give myself half a chance of a decent finish (I am not holding my breath! ) . I never knew there were such things as rollers with concave ends, so I have learnt something today!!
        I am quickly finding that one job leads to 3 or 4 more and it’s a challenge to say ‘enough is enough, that will have to do’ otherwise budgets and time spent go out the window. Still, I think I am enjoying the learning as much as tackling the jobs.


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