I decided a while back that I’d like to remove the side steps that the Discovery came fitted with. In preparation for their removal I’d been soaking all the fixings underneath the vehicle for a few weeks in WD40 in the hope this would make their removal easier, this didn’t quite go to plan…
I didn’t take many photographs of the removal as I wasn’t really planning on taking them off at the time, I just tried a couple of the fixings out of curiosity to see if they were loose and to my surprise they were so I just carried on. The removal of the side steps actually went very well, all the nuts and bolts gave up without too much of a fight and the steps were off in no time. That just left the four fixings that the step brackets fix to, these are hexagonal bars with a female thread at one end that screws on to the exposed thread of the body mounts and a male thread at the other end that the step barckets fix on to, this is where the trouble began!
I’d been warned that these hexagonal bars were best just ground or sawn off as they were notoriously difficult to remove as 99% of the time when they were originally fitted, no copper grease or similar would have been used so at best they would be well rusted. And well rusted they were…
I’d been soaking them in WD40 as well so thought I’d chance it and try to remove them whole, a tentative tug with a spanner saw them move slightly so I tried them a little more, this is when it went ‘slack’. Okay I thought, I just need to get a spanner on to the head of the bolt and counter hold it, access is tight but I managed to get a spanner onto the bolt head and hold it. I tried again but now couldn’t loosen or tighten the bar, great! I’d introduced a few millimetres of movement into the fixing now so I had to either try and get the thing off or tighten it, I tried to tighten it first but achieved nothing so went the other way and tried to loosen it again, …ping! As you can imagine that did little to brighten my mood, I now had one of the body mountings doing nothing. With no access from below to thread a new bolt through the mounting bush and out rigger I did start to panic a little I must admit. After a pause for a brew, asking what to do on the forum and a little logical thinking I realised that if you lift the carpet in the passenger footwell it reveals a blanking grommet through which you can access the bolt from above, that was a big relief!
I’ve just got to order up a replacement bolt, nut and washers now, the part numbers required are –
Bolt – KYG101190
Nut – FX110047L
Washer – KVX100010
Body to chassis spacer – KVH100030
Mounting, body to chassis – KVF100090
These are for the front nearside bodymount (RHD) directly below the passenger footwell through the outrigger. This will be done as soon as I get the parts.