P38 Rear Bumper Removal, Range Rover
The rear bumper on the P38 is blended artfully into the bodywork rather than attached simply and externally as on the Classic. Don't let the plastic cover fool you, however -- the bumper is much sturdier than that on the Classic. My 4.0 once got rear ended by a car, whose front, as a result, was completely smashed up, and whose bonnet (hood) was buckled into an inverted "v" shape. A light scratch on the plastic trim on my bumper was the only apparent damage to my vehicle. However, a really major collision might necessitate removing the bumper to straighten it, and on models outside North America it has to be removed to fit a towbar.
Kevin Kelly had to
the rear bumper on his new 1998 4.6HSE as the top was warped (see
below), and when he asked for tips Ron Beckett of Australia wrote some
instructions based on his experience fitting a towbar to his Australian
spec 4.6HSE. The following is a combination of their two experiences --
with a number of differences from the procedure laid out in the shop
Kevin's bumper before removal
1. Preparation: Ron found you don't have to remove the road wheels as suggested in the manual, but instead raised the suspension to High Profile mode. Kevin also kept the vehicle on the ground with out any problems, but found he did need a short screwdriver that would fit between the mud flap screws and the rear tires.
2. From under each quarter panel, reach up and unclip the springs
hold the sides of the bumper into a channel. These springs are two
tabs on both sides of the bumper that flip up (see photo below by Ron
Bumper Clip (Photo by Ron
3. Undo the three screws holding mudflap onto the edge of the bumper side panel. (Kevin notes that his Range Rover and some other NAS models have a 4th screw that is hidden and screws in to the bumper. The hidden screws go in from the side of the mud flap). It may not be necessary to remove the bottom one as the screw tightens into the wheel arch liner panel, although Kevin recommends totally removing both mud flaps to clean the gunk out from between the mud flap and the bumper.
4. Remove the almost invisible screw that is set back from the edge of the mudflap about half way up the arch of the flap. This secures the wheel arch extension panel. If you don't you will break the plastic clips that hold the liner to the bumper. Ron didn't remove the screws because he didn't know they were there, but Kevin found them easier to see.
5. Undo two bolts from under the rear edge
of the bumper - they are
up inside holes in the bottom edge of the bumper. (The manual mentions
removing covers over the bolt holes, but neither Ron's nor Kevin's had
them). The photo in Kevin's euro spec factory manual has a drawing of
the bolts heads with a standard internal torx pattern, but the actual
bolts on his NAS Range Rover and Ron's Australian Range Rover had bolt
heads with an external reverse torx pattern(see photo). The proper tool
to remove the bolts is a size E14 reverse torx socket but a standard
10mm 6- or 12-point socket will work fine. I have noticed that this
type of head is used elsewhere on the vehicle, such as the Panhard Rod
fastenings. The torque spec for the bolts is 52 foot pounds.
Conventional 12 and 6 point sockets (left), and male and female
Torx Sockets (right).
Underside of bumper showing mounting bolt.
6. On Range Rovers outside North America
you may have to remove a trim
panel that goes from the rear edge of the bumper forward to the rear
This trim panel will be present but cut into two pieces on some Range Rovers that had a trailer hitch receiver added after the vehicle was sold. The trim
panel is not present on NAS models that were all shipped from the factory with the OEM Land Rover trailer hitch receiver.
7. Undo the towing electrical socket if present.
8. Slide bumper rearward and off. Ron
found this is much easier with
two people, even though the bumper is quite light. Kevin spent over an
hour trying to get the bumper off by himself. The NAS mounting
have pins in them (see picture below) and you have to wiggle the bumper
up and down to get it to slide back. Two people are almost
since you can't wiggle both sides up and down and pull back at the same
Bumper bracket on frame
Pin on bumper that hooks into bracket
9. Before refitting, cut a couple of pieces of 1/4" steel and drill a couple of holes to clear the mounting bolts removed earlier. Glue these on top of the bumper mounts inside the bumper. This will give a little more clearance to avoid a warped bumper touching the bottom of the lower tailgate as the tailgate is opened. Kevin found his tailgate was rubbing on the warped bumper so he used this method to bolt a piece of steel bar under the plastic. It made the bumper straighter but the bumper was now hitting the bolt heads. He drilled another hole and used a big zip tie to pull the bumper down a little more and says it looks great now.