Installing and Removing the
P38 Factory Brush Bar
Main Mounting Brackets
End Mounting Brackets
Photo: Factory Brush Bar mounted on author's 4.0SE. Note this vehicle also has the factory winch mounted between the front supports of the brush bar.
It is unfortunate that many official Range Rover accessories come without good installation instructions. Even more difficult is installing or removing accessories bought on eBay or elsewhere which hardly ever come with instructions. One such problem that I kep getting requests about is the installation and removal of the factory brush bar. This page attempts to clarify that operation for other owners.
Adam Moore reports: "There is nothing technical about this job, it is just a bit dirty. But, if you are at all timid about these things the $240 the dealer charges for the job may be worth it!" Adam and Craig Meuchel kindly supplied much of the commentary below, and Craig supplied the photos illustrating critical points of the process which can otherwise be confusing. In 2009 Sean Foster did the install using the instructions on this page, and provided some additional tips and photos.
Removing the Bumper
The factory brush bar is attached to the factory bumper, which is then attached to the vehicle's frame. In order to either install or remove the brushbar it is first necessary to remove the bumper from the vehicle.
Fog Lights: The conventional approach is to disconnect all wires and vent hoses to the two front fog lights. Craig suggests that instead of pulling them from the fog light body, you should pull the lines apart about 12 inches from the body of the fog light. However Sean Foster used an alternative strategy that does not require disconnecting the fog lights. He reports "You can save the trouble of disconnecting anything from the fog lights if you suspend them from the car. I used 2 coat hangers to hang from the suspension." (See photo below).
As another preliminary to removing the bumper, Sean points out that you should pull the wheel well covers out from under it (see photo below).
Adam details the remainder of the bumper removal procedure as follows: Slowly back off the two bolts that secure the bumper below the bumper on the "bumperettes" on either side of the license plate. I say slowly because the two of these hold the bumper up and then it slides towards the back of the car on a rail, the clips that hold it up on the rail are adjustable and you may have to loosen them before you can slide it. Make sure that no part of your body is under the bumper as you remove the bolts, it is heavy!
Sean Foster adds the following advice regarding the clips mentioned above: "When removing the bumper it took me a while to find the white rectangular clips that secure to corners of the bumper above the wheel wells. Make sure you unclip them before trying to slide the bumper off the car." The photo below illustrates their location.
This is a photo of the white clip that has to be released before the bumper will come off. It is located over the wheel wells. It is the metal and white rectangular clip between the 2 cutouts hidden behind the rounded corner.
At this point you need to find an assistant and slide the whole black bumper assembly to the front of the car and it will come off, it is heavy - (100 lbs or so). You can now access the mounts for the brush bar (see sections below). Once the bumper is off you can also remove the exterior temp sensor by unplugging the multi plug and turning the sensor 180 degrees. To reinstall, reverse the procedure...........
Main Mounting Brackets
An item of potential confusion its the basic concept of how the brushbar attaches to the vehicle. At first, Craig could not figure out how the mounting brackets attached - he thought they somehow attached to the frame. Not the case as shown in the picture below -- they simply attach to the bumper, which has to be removed from the vehicle in order to instal the brush bar.
As the photo shows, the brackets merely join the brush bar to the factory bumper -- which is mounted to the frame separately. The photo is taken from behind the (removed) bumper.
To re-mount the combined bumper/brush bar assembly to the frame, you will need the longer bolts (at least 3" long) supplied in the kit. The two bolts that hold the bumper also hold the whole assembly, bumper and brush bar. Craig did not have these (and they could not be purchased separately from Land Rover) so he got some long bolts from Home Depot. (Note if you go this route you probably will not get the correct grade of bolt, which could affect crashworthiness and air bag activation). He did not torque them to the recommended torque because he found they seemed be crushing the unit.
Graeme Cree followed the instructions on this page to install his factory A frame and brush bar, and offers the following tip: "Do not forget to install the spacing collar between the bottom of the A-bar and the bumper before tightening the fixing bolts holding the bar to the bumper. These collars allow the long bottom bumper fixing bolts to fully tighten the bumper to the chassis without compressing the A-bar rubber. If you forget to put them on, tightening the bottom bolts will only compress the rubber and will not securely fix the A-bar and bumper. And you can't install them right at the end either!"
Brush Bar End Brackets
There are a couple of brackets that attach to the outer ends of the brush bar and keep it from coming in direct contact with the bumper or the fender paintwork (see photo below). On mine, these brackets were missing when I got the vehicle -- presumably left off by the dealer when installing the brush bar. Without them the brush bar ends were poorly supported and rubbed against the body.
The photo above, again taken from behind the bumper/brushbar assembly, shows how Craig installed the brackets over the molding on the bumper. "I re-used the molding that I had, but cut it in a few places to make room for the brackets that hold the brush bar to the bumper".
As I discovered, and confirmed by Craig who called LR, the cost of the kit to mount the brush bar is about $180, and they do not sell the bolts or the end brackets separately. I had to buy the complete kit just to get the end brackets; Craig only needed the bolts to hold the bumper on, and was able to get these from a hardware store. (If you do so, make sure you get the correct grade of bolt so that crashworthiness and air bag activation will not be affected).