List of new parts, ready-to-install, and making the Defender more trail-ready with some essential accessories

I’m taking great care to keep my priorities straight with our 200,000 mile, 1991 Land Rover Defender 110. Mechanically, it needs no urgent attention; we use it as our primary “around town” vehicle, and I’ll take it on a trail run in the surrounding desert without hesitation.

However, it’s clearly lived a long, hard life, and pretty much everything could benefit from some amount of maintenance. In fact, that’s why I created this diary; because it’s an endless project, and the Landy will always have a story to tell.

So here is what I have lined up to install on the truck – many of these parts have accumulated over the past year, but we’ve been too busy driving it!

COMEUP Winch Seal Gen2 9.5si

I’ve had this winch on my Jeep for a couple of years before it failed, and replaced it with a Warn. I believe the electric motor seized due to water ingress, but it has since been repaired by OK4WD. While the winch did malfunction, it also saved my bacon on a snowy mountain in Montana, so I’m more than happy to give it another go on the front of the Defender. If it wasn’t already sitting on my garage floor doing nothing, a winch is not an accessory that I’d prioritize for this project.

The old COMEUP 9.5si served me well for a while. Time to put it on the Defender.

Winch Bumper

While Brooklyn Coachworks is the builder of premium, ultra-restored, and bespoke Land Rover Defenders, they have some attainably-priced parts in their online store, including a tasteful, simplistic winch bumper. I ordered this bumper “aftermarket w/out AC” for $380. They might’ve taken a little hit on my order, because I couldn’t help but notice the price was increased to $400 on their website the very next day.

The bumper itself consists of a winch tray that looks like it would accommodate most popular electric winches, and will serve the purpose nicely. If anything, it needs to be faded, scuffed up, and dirtied to better match the patina of the Land Rover.

Wanted a simplistic and quality winch bumper and found this at Brooklyn Coachworks for a decent price.

Front Coil Springs

The ride height of the old Defender, since I’ve taken ownership, has always looked a little bit low in the front, and it’s likely that the current springs are old and tired. Not to mention, I have a heavy winch to install, so I thought it’d be wise to freshen up the front with a new set.

These are a pair of inexpensive HD ProLine replacement springs from Rovers North. They’re stock height, but they should restore the ride height and effectively bear the load of the winch bumper assembly.

A pair of new ProLine HD coils to rejuvenate the front suspension on the Defender.

Front Shocks and Galvanized Towers

Initially, I had only purchased the front coil springs thinking that the shocks, shock mounts, and subsequent hardware seemed fine. I’d simply pop in the new coils, and off I go!

Upon closer inspection, the old shocks, shock towers, and spring seats are all very rusty, and it all has to be removed anyway. I decided that it would make the most sense to replace these components with the springs, while it’s disassembled.

And this is what happens – replacing one thing begets replacing another. This vicious cycle continues until all parts on your British classic are glistening and new, and your bank account is a shade of what it once was.

ARB Twin Air-Compressor

Of all of the accessories listed here, this is the only off-road component that I consider to be nearly essential. In my 30 years of being a four-wheel drive enthusiast, I’ve gone from regarding on-board air as a “luxury modification” to being the most important, first modification.

Why? Reducing your tires’ air pressure dramatically improves comfort, traction, and puncture resistance. Having the ability to conveniently restore one’s air pressure makes one far more inclined to reduce it in the first place, and airing down makes all the difference in the world.

An ARB Twin Air Compressor ready to put in the Defender. This is the first mod I get for every trail rig.

Switch-Pros 9100 Switch Panel

The Switch-Pros 9100 is an elegant, all-in-one switch hub for 12V accessories. It provides a simple panel with 8 programmable buttons. It also eliminates the need for an accessory fuse block and the haphazard installation of switches on your dashboard.

I have one of these in the Jeep, and I love it. Furthermore, the Land Rover can use all the help it can get simplifying the electrical system, and it will allow me to better isolate the wiring of my own 12V accessories from the factory electronics.

A Switch-Pros 9100 will allow me to install my own 12V accessories without further complicating the stock electronics.

Raptor Engineering Metal Binnacle

I had to look up what a “binnacle” was, but this is a metal housing for the Land Rover Defender’s instrument cluster.

The original plastic binnacle is very brittle and prone to cracking and decomposing over the years. The one in our Landy is in a sorry state. It flops around freely, and a large part of the dashboard will need to be dismantled and reassembled to replace broken pieces and replace missing fasteners.

When I discovered this metal replacement from Raptor Engineering, and its accompanying metal support bracket, I prioritized this accessory as a major improvement to the vehicle’s interior. While it looks like a relatively simple project, it’ll likely open Pandora’s box, so I’m going to approach this one with a healthy dose of patience.

The metal binnacle by Raptor Engineering will help sure-up the cracked and decroded factory plastic dashboard.

Class III Receiver Hitch

The Defender 110 HCPU is already equipped with some towing hardware, which looks very robust. However, for the sake of eliminating superfluous brackets, maximizing the truck’s departure angle, and providing a simple-yet-sturdy rear recovery point that can accommodate a 2″ block, I picked up this piece from Rovers North.

The cost of this hunk of metal for what it is gave me some heartache, but it is the perfect rear recovery hitch for a Land Rover Defender 110.
This is the existing tow bar on the Land Rover. It is very robust but low-hanging and I don't need it.

Vision-X 6.7″ ADV LED Driving Lights

Another item that’s been sitting around in the garage for years – I used to have these off-road lights on the Jeep, and removed them not because they’re lame or because they stopped working; I simply didn’t have the real-estate on my front bumper, and replaced them in favor of a pair of smaller pocket lights.

That being said, they’re awesome lights, each outputting 6,000 effective lumens according to the marketing material. Although I’m not quite sure how I might choose to install them on the front of the Defender – yet – there is plenty of room to do so.

The Vision-X ADV series driving light looks like it would be right at home on the Defender.

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