Left: (12Kb) When the Range Rover was to be introduced to the US market, it was realised that the Americans wouldn't accept seeing the fans etc., that are so visible with the thin alloy vertical bar grille (left) that was used from the vehicle introduction in 1970. So a plastic horizontal bar grille was designed. In my opinion, the vehicle looks far superior with this grille so I decided to fit one to my Rangie. The problem was that the headlights were attached to the removable panels on either side of the grille and these panels would be discarded when the new grille was fitted. The way around this was to fit headlight buckets of the type normally used on cars of that era.As additional holes had to be drilled for the headlight adjustment screws and also to pop rivet or screw the replacement headlight buckets into the Range Rover panels, the first step was to find the centre of the headlight hole. This was in mid-air so I screwed a piece of wood across the hole and marked the centre onto that. Once this was done, I could then scribe arcs where the new holes were to be drilled for the adjustment screws. Don't worry about the headlight bucket mounting screws holes just yet. In this picture, you can make out the scribed lines at the sides and top of the large hole. The beam adjustment screws fit into these holes. See the headlight bucket pix below.
Note: It is very important that the beam adjustment screws holes are accurately aligned in the vertical and horizontal plane if the headlight is to be properly aimed and the beam to be in the correct plane. Check your headlight buckets with the headlights fitted to ensure you don't fit them upside down!
The early Range Rover grille and headlight supports are held on at the bottom by self-tapping screws. These screw into 3 clips seen at the bottom of this picture. The plastic grille drops into slots instead. As a result, these 3 clips have to be ground off and rectangular slots cut in the top edge of the panel. (This only looks better than the previous photo because I cleaned the panel and painted it for the photo).
The headlight buckets need holes punched in them to allow the headlight 3-pin plug to pass through. Here, a hole punch is being used to punch a 30mm hole through the bucket. These buckets happen to be from a 1962 or 1963 Hillman Minx - because I had them. They are standard Lucas headlight buckets used by a number of car makers. Don't you British readers wish that your 35+ year old cars were so rust free?!
The hole is now punched. This is a very useful tool. I have a set of them which I bought in the late 60's - they were designed to punch holes in radio chassis for valve (vacuum tube) bases (I'm an electronics tech by profession). A rubber blanking grommet with a hole for the headlight wires will close the hole off after the wiring is passed through. The grommet can be stretched over the headlight plug. That vertical projection just behind the hole punch is the beam adjustment screw referred to in the text above. You can see that a hole through the mounting panel is required for this (and two other screws) to pass through.
You will recall that earlier I mentioned not to worry about the mounting screw holes. The bucket was now trial fitted to the Rangie so that the mounting screw (or pop rivet) holes could be drilled - I used the bucket as the template to accurately mark the position of the holes. After drilling the holes I pop riveted the bucket in place.
One advantage of this new headlight mounting method is that the headlights are more accurately fitted and aligned.
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This page was last updated 24th June, 2007