Adrian's Tomcat 100"

Chequer Plate Bonnet Protector

My other big hobby is photography, so I will be using the support vehicle to get to photographic locations. I also want to use it as a mobile platform so that I can get shots from a view point not available to other people. It came with chequerplate on the wings, but I wanted to get higher. They are also quite narrow and hard to balance on!

The next step was therefore to put a chequer plate panel on the bonnet. I chose a 3mm anodised aluminium sheet that was the size of the recess in the bonnet. It came with countersunk set screws so it was just a case of drilling some holes in the bonnet. I carefully positioned the panel on the bonnet and made small marks using a permanent pen. I then covered the marks with masking tape and repeated the process. The tape should stop the drill slipping (as does using a centre punch to mark the centre of the holes).

Location marked on masking tape
Incorrect holes highlighted

However, remembering the advice, "measure twice, cut once" I checked the position of all the marks and found that some would result in holes being drilled through the frame reinforcing the bonnet. This would mean weakening the bonnet (when I was meant to be strengthening it) or leaving the other ends of the screws inaccessible as they were inside the reinforcing sections. I don't know whether my bonnet is different from later models or I had positioned the chequer plate panel wrong, but it is a good thing I checked!

I therefore drilled and countersunk some new holes in the chequerplate panel before drilling the newly positioned holes through the bonnet. Then it was easy to do up all the fixing screws. I am now able to stand on the bonnet. However, at least until I get a ladder, I am using the bonnet to get onto the roof rack. As I am not quite tall enough, I need to stand on the back of the bonnet. It is strong enough as there is a reinforcing beam running below, but standing on an unprotected part will become an issue if (when) I repaint the Landrover, or when it is wet and slippery.

Hippy chick trying out protected bonnet
Chequer plate to climb onto roof rack

I could add a small chequer plate step plate (as I want to do to the ends of the bumper) ...

... or I could get a chequer plate panel to cover the whole bonnet.

Landrover with full bonnet protector

I will also have to do something about the registration plate as it sticks up slightly above the top of the bumper. I catch it every time I try and climb down from on the bonnet. Soon it will crack or snap!


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