09 January 2023
Ed Evans explains how to remove the Discovery 3 rear bumper – it’s a similar job on the D4, front or rear
Need to know:
Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Models: Discovery 3 and 4
Tools needed: General workshop tools, trim plug removal tool.
Strictly speaking, what we call the bumper is actually the bumper cover, and the bumper is the structural section behind it. But we’ll go with bumper. Bumper removal is an easy, if long-winded, task and there’s a good chance of damaging some of the many plastic clips and plugs, so it may be worth buying a few spares before starting. Care needs to be taken with the hidden wiring harnesses to avoid damage, strain, and entrapment when reassembling. There are some steel screws which may be corroded and seized, and Rivplugs with corroded threads may need to be drilled out, so expect minor hassle.
Apart from the outer park sensors that Dave mentioned in the previous feature, the only way to reach the remaining sensors is to take the bumpers off. When one park sensor fails, a warning sounds in the cab every time they are activated. To stop that annoyance until it’s repaired, simply remove the fuse. A code reader will reveal which sensors are defective. While the bumper is off, it’s worth thoroughly inspecting the park sensor wiring harness where possible for deterioration and damage, and making a competent repair if needed, or even replacement, as they can develop faults.
The pictures show the sequence for removing the rear bumper from a Discovery 3, and it’s a similar job on a D4. Removal of the front bumper involves detaching the front grille and the bumper under-panel and, with the front wheels off, removing the inner wheelarch panel to access all the fixings and wiring harness connectors.
Flaps away: First job is to remove the rear mudflaps. They’re held by two Torx screws: one in the upper flange of the mudflap and one underneath.
Eyebrow trim: The plastic plugs securing the wheelarch eyebrow trims are removed, then the trim is eased off, starting next to the rear door and working back, and pulled away.
Lights out: The rear lamps are released by removing two screws at the tailgate frame, then levering backward (between the lamp’s front edge and the body) to disengage the clips.
Electric check: While disconnecting the wiring harness from the lamp units it’s worth inspecting the condition of the wiring and connectors and checking for moisture ingress and lens cracks.
Top panel: To access securing plugs, the bumper top panel is removed by pushing its rear edge forward to raise and disengage the lugs, with the lower tailgate slightly open.
Use the tool: There’s a plastic plug at each corner of the bumper (normally under the eyebrows). Purpose-made trim plug removal tool will make this easy and avoid damage.
Tailgate down: With the lower tailgate opened, there are two plastic plugs to remove from the centre of the forward edge of the bumper top (after lifting the hinged trim).
Tailgate up a little: One plug from each outer end of the bumper is removed with the tailgate almost to the closed position. Then the tow socket cover is released to open position.
Lower screws: Four crosshead screws on the lower edge of the bumper (two each side) are removed. If no mudflaps are fitted, there will be two extra screws forward.
May be corroded: 10mm AF bolts hold the bumper to the body on each corner. These screw into Rivnuts which may spin if threads are corroded, needing to be cut off.
Extra help: The bumper’s forward ends are now sprung from the body clips by pulling outward. Wiring is still attached, so best to have a helper to steady it.
Final disconnection: Park sensors can now be reached but, to completely remove the bumper, first disconnect the park sensor harness (shown) at the left, and the tow electrics.
Lift-off: The helper supporting the bumper can now lift it away single-handed. The steel structure now revealed may need some rust treatment while there is access.
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