Land Rover Defender Expedition Camper conversion – Part 3

Defender Dash Upgrades

In order to treat some surface rust on the firewall the dash was removed. This only took a few hours. It’s pretty straight forward with all screws and nuts easily accessible. Some are hidden behind badges which can be pried off with a screwdriver. I also replaced the broken plastic dash binnacle with a Raptor Binnacle.

defender dash removed

I took the opportunity to remove all the obsolete wiring. During this I discovered a major short which was likely the cause of previous intermittent fuses blowing. There was enough insulation missing on one wire to risk starting a fire! While the dash was off I installed Dynamat Xtreme soundproofing on the firewall to try to minimise the engine noise.

I also upgraded my dash by installing a Raptor Engineering Dash console.  This is easy enough to self install. Part of the lower dash must be removed. I used a hacksaw and jigsaw to cut it away then a rasp file to clean up any sharp edges.

raptor defender dash installation

The steel Raptor dash just slots in place and is bolted in with 1 bolt.  All the new wiring was added and ran in from the engine bay through the firewall. There are dozens of precut faceplates available for the Raptor dash so I picked 2 that suited me.

raptor defender dash

I then installed a Mud UK Mudpod on top of the dash. This uses the original hole for the ash tray to temporarily mount it or screws can be used as well to make it permanent. I used a small cutting disc like on a Dremel cutting tool to cut the plastic out for the rocker switches to fit. The Carling switches I purchased from Custom Rockers.

raptor defender dash The new gauges I added include a VDO tachometer, oil pressure gauge and coolant temperature gauge, a Thermoguard Pyrometer and also an Engine Watchdog TM2 block head temperature gauge.

defender gauges

mulgo exbox

A Mulgo Exbox completes the installation. The original cubby box can be bolted on top but I’ve decided to just use the Exbox for storage. This stores my secondary fuse box being a Blue Sea Systems ST Blade Fuse Block which is powered off the auxiliary battery and protected by a circuit breaker near the battery.

My new Defender dash keeps everything neat and central, far better than the chaos before.

Read Part 4 of my conversion here: Land Rover Defender Expedition Camper conversion – Part 4

If video 3 did not display above you can watch it here:

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Brett is a film maker, hiker, adventurer and Defender owner. He loves the outdoors and feels most at home travelling remote outback places in Australia. The idea of waiting till retirement to begin exploring Australia is not the path Brett has chosen, instead choosing to live life now. Join him on his adventures.

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    1. hi Ru. No, here in Australia we use UHF for vehicle to vehicle communication. I will also be fitting an HF radio for long range (+2500km) communications. Thanks

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