Adding a spare tire holder – 1998 Land Rover Discovery 1

Backup of Brian's iPhoneIf you’re looking for something Rover related, never fear, ebay is here.

I’m sure this applies much more fervently to aged Defenders, but getting parts for Rovers can be a drag. When I bought my Rover the spare tire was tossed in the back to hang out with the rear folding seats. There is nothing more uncool than a 4×4 without its spare tire plainly visible. Although the hood would probably be the coolest place to stash the extra rubber, see cool picture below, mine goes on the rear.

1997 Defender 90 with a tire on the hood. Attribution: Shelka04 at en.wikipedia

1997 Defender 90 with a tire on the hood. Shelka04 at en.wikipedia

So first things first, I had to order a spare tire holder to mount on the back. Easy as 1,2,3 clicks on ebay.

$29.99 and 4 days later with free shipping, I got my holder. 

But like all things Disco, it may look and sound easy enough, but once you get on the dance floor let’s hope have some moves. Or at least a Snap-On tool chest to get you by.

Let’s get down to business.
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Open up the rear hatch and take off the inside door handle. There are two 10mm bolts underneath the handle.

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Remove the interior door latch by unscrewing the screw behind the latch. Then shimmy the back plate out from behind the latch.

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Unscrew the Speaker protector. Lots of screws here, most of mine were stripped by the previous owner(s).

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Unscrew the screws that hold the speakers into place. (yeahhh we’re already at like 20 screws.)

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Next, remove the rear speaker and detach the wire from connecting the speaker. If you put a small flat head in there and pull up, while you pull out you should remove the plastic clip. Place the speakers somewhere where they will not be harmed. (Mine looked damaged from the get go, once I get the stereo working I’ll get some new speakers.)

Pop out the door trim, it has several plastic rivets around its perimeter

Voila… you found plastic.

Remove the plastic sheeting that protects the interior components of the door.

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Finally, you’ve reached your bolts. There are 6 bolts and the trick is to either have a buddy help you on one side of the door while you ratchet the other side, or do a monkey stretch like me to secure one end of the bolt with a wrench so you can unscrew the other side.

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I added some never-cease to the bolts so they didn’t rust over when I might need the tire most.

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Add your spare tire holder. Repaint with black spray paint if your ebay seller sent you a rusty one.

Screw in the bolts make them good and tight.

You can now add your tire. There should be two tire nuts and a funky nut with odd placed holes on the front of it. That needs a key to screw in. This is to help prevent thieves from stealing it. There should be a key bolt with your Rover, if it’s still inside. If not then do like I had to and tighten it the best you can using two screw drivers.

Replace the organs of your cargo door on the other side. And enjoy the new level of cool you have brought to your Rover.

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Brian Feulner

About Brian Feulner

Brian Feulner is the visual editor at the Bangor Daily News and a photographer in the state of Maine. Feulner frequently freelances for a variety of publications and companies and operates Feulner Studio and Gallery in Bangor.