I RECENTLY fitted a pair of heavyduty recovery points to the front of my Defender, but in doing so I had to remove the OE steering guard, sometimes referred to as a wombat bar. The Land Rover wombat bar was an Aussie-market item designed to protect the steering linkages from damage in the event of an animal strike. It consisted of a bit of tube steel with less-than-perfect welds and was situated below the relevant steering components. While it may have provided some protection in the event of an animal strike, it certainly wasnít strong enough to protect against big off-road hits, so I had planned to replace it with a more substantial bit of kit regardless of the fact it had to go in order to fit the recovery points.
AVAILABLE FROM: aptoffroad.com.au RRP: $280 + shipping WE SAY: Superior protection and well-priced.
I had a look around at a few options and settled on an Aussie engineered and made steering guard from APT Offroad. The APT steering guard is a well-made bit of kit and, importantly, is competitively priced. The kit consists of steel side skirts that mount to the vehicleís chassis rails, and a replaceable alloy bash plate. The side skirts, made from 8mm 350-grade laser-cut steel plate with black powdercoat finish, incorporate recovery eyes, so now the Defender has four recovery points up front.
The bash plate is made from 6mmthick 5083-grade aluminium, which APT says is the thickest and strongest aluminium that can still be folded. It has a number of holes in it for drainage and ventilation.
The APT kit is supplied with hightensile bolts and is very easy to fit using existing chassis holes. Itís compatible with most bullbars on the market, too, and it certainly provides far superior protection to the flimsy OE setup.
The finishing touch is a subtle laser-cut APT logo in the front of the bash plate. Itís a great piece of kit that provides excellent protection at a good price.