Broken lense guards



Lense cover with Line-X

Bronze spacer

If you recall a cold Thanksgiving some years ago a City of Norman Sanitation truck knocked off the lense guard on the right side as well as damaging the BWB's skin on the starboard side rear quarter panel. Since then I've been puttion off how to fix it for a few reasons. I finally figured out how to do the repair. The coating from the factory had been compromised and the lense covers had been rusting. Rusting under the coating too. Then the accident made for a convienient excuse to fix it.

The Evil German Dude was preparing to have a load of stuff taken over to Line-X to be coated with their magical stuff. Line-X is famous for pickup truck bedliners which is the case with the Ditchfinder. But they also coat just about anything you haul down to them. I had a set of metal park benches that would have cost my PTA $1000 (US) to replace, stripped and coated for $150. There are similar products out there like Rhino Lining. There maybe others too. These are just the two most common in my area.

So we finally got up the money and the items and took them down to be coated. The procedure is simple as they strip the existing coatings off and then apply their magic goo to the rust free metal. And presto! permanent covering.

In the mean time I had to figure out how to reattach the covers. The hardware that was on them from the factory was now broken. What wasn't broken was cracked and may have broken eventually.

It consisted of a screw into a special socket that contained a special nut that the cover was then screwed to via another smaller screw. The weak link was the plastic piece that held the nut. If you ever did back into anything the plastic would have broke. And you probably would have a damaged lense. The trick was to attach the lense cover to the existing hole in the lense while still keeping a stand off from the lense that did not touch the lense.

After a lengthy search resulting in a whole lotta nothing. I even had a plan to have something machined at my local Vocational Technical Center. But by accident I was at Ace Hardware looking for some stainless steel bolts when I noticed a lot of bins with all sorts of gadgets and do-hickies. Everything from cork to grommets to odd decorative buttons. There was a section of bushings and ball bearings and as I continued to look I found some plastic spacers. Wow, I thought, perfect! So I bought a few and went home to see if I could make them work. Of course, I figured out quickly that they would not work. Their diameter was too large. The outside portion came in contact with the lense. So if you did back into anything you would most assuredly destroy your lense. Which is the function of the lense cover in the first place so I decided that was a no go.

A few months more passed and with out the lense guards I could not easily imaging what would be needed to fix the problem. EGD told me he finally got the parts all back. My share was $20(US). I then went back to Ace Hardware to find out what all they had and really get it done this time. I found some insert bushings that were also too large in diameter. I finally came across some bronze spacers. Some very narrow bronze spacers. Remember rust is an issue so I purchased stainless steel screws and needed stainless steel spacers. No such luck on the spacers but bronze doesn't "rust" per se. So I bought some.

I thought I needed 8 and they had 7. I found out I only needed 4 but I kept the others anyway. My only concern was the price, they were $1.80 each! Wow they are proud of those. But a perfect part is worth that and I would no longer have to waste time looking for what I needed. I thought it a good trade off.

Is it a perfect solution? I don't think so. But the problem lies with the way the lenses are mounted to the Rover. JagGuy's lense covers are independent of the lense and thusly offer true protection. I'm not sure why they quit using that type. The only plausible explanation was installation time.

There were no great tool requirements for this. Just a screw driver. On the Difficulty Scale it was a 1 to install but a 3 to re-engineer. Knowing what is available in materials is most the battle. If I had done an engineering drawing I could have gotten on and ordered what I needed. But my laziness prevented me from doing that. I may still go there if the bronze doesn't work out.

Thanks for reading.