Rover SD1 Forum - Snippet #2 - Fit a Tow Bar to Rover SD1

Question: "Got a towbar which needs fitting to a Rover SD1. Don't know what make it is but it has a long piece that looks as it fits onto rear bumper mounting holes with two holes central which another piece bolts onto and the other part that the tow ball is fastened to is a flat piece of steel with four holes in it which may fit on the spare wheel bay floor." So that's as clear mud then?

From the description it's the recommended towbar for a Rover SD1, so:

Bumper off!

Offer long girder up to the bumper fixing holes using four spare bolts of the right size to locate it.

Mark/drill two holes through the back panel and right thro the box section fabricated inside.

There has to be two tubular spacers inside that box section that slip over two long bolts so the box section is not crushed by the compression forces.

Stop Press

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Temporarily fix the girder to the bumper holes again and get the long bolts in place with the sloping bracket fixed to the same centre bolts pointing down and away from the where the bottom of the bumper would be. The images show how the centre plates go together. Cobwebs optional.

Offer up the long bottom plate to fit against the forward part of the sloping bracket using the two really big bolts and the tow ball joined to both at the rear.

If using a stabilizer plate, it fixes to the same bolts.

As does the electrical socket bracket.

Make sure they are all in their correct position before the next step.

Pull all the bolts up sequentially until they are all loosely in good location and put a bottle jack under bottom of the long plate with four holes in it and ensure it is centred.

Mark through from below the position of the holes in the boot floor pan.

They must all align with the "lower" pressed part of the boot floor, if not, it must be re-aligned.

Get all the bolts in position, just nipped up to be sure of alignment, then remove the bumper fixing bolts and wiggle the bumper into place.

This is a most difficult process because the bumper and towbar girder interfere with each other.

Use brute force as the first resort.

There are some plastic rain/dirt guards from the original arrangement that need to be refitted.

Make some new water ingress prevention gaskets from an old inner-tube (remember them?) and use these in conjuction with oodles of Waxoyl before refitting the bumper fixing bolts.

Use copious amount of Waxoyl on all the other fixings to prevent water ingress.

If the last three steps are omitted, drill drain holes in the boot floor to empty the swimming pool on an ongoing basis.

Consider putting thin sorbo rubber pads soaked in Waxoyl behind any towbar plates where they touch the rear panel to prevent noise, chafing and corrosion.

Purchase an inexpensive and readily available kit containing a new sockets, bracket and cable as using second hand stuff here causes too much grief.

They come with comprehensive wiring instructions but be sure to take off the running and tail light feeds prior to the bulb fail monitor, or it will overload/malfunction.

Trace the wires back from the rear lamps to the main loom to locate double bullet connectors, intended as take-off points for tow bar wiring as per workshop manual wiring diagrams.

Exit holes for cables should be below the sloping bracket sealed with grommets and Waxoyl.

Please feel free to contact me and correct any errors and omissions.

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Ramon Alban


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