Land Rover Defender security modifications

Hinge upgrades

Originally designed as a utility vehicle, the Defender body follows function over form. Consequently, the simplest way of attaching the doors was to use external hinges. These are tough and easily replaced. 

However, because the fixings are accessible to anyone with basic hand tools, it is wise to invest in a set of anti-theft security hinges, or at least, secure the bolts used to hold the doors on. A variety of companies produce machined aluminium hinges that not only improve on the design of the original part but also prevent the easy theft of your doors. These include brands like Kingsmen Editions Limited and TMD Tuning. Kits are available for two or four-door body styles, as well as for the rear door and bonnet.

If you want to retain the originality of the vehicle, you could replace the standard machine screws used in the door hinges with security types, or even fill the screw heads with colour-coded epoxy. One cheap upgrade is to install hex screws and press an appropriate size ball-bearing into the socket after install.

GPS tracker

A GPS tracking system is highly recommended, as it allows you to see the location of your Defender at all times. Some products allow you to monitor the status yourself, while others are linked to a call centre. There are units available that integrate with aftermarket alarms and can be used to immobilise the vehicle. Look out for models that feature geo fences and notifications, to ping your phone in case of attempted theft. It is wise to seek a professional automotive electrician for assistance in discreetly installing the GPS module and antenna.

Physical security measures

Where possible, park your Defender in a secure location. Both a lockable garage or secure parking garage are ideal, but if you’re in town, position your Land Rover in a public and well-lit place, preferably in view of multiple CCTV systems. 

Then, there are physical security items you can fix. The more you install, the better. Heavy-duty metal plates with locks are available to cover over your pedals, so the vehicle cannot be driven away. There are steering wheel hubs on sale that allow you to quickly disconnect your wheel for safe storage elsewhere. Companies also produce anti-theft locks for the handbrake and a product called Mechlock disables the clutch, requiring a key to operate.

At the end of the day, installing these products can give a good sense of reassurance. Your vehicle will be much less attractive to thieves, it will represent too high a risk to them. Of course, it is also wise to make sure your insurance policy is always up to date, including any new security modifications.

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