DIY Towbar Guide Brink / Thule

Faults and Technical chat for the Discovery Sport
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chris24747
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Location: Derbyshire

DIY Towbar Guide Brink / Thule

Post by chris24747 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Hi all,
I’ve been following a couple of threads on here regarding aftermarket towbars, I’ve taken the plunge and will be fitting my own. I thought I’d document it for others to see in case they want to do it themselves and save a few quid.

For anyone interested, mines a March 2015 2.2 SE Tech without the spare wheel. Please do your own checks to ensure compatibility.
I’ve gone for the Brink / Thule detachable towbar for £190 from eBay (but comes from this company http://www.hedley-towbars.co.uk). I bought the 13 pin electrics separate as they didn’t stock the DS one. That was another eBay one from PF Jones (http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/p.fjones) in Manchester and was £63.99. Both included postage, so a total outlay of £254. I was quoted £484 to have this done at a local garage, so a nice saving that paid for my bike rack (£159, again from pfjones) and plenty of change.

This took me about 5 hours to complete, it’s about half and half removing stuff and putting it back. In this time I was busy taking photos and had to nip out to borrow some different sized sockets that I didn’t have.

Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for RTFM. Please follow the manufacturer provided instructions first, use this thread as guidance only!

One thing to note that may change your mind on the tow bar is that this Thule one takes away the screw for the towing eye, I believe the Witter does as well. I haven’t found a detachable one that keeps the towing eye.

First things first, Unboxing – or in this case unbagging. The whole thing came in this semi shrink wrapped sheet. Inside was the bar itself and another bag of goodies in the 2nd picture.

P1040603.JPG

20160403_204622.jpg

P1040605.JPG

P1040604.JPG

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First things first, remove any rings... the last thing you want is to scratch the paint while removing / replacing anything. Unpack and check all bits are there, I was missing 2 of the smallest bolts but had some available.
You will need:
• A ratchet socket set (10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 22mm at least)
• Philips + flat screwdriver
• Pliers
• Jigsaw / multitool, masking tape, pencil, tape measure
• Possibly other stuff i have forgotten

Here we go…
Remove the lights. Remove the fuseboard cover on the left and the plastic vent on the right to expose a single white plastic 10mm bolt. Remove this.

P1040614.JPG

The light will stay in place as there is also a clip adjacent to the white nut, use a screwdriver to release the lights. Disconnect the wires and store safely.
Remove the silver under trim, there are 2 10mm bolts underneath that will release it. Give it a wobble and a light pull and it will come away.

Removing the bumper:
Remove the Philips screws exposed behind the lights

P1040621.JPG

By hand, pull the wheel arch trim away to reveal a 10mm bolt, remove it on each side.

P1040622.JPG

Remove 2 screws from each wheel arch. There is little clearance so use pliers with a screwdriver bit.

P1040623.JPG

Remove, two 10mm bolts from beside the exhaust

P1040628.JPG

Remove 6 (I think) bolts from under the silver trim

P1040620.JPG

Check in case I forgot any!!!

10 attachments max..... continuing in the next post...
Last edited by chris24747 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Manual SE Tech in Corris Grey and aftermarket Brink towbar.
Guide to fitting my towbar: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3091


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chris24747
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:44 am
Location: Derbyshire

Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by chris24747 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Put your hand into the wheel arch and GENTLY pull on the bumper to release the clips on each side.

P1040624.JPG

You should be able to reach into the drivers side and disconnect the rear bumper wiring

P1040627.JPG

From here you should be able to lift the bumper clear of the car. Lay somewhere so as not to scratch it.

P1040629.JPG

The bumper comes off in one large piece, ie the painted rear bumper is attached to the black plastic.

Your car will look like this:

P1040630.JPG

Remove the steel inner bumper by removing the 6 bolts. You can safely remove all of these because it hooks onto the bodywork.

P1040631.JPG

P1040633.JPG

Next, drop the exhaust. You could do this by undoing the rubber exhaust mount but that seemed harder than removing the mount from the bodywork.
It’s hard to explain where this is, so:

P1040640.JPG

It’s best accessed from below, but clearance to the tyre isn’t great.

P1040641.JPG

Once removed you can unhook the bracket. Lower the backbox onto something sturdy. You shouldn’t let it go to the floor, I used a cable drum which keeps it about 7” from the floor.

P1040642.JPG

Now remove the fiberglass under-tray. There are 6 nuts in the middle to remove plus one one each side above the exhaust.

P1040644.JPG


10 attachments max... continuing on next post
Last edited by chris24747 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Manual SE Tech in Corris Grey and aftermarket Brink towbar.
Guide to fitting my towbar: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3091


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chris24747
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:44 am
Location: Derbyshire

Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by chris24747 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:53 pm

P1040643.JPG

Give it a wobble and it should come away.

Next, remove this bracket and these 2 bolts to release the towing eye thread.

P1040638.JPG

Remove the same bracket on the other side. These brackets, the 2 bolts and the towing eye thread will not be going back on the car. Place to one side.

Your car will look like this:

P1040648.JPG

Slot in the black re-enforcing tubes from the towbar kit (can just see these in the above photo, one in place, the other at the bottom left)

P1040654.JPG

Fitting the bar... You will need a mate to help you for this. Line up the bar as per the instructions and put 4 bolts in each side. 3 of these have a washer, the 4th (the front most one) has a bracket that will be used to secure the under tray later.

P1040649.JPG

Follow the instructions included to attach another bracket and the towball fixing.

Remove this bung from the boot floor:

P1040634.JPG

Feed the wiring through. Connect the earth to the nearby bodywork screws and connect into the wiring loom.

P1040664.JPG

You’ll have something that looks like:

P1040653.JPG

There are some rubber bungs in the bumper fixing brackets, remove them.

P1040652.JPG


Continued on next post.....
Last edited by chris24747 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Manual SE Tech in Corris Grey and aftermarket Brink towbar.
Guide to fitting my towbar: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3091


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chris24747
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:44 am
Location: Derbyshire

Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by chris24747 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:54 pm

Cutting the bumper. You’ll need to cut the undertray only, hole size and shape is in the instructions. I suggest putting this part on a couple of wheelie bins, like so, to hold it in place.

P1040655.JPG

Mark up:

P1040656.JPG

Cut. I used an oscillating multi tool which I expect is much easier than a jigsaw as the instructions suggest.

P1040658.JPG

Result:

P1040659.JPG

Replace the under-tray on the car, putting all of the nuts and bolts back that were removed.

This is the view from the bottom with the tray replaced. The hole could have had a little less taken off on the passenger side, but a bit more behind the electric socket as the wire rubbed. Make any extra cuts you might need to prevent snagging / rubbing of the wires.

P1040662.JPG

Lift the exhaust back into place and replace the bolts into the mounting plates.

Lift the bumper back into place. Be sure to check around the other bits of trim so you don’t end up with errors like this:

P1040665.JPG

Remember to replace the bumper wiring connector on the drivers side.
Push the sides into the clips first and adjust if necessary, then replace all of the bolts and screw that were initially removed.
Replace lights and job done.

I fitted this to be able to fit a bike rack. This is a picture of the end result..

P1040666.JPG

Now, when the rack is installed and connected, if I indicate a light flashes up on the dash saying a trailer is connected. The parking sensors are also automatically disabled, you get this message:

20160408_154859.jpg

Last edited by chris24747 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Manual SE Tech in Corris Grey and aftermarket Brink towbar.
Guide to fitting my towbar: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3091


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chris24747
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:44 am
Location: Derbyshire

Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by chris24747 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:54 pm

I've got a couple more pics. I'll add them here on request.

P1040661.JPG

There is no cut in the silver part of the bumper, it's all in the under tray. You have to really get low / be looking for it to see the connector when the towball is not on:

20160409_155346.jpg

20160409_155353.jpg

20160409_160931.jpg

20160409_162127.jpg


Instructions for Thule and a couple others i looked at/:
Thule instructions: http://90.145.111.133/596800.pdf
Witter instructions http://www.witter-towbars.co.uk/uMedia/ ... s/R50Q.pdf
GDW http://pdfs.transportsysteme24.de/123613_v1.pdf
Last edited by chris24747 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Manual SE Tech in Corris Grey and aftermarket Brink towbar.
Guide to fitting my towbar: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3091


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Yasmar
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by Yasmar » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:22 pm

Thats a labour of love and very instructive! No wonder these things cost so much when you see all the work that's involved. Great pictures.
MY16.5 DS HSE 2.0 Litre Diesel Automatic Scotia Grey with privacy glass and mudflaps.
Complete with B Pillar rattle courtesy of JLR :roll: finally fixed and rattle free thanks to the dealer!


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Muddywheels
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Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by Muddywheels » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:26 pm

Wow :shock:

Fantastic write up and well done to you having the courage to dismantle and rebuild your DS

I'm amazed LR have made such a dogs dinner of fitting towbars - after the brilliant RRS/D3/4 chassis receiver this is a backward step :?
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philstix
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Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by philstix » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:51 pm

chris24747,

That is some top work there! Really informative instructions and a real bonus for anyone attempting the same job as yourself. A great guide for the forum.
Delivered 20/10/2015: MY2016 HSE Black in Firenze Red, Electrically Deployable Tow Bar, Additional USBs 1st & 2nd Row, InControl Plus & Service Pack. Ordered mid-June 2015 from Lancaster Reading. Built 2nd Oct.


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Moose
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Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by Moose » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:35 am

Excellent guide, we need to flag this somehow to keep it easy to find.
HSE Auto Yulong White Cirrus black roof, 20"wheels, Privacy Glass, InControl - apps and secure, Factory tow pack,
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Muddywheels
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Re: DIY Aftermarket Towbar Guide

Post by Muddywheels » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:47 am

Sounds like a great idea 8-)
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NOW GONE

MY17 Lexus RC 300h F Sport
MY16 DS
MY10/13 RRSs - Mini One
FL2s
Jag X-type
D2s - MGTF
FL1s
Landcruiser, Mondeo, Escort, Orion, Astra GTE, Xr3i, Renault 5/19/18, Fiesta 1300S, Allegro, Avenger, Honda MTX, Yamaha FS1E


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