When I bought my L322 a major motivation was the room in the back for my three German Shepherds: Philly, Oeskes and Joy. So, I couldn’t overlook my canine responsibilities when I sold it.
Sadly we lost both Philly and Oeskes to cancer a while back, but the first trip out with Joy in our Defender TDCi instantly revealed that the chances of keeping even one 40kg German Shepherd where I left her were minimal.
A dog guard therefore became a priority. The option I plumped for was the full-height STC7555. But all the listings I could find said that it was only good for pre-TDCi Defenders. This made no sense, as I knew none of the body panels it attaches to had changed for years. So I went ahead and ordered one anyway.
On unpacking and doing the non-blokey thing (ie, actually reading the instructions), I was pleased to see the only reason it isn’t listed for later models is because a couple of holes in the internal roof gutter are absent.
I simply used the top bracket as a template, in conjunction with masking tape and a pen. There’s a roof brace in the gutter that lent itself well to being a datum to make sure I got both sides in the right place. Four 6mm holes later, the top brackets were butted up against it.
With the guard held square to the wheel box with a packing box, the bottom brackets were easy to get in the right place; four more holes (9mm this time) and braces under the wheel box finished the job. Well, almost – there was an annoying rattle, easily cured by some heatshrink over the threads of the thumbscrews that attach the guard to the bottom brackets.
Joy was not overjoyed by her new-found incarceration but the guard has brought some added benefits. I now have useful extra storage space between it and the bulkhead, and the ability to load the Defender right up to the roof line without the fear of decapitating Mrs B.