Ditch Light Brackets & Adjustments

UPDATE FOR 2024

We are no longer providing the insulating strips as their has been improvement in tooling for manufacturing. We are now able to keep tighter tolerances therefore no longer needing the strips! If you are still experiencing interference with the cowl please follow our hood adjustment instructions below.

*These instructions apply to the standard ditch light brackets, heavy duty ditch light brackets, & our hood mounted antenna mount*

Tools required

  • 13mm socket with ratchet
  • 15mm open end wrench (optional)

Included with your package

  • Ditch light brackets
  • 2 insulating tape strips (optional)

For this installation write up I will demonstrate only the right side but procedure is the same for both sides.

Step 1:

Start by lifting your hood. In the open position you can access your hood brackets as shown. 3 nuts hold your hood per side. The 2 bottom nuts are exposed, the third top nut is hidden behind the seal. You will only need to remove the bottom 2 nuts as shown. Work on one side at a time. No need to worry of the hood falling as the top bolt and hood shocks will still hold it up during the installation of the brackets.

Step 2:

Install the corresponding bracket onto the studs and reinstall the nuts as shown. The bracket has a bit of wiggle room in order to adjust it to the line of the hood. This picture illustrates how it should look.

Step 3:

Close the hood and check for any contact on the cowl. Some may experience this, some may not and that is due to assembly at the factory. If you don’t not have any contact then you are now done and can continue to the other side. If you do have contact please keep reading for your options

Option 1

Step 1:

You can use the included insulating strips on the contact point as shown.

Step 2:

Once installed it is hardly noticeable and will protect against chaffing. That’s it for option one. Easy peasy.

Option 2

If you are perfectionist like me, you will want to get the hood hinges lined up properly. For this you will need the 15mm open ended wrench. Follow the hood hinges to where they bolt up to the firewall.

Step 1:

Here is a top view of the 3 bolts that hold the hinge to the wall marked with red dots. You can get to them with the open ended 15mm wrench. You will not need to remove the bolts, just crack them loose. If you loosen them too much you will notice the hinge drop due to the weight of the hood. Not a big deal but you want to keep the hinge at the same height. I’ll show you what to look for on the next step. Once loose, you can move the hood hinge up down and side to side. You really only want to pull the hinge forward towards the front of the vehicle, keeping it leveled.

Step 2:

After pulling the hinge forward you will notice these markings from where the hinge bracket and bolts were installed. Only a couple of millimeters of shift is needed. That’s the only place you want to see those markings. If you see a marking on top of the bracket or the top of the bracket isn’t tangent with the marking circled, it means you let the hinge drop or lifted it out of its original place. Use the picture as an example as how it should look. (In reality you can adjust as you see fit. You just want to make sure the hood lines up as you’d like after the adjustment). Tighten the bolts and check for alignment and clearance.

Step 3:

This is the proper clearance after the adjustment and should be no contact. If you need more clearance you can go ahead and redo the adjustment.

Step 4:

Lastly, check your hood alignment here, it should have even spacing between the fender and hood (as circled). If it is uneven you can adjust for this AFTER both ditch light brackets have been installed. To adjust this you will want to loosen up the 3 nuts shown in the very first picture of this write up (2 exposed nuts and one hidden behind the seal on the bottom of the hood). DO NOT REMOVE THE NUTS, just loosen. You can do your final adjustments here to line up the hood properly. Once it is satisfactory,  tighten up all bolts properly and you are ready to install your ditch lights!

That’s it! You now have more options to help you light your way with the Saltek Ditch Light Brackets. Happy Overlanding!

9 thoughts on “Ditch Light Brackets & Adjustments

    1. Hey there Hector! Don’t worry. It looks more intimidating than it is. It’s just 2 bolts on each side of the hood. The hood adjustment is not a required part and was only added in as an optional step. So if you would rather skip that step, you can. Most Defenders will not experience contact on the cowl with the bracket either way. And if it does and you’d rather not do the adjustment, you can just add the foam tape to prevent any rubbing. You got this!

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