Creating Defender Interior Trim

If you’ve tried to order any genuine trim parts from Land Rover recently, you’ll know that Land Rover’s inventory of classic Defender parts, is seemingly down to a few dusty boxes of random items in the corner of a warehouse in Solihull.

With obsolete trim components getting harder and harder to find MUD has started to recreate some popular trim items we knew there’s always going to be a demand for. Our Td5 radio console has been a huge success, but even the most basic ‘classic’ radio tray continues to surprise us with how many we sell. Something else we’ve been repeatedly asked over the years was for good quality interior Station Wagon trims that looked like the factory originals. There are aftermarket trims available for the later model ‘Puma’ models, but the earlier cars had somehow been overlooked.

As older Defenders become more desirable and collectable, originality is increasingly something owners and restorers are looking for rather than something that’s been covered in badly applied diamond stitch orange leather. We set to work…

To recreate the Station Wagon trims was no mean feat. To start with, 90 and 110 window surrounds are different size panels. Two different sizes and a lefthand and righthand of each means four different pieces of tooling to kick off with. Add in the rear quarter window surrounds and B-Pillar Trims and Cant Rail trims for the 110SW, each in left-hand and right-hand variants and this was never going to a quick process. With the tooling for each individual trim piece made from a slab of aluminium billet, it wasn’t going to be cheap either!

First off, we had to find some decent panels to work from. A common reason people would tell us they wanted us to create replacement trims was that all of the second-hand trims on eBay were junk! It turns out they’re not wrong. Ask me how I know! Having amassed a sizeable pile of second-hand trims to work with, the good ones were 3d scanned to create the data we needed as the starting point for the tooling CAD and recreate the profile of each part as close as possible to the originals.

a pile of used plastic trims all sourced as part of the development process

While the CAD for the product tooling was being created, we turned our attention to how we were going to attach the panels in the car. We could’ve sent the panels out to customers without any fasteners and let the installer work it out. We’ve all had parts like that and know how frustrating that is. That’s not how we work at MUD so the next job was to recreate the original Land Rover fastening method.

Most of the fixings Land Rover used for their panels are not available to buy as separate parts so we had to develop every piece from scratch. The pile of panels we had were stripped of their various fixtures and checked and compared for any discrepancies. With a box of brackets and spacers in hand, we now had to find someone to remake them. The rear corner trims were potentially going to be tricky to replicate because they’re made from a spring-steel but a lucky discovery resulted in us finding a spring manufacturer just around the corner from us that we never even knew existed. Likewise, the spacer tubes running across the bottom of the panels were made by another local specialist engineering shop who someone tipped us off about. Where possible we like to use local suppliers so it’s nice to find small local companies who understand what you’re trying to achieve and will work with you to provide exactly what you need. Without exception, every part of MUD trim panels has been made in Yorkshire.

After a month or so of design tweaking, and trial fitting and 12-months after kicking off the project we could sign off the product and instruct the manufacturer fire up their moulder.

MUD Station Wagon window trim panels are not rigid fibreglass panels covered in a trim material. We’ve selected a thermoformed polypropylene sheet capped with a textured soft-touch finish to mirror the look, feel and colour of the original panels. Each kit comes with a comprehensive fitting kit so you’ve got everything you need to install the panels. Since we’ve gone to the effort of remanufacturing all of the original fixings, it made sense for us to sell just the fitting kit on its own for anyone looking to fit some tired panels you’ve bought from eBay.

To compliment the side window trims we also offer the rear quarter window trims, together with the B-pillar trims for 110 models and the Cant Rail trims that fix above the second-row doors, all in matching material. You can of course just buy the panels you want to tidy up any damaged or missing panels in your Defender.

Creating the panels turned out to be one of our most difficult projects but we’re confident the time spent in getting every detail right has resulted in the best product on the market. All of the panels are in stock now ready for immediate dispatch either as a complete kit (save 15% on complete kits) or individual components.

The trims available are;

B-Pillar Trim

Cant Rail- Available with and without a replacement grab handle

Station Wagon Window Trim- Available for both 90 and 110

Rear Quarter Trim

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About us

It’s our own experience of owning, rebuilding, racing and travelling in Land Rovers all over the world that go into creating and handpicking the MUD range of products.

MUD seat rails were the very first MUD product we launched and from that single product offering packed on a kitchen table, MUD has grown into one of the most respected brands within the Land Rover aftermarket industry with users all over the world.  

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