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ChrisDefender



Member Since: 29 Oct 2015
Location: Midlands
Posts: 439

United Kingdom 
Laughing

Thanks for all the replies, very helpful.

I'll ponder for a while longer and let you know which I go for. I really just fancy the billet ones (rather than stainless or having to paint etc) so I think I have two in the running now.

If I get a chance I'l nip over to the show at Peterborough at the start of July, but it looks like Exmoor Trim are not there this year.

Cheers all. Thumbs Up
Post #997727 27th Jun 2023 11:52am
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LandymanStefan



Member Since: 30 Aug 2017
Location: Surrey
Posts: 860

England 2001 Defender 90 Td5 SW Epsom Green
Another one to add to the list are ferroforcia.

Much like the off-road monkeys ones with grease nipples.

https://ferroforcia.com/en/
Post #997731 27th Jun 2023 12:19pm
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ChrisDefender



Member Since: 29 Oct 2015
Location: Midlands
Posts: 439

United Kingdom 
Surprised That's another one to add to the mix then!!

Cheers
Post #997733 27th Jun 2023 12:37pm
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id2018



Member Since: 17 Jan 2018
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 5

United Kingdom 
Hi

I spent a day fitting the newer Optimill hinges to a 110 today. Here’s a few comments, I’m no expert just really starting out playing around with stuff.

1) the security lugs didn’t fit on my car at all. There’s a slot between the clips but either side is a flat surface so you can turn it but it snags. Tried a bit of modification. Gave up. Removed the security lug. They now fit just fine.
2)There are exposed bolts on one side. There has to be and that’s what the special security feature was for.
3) Finish. The finish is soft. It scratches very easily. If I’d known it was this soft I would have gone a different route. I probably will replace these eventually when they deteriorate where the6 were scratched. In the meantime might try and cover the scratches with scope repair paint or something like that or chemical blacking maybe.
4) you have to remove the security lugs for the second row doors as there is no slot. The bolts are also too long you have to cut them they will hurt someone or damage a seatbelt. I’m not convinced the nylocks are providing much security over just bolting them using original fittings.
5) The instructions. Basically remove old hinge put new hinge in and turn it. Well ok but. No. The bolts are different sizes and it wasn’t super obvious where the small ones go. The nylocks you eventually think about after you fitted them using the old fittings. The instructions are probably great if you did it before. They’re fine for me now I know.

So whilst they are lovely and look nice. I’d avoid them and get something that is not anodised (it really is soft I have had items turn up scratched in their packaging) and has perhaps better security options. I will be chalking this up to experience and looking for a different set of black hinges. Any recommendations appreciated.

Hope this helps others make an informed choice.
Post #1024418 11th Feb 2024 9:11pm
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Tdi4



Member Since: 24 Oct 2014
Location: Houten
Posts: 513

Netherlands 2008 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 CSW Stornoway Grey
I sold a kidney and bought de offroad monkeys ones.

There is no justification for spending so much money on hinges (according to my wife Laughing ) but man they are engineered beautifully. The tolerances of all the components are so good and they are super easy to fill up with grease.

I've got them for more then a year know and the color still looks fresh. I've seen other brands which start to discolor but these aren't.

1 tip, don't combine the optimal mirror arms (with puddle lights) with these hinges. To make that combo work you have to do this:



Click image to enlarge
 a defender from 1984 pretending to be a puma with a touch of Range Rover
Post #1024452 12th Feb 2024 8:59am
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rallysteve



Member Since: 10 Feb 2014
Location: South Yorks
Posts: 2194

United Kingdom 2002 Defender 110 Td5 DCPU Keswick Green
I have got the Exmoor Trim ones. The hinges are really nice quality and look pretty much identical to the older style LR hinges. My issue with them was with the rubber gaskets they were provided with. These are too soft and allow the hinge to flex a little against the bodywork each time the door was opened. The result of this was the rubber gaskets get pushed out from behind the hinges which then come loose.

I replaced the rubber gaskets with 3D printed plastic ones (the original LR plastic shims would have worked fine too) and they are great now.

Steve 02' 110 TD5 Double Cab Rebuild Thread
84' 90 3.9 V8 Caged Pickup Build Thread


Mobile Diesel Heater Build Thread
Post #1024455 12th Feb 2024 9:50am
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blackwolf



Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16692

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
id2018 wrote:
... I spent a day fitting the newer Optimill hinges to a 110 today. Here’s a few comments, I’m no expert just really starting out playing around with stuff. ...


Some interesteing comments there. I fitted the original style of Optimill hinges to my DC many years ago and have to say that the quality, fit and finish was second to none and the hinges have stood up well to the years on the vehicle, as well as a certain amount of abuse. The (black) finish seems hard-wearing and durable and certainly not soft.

I cannot comment on the security features of the new hinges except to note some general points. Firstly, I have never heard of a Defender being broken into by having the hinges unscrewed from outside the vehicle with the doors closed. There are so many easy ways of opening a Defender without the keys that only a completely novice thief or completely stupid thief would do it (both categories probably exist, but aren't really the problem). Once the doors are open, none of the security systems I have seen (catch plates etc.,) actually offer any advantage. Similarly pin-Torx head machine screws are now so commonplace that anyone who thinks they offer any security at all is, frankly, deluding themselves.

As far as I can determine the simplest, cheapest, and most effect way to reduce the risk of your doors being stolen is still just to fill the heads of the screws with something difficult to remove, ideally a snug-fitting ball-bearing bonded into place, and to use removable security nuts of some type on the inside in place of the original nuts (or in place of the original nut plates on the "B"-post of a vehicle with second-row seats). The doors can still be removed, but it is extremely difficult to do so and takes an age (it took me the better part of a day to remove my old hinges, fixed in this way, when I fitted the Optimill set, and that was working openly and in full daylight).

Finally remember the one thing that most owners seem to forget when protecting their Defender or its parts, namely that a criminal doesn't care in the slightest how much damage he does when stealing the vehicle or its parts. It is one thing to think "how would I break in without damage" and preventing that, but you need to think "how can I break in most quickly if I don't care at all about damage" and address that. To a thief the bits they don't take are scrap and have no value.

I would be sorry if the Optimill hinges have become as poor as you suggest. It has been my experience that Optimill products are generally excellent, as is their customer service and after-sales care. I have no connection with the business other than as a completely-satisfied customer, and have bought many of their products (hinges, steering wheel security bits, screen-washer upgrade, to name but a few).
Post #1024457 12th Feb 2024 10:03am
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id2018



Member Since: 17 Jan 2018
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 5

United Kingdom 
Thanks for this it's helpful and you make a lot of good points. I've noticed others saying the Otimill finish doesn't like harsh environments so maybe it's more me not really understanding how "hard" anodising is, they say it's hard, I don't think it's any better than paint and it's obviously harder to patch up Sad

Like I said I'm learning as I go, functionally and build wise they are very nice. The security bit I can fix if I want to with the bombproof plates if I really want to. But as you said and in hindsight .. is it worth it?

There are things Optimill could improve on, instructions are poor, the supplied torx bit is in my opinion too short. The screw heads only just clear some areas of hinge when it's at a certain angle which isn't achievable (one of the scratches is me getting the angle wrong). I did actually buy some other Optimill stuff and that turned up, in its packaging, scratched .. so it's either scratched and then packaged or it managed to get scratched inside a plastic bag with no obvious tears or marks on it. Not great.

But the doors haven't fallen off and they close .. the hinges look nice and I'll work out how to patch them up. Or worst case have a quiet cry and buy a few more to "fix" the scratches. Although that probably is a last resort given the cost.

I just wanted to share in case it helped other out on their choice of hinge.
Post #1024459 12th Feb 2024 10:24am
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blackwolf



Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16692

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
Sharing is good, please don't think I was criticising you!

It would be interesting to see the latest version of the hinges like those you have, I only have experience with the original type. I can see that there may be more complications with them. I don't remember the original type having any instructions since they were in effect a like-for-like replacement with the LR hinges. Again, clearly the new type are not like-for-like so instructions are appropriate.
Post #1024482 12th Feb 2024 2:20pm
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ericvv



Member Since: 02 Jun 2011
Location: Near the Jet d'Eau
Posts: 5816

Switzerland 2009 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 SVX Station Wagon Santorini Black
I have the greasable Offroad Monkey installed for many years now, actually since they were launched. Incredible good quality and the visible grease nipples do not hurt at all. Once per year a few fresh grease pumps and that’s it. Otherwise it’s fit and forget. Obviously, we do not have the same security risks here as in the UK.
Eric You never actually own a Defender. You merely look after it for the next generation.
http://youtu.be/yVRlSsJwD0o
https://youtu.be/vmPr3oTHndg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GtzTT9Pdl0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABqKPz28e6A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLZ49Jce_n0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvAsz_ilQYU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8tMHiX9lSw
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dxwjPuHIV7I
https://vimeo.com/201482507
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSixqL0iyHw
Post #1024762 15th Feb 2024 6:32am
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ChrisDefender



Member Since: 29 Oct 2015
Location: Midlands
Posts: 439

United Kingdom 
Cheers Eric, that is good to know as I have still not made a decision on which ones to go for. I think I am between the EM Trim and the OR Monkeys to be hinest, I just prefer the look and finish of those compared to the other options. Thumbs Up
Post #1024811 15th Feb 2024 5:01pm
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