Somehow, I get the feeling that my idea of a weekend drive in the countryside isn’t quite the same as everyone elses…..
Underbody protection. In the end I went for the Qt guards front and rear. The others just seemed too wimpy.
Steering Guard. Southdown Steering Guard fitted. Still working on best recovery options.
Tank Guard and rear recovery point is proving to be a real problem. Still.
Snorkel. Safari. Easy decision. And looking good.
Winch is looking good in the Bearmach discrete mount kit. I still need a good strong recovery point, and I’m thinking of drilling the steering guard to add a couple of swivels.
I also added some privacy screens to the windows, a roof rack and some bridging ladders. Given the lack of lift and agressive tyres right now, these seemed worthwhile.
So what next?
Tyres: will be upgraded to ATs in axle pairs as the existing ones wear or otherwise need replacing. And the chrome side steps, which look nice, will get replaced with tree sliders if and when they get damaged.
What a great day to be outside!
The Clarendon Way walk raises money for Naomi House Hospice. It’s a fun event to help organise and RAYNET provides the safety comms every year.
A busy weekend. The winch, steering guard, snorkel and roof rack have all been fitted. And I am now too knackered to take pictures or further document what I did.
A gotcha for the unwary is that the hose you have to remove from the washer fluid bottle is a push-to-release clip that you can’t see in the dark behind the bumper. Don’t break it like I did.
A bit of a busy Friday evening, but the Discovery has the first visible evidence of it being made a bit more capable for off-road use – a Safari Snorkel.
My friend David French came over and helped fit it, and at the same time we fitted another one to a Td5 that’s being taken to Iceland for an extended trip in the summer. We both came to the conclusion that car maintenance is much more enjoyable as a socialble activity.
Well, I’ve made a small start to the upgrades on the Disco.
I’ve fitted Qt Services diff guards front and rear. I originally planned to put a bearmach one on the front but after actually seeing one decided it was a piece of crap since it didn’t actually protect the underside of the diff.
I went with the advice to put the Defender one on the front to avoid needed to weld lugs onto the diff. Worked like a charm, though I did need to get all the bolts started before tightening them up, not to mention cleaning the unused threads on the casing that had been exposed to the elements for the last 5 years (M10 1.25mm pitch if you want to get a tap in advance). The hitch down the road is that I assume the defender diff drain hole is in the bottom, not the side. There’s a circular hole under the diff – and the plug wont quite clear the side of the guard once it’s all done up tight.
It’s going to have to come off at the next oil change, and a bit filed off to avoid having to do that again. Yeah, I should have done it right the first time, but it’s been a long week and I’m knackered.
I also replaced the broken A post trim cover in preparation for installing a snorkel in the next few days. Watch this space.
Well, I’ve gone and done it and sold the Dakar.
It’s become too much of an effort to find time to give it the work it needs along with all the other things I want to do.
I don’t want to step back from off-roading completely, but the Discovery is too nice and shiny to take into the really mucky bits.
So the plan is to still do some marshalling for TV4x4, and perhaps the odd bit of green-laning and training days for 4×4 response – and to spend some of the funds from the sale of the Dakar on some upgrades for the Disco.
So, what’s the plan for upgrades?
Underbody protection. Starting with diff guards, even this isn’t as simple as it seems. I really like the wraparound ones from Qt Services, but their Td5 Disco ones require welding to the front diff casing. Not an option for me. So I went with a compromise here. On the front diff it’s mostly the forward facing flat side of the diff that’s vulnerable, so I’ve got a basic Bearmach diff guard here and then gone with the Qt wraparound where the input side of the diff is more vulnerable.
Steering Guard. I’ve had a second hand steering guard in the garage for a while waiting to be fitted. Time to go for it.
Tank Guard and rear recovery point is proving to be a real problem. I can’t find anyone doing a combined tank guard and tow hitch that is type approved, and all the approved tow hitch designs are good at doing double duty as a plough. I can be legal or useful, it seems. In the meantime I think a JATE ring might find it’s way under the rear rail.
Snorkel. Safari. Easy decision. Much prefer the look to any of the “drainpipe up the A post” designs.
Winch/front recovery point is another non-obvious decision. Most of the winch bumpers are a bit too “cutaway” for my taste and I think destroy the nice lines of the front of the vehicle. After all, this is supposed to be an everyday car first. Land rover do a mounting kit that sits in front of the vehicle, but that adds another 4″ or so to the front of the car which I don’t much like either. I think I’m going to go with the “discrete” mounting option and see what I can do to add some recovery points to the winch mount.
Tuesday 6th – 21:30 to 00:30 Towed around 7 cars and a truck up the Owlsmoor Road. That included a woman in a complete panic trying to get back to her 8 month old baby, and two BA staff coming home from LHR.
Wednesday 7th. Go to work to ensure office was opened. Came home again. Took in-laws to Gatwick for Thursday flight. Assisted with clearing blocked Owlsmoore Road and attempted to tow an articulated lorry.
Thursday. Worked from home. Evening spent 4 hrs transporting care workers for Wokingham Borough Council
Friday. Made it to work with a colleague. Took another colleague to hospital after falling off his bike. Got accosted by hospital’s ambulance service and took two patients home while waiting, plus arranged contacts with local 4×4 response and an additional driver. Then spent 4 hrs in the cold and dark helping said driver fix a diesel leak. Towed SWMBO’s car into our street.
Saturday 9th. Out before 7am to transport care workers again. Home at 2pm, after stopping to pull a crashed car out of a ditch. Driver escaped with no injuries and car seemed to be sound as well. At 16:30 at Royal Berks Hospital to transport two patients home. Towed neighbour’s car into the street, but demoted it to second slipperiest road in Berkshire after Alexandra Road in Reading. 23:00 pickup for Southern Counties Ambulance in Wokingham! Home at midnight and a bit.
Sunday 10th – Assessment day for new members. Left home at 7:30am. got home at 2:30pm. Slept for 2 hrs, then 2 hrs doing accounts for the group. Arranged to pick up a colleague en-route to work in the morning as well.
100′ Versatower on a trailer, shown fully upright and guyed here with the Disco to scale. Three hours later it’s flat on the trailer and ready to take “home”.
Take a look at this.
I’ve driven up that slope… it’s every bit as steep as it looks. Good fun though!