I've had great fun reading all the website forums about our record run to Cape Town and it's amazing how much rubbish there is on the sites. Most of them claim that the vehicle performed badly and that we'd carried out loads of modifications to the Land Rover.
For all you Land Rover enthusiasts, to find out more about our Discovery 2, please see the technical pages, but in brief, this is what we did to the vehicle and how it performed.
I'll start with how the Land Rover performed as it's easy to sum up - the only thing that happened on the trip was that the ABS / HDC and Traction Control lights came on. This was after we drove through the gloopy and slippery mud of northern Kenya following the harsh volcanic rock section. I think a load of mud must have found its way onto one of the sensors, or something minor like that. At an opportune moment at one of the borders, I simply connected up the Autologic diagnostic tool and reset the system. That was it - no punctures, no electrical failures, no gearbox problems, no half shafts, not even a blown light bulb!
So, to all the forums out there talking about how badly the vehicle performed and that we'd got it wrong by choosing a Land Rover Discovery 2 - wrong!
This we did carefully and everything we fitted was considered in terms of its weight, because for every 20kg of pointless accessories strapped onto the vehicle, it's another jerry can of diesel that we cannot carry.
Engine - prepared by Alive Tuning:
- Serck Services Motorsport - large performance intercooler
- Serck - new standard radiator
- Alive Tuning - EGR Bypass kit
- Samco - XDB (Xtreme Duty Build) intercooler hoses and top hose
- JP Exhausts - stainless steel performance exhaust
- Alive Tuning - subtle ECU remap to cope with the high sulphur diesel in Africa
- Alive Tuning - turbo boost box
- Kenlowe - electric fan
- Optima - single red top battery
- No snorkel was fitted as it sucks too much power from the engine
- Standard paper air filter
- King Springs - heavy duty coil springs front and rear - the rear air system was removed. This gave a 2 inch lift when un-laden, but reduced to a 1 inch lift when loaded.
- Koni - Heavy Track Raid shock absorbers. No spares were carried.
Gearbox / clutch:
- New standard clutch fitted
- Protection & Performance - full external roll cage, but minus the 2 internal bracing bars.
- Qt - heavy duty track road and drag link
- Qt - diff guards front and rear
- KBX - stainless steel mesh to protect radiator
- Land Rover headlight guards - toughened plastic
- Metal guards over front fog lights
- No steering guard or fuel tank guards were fitted and definitely no winch or bull bar - that would weigh over 100kg!
- Long range fuel tank from Front Runner - additional 40 litres
- Hella - 3003 Spotlights x 2
- Hella - 3003 Driving lights wired into main beam x 2
- Hella - fog lights in front bumper x 2
- Mintex - high performance discs and pads all round
- Goodridge - armoured brakes hoses
Wheels & Tyres:
- Pirelli - 245/70 R16 ATR tyres
- Land Rover Discovery 2 heavy duty steel wheels - you can't get alloy welded in Africa.
- Victron- 12 volt to 240 volt inverter under the navigator's seat
- 4 into 1 cigarette 12 volt adaptor from Halfords
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