the newsletter of the
Discovery Owners Club
Disclaimer Notice Pre-amble For the purposes of this disclaimer notice “Discovery Owners Club” and “Club” are interchangeable and assumed to mean the same thing. Advice Given Any and all advice given in this publication or elsewhere is done so in good faith. Whilst every effort is taken to ensure that any and all advice is accurate and correct the Discovery Owners Club and those acting on it’s behalf cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of advice given and anyone acting on such advice does so at their own risk. Club Events Any activities, in particular (but not exclusively) off-roading and green laning, are undertaken purely at the participants own risk. All vehicles are to be suitably insured and prepared for the activity undertaken. Participation in any club organised event is on the understanding that safety is the responsibility of the individual concerned. Public Liability Insurance
The Club carries no insurance and therefore cannot protect its members or their families and friends from any claim as a result of an accident. Members are strongly recommended to take out suitable public liability insurance. “Discourse” contact details: Please forward any articles, advertisements, comments and suggestions for the newsletter to Steve Goodfellow using the contact details on Page 3.
Inside This Issue Topic Editor’s Comments
• The Usual Rants And Raves Committee Members
• Names, Postal Addresses, Contact Numbers, Email Addresses Articles The Town And Country Festival, Stoneleigh The L345 TTU Story Derbyshire Treasure Hunt The Evolution Of ‘Piglet’ Electrical Problems – Help Needed Series 2 Towball Dashboard Peeling The Landie Is Dead … Long Live The Landie Anagrams Life With A Discovery Dashlite – Product Revue E-Group List Club Web Site Heritage Motor Run 2001 Membership List Club Logo Door Locks And Ignition Switches Raffle Prizes Next Issue Members Vehicles
4 4 6 7 9 9 10 11 11 11 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 16
The committee would like to extend our best wishes for a
very Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year to all club members readers .
Editor’s Comments: I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has sent messages expressing their appreciation for the quality of Discourse. Editing a club newsletter is a difficult task at the best of times and during the production of Issue 2 I could have easily quit on more than one occasion. The problems we had with the printing just appeared to go from bad to worse to almost impossible – every time we thought we had it aced, something else came along to set us back. The final straw was when my computers’ hard drive decided to try to commit suicide. Fortunately, it wasn’t entirely successful and most of the data files were recovered, although I did have to reinstall the operating system and all applications. What I did lose was anything that had been emailed to me and which I hadn’t moved to the “My Documents” folder; so if you’ve sent something for inclusion in Discourse and it hasn’t appeared yet then please send it again and I promise to use it in the next issue or two. Okay, enough of my troubles; what’s been happening in our world? Well let’s see … Land Rover launched the newest release of the Freelander with V6 Rover petrol and Td4 BMW diesel engines. If the write-ups are anything to go by then this “not-quite-a-land-rover” will soon be the biggest Lode Lane seller of all time. Although still making an operating loss, Land Rover are bucking the trend with new car sales higher than at this time last year. This can only bode well for the marque and hopefully will make the BMW board as sick as parrots☺. Land Rover Enthusiast magazine hit the news-stands and I for one was very impressed with it. For one thing I can actually read it – the consistent black on white text layout is perfect for my failing eyesight – without the need for a loan of the Hubble telescope. Further on in this issue you will find reports on the Town and Country Festival at Stoneleigh and the Derbyshire treasure hunt plus a revue of a neat little light that plugs into the cigar lighter socket. This little gem has winged it’s way to Jon Richardson for naming your newsletter. There are also write-ups on some of your own vehicles and a couple of hints and tips. We’re a bit light on pages this issue because we’ve had to include information for the AGM and still keep within the postage budget. Can I make another plea for anyone who plans to attend the AGM on Saturday 17th March 2001 - and I hope that’s all of you – to give Andy Smith a call and let him know so that we can give an idea of numbers to Gaydon. Thanks for your co-operation on that. Membership of the club is still growing at warp speed. At the time we sent out issue 1 of Discourse it was about 120, when I sat down and started printing issue 2 it was in the 260’s and as I pen this (November 14th) we’re over the 350 mark. Much of the interest over the past couple of month has been generated in response to the article in Novembers edition of Land Rover Owner International (LROI) magazine. This has really put us on the map and I must pass on a huge thanks to Craig Cheetham, Mark Williams and David Shepherd (the LROI team) for their efforts – BRILLIANT! Of course, I’m biased ‘cos I got my picture in the magazine and even though I’ve had to suffer a fair amount of mickey taking by so-called friends of mine I can’t complain. Once again a huge thank you to Iain Rice and Mike Thompson for all the hard work involved in setting it up and making it work so well on the day. So, who’s going to be next with a club event then? Whoever you are, you’ve got a tough act to follow. Right then, enough of my ramblings; as one of my favourite bands once said “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends …..”
_______________ Steve Goodfellow
With all the flooding that has occurred recently I just couldn’t resist sharing this with you. It’s at times like this that you have to be thankful that you’re driving a Land Rover.
Committee Members The following people are proud to serve you: Club President/Chairman John Capewell Seasons, Porth-y-Green Close, Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7JR Contact details: Work Tel.: 01446 752400 Mobile Tel.: 07850 405389 Email: email@example.com Club Treasurer Mike Duncalf Beetham Cottage, Over Kellet, Carnforth, LA6 1BS Contact Details: Home Tel.: 01524 732128 (and fax) Mobile Tel.: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Member Andy Smith 31 Stanley Street, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 1SX Contact details: Home Tel.: 01484 384883 Mobile Tel.: 07970 506215 Email: email@example.com Newsletter Editor Steve Goodfellow 87 Gloucester Road, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5JQ Contact Details: Home Tel.: 0117 904 2526 (and fax) Work Tel.: 01753 608898 Mobile Tel.: 07713 503097 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Town & Country Festival, Stoneleigh
John Capewell We have now found out that the gestation period for a club is 8 months. DOC was born at the end of April 2000 having been conceived at this same event on August Bank Holiday Weekend the previous year. So this year we returned to the scene of the crime. This event was chosen last year since it was the closest date to the 10th anniversary of the Discovery’s launch on September 12th 1989. While I’m not sure we’ll be having a cake with candles and singing happy birthday around the campfire, I can see it becoming a regular feature of our event calendar in the future. It is pointless me trying to capture this event in a few words here, if you haven’t been then talk to someone who has, because it's mega. There is a full weekend of equestrian events, crafts, model engineering, classic cars and so many ‘buying opportunities’ that it can seriously damage you wealth! The organisation is second to none and there is evening entertainment and a fair ground laid on every night. This year the weather on Saturday was appalling and my sympathies go to those members who came as day visitors for that day, because on Sunday and Monday it was sunburn which we were suffering from - not trench foot. I’d like to welcome new members who joined us there, including those who helped to put on a display of Discovery Through the Ages in the arena - going from Peter Wykes pre-production G526 WAC on the right through to Charlie Thorn’s Td5 on the left. The club shop was doing a brisk trade all weekend to members and non-members alike, and our raffle gained a further prize in the shape of a large bar-b-q courtesy of Peter and Mrs Wykes. Another success for your club, watch for Charlie’s report in LRM, he can do it far better than me and thanks again to those members who turned up to support us and helped run the pitch through the three days.
The L345 TTU Story:
James and Emma Barnes We didn’t go out to buy a Discovery that day, after all the idea was just to have a quick look around the Land Rovers at a non-franchised dealer, to kill a little time you understand. Well as you can guess, there she was, a Carrigada green Discovery. One of the early face lifted “Romulus” models; a 1994 “L” reg. A couple of weeks before we had been having a look round and spotted this Discovery then, the only V8i there, a three door with an auto box, air con, cruise control and freestyle alloys. We both liked it then but as I said before we weren’t looking for a new car. Any way if we were to buy a Discovery it would have to be a Tdi for obvious reasons. Then came the decider, a massive £2000 had been knocked off the price, I said to Emma “well at that price there is no reason not to have a LPG conversion” I didn’t know too much about LPG then so had to read up on it when we got home. The salesman had seen us looking over the Discovery (How come they notice everything?) and asked if he could help. After running a few figures past us we went out on a test drive. Well we would if the battery wasn’t flat! When the V8 was up and running we drove to the petrol station for some fuel (!) then I drove. I have had experience with Land Rover products before but not a V8 Discovery and was impressed with the smoothness of the ride and the performance (yes I know the 3.9 is powerful but I had never driven one myself!). Emma on the other hand had never even sat in a Discovery before and had never driven an auto, having only driven a Fiesta and Golf before, and was understandably
unsure of what to expect. After being assured that she wouldn’t stall when putting the box into drive we set off again. Despite the size and height of the vehicle Emma said that she was soon getting used to it. We both obviously wanted it. There were only two stumbling blocks now; insurance and they wouldn’t take my Golf in part-ex. We left saying that we would have it on the condition that we could get a reasonable quote on insurance, and would ring back on the Monday morning. After spending the weekend with a telephone welded to our ear and getting silly quotes ranging from over £1800 down to £600, I’m sure you can guess which one we went for! If you think the quote is a bit on the steep side just bear in mind we are both only 22. On the Monday morning following a phone call to BG Landrovers in Ross on Wye we drove down there to have a look over their LPG demonstrator (an “R” reg. 3.9). We were immediately impressed with the quality of the installation and following a test drive we knew this was the way to go. We were also extremely impressed with the friendliness of everyone at BG and would experience this to a further extent later on. We left saying we would ring them to let them know if we bought the Discovery. We picked up the Discovery on the Wednesday afternoon, visited the petrol station (which was to become our best friend for a while) and drove home in our new vehicle. We couldn’t have the LPG conversion done for a week so had time to drive around on (lots of) petrol so would be able to compare the fuel consumption before and after. The conversion took two days and we picked it up on the Saturday, had a lesson on how to change over fuels - rev up to just over 2000 rpm, hold for a split second and ease off - its as easy as that! That evening we had to drive a 150 mile round trip and on the way I was sure the petrol gauge was moving, but I couldn’t see how it could as the solenoid on the LPG “clicked onto gas” as normal. It soon became clear that we were running on petrol. To top things off, we had also picked up a puncture and when I went to change the tyre I discovered that the wheel brace and jack handle were missing . We rang BG early on Sunday afternoon on their mobile and they confirmed that it probably was running on petrol due to interference from the immobiliser; they said they were on a day out but would call in about 6pm to pick it up to fix on Monday. Half an hour later they were on our doorstep having cut their day short. As our Discovery disappeared off, I realised the house keys were on the Discovery key! Frantic searches through my wallet found a BG business card and a neighbour let us borrow her phone. We got the keys back and had our tea. When we picked the Discovery up we found out that the tyre was wrecked so BG lent us a second hand one for emergencies and also found us a wheel brace and jack handle; both free of charge! So off we went, running on LPG and we haven’t had any further problems with the gas since (touch wood). We returned to BG a couple of weeks later and bought a new Goodyear Eagle GT+4 to go with the 3 other new ones already on there. A few weeks later I went to get some gas from the garage opposite to where I work and when I found out that they didn’t have any I jumped in to go somewhere else, turned the key and.. nothing! A quick diagnosis from the mechanics was a duff starter; luckily they let me leave it there until next morning when the place we got it from could send down a recovery truck. Somebody was smiling on me that day as a paramedic whose Range Rover has also been converted to LPG offered to run me back to Ledbury as he only lives about five miles from us. We later found out that it took them the best part of a day just to get the starter off while we were running round in a jade green Fiat Tipo. The best part of it was when they arrived to pick our Discovery up they came in a Metro and expected to either bump start it (it’s an auto) or to tow it up to the garage. They had to then send for a “proper” recovery truck!
The next problem to occur was a leaking hub seal on the driver’s side front, then the back box on the exhaust went. The hub seal was repaired under warranty while we managed to get a back box for £85, which included fitting and VAT - which is a lot better than £240 plus fitting and VAT from Hereford Land Rover! Speaking of Hereford Land Rover, our Discovery had the lifting dashboard problem and was booked in to have it repaired courtesy of Land Rover. They did a great job and even cleaned inside the vehicle and washed and waxed outside! Incidentally, Hereford Land Rover has replaced 16 dashboards since the problem has been noted. I’m sure Land Rover wish they had used the correct adhesive. [it’s not actually an adhesive problem – see later in the newsletter – Ed] As I write this Verity (our Discovery) is going well. The LPG conversion is paying for itself at every fill, our tanks hold 60ish litres per fill and this only costs about £22☺. I’m sure this has to be cheaper than a diesel at current fuel prices. The only down side is the lack of filling stations at the moment but with careful planning it hasn’t caused us any problems yet and anyway we are finding more every week. I can’t tell any difference between running on gas or petrol other than when running on gas the engine seems smoother and quieter. We have been on a green laning trip in Wiltshire with a couple of friends who both have Series 2s and we had a great day. We didn’t get stuck or get very muddy as it was really dry but there was one lane that hadn’t been driven for a while and was very tight for the Series 2s. We only just managed to get the Discovery through with about an inch to spare each side from the trees! It was a good bit of teamwork. One concern of mine was that we have our LPG tanks under the sills and I was a little worried that they would get knocked while off road but Ben who was behind us said that the only things that caught the ground were the anti-roll bar brackets on the axle! The tanks didn’t come close to touching, though they would if you did some extreme off roading with acute breakovers. We now have Verity how we want her, although Emma wants some side steps to help her get in. Neither of us would go back to a normal car now. Finally we managed to sell my Golf after putting an advert in the Hereford Times. We are looking forward to getting to some of the Land Rover events this year and to having another green laning trip soon. We are both members of the Discovery Owners Club and look forward to meeting other members at some of the events. If you have any questions you would like to ask about the LPG conversion please e-mail us and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Iain Rice Derbyshire Treasure Hunt: This was the first non-show event staged by the club and involved teams of members, friends and family driving around the Derbyshire Peak District following a road book full of directions and fiendishly devised clues to equally obscure answers. Most of the mileage covered was on tarmac roads but there were a number of stages which involved driving non-damaging tracks through some of the most beautiful countryside around [Even for a southerner I was impressed – Ed]. Starting from Gordon Lamb Land Rover in Chesterfield the route covered 42 miles before finishing in a lovely pub in the village of Flagg, where food was laid on and the prize-giving took place. From the very beginning Gordon Lamb Land Rovers gave us every encouragement, provided the prizes, loaned us a Camel Freelander for use by the marshals and two brand new Td5 Discoveries for the pub car park. A really big thanks goes to Mark Quincey and his team from Gordon Lamb’s [a letter of gratitude is winging it’s way by pony express – Ed]. LROI magazine sent along Craig Cheetham, a staff reporter and photographer for the event. Look out for a big article in a forthcoming edition of that magazine! [It appeared in the November edition – Ed]
The prize winners were:1st PAUL STEPHENS – day for 2 at Lode Lane 2nd CHRIS WALKER - day off-roading 3rd P JOHNSON - expedition guide 4th GEORGE NEIL - book 5th COMPETITOR No. 33 ( late entry ) – various LR goodies 6th DALE RUSSEL – various LR goodies 7th SUZY McLACHLAN – various LR goodies 8th MALCOM TYLER – various LR goodies 9th IAIN SCARBROUGH – various LR goodies TIM PAINTER was awarded the furthest travelled to the event and coming last prizes. He deserves a mention in the newsletter because he travelled to the event with 5 kids in the car, all under the age of 14, and he still managed to finish the treasure hunt. MARK SIDEY AND PARTNER also deserve a mention as they go lost in Buxton due to the fact that I don't know my left from my right. Very sorry to Mark, I hope it hasn't put them off for future treasure hunts [does that mean there will be more then Iain? – Ed]! Also please put in a special mention to Mr And Mrs Keith Jolly, who could not make it on the day, but requested their entry fee and a donation to be made to the club and the charities. I have had many thanks from people on the day, and since, and must return those thanks back, as without these people it would not have been successful. [As someone who took part in the event I would like to express my appreciation to Iain and Mike for all their efforts in putting on such a brilliant days event. My appreciation is also extended to Iain’s wife and family who have had to put up with him whilst all this has been going on – Ed] Neil Brownlee The Evolution Of ‘Piglet’: In October 1999, I was put in a very awkward position by Ford. March the same year had seen Charlotte, my Ford Explorer, run off the road on a dark night by persons unknown. It was the beginning of a battle I’d rather forget about, and involved a replacement chassis for Charlotte, the first in the UK at the time. As the months went on, so did my collection of Land Rovers, I purchased Henry, a Stage One V8 (he joined Harriet, our 2.25 109” SIII) when Ford could no longer supply me with a decent sized replacement car (they offered me a Ka….). As September rolled on, so did the problems with the Explorer, the engine failed and I had decided that nine months was enough. I challenged Ford and asked them to find me a Discovery, I would walk out of the lease on the Explorer and for similar monthly payments drive away in an ES Discovery V8. After a few weeks of phone calls, the day came and we rushed off to see our new baby. I had been told it was a red automatic V8I ES with a tow bar, and this was where my daughter R’Vanneth took over; she has named all our vehicles and was adamant that the new one was going to be called Piglet. When we arrived we looked “Piglet” over, I hopped into the drivers seat, put my foot on the clutch and promptly jumped out in disgust. They had got me a manual! I returned the keys to the dealer, explained the situation, and that I’d ordered an automatic and made to leave. R’Vanneth was distraught! She was only 3 at the time and could not understand why we were leaving “Piglet” behind, obviously something had to be done! When I arrived back at home, I sat down with the yellow pages and began ringing dealers. After some time I got to a dealer who had a 1997 V8I ES, in Avalon Blue and granite
leather. We jumped in the car and drove up to Coventry to see it, ten minutes later I had put down my deposit. Piglet was to be mine in seven days. As the days before picking up Piglet rolled on, the problems with Ford reared their ugly head, I had problems with credit as the garage had not closed my lease with Ford down correctly, but luckily, after few calls to my bank manager, all was rectified. At this point I was ready to give up on driving! Finally, I picked up Piglet, drove him home, and fell in love with my first Discovery! During the next four months I had the usual problems with Piglet, water leaks (which I have fixed, so if anyone wants some pointers….), leaking seals and the usual run of the mill things. Piglet was an ex-Land Rover company vehicle and I was quite shocked at how many warranty problems he was suffering from. Also, he has a tendency to throw his bonnet up at 70mph, which is a real bugbear…I have some bonnet pins to fix that…. As the month of May rolled around, plans for beefing up Piglet for the Belgium Nationals in September were hatched, and with the expert help of my friend Ian Mckean, they actually came to fruition. We attended the LRW show and while there, a few frantic phone calls to Ian, and his attendance on the Sunday, I purchased a Terrain Master winch bumper and Warn XD9000I winch. The items were duly delivered to Ian’s house, and some two weeks later I left Northampton in a standard ES Discovery bound for Milton Keynes. Six hours later I was heartbroken as the winch bumper appeared not to fit my Discovery. Calls to the extremely helpful staff at Terrain Master helped us somewhat, but Piglet refused point blank to play. I drove Piglet with the bumper at a strange angle for some weeks and when time allowed I drove down to Terrain Master for their expert help. When we removed the bumper and tried another, the same thing happened, so Kevin and I were baffled. When Ian and I had fitted the bumper, Piglet had been sitting on ramps, so any deflection caused by the chassis was not obvious, but as Kevin and I looked at the front horns of the chassis of Piglet without the ramps it told a different story. The front horns were not level, another great advance in British engineering had reared it’s ugly head, the Land Rover tolerance! As we’d discovered there was over half an inch difference from left to right, we had to drill out the holes and finally the bumper sat straight, many thanks to Kevin at Terrain Master for that, and I still owe him a few beers!!! (If anyone wants to know WHY the horns were that far out…just ask me, Land Rover actually have an excuse!) With the bumper and winch fitted, the front end of Piglet dipped down somewhat and without the valence also looked somewhat strange, so provision was made to purchase new springs and shocks, but before this happened, Billing came along! Living in Northampton does have one advantage, and that is the Billing show, the end result of which was an A-bar for a 90/110, 2 spot lights and a Bearmach steering guard. I also bought a Terrain Master Hi-Lift jack carrier for the rear of the Discovery from “woodsman” Neil, which finished it off a treat. Piglet was taking shape. Over the next few months Ian fitted a pair of Mantec side protection sills for me. Piglet sat ridiculously low at this point, the V8 front springs really could not cope with extra weight on the front end, and an off-road foray at Langdale Quest proved the worst of my suspicions, the bump stops had been used .. a lot. A phone call to Scorpion Racing with a list of the extras on Piglet ended up with me buying a set of +2” 25% uprated springs and +2” De-Carbon shock absorbers.
After Ian, Mick and Rob had fitted these (I was in the house rebuilding PC’s, because I can do that…….!) , Piglet looked like a real Land Rover again, sitting some 4.5” higher at the back after the lift and 4” at the front. Some weeks later the Southdown petrol tank guard arrived and was duly fitted by Ian again. The GT-4 tyres fitted to Piglet now looked sadly small, but luckily, at Billing I had struck a deal for four Trac Edge 225/75 tyres from a friend and these were fitted some weeks after the lift. Preparations for the Belgium National were now well underway, and with the shock that my CB had passed away while fitted in Henry, Ian (yet again!) saved the day with a replacement. Since Belgium, I have also fitted some W.H. Wheelcarriers differential guards to both front and rear axles. Piglet also now carries all the stickers from the event. Since I also drive a Series III, I am used to being waved at and flashed by other Land Rovers. When driving the Discovery before the modifications, waves were few and far between from other Land Rover products, but now, I get waved at by all sorts of Land Rovers! I suppose Piglet has grown up and has been accepted by his elders (!) David Williams Electrical Problems – Help Needed: This is a cry for help. I have what seems to be an intermittent fault on my charger circuit as the dashboard warning light illuminates anywhere from a dull glow to about half power (when compared with the ignition check) at varying times during a journey and on some journeys does not illuminate at all.. [have an auto electrician replace the rectifier pack on the alternator … this might do the trick – Ed] An earlier incident may have caused the problem but I am not sure how? At the time my right indicator went into rapid flicker mode when I indicated right, then seemed to fail completely but on switching off the ignition and then switching back on the indicators returned to normal. Since that time a noise developed on the alternator which on checking turned out to be a bearing failure and this has been repaired but with no beneficiary effect on the warning light. A garage has checked that the alternator is charging the battery and the battery seems to be holding its charge - no trouble starting on these wet mornings. The only other symptom I can detect is that when setting the alarm system the indicators only come on once for between 5 and 10 seconds and then go off. They do not flash on and off as they should [typically this is an indication that the batteries in the key fob are failing – Ed]. Switching headlights, rear screen heater or any other electrics on and off does not seem to effect the level to which the charger warning light glows. As yet I have not had a full garage electrics check but would appreciate any advice on the problem even if the best advice turns out to be to pay for a full electrics check. Many thanks in anticipation David Williams (email@example.com)
Series 2 Towballs:
Tony Hardman Last time I communicated with the club was to meet the committee members at Billing. By the way what on earth is going on with next years show? In one of the last LRO magazines they were commenting on how Billing was no longer big enough to cope with the next show and that it would be at a different venue next year. Then up springs the Land Rover Enthusiast magazine who say that they will be organising the next show and it will be held at Billing after all [a rather “political” situation but LRE will be organising Billing 2001 – Ed]. I have not booked my place yet because I am still not sure who will be organising it "legally" and I'm equally unsure that it will be at Billing. Perhaps you could enlighten other members in the next issue. When I last saw John Capewell (at Billing) I was still without a Discovery because mine had been stolen back in April of this year. It took me until September to recover financially and I am now pleased to say that I am now the proud owner of an ‘X’ Reg. TD5 XS7 with all the gismo's and enhancements never heard of in my 300 series. Reading some of the member's comments in issue 2 of Discourse I would like to add one or two points of interest worth mentioning in the next issue.
I have recently added a towbar to my TD5 and spent a long time researching the three different styles of Land Rover genuine bars only to remain sceptical about them all. The 'swan neck" kit at £300 has been written up in the latest Accessories catalogue as suitable for coil sprung vehicles but no mention is made of it's suitability for the air sprung vehicle. Much research and some really good help from Conwy Land Rover furnished me with the reason why. Most caravans and trailers are made with the hitch height standardised at 400mm. With the "swan neck" towbar fitted to coil sprung Discoverys; the ball height is about 400mm when the nose weight of the trailer is at 75-100 kg, but if the towbar is fitted to an air sprung vehicle then the self levelling effect is to return the ball height to 495mm. Thus the trailer will be "nose high" - not good practice with a twin axle trailer. Other versions of genuine towbars are more suited to air sprung Discovery's because they are “multi-height" and can be adjusted to give the correct final ball height. I do think however that both "multi-height" towbars are pretty ugly and seriously reduce the departure angle. My other point of interest was to try and find out where to plug in the 12N genuine harness. Again more really good help, this time from Trinity Land Rover in Hinckley. I was informed that the harness connects into a multiplug situated behind the right hand light cluster. I did experience one problem though, the pre-wired multi-plug socket has a protective cap fitted to it in the factory. No problem you would think, but it is hung upside down when installed and hence fills up with water or condensation and the brass terminals corrode. So I would strongly advise any Series II owners who are contemplating fitting a towbar in the future to check this before it's too late. Now that I’ve got my towbar in place I'm on the lookout for a decent trailer. Anyone got an Ifor Williams or Indespension trailer for sale? Around the 8ft x 4ft size. Please give me a ring on 01827 873774 if you have. Another interesting "discovery" (pardon the pun) was that my key door/ignition key "forgets" the unlock code if not used over an 8 hour period. Apparently the year 2000 Series II models have had an improved security alarm and immobiliser fitted and it is so good that it cannot retain the code over long periods. I have an understanding of the "code hopping" transmitter and receiver technology because I have just made my own remote control for my garage door, so the explanation given for the higher security devises seems plausible. My dealer says that as soon as Land Rover has found the solution, year 2000 Discovery's will be modified. Failing these teething problems I am more than impressed with my TD5, especially in the recent floods. I can honestly say that I did not see one Discovery half-submerged in water, well not stationary anyway. And finally, as they say, I had the opportunity to drive a TD5 fitted with a "Powerlink" - a turbo enhancement gismo plugged into the diesel pump and attached to the original vehicle harness. "It does exactly what it says on the tin", and gives a wider torque band and some staggering acceleration. Not cheap though at £550, but it seriously gives you that kick up the bum when the turbo kicks in and it will easily keep up with the acceleration of a V8 [now that sounds like a challenge – Ed] and also give you improved fuel economy of around 4 MPG. Well that's all for now, but I'm sure I will have experienced some more good or bad points to share with you by issue number 4. Steve Goodfellow Dashboard Peeling: The problem of the dashboard on some Discoverys (typically 1994 onwards models) has been around for some time. Initially Land Rover were refusing to do anything abut the problem but having had it highlighted on national TV they responded by offering to have offending dashboards replaced free of charge. All the owner has to do is book the vehicle into a franchised dealer for the repair work. Replacing a dashboard on a Discovery is no simple task as many other parts of the vehicle’s interior hangs off it. A few years ago I was employed by a company that made ultrasonic welders – these devises are used to weld plastics together but can also be adapted to put metal inserts into plastic components. One of my customers was a company in South East England that make car interiors (name omitted to protect the innocent) including that for the Discovery. Well, being a Discovery owner myself, I jumped at the chance to see the whole manufacturing process and was shown around by the plant’s Quality Assurance Manager. Basically there are three parts to the dashboard; the fascia (which we all see every time we get in the car) a foam backing (to deaden noise and vibration) and several metal brackets (used to connect additional bits to). The plastic face is vacuum formed from raw plastic granules; it then travels along the line to where the molten foam is poured into it – and here is where the problem lies. If the foam is too hot during the pour then as it cools it
does so unevenly and creates stress lines. Normally this is not a problem as the fascia is stiff enough to withstand the stresses but when that fascia gets hot – as it does inside the windscreen glass – it becomes malleable and eventually curls up at the front edge. My guide admitted this was a known problem which they were unable to correct due to the aged instrumentation and controls on the existing production line. The good news is that the problem is now fixed; the bad news is that I saw dashboards for the very first Series 2’s (code name “Tempest”) coming off that same line … so be aware.
The Landie Is Dead … Long Live The Landie:
Melvyn Wolff Up until a month ago I was driving a Series 2 109’’ [That’s not a Series 2 Discovery, I hasten to add – Ed] with a tropical roof. Kitted out quite nicely I might add, of course it leaked, was invariable slow and, with those old leaf springs, not the most comfortable for long journeys. Yet, and this is the strangest of phenomena, everybody in the family loved the old chugger; so did the neighbours, their kids and their friends. ’You’re spending more money on ‘Big Nev, well never mind’, my wife would say. If the old boy had been a sports car I’d have been glared to death before I’d opened my wallet. However, nothing lasts and on the way back from picking my daughter up from university prior to the three of us going on the London to Brighton run a fire started in the engine bay (on the M25 at the time ... where else?) and the loom was quickly destroyed along with enough damage to write NEV off. ‘Would you like to buy my Disco’ said the nice man at the garage (I’d long admired his fully equipped for offroading Landie) but could I afford it? No of course not; so I bought it anyway. This is equipped with an external/internal roll cage, rear air locker, raised suspension points, winch, under body protection and RJ Harvey front and rear steel bumpers. We are, as they say, ready and raring to go. My wife loves it (no more wet feet), I can hear the radio and old men on bikes don’t pass me on the road. This really is a great vehicle and I hope to be able to tell you a little of my adventures as the oncoming year unfolds.
Some Anagrams To Play With: Here are some topical anagrams. Anyone know any more? “Land Rover” becomes “Land Rover Defender” becomes Lord Raven, Nerd Freed Older Van, Darn Lover And Loved n Referred, Render Anal Fever Lord! “Land Rover Discovery” becomes Conserve odd rivalry, Dry Carnivores loved, Loved on Scary Driver Randy lover divorces Sorry Loved Darn Vice
“Land Rover Freelander” becomes Darn Roll Never Feared Roll Dear Reverend Fan Rear Lavender Fondler
Alan Smart Life With A Discovery: Let’s find out who has owned/driven their Discoveries the longest. I’ve had my Discovery TdiS from new. It was delivered 6th April 1993, but I need to wind the clock back three years to put it all into perspective. I used to work for a company that had a user-chooser company car scheme. I first drove a two door Discovery in March 1990 when we were buying our ex-factory 90 CSW Turbo diesel. I applied for a lease price for a Disco on the company car scheme (I still have the brochure!) but the price was too high. Obviously they were too new to have established a reputation for high residual values, so I settled for a Sierra 4x4 which was a great fun car. We still had the 90 which we used for holidays, towing the caravan and bog-holing! When the Sierra was due to be returned I got a price for a TdiS which was less than the two door three years previously! I loaded it with twin sun hatches, roof bars, tow pack and a nudge bar and driving lamps. I had seen
the earlier models with the blue interior that seemed to always look grubby so I wanted a colour that had the new Bahama beige interior. White was out as the bonnet acted as a huge sun reflector, everybody had a green one and I don’t like red so I ended up with a black one! I have since regretted not having air conditioning. Just over a year later I left the company and had the chance to buy the Disco at a very reasonable price but it did mean the 90 had to go (sob, sob!). K 885 AOE was mine and I’m still driving it over 132,000 miles later. It’s been pretty reliable. It had the compulsory head gasket at 90,000 when it blew between number 4 and the pushrods but apart from a set of oil cooler pipes, a few oils seals (front near-side hub, rear nearside hub, rear axle pinion and handbrake), and new set of shock absorbers at 96,000 miles which transformed the ride and handling and a set of disks at 114,000 miles. The clutch is the original and, considering the amount of towing it’s done, is quite remarkable! Every two years the anti-freeze and brake fluid is changed and I pressure wash and Waxoyl the chassis and body box sections but that hasn’t stopped the galvanitic rot in the bottoms of the front doors that are starting to look a bit scabby! The interior has survived well although the driver’s seat has a bum-shaped depression and will require some remedial action. I recently had to tackle the infamous Disco rear gutter leak when I found I had the non-specified optional swimming pool in the back. Maybe I’ll let you all into the secret of the repair in a future article! Parts of the rear load floor were starting to look a bit sad where the ribs are welded underneath. I did a quick treatment with Jenolite but in a few years time, a more permanent repair will be needed. I fitted an AcoustiKit that improved the noise levels as well as the rubber rocker box cover used on the 300Tdi to cut down some of the chatter. Other 200Tdi owners have remarked on how quiet it is compared to theirs. I have just fitted a Rimmer Bros. stainless steel exhaust system as the rear section failed where the hanger is welded to the pipe. Several people have noted that it's quieter outside now but I can't say I've noticed any real difference in the cabin. Rimmer's also do a 200Tdi Sports system (if that isn't a contradiction in terms) but as Sport normally equates to more noise, I opted for the standard system, We also have a 1993 Range Rover Vogue, ex-factory with lots of extras and in the unusual colour of Sonaron (we belong to the RRR), a 1959 Triumph TR3A in lots of bits that I’ve owned for 25 years (we belong to the TR Register) and a 1948 Ferguson TE20 tractor (Friends of Ferguson Heritage). So as you can see, we’re completely bonkers! [Just owning a Discovery makes you certifiable … but this collection must put you in the monster raving looney category – Ed] I only know of one person who has had his Disco longer – Andy Baker (not yet a member) who owns G 406 WAC, a pre-press fleet Disco that featured on the front of Practical Caravan in 1990. He bought it late 1992 and was one of the few G-WACs at the tenth birthday bash at Stoneleigh.. I really can’t imagine life without the Disco. Apart from the day the battery died, it’s never failed to start, stop or do anything else I’ve asked of it. It’s an amazing vehicle and I shall probably keep driving it until one or the other of us drop! If Wiltshire Police can get 300,000 miles out of theirs, I’m quite sure I can! So, what’s your Disco story?
Dashlite – Product Revue:
John Capewell DASHLITE is one of those products that is so blindingly obvious that you have to wonder how mankind managed to have lighter sockets fitted to so many cars for the last 30 years without somebody inventing it! Basically it is a small rechargeable torch which sits in the ubiquitous cigar (cigarette) lighter socket on the dashboard, always charged and ready for action just within arms reach. It’s completely cordless and selfcontained; you just pull it out, switch it on and go wherever you want. The whole thing comes in a tough, but not waterproof, ABS case with what feels like a very sound click to the on off switch. It can be held comfortably in the palm of your hand and easily provides enough light for map reading and finding lost keys when you drop them in a roadside puddle. Being a recent convert to head torches, where you can have both hands free to fiddle, I took instantly to DASHLITE for the same reason. No, I don’t have a lighter socket in the middle of my forehead, but the size, shape and weight is perfect for holding between the teeth, whilst you coax the two halves of whatever has just come apart back together again, lying on your back under a 4x4 in the dark. I never believed the manufacturer’s claim of a 100ft beam. The bird table at the other side of the patio (about 35ft) did show in up in the gloom of a Welsh November night, but the garden beyond remained in darkness. But that’s not what this gadget is about; it’s small, light, convenient and will almost always be used for emergencies where the problem is within arms reach – it is not a substitute for the lead-light in the garage or the massive Maglite that you take off-roading with you on 3 day trips into the mountains. Just think, with the reducing number of smokers (at least amongst the population who are old enough to drive a car) and the tendency for our ever vigilant traffic police to prosecute for anything which involves paying less that 100% attention, like nose picking and chocolate bar eating in some counties. That’s fine by me officer, I’d never do it anyway. The little socket with the big power supply could soon have become a victim of the cost reduction programmes run by most major corporations; probably replaced by a small jack plug suitable for a mobile phone. DASHLITE could save the worlds lighter socket manufacturers from extinction, how long before we see it fitted as standard to a car? Jon Richardson is lucky to be picking up a DASHLITE for free, as the prize for naming our club Newsletter [see Jon, I hadn’t forgotten – Ed]. If the rest of you fancy one as a stocking filler the manufacturers have a special offer on, buy one before the end of January 2001 for £9.99 + £1.50 pp from Portland Marketing, 1, Brookhampton Lane, Kineton, Warwick, CV35 0JA and you will be entered into a free draw for a 10 day trip to Sydney, Australia. Go on, you’ll never be torchless again!
Club e-Groups List: Andy Smith has set up an e-Groups list for club members. This is an Internet chat room area where members can ask questions, raise topics and generally communicate with each other. As this club has been established almost entirely over the Internet and so many members have email addresses the setting up of the chat room is proving to be one of our better ideas. If you want to be registered as a member of the e-Group then please email Andy on firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll sort it out for you.
Club Internet Web Site: The URL for the club web site is http://www.discoveryownersclub.com. The site is still developing and those of you with Internet access are asked to keep an eye on it and pass on suggestions, comments and details of any technical problems or suggestions to Andy Smith at email@example.com. Andy Smith Heritage Motor Centre Run 2001: Next years Run and Marque Day will revert to its traditional date around the end of April, celebrating Land Rovers’ birthday. The proposed date is Sunday May 6th - the May Day holiday week-end. If you are interested in entering next year's run, or attending the Marque Day, get in touch with Chris Savidge on 01159 267716. This will ensure that you receive early news of the event as soon as details are confirmed. Book the date in your diary now! Camping/caravanning should be available Saturday and Sunday nights at the Gaydon Centre. We will be having a club stand at Gaydon with space for 10 vehicles. If you would like to have your vehicle on the stand get in touch with me on 01484 384883 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your vehicle details. As there is a limited number of places, if we get too many enquiries we will pull names out of a hat (so to speak).
Membership List: Yet again other commitments and the need to save space in this issue of Discourse means that the membership list has been put on the back burner. The most likely outcome is that I will get it prepared in time for the AGM (see information enclosed) and start distributing it there with a follow-up enclosed with Discourse 4 at the end of March 2001.
Club Logo: Having made several attempts to get Land Rover to give their official blessing to our proposed club logo – all without success – we have decided to adopt the design anyway. So here it is ... your club's new logo [as seen in Land Rover Enthusiast magazine – Ed].
Door Locks & Ignition Switches: In a recent email Annie, one of our female members, asked about the challenge that many of us seem to face with door locks and ignition switches – “a nice definitive guide to avoiding hassle for Discourse would be appreciated” she suggested. There was a piece of advice that sounds sensible from Terry Copley - for what it’s worth, my experience with a very dodgy ignition switch/lock, back in 1997. The lock was stuck fast, as in the other members' incidents, and had to be replaced. My Disco was only barely 2 years old and had not had a great bunch of keys on the fob to overburden the mechanism, so having heard of others with the same fault I decided to investigate. Much evidence of minute brass fragments within the lock were found, as well as other particles of alloy in amazing quantity! It was concluded, by an ex-Rolls Royce pattern maker pal, that the answer was "simple"; carefully use wet/dry 1200 paper on the working surfaces of the ignition keys to effectively make the sharp edges less harsh, dip the key in ATF, and insert into the lock and operate a time or two to lube the moving
parts. The result was as predicted - silky smooth...and remains so!! Early preventive maintenance like this may just save the day! Basic maybe, but it seems to work. WD40 is a no-no in this instance [as it is with a sticking rear door catch – Ed].
Raffle Prizes: Since the club was formed all that time ago … well about eight months back anyway, we have accumulated a number of items to be raffled off to members. Here are some photographs of the offending items the draw for which will take place during the course of the AGM on 17th March 2001 [just to remind you to be there – Ed]. First is a Gerber multi-tool thingy. The club won this at the LROI Show at Billing this year. Being from Gerber it will be excellent quality and will, undoubtedly, have one of those spikes for getting Boy Scouts out of horses hooves. Next is a really cool prize (if you’ll excuse the pun) a 12V cool box. Now what more could you ask for … a nice warm day, out in the middle of nowhere, not a rambler in sight and cold beer in the cooler … heaven ☺ The third item to have been donated to us is a really smart barb-que [if only I could remember what I’ve done with the picture – Ed]. Of course, the lucky winner will be forced to attend every club function next summer to provide the cooking facilities. And last, but not least, we have a voucher for some off-road driving tuition at Whitecliff Off-Road Centre, Clearwell, Gloucs – very useful for a 4x4 owner, don’t you think? The committee would like to thank those people who have so generously donated the above.
The Next Issue of Discourse: Okay, that’s all for number three. My thanks to John, Mike and Andy who are doing most of the printing this time around. The next issue will be hitting your door mats at the end of March/early April so the closing date for items to be included has to be Sunday 18th March. If you have something then please (pretty please) let me have it before then. If you’ve already sent something in and it’s not in this issue then please be assured that it will appear sometime soon. Included in the next issue will be write-ups from the green laning day on Salisbury Plain, a report on the AGM, more stories about your vehicles and the usual gaggle of tips and questions. See you all next time, but remember …
A Discovery Is For Life … Not Just The School Run
Members Vehicles: If you’d like to see your Discovery featured here then just send me a photograph either by post or email (.jpg format please) and I’ll see what I can do. First up this time are Eric Blain and his step-son Steve Taylor (both members) posing with their vehicles. Steve was apparently so desperate to get his hands on a Discovery he tried to convince Eric to sell him his.
Next we have Cris Gorvin half way up Standage edge in the Peak District last September. You can tell it’s summer by the beautiful clear skies and the reflection off the suntan oil ☺