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Discovering Discovery 2.5 in Outback Australia

Having experienced the delights (and foibles) of TWO Series 1 Discoverys it seemed about time to check out a Series 2.5. A more supple suspension, modern turbo diesel, better headlights, more load area, diff lock reinstated - when added to the Series 1's great driving position and well integrated controls could produce a seriously competent vehicle.

A test drive confirmed it. Not much grunt when 'off boost' - but tolerable in the prospect of 10 litres/100 km and the expectations of better overall quality and reliability. My six foot frame fitted - just. Attractive new door latches felt good. The 12V outlet in the back will be useful. Sold!

It soon become apparent that a key person in the Landrover design department was not very bright. His first contribution to the Series 2 was to give it the turning circle of an ocean liner. Then, he decided that the front seat must go forward a couple of notches when the rear seat is folded - I didn't fit anymore. The name of this design genius had to be Dudley.
Well done Dud. With a couple of strokes of your pen you made the Series 2.5 suitable only for those who are shorter than Johnny Howard and never use tight car parks. I'm sure your Marketing colleagues loved these new 'features'. And I'm sure you made the right decision when you fitted those cute little fog lights when, for the same cost, you could have fitted useful long range driving lights. Great judgement, Dud.

I was soon to discover that Dud's impeccable judgement had only just started to reveal itself ...

Sheepskin seat covers are a must as they are the key to spending a long day at the wheel without developing aches. Bugger, I didn't fit behind the wheel anymore. However, I discovered that you could gain a couple of extra notches of seat travel by removing the travel stops on the runners. Outsmarted you this time Dud.

In preparation for 'The Trip' I gathered together some spares to cover the usual problems - sharp stones cutting the fan belt, dose of dirty fuel, oil change away from a Dealer.*
Thought it wise to check the Handbook for fitting instructions, tips and cautions.
How do you change a fan belt, which of the umpteen pulleys is the tensioner? Not a word.
Where is the fuel filter, how do you bleed the fuel system? Not a word.
Where is the centrifugal oil filter, how do you change it? Not a word.*
How do you refill the cooling system, are there any bleed points? Not a word.
And what is that mysterious gadget on the nearside firewall. Not a word. (Apparently it is an inertia switch that immobilises the vehicle if it cops a hit or a BIG pothole. If you do not know how to reset it afterwards you will be stranded).
Nice one Dud. I understand where you are coming from. Let's face it, if you tell 'em how to do things they'll only stuff it up - and blame YOU.*

As 'The Trip' was not going to be too heroic I decided against a bull bar, driving lights and winch. Just a sturdy roof rack, an extra spare, a swag (in the back seat), an Oztent, a snatch strap, a CB radio and a 12V fridge should be fine.
Which reminds me, Dud must have had a lapse when he installed the 12V outlet. Not only must you climb inside to access it, it only delivers 12V when the ignition is 'ON'. Dud, old fellow, some people like their fridges to run when the vehicle is unoccupied.

Dud's dedication to rigorous field testing quickly became apparent.
For example, the way the new door locks took up bull dust was remarkable. In a few hours (even though the air pressure inside the vehicle was positive) they jammed up comprehensively. Opening any door required brute force. The rear door was Tarzan-only territory.*
And speaking of dust, one would expect Landrover air filters to be reasonably 'tight'. The dust on the filtered air side indicates that this is not the case. Dud, you're a legend.

Dud, has anyone told you that when you travel on unsealed roads you can get a lot of information about the behaviour of the front wheels through the brake pedal - except when they are juddering and upsetting the vehicle. The driver too. It is apparent that you decided not to calibrate the ABS for dirt roads OR provide an 'on-off' switch. Another great call.*

Being bogged to the axles on the Gunbarrel Highway gave me plenty of time to contemplate the unpleasant things I would like to do to Dud - slooowly.*
For a start, those new shock absorber mounts that he hung down well below the rear axle dig in really well. Dragging them through the mud adds to the fun. And that electrical connector with the dangly wires under the fuel filter at axle height makes a neat little plough.*
It became apparent that it must have been Dud's idea to remove the diff lock in the Series 2. He was able to take out revenge on the 'idiot' who made him put it back on the Series 2.5 by dropping the Traction Control. When the diff lock is engaged, a rear wheel without traction will spin merrily. Got 'im, eh, Dud. Pity about any poor bastard who needed some extra traction.

Our guardian dingo was sad to see his entertainment arise, like that person of popular mythology, on the third day - just in time to disappoint the cheery fellow in a Troopie who slithered up with winch at the ready. No, there's not much traffic on the 'old' section of the Gunbarrel!

Still, there is lots to admire in the Series 2.5. When the Dealer has dealt with the rattles, the clunk in the rear end and replaced those nuts and bolts that appeared in the front footwells after the first corrugations, it will be ready to do 'the Trip' again comfortably and economically.

If someone addresses the 2.5's shortcomings the next model could be a real contender. However I'm not holding my breath as, in spite of ownership changes at Landrover, I expect that Dud will be promoted and Discoverys will continue to be built in the 'Best British Tradition'.*
 

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Profesional Hunter
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Cliff

Buy a series Landy (Not a Disco series something). You still get all the rattles, dust and everything els except you pay less than a third for it all!
 

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Too much money,not enough sense
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148 Posts
Awfully sorry to but in here Chaps...

But pease remember that even thouh British vehies leak and have terrible tolerances when it comes to production asssembly...you simply have to understand that when you live in a country that has the crappiest weather this side of the falkland islands....the last thing you care about is working on a prodution line in Solihull of all places on a vehicle ound for sunnier climes'....just remember wthout all he damn electrics Roveres would be supremeley reliable. and all over the place....Damn that Lord of darkness!!!

Marcus...Gday Mates.... :buttrock: :D
 
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