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Location: hiding from the feds... deep in my woods...
Thoughts on Speedy Military Defenders...
Just a little bit of envy for a conversation topic…
Having neither Motorways nor Military in the Isle of Man, I have been most impressed several times recently when driving along the UK Motorways in my car and being passed by two men in camo (I think they’re the same men, they always look the same) in a solitary Military Defender doing over 80mph! Now being a diesel seriesIII LR owner on the Island is OK as its impossible to go fast anywhere really, but on a motorway I understandably turn green with envy, as the last time I had mine on a motorway the speed was restricted so much, both by sheer lack of power and the ‘shake-rattle-and-roll’ effect, that I was getting overtaken by just about everything, even caravans!
I love my series LR primarily for its cheapness, and for it’s agricultural simplicity, and I’m young so I can put up with the discomfort thing, but the speed thing, especially on a big open road, is torture, and is the main reason I ended up buying another car for my year in the UK, and sending the LR back to the Island for the time being. So I (while I can’t afford one) I have been suitably impressed by these flying green military machines, which I understand to be only one step up in simplicity from a series (engine and gearbox wise)?
I realise that I’m showing my ignorance here, but I was pretty sure that all military spec defenders were non-turbo, bog-standard 2.5 diesel, so is there something else different, or are even the boggo 2.5 engine and gearbox defenders just that much better than a series LR? And, having never been in one, I am curious to know whether when you see them like this on the motorway, are they running absolutely flat-out, probably comforted by the fact that it’s well maintained and they don’t have to fix it, and are the occupants also being shaken to pieces in a noisy biscuit tin like me? Basically, if military defenders are that simple, how can they a) go that fast and b) put up with going that fast? And how can I achieve the same effect on the cheap and simple side, I don't need rocket power, I just don't want it to take all day to get from liverpool to london.
Also, their moulded hard-tops look very nice, what are they made from, what are they really like compared to the old tin-top, and would they fit onto a series LR?
This being a 4WD Overland forum, it tends to deal with more relevant aspect of vehicle based travel, and the question of speed doesn't seem to be one of them. Unless, of course, you want to go round the world in record time. Don't laugh - I know of a guy who approached a 4WD manufacturer to get their sponsorship for a trans-Africa dash in 14 days. It may be possible, but why would any one want doing it beyond my imagination...
But to put you on the rigtht path, LR Wolf has the 300tdi engine. (The N/A diesels haven't been used for quite a while). Severely underpowered as it is, it is capable of 80mph speeds, if laden lightly and the wind is right ;-)
Location: hiding from the feds... deep in my woods...
Thanks Roman... I agree, what is the point for 14 days?
I had not seen this website before so I'll definitely give it a look. Believe me though speed is an aspect if you've got to get from Calais to Gibralta in a series LR, that could take 14 days as it is! I guess my main concern therefore, as well as for everyday use, and for exploring places which actually have roads, was for driving down across europe to get to africa, especially as I can't afford the ferry to bilbao, which could end up taking twice as long if you have to struggle at 40mph! Not for when I actually get there.
I thought the Wolf's looked considerably different from the standard issue def?
defniately agree with manxscamp, you witnessed a wolf XD there.
lots of them on mainland UK now (although i was driving around gibraltar this afernoon and the MoD have a lot of civlian spec Td5 defenders!)
the wolf XD is externally pretty similar to the old military or civlian rovers, but there a few subtle differences, mainly the moulded GRP roof, the side mounted wheel carrier, and the wider (by 2") axles.
internally, the dash is the same, they have a 300Tdi with R380 gearbox, and gearbox oil cooler. axles are a mix of P38 rangerover/disco S2 and defender types, they are as wide as the newer RR/disco, but have defender hubs on the end so that standard LR wheels will fit. vented front discs, solid rears. axles have P38 type differentials with 4 pinion front and back.
they have a full rollcage system that covers the rear body (on hard and soft tops) and over the driver/passenger.
they are all 24v, even the non FFR versions (FFR's have twin alternators wired together through a regulator unit)
the bonnet also holds the pioneer tools (shovel/pick axe... i've got one on my 90, it;s pretty neat!)
thats about it, they do shift as they're a little lighter than the civilian hard tops, oh... the chassis is of a totally different design compared to the older 90/110's, apparently there are a lot of tubular outriggers and stuff.
Roman said>> Don't laugh - I know of a guy who approached a 4WD manufacturer to get their sponsorship for a trans-Africa dash in 14 days. It may be possible, but why would any one want doing it beyond my imagination...
Surely not beyond your imagination?! Admittedly, such a trip would be largely devoid of the scenic and anthropological content that often makes travel so rewarding, but I personally can see a few compensations. Is part of the attraction of overlanding not to get in your car at 19 Acacia Avenue and get out of the same car in Ghat/Noumghar/wherever...? Is this not just an extension of that attraction. 'Just off to Cape Town darling, see you next week'. :-)
Also, I personally have often stuggled to find time to fit in my trips, with work and whatnot, and have often been frustrated with the prevailing attitude that 'you need at least 6 months to 'do' africa, man'. Not everyone can afford to spend so much time away from their home/family/job etc - so maybe such things as this mad dash are just making a virtue out of a necessity. Having said that, a 14 day trans africa timetime must be pushing the impossible.. Even then, I personally would wish him luck.
Anyway, a bit O/T, sorry about that.
Cheers - Andy
[This message has been edited by andybee (edited 21 September 2004).]
Location: hiding from the feds... deep in my woods...
Thank you very much Diesel Jim, what a wonderful mine of information you have...
They haven't started selling them yet have they? Me thinks they might be out of my price range for a few years to come.
Don't suppose you've got any opinion on the pro's and con's of those moulded hard top's?
What are they like all-round compared to the tin top, are they insulated? If they are any good, can you even get hold of them or anything equally good, and could they be made to fit a series LR? Same goes for the special bonnet, is it still possible to carry a wheel on it?
As for the 14 day idea, I know what you mean andy, and the idea of a mad dash at some stage in the future does appeal in some respects as you say, but I'm currently trying for 14 days in Morocco at Christmas and I thought I was pushing it (defintitely am I think in a Series LR)!
<font face="" size="2">Thank you very much Diesel Jim, what a wonderful mine of information you have...</font>
just one of my hobbies! [laugh]
<font face="" size="2">They haven't started selling them yet have they? Me thinks they might be out of my price range for a few years to come.</font>
no, they were built with a projected 12~15 year life in the hands of the MoD. several (maybe 8 or 10 or so) are now in the hands of the general public, they came through the MoD auctions as accident damages write off's, and have been rebuilt. but now the MoD have started a "total salvage" type thing with one of the major auction houses, so all the smashed wolf's (wolve? get rebuilt and returned to service, so saving the UK government money (which they can then spend on immigrants/ass licking the euro etc etc.... but thats another subject! haha!!)
<font face="" size="2">Don't suppose you've got any opinion on the pro's and con's of those moulded hard top's?</font>
i think they're OK from what i've heard, i was out of the Army before they started using them, but from what i've heard they're ok. they moulded ones (and the soft tops) all have a full internal rollcage (only body mounted though, not chassis) so they're pretty strong, i'd say stronger than the olf aluminium type. being fiberglass you wouldn't get the condenstion that you do with the plain aluminium type, but a layer of glued on carpet would soon sort that anyway.
<font face="" size="2">What are they like all-round compared to the tin top, are they insulated? If they are any good, can you even get hold of them or anything equally good, and could they be made to fit a series LR? </font>
some are insulated... the marines spec vehicles have the interior rear heaters and padded bits all round, and they have a thick (about 1") stuck on insulating matting stuff, but like i say, any type of carpet stuff will do. they are made by a comany in Wales i think, can't remember the name. there is a Wolf 90, but i think the roof won't fit an 88" as they are different lengths arn't they? silly money too... about £2000 UKP ech IIRC!
<font face="" size="2">Same goes for the special bonnet, is it still possible to carry a wheel on it?</font>
yes, the bonnet is just a plain 300tdi type with lots of holes drilled in it for the shovel/pick mountings. spare wheel mount is the same as any 90/110. i've got the dimensions at home somewhere if you fancy drilling lots of 1/8" holes over yours... thats what i did to mine (i got a genuine wolf bonnet for my 90 then drilled a spare one for my 110!)
you can just about make it out here:
[ As has already been ascertained, you have seen a wolf vehicle. Even the ambulance versions (that I drive) are capable of 85mph, except in a head wind. Lots of squaddies have crashed wolfs, partly because of the extra performance but also I suspect, if the ambulances are anything to go by, thanks to massively overassisted power steering. I have seen a few on the surplus but are rarer than rocking horse whatsit! 80mph from n/a 110, not without pushing it off a cliff! Military kept the 300tdi engine because the TD5 is considered unsuitable for many countries (dodgy diesel and maintainance/durability issues)
msg to roman, wind your neck in and don't be so hard on people asking questions. You might ask a question someone thinks is irrelevent or stupid one day
I think the main reason that wolves (or is it Wolf's, my grammar is getting worse) appear to have such performance is that they are driven by people who don't own them. If I tested my 300 Tdi to destruction it too would most probably do 90 mph + on the speedo - I know it could hold 80 all day no probs, but I want to spare it for desert use so I don't abuse it. A friend and I drove to Munich and back is his 200 Tdi staying mostly around 80mph and it was fine. In a LR brochure I remember they quoted the max speed of a 300 Tdi as 93.7 mph !!! (Presuambly GPS MPH, or maybe 100 on your speedo). Near where I live there's an army base and I frequently encounter wolf's/wolves on the road sometimes being driven enthusiastically. They haven't managed to out-run my standard tdi yet.
As I said, I don't see that Wolf's are any different from any other tdi in performance, like white vans they are driven by people who don't have to pick up the repair tab, so they can get thrashed.
Quick note on that wolf bonnet, the reason they don't have the spare on the bonnet any more is there isn't enough clearance underneith, I thnk it cracks the injectors. thats why the new ambies have that nice bit of weight on the roof, to make them even less stable!
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