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  #1  
Old 2 May 2010
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Discovery 3

What's the view/experience on Discovery 3 for 'light' overland travel (morocco, Tunisia, 2-3 weeks).

I was thinking of swapping my 110 to something with more comfort and motorway cruising speed ability...
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  #2  
Old 3 May 2010
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Hi Camel,

Firstly welcome to the HUBB,

For a quick trip to North Africa where you are not venturing too far from the dealer network and an LR Testbook the D3 is fine.

They are refined on road and will eat up those autoroute clicks to/from North Africa.

The D3 is a very capable vehicle off road, I would be going for the TDV6 auto, in sand, the autobox and terrain response make a great combination.

However, for my money if your driving a 110, then you already have one of the best vehicles for overlanding and the 110 will go places that the D3 will struggle because of its 700 kg heavier kerb weight.

There will also always be the worry of a sensor failure and the possibility of ending up in 'crawl home' mode when you in the middle of a dune field.

Id think about spending some of that considerable D3 cost on making the 110 better, installing D2 high range gears, beter soundproofing, better seats, engine enhancements etc and end up with a great allrounder that you can rely on further off the beaten track.

Also, before you spend your hard earned on a D3 - try a newer Tdci Defender with a 6 speed box- still a higher tech CRD, but the few sensors the Tdci has are generally a lot less prone to off road damage and theres a lot less electrical gubbins to go wrong on the rest of the truck.

That may be a better compromise.

You can also put a brew or a bottle of on the wing without it sliding off.....
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'09 Suzuki DR650
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Last edited by Gipper; 16 Jun 2010 at 04:14.
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  #3  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
For a quick trip to North Africa where you are not venturing too far from the dealer network and an LR Testbook the D3 is fine.
There will come a time when we all have to take 'electronic' cars and bikes to the desert! After running Land Rover tdi's alongside a friends TD5 110 in Morocco, Libya and Algeria, the advantages of the modern diesel are without question....

....so I've just "bit the bullet" and bought a Discovery 3 - coil sprung - I don't trust that air suspension gimmickery ;-)

think we'll shake it down in Morocco then maybe a trip to the Gilf...
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  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Discovery 3

Well done getting the coil sprung version. It's a great vehicle and very capable offroad. The air suspension doesn't cope well with corrugations. A few years back in Morocco, we had a couple of new Disco 3s with overheating compressors which caused the suspension to drop down to access height. They needed an hour's rest before they would come out to play again.

The roof loading on the Disco 3 is only 50kg offroad, so that's a roofrack a jerry can and er, that's it. The reinforcing brackets above the headlining have a habit of tearing their welds if you overload the roof.

Anyway, there's plenty of room in the back so you shouldn't need much on the roof. If you want a rooftent, put it on a couple of good roof bars.

Remember you'll need to leave access in the back for the spare wheel release. You could mount a Kaymar wheel carrier so you don't have to mess around under the vehicle if you need the spare.

There have been some issues with stray electrical signals interfering with GPS units. I'll need to look back at my trip notes for details.

Happy trails,

Jojo
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  #5  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Thanks for the tips Jojo! Whilst I've been driving and abusing Land Rovers for 20 years, this is a different beast and a step into the unknown!

There is also a lack of information on the web regarding D3's, in terms of who's been where and what fell off!
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  #6  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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If you are any good with spanners, I'd be taking a vehicle I can fix without a laptop.

If you have never tried a Discovery 300tdi. Give one a go. You will be very pleased with the gearing and comfort.

If you are no good with spanners, then you are gonna need to find a mechanique in anycase.

In the east of Morocco you are unlikely to find a diagnostics machine tho.
Maybe someone knows otherwise.
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  #7  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by Maximus View Post
If you are any good with spanners, I'd be taking a vehicle I can fix without a laptop.

If you have never tried a Discovery 300tdi. Give one a go. You will be very pleased with the gearing and comfort.
I've been to the desert in 200tdi (Range Rover) and 300tdi (Discovery). I actually preferred my 200tdi

My point is (and it's getting off topic, but I'll indulge) - at what point are travellers going to have to move forward and take more modern cars to Africa. We can't all be driving tdi's and 20 year old land cruisers for ever can we? My travelling companion has been all over North Africa with his TD5 110 and never had a problem. A TD5 is a proven engine, 12 years history. Everyone knows what the issues are. The TDV6 has been around for 7 years now. ...

Really if you take it to extremes, you should go for a 200tdi over a 300tdi. The 200 has separate drive belts for water pump, alternator and power steering. The 300tdi has one belt that drives the lot. If any of your engine ancillaries throw a bearing and you don't have a spare, then you've lost the lot. This happened to my 200tdi alternator on returning from Libya. We just removed the belt and got on with it. the two guys with 300tdi's suddenly realised that they would have been in trouble had it happened on their cars!

Overall my opinion of the 300tdi Discovery after returning from a 11000km round trip to Algeria is this:

-Just the right size, 200 litres of fuel/water and provisions/spares fitted fine
-wheelbase too short v's rear overhang, meaning a bouncy ride at the back, despite HD suspension and an anal approach to loading.
-comfortable on the long road days

My reason for choosing a Discovery 3 is this:

-longer wheelbase v's overhangs - more stable
-more comfortable on the long road days than a 110
-same fuel economy as 300tdi and better than 110
-coil sprung on OldManEmu springs - no air or terrain response computers
-still cheaper than a 15 year old Toyota LC80 which is much the same size

We'll see how it gets on!!
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  #8  
Old 16 Mar 2011
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I think you are still on topic by the way.

Check out my 'current' ebay listing
300tdi Discovery Defender JOB LOT OF OVERLAND SPARES on eBay (end time 18-Mar-11 10:11:09 GMT)

Now I like to think I prepare for most eventualities. But sods law says that if something fails I probrably aint carrying it.

I'm only saying that if you only have 2-3 weeks and you have an electrical issue in the desert. It is unlikey to be resolved soon, and will be a tad inconvenient.

If people are able to live with that scenario, then all is well. But I 'personally' could not.
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  #9  
Old 16 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by Maximus View Post
Now I like to think I prepare for most eventualities. But sods law says that if something fails I probrably aint carrying it.
From our experience that is almost always the case! Got a similar list of bits I'll be putting on eBay once I've sold this:

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 300tdi Auto Japanese Import on eBay (end time 20-Mar-11 21:06:13 GMT)
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  #10  
Old 16 Mar 2011
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Problem solved......nice 300tdi for Camel110
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  #11  
Old 17 Mar 2011
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Na, we've already got a 110 in our group and you only need one kitchen table...

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  #12  
Old 17 Mar 2011
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Discovery 3???

Haven't looked in a while but some useful advice, info etc on:

www.disco3.co.uk

Hope that helps
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  #13  
Old 18 Mar 2011
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landrover and electronics
2 mutually exclusive words?
my mums td5 discovery got stuck in my drive blocking me (and my HJ60) in thanks to routing some of the electrics through the rocker I believe. always a good idea, putting electrical cables in a nice oil rich environment!
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  #14  
Old 18 Mar 2011
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Common problem that anyone with a TD5 knows about. Most folk replace this loom as a matter of cource when they buy one.
Discovery 3's have Jaguar electronics, Ford electronics and Land Rover electronics. Wonder how it all works?
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  #15  
Old 19 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggwensie View Post
There will come a time when we all have to take 'electronic' cars and bikes to the desert! After running Land Rover tdi's alongside a friends TD5 110 in Morocco, Libya and Algeria, the advantages of the modern diesel are without question....

....so I've just "bit the bullet" and bought a Discovery 3 - coil sprung - I don't trust that air suspension gimmickery ;-)

think we'll shake it down in Morocco then maybe a trip to the Gilf...

I intend to keep using the Tdi for as long as I can buy parts for it - or someone in Brussels decides that I can't drive it anymore...

Yes there are clear advantages with the TDV6 - its has excellent power/torque and good economy, but it is not without problems. I know as I used to work for Land Rover and drive them every day.

Yes the long wheelbase gives a nice smooth ride with minimul overhangs, but on a coiler, you also have a very poor ramp angle without the air suspensions ability to raise the vehicle - Im not a fan of air suspension either, the compressor should be a beefy unit that you can use to adjust tyre pressures and doesnt overheat every 10 minutes.

I havent been in the UK for the last 5 years, but on the first few years of the D3's production, look up under the back bumper and see the steel weights hanging off the chassis - done to try and balance out the engine weight beceause it caused excessive understeer - thats why the thing weighs 2.7 tons.

The disadvantages of a modern diesel are without question too and every vehicle is a compromise - my 90 Tdi is far from perfect, its slow, underpowered and unrefined, but its simplicity and light weight are winners for me -how long I will be allowed to drive it for is another matter.
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'09 Suzuki DR650
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'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Gipper; 19 Mar 2011 at 16:36.
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