One of our projects is this Vesuvius Orange Land Rover Defender and it's been used in a lot of the pictures on the
Like a lot of Defender's it's had so many mods it's difficult to list them all and as soon as you make a list it's out of date in a week
anyway. Here's a basic spec on the mods on this Defender repainted in the Land Rover Fire Edition colour of Vesuvius Orange.
The transmission has ARB front and rear air lockers and an ARB compressor. These are switched from a dash top pod from Mud Products so the switches are placed
high so that they can be reached without taking eyes off the driving. The ARB compressor also provides the tyre reinflation.
The suspension has had a 50mm lift, using an Equipe 4x4 base dislocation kit with 6 degree cranked trailing arms and HD front shock towers with Equipe 4x4 o_Ram shocks and mounting
brackets. The anti-roll bars have been removed and there's a Terra Firma adjustable panhard rod. It's all bushed with Super-pro bushes.
Because of the suspension lift and the extra articulation, there's a wide angle front prop.
It's a 300tdi with better than standard cooling and breathing and the EGR removed, while keeping things as simple and robust as possible for expedition reliability and repairability.
So it breathes in firstly through a snorkel and then through a K & N, which doesn't necessarily mean better reliability, but it means it only needs to be cleaned on a long expedtion and not replaced. Cleaner takes up less space than lots of filters. It breathes out through a stainless exhaust with no cat.
There's also an Allard Motorsport full width intercooler, protected with a small mesh stainless grille in place of the standard Defender pretty plastic.
Since a new full copper radiator went in it never takes the temp gauge into the warm, but just in case the standard fan has been replaced with a Kenlowe. The reliability of the Kenlowe isn't viewed as being less than the standard fan and if electrics are considered to be inherently unreliable then this vehicle's got a problem as there are well over 100m of extra wiring in it and in excess of 20 extra switches. Reliability comes from a well sorted vehicle and not the "keep it standard" mantra. "Keep it standard" helps in sourcing parts, not in providing reliability or indeed in the repair work itself.
The front and rear diffs have guards, as does the steering and the fuel tank. There are sliders on the sides which are great for accessing the low profile custom roof rack too. We built this one with a lot of tabs on the top and sides and a mesh base. It's mounted about 10 cm further back than usual which brings it back off the light guard at the front so the KC Daylighters have a proper clearance and are independently mounted so the rack can come off without losing the spots. Bringing it further back also means that the Wilderness Lighting floods at the back mount neatly underneath and it provides bodywork protection from branches when reversing.
Those are genuine Mach 5 16 x 8 steel wheels - which aren't the lightest, or indeed in this case the straightest, but they are pretty strong and look great. And they're steel so you can put fridge magnets on them. Only kidding. Those tyres are Cooper Discoverer STT 305 x 70 x 16.
It's got Cobra buckets and Schroth harnesses mounted to a custom fabricated CDS single tube "cage".
Bringing in a lot of light and making the whole interior a nicer place to be are Masai Panoramic windows. Looks pretty good and no problem strength-wise. On expedition they are covered, if necessary, by Hungarian made aluminium Sand Ladders, which mount to tabs on the rack and then a small profiled aluminium spacer on the side. The sand ladders are strong enough to be used as bridging ramps as well as the usual tables and floors. The opening part of the Masai Panoramics gives access to the fridge inside and provides ventilation for sleeping when the Eezi-Awn roof tent is not being used.
There's also a Warn winch, the xd9000i with a steel rope - Dyneema being maybe stronger and lighter but really only good in a winch competition environment where you can clean it between competitions and it's used in a very specific envronment. Also if it does get damaged it can simply be replaced. On this vehicle steel rope is preferred for it's robustness, over a bit of weight loss and slightly more difficult handling.