I had a highly-modified Land Rover Discovery 3 for two years but reached the limits of modifications and what I could do with the truck.
For the tough, remote touring I do I required a highly capable, well-engineered vehicle with a decent load capacity, and one that would sit well on 35in tyres. I just couldn’t get over the idea of having a Defender, and besides, I’d always wanted to have one! When my good friend Greg Bowler, who is also a Land Rover mechanic, pointed out that a mint version of one of the last 2006 Td5 110s was for sale with only 43,000 miles (69,000km) on the clock and many modifications, I jumped on it.
Now I’ve added many more modifications myself, and use it as a ‘tough tourer’ for remote excursions of the Australian desert, high country and rainforest with friends, my local four-wheel drive club and family.
I also operate Land Rover Adventure tours with a friend, and this is my main touring vehicle to show other people this amazing country.
When I bought the truck, around 60 per cent of the current modifications were already done, such as the original set of Maxi Drive front and rear diff locks and Maxi Drive axles which always get a good workout on our trips and are a real asset in tricky situations. The whole truck was Dynamatted to keep the noise levels in check and had Front Runner Gull Wings installed in place of the rear windows.
The 110 now has a long list of modifications, but my favourite has to be my VGT Hybrid Road Turbo which, in combination with the bigger intercooler, bigger airflow meter, 3in TaipanXP exhaust, and the BAS remap, provides ample power. It astounds quite a few people how responsive and powerful the truck is.
Most modifications were done in conjunction with Greg, and without him the car would certainly not be what it is now.
With a 3in lift and suspension upgrade by Ultimate Suspension for extra ground clearance and articulation, it also handles quite a bit better now than with the previous TF suspension, and has excellent flex for a tourer.
To get to our off-roading destinations more comfortably I’ve also installed a Recaro driver’s seat (a must for long days behind the wheel), a RedBooster clutch servo (for lightening the pedal) and cruise control by Auctron.
I’ve fitted Fyrlyt Nemesis driving lights which, with 9000 lumens, make any night drive a day drive... Up front there’s also a Warn 9000lb winch – but that’s mainly for pulling my mates out!
The 110 rides on Dynamics steel wheels and some tough rubber in the form of 35in BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tyres, which give me a 110mm track width increase for a wider stance and better handling. The only unreliability issues I’ve come across were to do with the underdrive that was fitted, so that went, and I haven’t had any problems since.
Within the past six months I have done three trips to the Victorian High Country as well as the Flinders ranges, and a few tough day trips to areas like Gees Arm South, Mt Airlie or Daniels Point Road.
Not long ago the 110 took me to Tasmania where we drove in convoy on rough tracks like Climes, Sawbuck Ridge and many more. The car performed flawlessly, recovering quite a few club members in non-Land Rover vehicles.
Since then I’ve also completed a crossing of the Simpson desert (the world’s largest sand dune desert, as big as England and Wales combined) without any mechanical issues.