Thought I'd start myself a thread regarding the 2004 DII SE7 Trail Badge I just purchased from Dendy (nashvillerover). I'm sure I won't be able to resist building it to some extent so I'll keep this as a placeholder for future comments and pictures.
I wasn't looking for another Rover as I've been happy with my '95, but this '04 is an immaculate example in my favorite color and with a new (<1,000 miles) 4.6 replaced under warranty. Running gear/body has 74k.
I'm single, make decent money, have no bills other than cell phone/rent, and Dendy and I use the same bank so it was easy enough to transfer the remainder of the note... a fatal combination for those with the Rover disease. So I flew up to Nashville and drove back down to Savannah yesterday.
First impressions (I'll focus on build quality -- we're all familiar with off-road capability):
I'm used to driving DIs -- first a '96 and then my '95. They're creaky, squeaky, bouncy and loud. I test drove the LR3 extensively after my deployment. But it just didn't feel like a Discovery to me. I couldn't pull the trigger (plus I knew I could get a cherry RRC, a DI, AND a DII for the same money). So I went with what I knew I'd like -- a 5-speed D1 diesel.
This '04 has a very similar ride quality to the LR3. The cabin is dead quiet at interstate speed. About as loud as me sitting here at the computer with the central AC whispering in the background. I had heard SD racks howl at speed. Even at 75 mph the noise was -- honestly -- not significant at all.
Everything is infinitely more solid than a DI. No big surprise there except I was still surprised. I bought my '96 in '03 with 59k -- so I have some familiarity with 6-year old Discos but no familiarity with DIIs. I guess I didn't realize what a step forward the DIIs were in interior quality. The noise insulation is remarkable. I figured I was getting an updated DI -- not a legitimate luxury SUV. The refinements are outstanding while absolutely keeping the Disco feel intact (something the LR3 couldn't do, IMO).
First time with a 4.6, too. Wow. I took I40 east through the Smoky Mtns and the gearbox didn't kick down a single time -- 2500 rpm no matter the grade. Sure, it's not Kenosha or Wolf Creek Pass. But I remember having to floor my '96 (4.0) to get up even the lesser CO passes. Impressive increase in power over what I'm used to. Doesn't hurt that the motor is brand spankin' new.
With the SD rack at 70-75 mph I got 15.5 mpg on both tanks. A far cry from my 6.2 (21-23mpg @ 65 mph loaded with 2.5" lift on 31.5s) but I'm not unhappy considering I was sitting in 68F air conditioning on 150-way heated seats and the radio tells me which song is playing. Maybe the 4.6 will generate another mpg or two once it "beds in".
Plans? Well, I'm moving to southern AZ very soon so I doubt I'll be able to resist building it a little now that I'm out of the land-of-no-scenery-or-any-interesting-terrain. The hard stuff is done: the freaking SD roof rack (I've tried to get one for my D1 for six months, but not a soul in the USA will ship them). I have the AB Wolfs ready to go so a white camel clone is tempting. I think I even have some OME MD springs sitting around somewhere.
Or continue to build the D1 and leave the '04 as a cherry DD. The D1 has a lot of advantages -- mainly that with 4 jerrycans of diesel it'll go almost 900 miles. Not really necessary in the U.S. but it's nice to remove the concern completely. Also that the motor can be rebuilt with parts from AutoZone or O'Reilly as I recently found out.
Great transaction with Dendy -- he keeps his trucks in tip-top shape. The DI camel clone (White Camel Society, let's do it dude!) we rode in is spotless and definitely drool-worthy.
Last comments: the driving lights that came with the Trail badge trucks are hilariously worthless.
And for those Land Rover forum lurkers interested in what it costs to get into a top condition 2004 -- I paid right around Dendy's asking price of $15,900. That's significantly more than what a 2004 commands but I bit the bullet for the new motor, warranty, rack and the trunk full of wheels, Hellas, etc.. The SD rack had become my Moby Dick so it was coming home with me by hook or by crook. Now to find a way to get it on a D1.
Check out my hardcore pictures :
Nice badge touch: