We’ve had Deux Smurf for 3 months now and have covered just over 2,600 faultless miles, and it’s safe to say that we’re loving her. Admittedly, She’s spent more time on road than off, taking us on numerous trips to the NEC, Wales and of course general commuting. On the motorway she’ll cruise effortlessly with the rest of the traffic in the 3rd lane and handles like she's on rails in the country, though around town I’m finding the ride a tad harsh. I have the contact details of her 1st UK owner, so I’m going to give him a call to find out what he did to her, suspension wise.
Fuel wise, I’m getting around 310 miles to the brimmed tank. This may seem quite poor, but she only has a 70ltr capacity, and I find it quite difficult to keep to 56mph on the motorway as she’s so quiet and stable. Having said that, I’ve noticed that when the fuel gauge is almost on empty, a brimmed tank gets me around 53ltrs, something I’ll have to ask on the forums about.
Overall, I’m incredibly happy with her, but of course there are a few modifications and improvements that I would like to make, the first being tyres. As I’ve mentioned previously, although perfectly road legal, the General Grabbers that came with Deux Smurf have sadly past their sell by date when it comes to off roading.
A new set will need to be purchased, which brings with it a whole new, yet familiar headache, muds or all terrains, expensive or budget? I have to admit that I’m a bit of a closed book when it comes to tyres as I’ve had BFG AT’s on my last 4 4x4s, and they’ve been an exceptional tyre. Now, do I venture into the unknown and go for a set of Cooper muds, or stick with what I know? I don’t know yet. Whatever I choose they have to have good road manners as I'm all over the place at the moment!
I always remember my 2nd GenSmurf having particularly rubbish head lamps, even after I replaced the purple bulbs - I kid you not! Deux Smurfs headlamps aren’t as bad, but they offer a yellow-ish beam which isn't the best. Maybe I’m used to the modern 4x4’s that offer a brilliant white beam, so next months task is to look into LED’s or similar.
Roof Rack or Roof Bars?
I like the idea of having a low level roof rack for a roof tent as well as standing on whilst taking photos, but finding one in the UK for a 3rd Gen is proving to be futile. The next obvious choice is a pair of roof bars, and the 2 manufactures that stand out are Whispbar and of course Thule.
It’s not that I’m going to be carrying lots of equipment all of the time, just my canoe and the occasional pair of ladders ’n’ stuff. Because I already have the Thule bits and pieces that were on the Discovery for my canoe, and they’ve been brilliant, I’ve decided to order the Thule door top kit that comprises of 754 for the feet and the fitting kit is 1064 and the Aero Bar. As soon as they arrive I’ll let you know how they go.
I understand why they’re popular, but I never liked the bonnet air deflector on Deux Smurf so I decided to take it off. Removing it was simple enough, just undo 2 screws and it slid out of the 2 clips at either end of the bonnet.
Unfortunately I discovered that it had been rubbing on the bonnet and created a rust spot and a few other nasty blemishes, so that needs looking at sooner rather than later. The previous owner had a bit of work done on Deux Smurf just before I bought her and I have to say he did a brilliant job, so she may have to pay him another visit.
Odds ’n’ Sods
On the subject of repairing, there’s only 1 item that appears to be broken, and that’s the retractable door mirrors, that don’t. Other minor irritations that I’m going to look at are:
- Dash lights are a bit dull, look into replacements.
- The electric window switches on the door panel have long since died out, so I’ll be looking to replace those soon too.
- Figure how to stop my keys from banging against the dash.
A few additions that I’m going to add include:
- Fit a better security system.
- Fit a Heatshot.
- Fit some kind of sun glasses case.
- Fit a fire extinguisher.
- Fit a Maglight recharging kit.
- Fit extra plug sockets, including USB’s.
And that’s it for the moment, it isn’t an exhaustive list of jobs, but enough for me to be getting on with.