Land Rover TReK Part 1: Lights, Armor, Recovery Gear, and More for Our Competition-Bound Discovery
Land Rover TReK: Part 1
There were no promises of perfect weather, clean socks, or anything remotely easy. The year was 1996, and three-person teams representing Land Rover North America dealerships were assembled for an event called TReK. Though the 1,000-mile excursions were not re-created, TReK aimed to borrow from the venerable Camel Trophy's skills challenges and build a two-day event that not only showcased the capabilities of Land Rover vehicles, but also the ability of the invited Land Rover retailers to come together as teams and put the rigs and their driving skills to use. Challenges included mentally and physically engaging activities mixed with precision driving and teamwork, and every team drove a similarly outfitted Land Rover vehicle.
Jump forward 23 years, and TReK has returned to North America, just ahead of the much-anticipated '20 Land Rover Defender hitting showrooms—and Four Wheeler was invited to the competition. Like TReK competitions of the past, each team was responsible for outfitting a vehicle with similar aftermarket parts. Our vehicle for the challenge was a '20 Land Rover Discovery, and it was sitting stone-stock in the MotorTrend Group Tech Center. With little time to build the Discovery and get it and our intrepid team to the TReK event in Asheville, North Carolina, we dug right into the project. Follow along for a look into how we prepared our Discovery for competition, and be sure to check back as we bring the muddy, brain-bending action to you from the TReK event in an upcoming issue of Four Wheeler!
Positioning the sliders beneath the Discovery was made easier with a pair of floor jacks. With all the holes lined up, it only took nimble fingers and a few twists of the ratchet to secure the new armor. The smooth undersides of the sliders cloaked the vehicle's softer parts and also gave us convenient points from which to lift the Discovery on the shop lift.
If we told you all that was required to lift a Discovery 2 inches were four pieces of black-anodized aluminum, you might give us a quizzical stare. The folks at Proud Rhino must hear that often, because the company's 2-inch lift kit is, in fact, comprised of just four pieces. The aluminum arms replace factory height sensors in each of the Discovery's wheelwells and are said to "trick" the Disco's airbags into thinking the air supply is low, therefore maintaining pressure in the bags and a constant 2-inch lift. We reached into the wheelwells and popped off the factory sensors (shown on the left) one at a time, and replaced each one with a Proud Rhino extended sensor (shown on the right). No tools are necessary.
Land Rover's incredibly versatile roof rack was next on the docket, coming with everything we needed to affix the system to the Discovery's roof. After spacing the rack's braces, we added the jerrycan holders from Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters, along with Proud Rhino's spare tire mount, shovel, and shovel mount; Hi-Lift jack and mount; Tred Pro traction boards and mounts; and a quartet of Baja Designs LP9 LED lights.
To keep our immense payload of adventure gear where it belonged and away from the heads of the Discovery's passengers, we quickly bolted up Land Rover's luggage partition. Positioning the system was as simple as folding down the rear seats, aligning the system with existing hardware in the cargo area, and attaching our fire extinguisher.