i hate the idea of going backwards; probably because even though i was born in austria i was always australian at heart. as you may know the two animals in australia’s coat of arms, the emu and the kangaroo, can’t walk backwards either. very metaphoric.

the reason i am bringing this up is that the gearbox in our car has recently thrown a few tantrums as we were going through the hilly country between geraldton and kalbarri. we paid a visit to the local land rover mechanic who retrieved the error codes from the car’s memory and checked what they meant.

they found that a technical bulletin issued by land rover in 2015 (ltb00514v2) covered the issues we experienced. it basically acknowledges that one of the main bushes in the gearbox has been made from a relatively soft material which wears quickly resulting in the gearbox failing under heavy load. the main reason we did not detect this a lot sooner – preferably while the car was still covered by warranty – was that we never towed heavy loads until we bought the caravan.

in truth we suspected something like this for a while. the gearbox has played up a few times when we towed the caravan back from adelaide and once or twice since. we read up on accounts saying that the 6 speed zf box was a weak point of the discovery 4 series. so we knew we might have an issue at some point but tried to address it through preventative maintenance. while land roiver claims the box is ‘sealed for life’ it is common practice among disco owners to get the gearbox oil changed which we had done as well.

ironically that may have contributed to the gearbox’s demise: both the mechanics in perth and in geraldton noted the oil in there was the wrong colour. the correct oil, lifeguard 4, is golden / transparent while the oil in the gearbox was red. we are not sure who put the incorrect oil in but in all likelihood that was done back in sydney.

so we are now not at all turning back to perth where we were referred to a company specializing in auto gearbox repairs by the local independent land rover service; we are simply making a strategic retreat to regroup. we will get the gearbox rebuilt which will take about 4 days during which time the car will be off the road. we decided it is better get this job done in perth than taking a punt and probably having to get the car towed out of some remote place at an exorbitant cost.

on the continuous improvement front i could not find a suitable busbar (a clever term for a piece of metal that connects a number of cables on a common point) so i made my own. i think it looks rather good.

now the relocation of the mppt controller to the front multibox is complete. yay!