4WD tinkering log

(Colby) #1

I self service, improve and fiddle with my car fairly often at the space and figured this could make for an interesting read. The improvements are somewhat interesting and could be applied to other cars. Some of the failures and general maintenance items are very British which makes them unusually complicated or peculiar.

I also wanted to show that cars with a high computer or sensor dependancy and engines hidden by plastic are still very much owner serviceable. Self servicing and sourcing parts carefully has saved me thousands over a few years and subsidised a nice tool collection.

I will post my upcoming work on this thread as it happens and share some of the historical stuff when I have free time. At some point I will post what lead me to chose this car with some of the pros and cons. Feel free to ask any questions about Land Rover Discoveries, general maintenance and 4WD’ing stuff.

Current to do list / wish list:

  • Drill nine holes in the roof to mount a light bar. (next weekend)
  • Recalibrate the suspension height. (after light bar install)
  • Install a discrete 4G antenna.
  • Replace the navigation module with a chinese Android module.
  • Install an external transmission cooler. (mounted, needs plumbing)
  • Catch up on TSB’s missed since leaving the manufacturer network.
  • Software updates
  • Fabricate some underbody protection.
  • Install some kind of door sill protection for branches and rocks
  • Service the factory air compressor.
  • Adjust the ignition advance and injector duration and maybe changing the cams.
  • Upgrade the peltier element and heat sink on the centre console cooler so it actually cools things.
  • Replace the magic smoke iPod module with an Arduino and Bluetooth chip. (half finished, some issues with Bluetooth chip failing to load config)
  • Install a mute button for the parking sensors; or make something that lets the car detect when an LED trailer is attached.
  • Acid treat and paint patches of underbody rust.
  • CANBUS tinkering
  • Battery isolator for hard resets :roll_eyes:
  • Design a removable snorkel for the side mounted air intake.
  • Brake upgrades (when the current pads are due for replacement)

Completed items to post when I dig up the photos and notes:

  • Auxiliary battery system
  • Roof rails to protect glass roof
  • Torque converter repair and transmission upgrades
  • 3d printed switch panel and 12v/usb outlets
  • Reverse camera
  • Car Configuration File changes that enabled bonus features
  • Tablet mount
  • Dash cam and modem
  • Retrofitted Range Rover bits
  • Oil dump valve and transmission fill valve
  • Trail repairs and damage log
  • Mounted air compressor
  • Slightly larger tyre folly
  • General part replacements; alternator, horns, tensioner, diff breather, wheel bearings
  • Simple, small but beneficial improvements
  • Inspection regime and record keeping for self servicing

(Colby) #2

Rear coolant line relocation

Recently I fitted new tyres that were 30mm wider and 38mm taller than the default size. While completely legal in Queensland this caused a number of issues:

  1. Speedometer accuracy was altered. - Fixed by adjusting the tyre radius value in the CCF.

  2. The spare tyre would not fit in it’s place. - Fixed by removing a bunch of plastic and partially deflating the spare.

  3. The stability control intervenes far too early and severely on moderate cornering. - This was improved by reducing the suspension height by 19mm to account for the increased ride height of the tyres.

  4. A noticeable loss of performance. - With a naturally aspirated V6 in a tight engine bay my options are limited to cams, tuning and extractors. Something for another day.

  5. The right rear tyre fouls on a coolant pipe during hard cornering - Fix below…

There are two aluminium coolant lines running to a heater in the rear. As they pass through the rear wheel well they stick out a little too far and occasionally contact the right rear tyre.

Normally I would just let the rubbing sort itself out but a leak in these lines can drain the entire cooling system very quickly. I found this out the hard way when a tree branch damaged a small section of rubber hose.

The problem area circled in blue.

All I could find on the issue was this forum post without any pictures and some other forums linking to that post. The best fix appears to be removing or flattening a metal fin and running flexible hose on the deeper side of the fin.

First I removed the wheel, wheel arch, side skirt and wheel well liner to reveal the pipes. Next I removed a section of insulation from each pipe, cleaned the surface with sand paper and marked lines for cutting.

Initially I cut a small notch in the fin which helped me orientate the pipes and estimate the length of the new hose.

First cut.

I used fuel line clamps further up the lines on a short section of flexible hose to reduce the coolant loss. Then removed a section from of each pipe. Immediately fitting rubber hose to prevent leaking.

I enlarge, smoothed, cleaned and painted the notch in the body. Note the existing upwards bend in the heater pipes. I was able to rotate these and set them in deeper by shortening a section of hose further upstream.

Next I set the length of the hoses to give them a gentle curve while keeping them out of harms way. I secured them to the back of a stud with a stainless M8 nut and a pair of cable ties. I applied split tubing to the edge of the notch and both aluminium bends for protection. The fix is now covered by plastic, out of sight and mind.

The tyre will continue to foul on the wheel well liner until the plastic wears away. But the pipes are no longer in harms way.

(Colby) #3

Parking sensor mute button

My friends’ Discoveries each have a mute button for the parking sensors. Mine has a blank space for a mute button. The beeping sound gets very annoying when the sensors are coated in mud or when towing a trailer with LED lights.

Before: Missing button and replacement part.

There was no switch mechanism behind the blank so I removed the extra buttons from the new part and placed my old cover over it.


(Colby) #4

Onboard modem
I needed a modem to enable cloud features on the dash cam. But also wanted some better signal for camping.

The antenna I chose is a Taoglas MA412.A.BI.003 . It sits below the profile of the roof rails for protection without adding to the overall height. It also supports MIMO and does not require a ground plane.

First I removed this cap on the roof and cleaned off the adhesive.

The antenna is secured with adhesive and a M20 stud through the hole. It overlaps the glass panel slightly but the adhesive seems pretty flexible.

Cables were run behind the roof lining to the middle dome light then connected to a 4G MIMO router with the battery removed. Fitted snuggly between the roof lining and structure.

It works pretty well and gets an improved signal of 4 to 10dB over a regular phone. It also manages to get service where regular phones can’t.