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Jamie_grieve

Thoughts and musings on the new defender

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Some few months ago, through work, I happened upon a chap who works on Land Rovers engineering team who is on the project.

I voiced my Luddite views about the Defender but he reassured me that it still reliably leaks water into the passenger compartment ūüėĀ

Mo

 

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On 12/7/2018 at 12:19 PM, landroversforever said:

OOOOOOOOO that's pretty cool :) It's always nice being party to something that others don't know about!

It's really not an exciting widget, think cup-holder or trim clip level of excitement :lol: so I don't think I can exactly lord it over you ! But, it does at least prove something's being made, and that they're not just farming it all out to the lowest (coughChinese) bidder like some have predicted.

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Trim? Cup holder?!

 

It's not looking good, is it, for those hoping for a return to the series 2a design philosophy.

Next you'll be saying it has coil springs, or air bags or some such modern untested trickery.

 

  • Haha 2

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I hope they keep some of the classic design features, such as the rear lamp corner covers, held in place by a screw poked through the body that cant be undone if you have a back door. And door latches that neatly remove belt loops and trouser pockets. 

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I've not been tracking the rumour mill closely, but this one was new to me... CTIS on the new Defender?

(Hope the URL works, the original published one contained the word 'oversteer' three times for some reason? :blink: )

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12 hours ago, TSD said:

I've not been tracking the rumour mill closely, but this one was new to me... CTIS on the new Defender?

(Hope the URL works, the original published one contained the word 'oversteer' three times for some reason? :blink: )

That would be genuinely useful off road and a really positive thing for the defender replacement but the cynic in me is wondering if it's just because the tyre pressures and rolling radii must be kept within stricter parameters for the accuracy of the traction control and abs to be maintained better than previously? I've used CTIS extensively on Russian equipment and it really is very good. All the Russian CTIS equipped vehicles also have diff locks, I hope that concept isn't lost on the defender replacement bean counters and that a fancy traction control system isn't seen as a replacement for diff locks. Taking it too far to measure things like tyre wear might also indicate that tyre choice could be very limited?
Another reservation I have is JLR's poor reputation with making durable electronic things, look how complicated that CTIS controller is with ecu's and CAN, the Russians achieved something similar with four taps, a gauge and some driver training. Valves on the wheels could also close off the CTIS system if there was a fault. I hope the defender replacement has a manual backup for when the electronics let all the smoke out.

The compressor needs to be another durable item which experience with previous airbag compressors thus far with the brand has not been that impressive. 

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180312017.pdf seems to be a fuller version but good find TSD!!

Edited by Jamie_grieve

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Ah, so no yellow and red knobs, then?

 

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I would be surprised if the transmission wasn't a Haldex derived system, I think LR over most manufacturers have really pushed the capabilities of it and they'll have a huge data set to hopefully get it right on the this one. I'll be interested to see what kind of weight class this thing is going to be coming in at, as it looks a big vehicle, unless its a good bit lighter than the likes of the D5 then I struggle to see how they're going to get any further offload performance out of it compared to the present models on offer.

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3 hours ago, Maverik said:

I would be surprised if the transmission wasn't a Haldex derived system, I think LR over most manufacturers have really pushed the capabilities of it and they'll have a huge data set to hopefully get it right on the this one. I'll be interested to see what kind of weight class this thing is going to be coming in at, as it looks a big vehicle, unless its a good bit lighter than the likes of the D5 then I struggle to see how they're going to get any further offload performance out of it compared to the present models on offer.

Weight isn't so much an issue as ground pressure, in fact for most defender duties, heavier is better. Heavier vehicles tow trailers better, have better stability in high winds and crossing rivers, emergency pulling and winching etc. Almost any 4x4 truck over 4 tons say has vastly superior off road performance than a defender in most real world scenarios and requires less maintenance as the parts are sized appropriately. There's a reason that the first thing people do when building an off roader is put larger tyres on with lower pressures and more sidewall flex. Most challenge spec vehicles in the uk would be half a ton heavier than a standard 90.

The real problem is when you build a vehicle as heavy as recent discoveries have been and put it on skateboard wheels (as most are), it sinks like a stone in soft ground, other than that, they make a fantastically comfortable tow vehicle and the heavy sprung mass compared to the unsprung mass gives a magic carpet ride on unsurfaced roads. Let's hope the defender replacement can be equipped with 37" tyres from the factory!!

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:46 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

Jeep do seem to be having trouble managing to weld those JL's together - say what you like about LR quality control, this is terrifying!

https://jalopnik.com/new-jeep-wrangler-frame-welds-are-failing-and-now-fca-i-1829551649

That is terrible - clearly a misaligned weld.  But LR had similar problems with the front axles on Defenders at one point, the swivel flange welds not being done correctly and needing braces welded on.

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Must admit, I'd prefer a Haldex/intelligent-traction-control system over lockable diffs: after all, a computer can apportion torque to different wheels and adjust the balance tens of times a second as conditions change, something that brute-force difflocks can never manage. A friend of mine says that "Difflocks are invariably engaged when it's many ohnomilliseconds too late"

I know which I'd rather trust when towing a big heavy trailer on wet/icy motorways !

For me the big issus about a "New Defender" are what powerplant it comes with and what UK tax-class it fits into.

I don't want a Diesel, because Diesel's going to get murdered over the next couple of decades on account of its particulate emissions (some cities are already banning Diesel cars when air quality's bad)

I want to be able to register it as a 'commercial' not a car, which means I don't get stung for ridiculous Vehicle Excise Duty and the stupid "first four years crazy higher tax because you bought a nice car costing more than £40,000" penalty.

[Also, I don't have to pay VAT on a newly-registered commercial vehicle].

For me, economic considerations are just as important as 'roadability' - and I suspect this applies to the majority of prospective "New Defender" purchasers too!

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The problem with traction control is it removes power to increase traction.  In certain situations, this prevents forward movement as more power is removed than is needed to move.  I see this regularly with modern Land Rovers that rely on TC.

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1 hour ago, Tanuki said:

Must admit, I'd prefer a Haldex/intelligent-traction-control system over lockable diffs: after all, a computer can apportion torque to different wheels and adjust the balance tens of times a second as conditions change, something that brute-force difflocks can never manage. A friend of mine says that "Difflocks are invariably engaged when it's many ohnomilliseconds too late"

I've seen it with my own eyes, two identical vehicles near Dubai in the UAE trying to get up a dune, one with traction control and the other with lockers.. The one using lockers got up, it just doesn't work trying to get up a dune or a hill by putting the brakes on. Defenders fitted with traction control in an opencast coal mine I worked at  couldn't go a month before the brake pad back plates were grinding into the discs. There's a time and place for it for sure, maybe disabling it in low range or making it as simple as having it automatically disegage when you engage the diff locks gives the best of both worlds. Haldex is nice for occasional use but none yet made for automotive use has been industrial enough for a defender replacement There's a great video of a white evoque trying to get up a hill and the back wheels just can't turn and the fronts are spinning as the haldex can't transfer the torque. 

Diff locks by their nature DO apportion torque where they need it!! Differentials do the opposite and apportion it where it isn't needed. Traction control is 100% speed sensitive and not torque sensitive at all. There is no wheatstone bridge strain sensors or other torque measuring apparatus on any on road vehicle in the JLR stable yet that I'm aware of but I stand by to be corrected on this. Sure the traction control is programmed for steering input which may be of benefit sometimes but electronics doesn't win against mechanical in the rough and tumble of the real world.

Another issue with traction control systems over diff locks is they force the user to more or less floor the accelerator making wheelspin and losing any chance you ever had of finding grip by backing off as you would with lockers and matching wheel speed with ground speed. You can't use traction control on the idle to creep over rocks in a controlled fashion and you're likely to be traveling much faster with traction control than lockers resulting in more accidents, breakages and injury. I should caveat this by saying I'm familiar with traction control on new Jap vehicles but maybe not JLR ones, the most up to date traction control I'm familiar with is my mates discovery 3. I have another friend with a disco 5 we took off road briefly before it spontaneously combusted due to a heated seat malfunction so I don't feel like I'm up to date to comment on current JLR, just traction control, in general, in my humble experience.

One shouldn't be driving a defender in a manner that requires traction control and nanny aids to compensate for a driving style more suited to a sports car. There ought to be an element of driver training as with any machine which serves a purpose.

Edited by Jamie_grieve
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2 hours ago, Red90 said:

The problem with traction control is it removes power to increase traction.  In certain situations, this prevents forward movement as more power is removed than is needed to move.  I see this regularly with modern Land Rovers that rely on TC.

Road based cars might do this. But a proper off road tcs shouldn’t be removing power. Quite the opposite in fact. To make it work you’ll need to accelerate a bit. Some numpties can’t drive and will back off the power as soon as the tcs kicks in. Maybe this is what you’ve seen?

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I have to agree with Jamie. I loved the traction control on my Defender, it was a huge help when I started offroading and managed to correct many of my mistakes. But mechanical difflocks are even better. Which is why I upgraded to ARBs (and later Ashcroft lockers on the Rangie). Torque will always be transferred to the wheel(s) with the most grip, without having to create wheelspin first to let the traction control know how to intervene. There are some situation where you want a bit of speed difference, as in turns. Lockers will cause some wheelspin, but no more than traction control needs to engage in any situation.

The big downside to mechanical full locking diffs is the driver needs to know what he/she is doing. Like disengage when back on solid surfaces. Traction control takes away all responsibility, which is pretty much what all modern cars are about... Even Lotus doesn't offer a car without traction control anymore.

So I doubt the new Defender will get locking diffs. But I'm sure it will do very well with terrain response in most situations, and more importantly, will do so regardless of driver skill.

Filip

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43 minutes ago, Escape said:

Even Lotus doesn't offer a car without traction control anymore.

They have to due to European legislation. Mr Bosch spoke to his mates in Brussels about this new idea he had sometime before 2008 for electronic stability control which can also combine with antilock braking and traction control. I'm sure it was all to do with safety and nothing to do with anybody making money, a bit like speed cameras in certain places.I firmly believe it's the single and only reason the poor old defender ever got it, without EU legislation it would probably have had drum brakes and no abs!!

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3 hours ago, Jamie_grieve said:

I've seen it with my own eyes, two identical vehicles near Dubai in the UAE trying to get up a dune, one with traction control and the other with lockers.. The one using lockers got up, it just doesn't work trying to get up a dune or a hill by putting the brakes on. Defenders fitted with traction control in an opencast coal mine I worked at  couldn't go a month before the brake pad back plates were grinding into the discs. There's a time and place for it for sure, maybe disabling it in low range or making it as simple as having it automatically disegage when you engage the diff locks gives the best of both worlds. Haldex is nice for occasional use but none yet made for automotive use has been industrial enough for a defender replacement There's a great video of a white evoque trying to get up a hill and the back wheels just can't turn and the fronts are spinning as the haldex can't transfer the torque.

Snap - but for soft boggy ground. TC is useless, it saps too much power and the last thing you want if you're at the edge is a computer putting the brakes on! It also has a poor duty cycle, was out a few months ago with a D2 and in the course of a full day off road in fairly wet conditions I would think it 'overheated' and shut down at least twenty times. It wasn't overheating at all because the wheels were permanently being sprayed with water, but the program didn't know that and said otherwise based on the duty cycle, and with nothing except three open diffs a D2 is pretty carp... it got towed. A lot.

I have no direct experience of the Haldex systems but what seems to be a common thread with all the fancy JLR tech is that it is built down to cost and more suited to an icy morning in Chelsea than the wilderness, and if you throw an all day challenge at it, it'll probably break.

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FYI Haldex had the ability for difflock - in the traditional sense. VW fit it to 4motion transporter rear axles as an extra. I've done quite a lot of reasech into the units as I've got a long(er) term project plan to fit 4 motion to my van.

I think the concept of traditional "traction control" has been broadened by JLR in how the Haldex system is set up. I played about in a top spec D4 a while ago, had the equivelant of centre and rear locking diffs via the haldex system, pretty impressive traction.

But in my mind this disscusion is kinda compareing apples with pink slippers...

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11 hours ago, Escape said:

I have to agree with Jamie. I loved the traction control on my Defender, it was a huge help when I started offroading and managed to correct many of my mistakes. But mechanical difflocks are even better. Which is why I upgraded to ARBs (and later Ashcroft lockers on the Rangie). Torque will always be transferred to the wheel(s) with the most grip, without having to create wheelspin first to let the traction control know how to intervene. There are some situation where you want a bit of speed difference, as in turns. Lockers will cause some wheelspin, but no more than traction control needs to engage in any situation.

The big downside to mechanical full locking diffs is the driver needs to know what he/she is doing. Like disengage when back on solid surfaces. Traction control takes away all responsibility, which is pretty much what all modern cars are about... Even Lotus doesn't offer a car without traction control anymore.

So I doubt the new Defender will get locking diffs. But I'm sure it will do very well with terrain response in most situations, and more importantly, will do so regardless of driver skill.

Filip

TCS (in most cases) is a substitute for a limited slip diff, not a full locking diff. It has many advantages over locking diffs. Primarily in the fact it requires no user intervention.

It also allows you to retain your steering lock, full diff locks, especially at the front will give you the turning  radius of a starship.

TCS is also good for changing conditions, such as running in snow, slush and wet tarmac. Full diff locks are also a bit of a blunt instrument, as they will force the tyres to spin at exactly the same speed. This is mostly good, but can cause issues at times.

 

I'm not knocking full lockers, they are brilliant at what they do and for specific off road use. Which is why they are optional on all modern Land Rovers for the rear axle since the D3 (except the Defender). For most people I suspect front and rear TorSen ATB's with TCS would prove to be a more usable and superior solution, but would cost more.

 

 

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As a counter - TC can prevent wheel slip on low traction surfaces and whilst turning, which lockers can't do and in fact make worse. If you turn with lockers you by definition must break traction to one wheel, and that makes things worse on surfaces like ice or wet grass.

I remember Jez saying the LT230 actually let them drive open-diffed across swamp without tearing the surface whereas people running Jeeps etc. (with a locked transfer case) were tearing the surface when they tried to turn and dropping wheels through the very thin crust into the world of pain below.

You also have to remember that most people don't read the manual, don't do diving courses, etc. and WILL claim under warranty of something explodes, so TC is way more idiot-proof and user-friendly than lockers and will perform better in 99% of situations the average customer will find themselves in.

Don't get me wrong, I really like having lockers but that's because I care enough to understand how they work, when to use them, and when to leave them off. But I'd also quite fancy having an HDC button in my truck that gets me from the top to the bottom in a straight line at a sensible speed with no drama.

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That's how I see it too, John.  That's why I'm keen on ATBs rather than full lockers, because they'd be better for wintry roads and loose surface tracks.  Full lockers are better for the severe stuff like deep sand, deep mud and rock crawling, but could cause more trouble than they're worth for moderate users like me.  Combine TC with ATBs and you'd have a very capable vehicle for most situations (though full lockers would still be best in extremes and TC would do good work when the lockers are disengaged).  In both cases, TC would then not have to work hard enough to significantly accelerate brake wear or degrade vehicle performance (everyone here disables the TC before going into the desert to prevent the sapping of power on dunes), and you also wouldn't have to rely on the TC alone.  

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1 hour ago, FridgeFreezer said:

You also have to remember that most people don't read the manual, don't do diving courses, etc. and WILL claim under warranty of something explodes, so TC is way more idiot-proof and user-friendly than lockers and will perform better in 99% of situations the average customer will find themselves in.

 

There's nobody denying that TC ESP and ABS aren't useful attributes, as already said, it'll have them anyway because it's mandatory. My point is that to a bean counter those systems can be seen to negate the need for locker, and in the urban environment they probably could but I dispute the 99% claim, a typical customer could be the coal mine I was in, those vehicles weren't even road registered, Look to Land Cruiser registrations in Australia if you don't believe this, around 2/3rds of new vehicles are registered to companies, I don't have stats for the 70 series but I bet the global sales would reflect a similar picture. it comes back to the whole premium utility vehicle market argument. At least something like the Brabus unimog had the real deal under the obnoxious exterior. The defender replacement's on the back foot already with independent suspension in this segment, maybe the brakes will be magnetic or something that doesn't wear?

We all know the defender couldn't get them because of the feeble half shafts and diffs, the newer ones aren't that much better. An L322 snapped it's front half shaft a couple of weeks ago in Edinburgh and couldn't even drive up the tilt bed. I'm not sure why not?

With a decent drivetrain warranty claims wouldn't be an issue as with the hundreds of other vehicles on the road with lockers, They can put a sticker in the cab with the do's and don'ts for the ambulance chasers.

The ctis will be a bit of a game changer but it looks like they're making it too complicated in a bid to dumb it down for the lowest common denominator. 

 

Edited by Jamie_grieve

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6 minutes ago, Snagger said:

That's how I see it too, John.¬† That's why I'm keen on ATBs rather than full lockers,ÔĽŅ because they'd be better for wintry roads and loose surface tracks.¬† Full lockers are better for the severe stuff like deep sand, deep mud and rock crawling, but could cause more trouble than they're worth for moderate users like me.¬† Combine TC with ATBs and you'd have a very capable vehicle for most situations (though full lockers would still be best in extremes and TC would do good work when the lockers are disengaged).¬† In both cases, TC would then not have to work hard enough to significantly accelerate brake wear or degrade vehicle performance (everyone here disables the TC before going into the desert to prevent the sapping of power on dunes), and you also wouldn't have to rely on the TC alone.¬†¬†

A lot of good points there, the best known and probably the only durable ATB out there is the torsen style, that with TC would be a solid performer but I suppose the cost would be a killer?

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10 minutes ago, Jamie_grieve said:

An L322 snapped it's front half shaft a couple of weeks ago in Edinburgh and couldn't even drive up the tilt bed. I'm not sure why not?

Range Rover uses a viscous centre diff and can't be locked. Makes it very good when working for most things and a better turning circle off road, but as you found out, no good with a broken shaft/prop. This would be true for p38a's and some classic RR's too.

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7 minutes ago, Jamie_grieve said:

A lot of good points there, the best known and probably the only durable ATB out there is the torsen style, that with TC would be a solid performer but I suppose the cost would be a killer?

Considering the price they're going to sell this thing at, the logistics simplification through using parts common with other models and the increased automation in its construction, I think they should be fitting TC with lockable ATBs (much like Ashcroft's centre ATB diff unit) as standard.

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