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Random musings on the D4

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I occasionally have thoughts about the D4 and think 'I should post that...' but it always seems that when I get to the computer, it's too trivial to warrant a new thread. So I thought I would start a thread for all those trivial things and here it is...

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And for the first post...

When I got the D4 it had 265/50R20's that are imitations of the normal Scorpions of a few years ago, but I have never liked 'rubber band' tyres for multiple reasons.. So at the earliest opportunity I changed them for 265/65R18 BFG AO2's, and have noticed the following changes...

  • There appears to be plenty of under-arch clearance so I suspect I could have gone bigger if I wanted. (I think they are about 1.5" bigger on diameter than the original tyres)
  • The speedo still over-reads (by comparison with a particular roadside speed sign), but less so than before.
  • The average indicated fuel consumption for the same journey before and after the tyre/wheel swap, had dropped from 34mpg to 32mpg (I am a steady driver generally). But  remember that the figure I am quoting will also be affected by the change in rolling radius, so I am very pleased with this..
  • The car feels quite a bit softer and less twitchy - which I like since it is a big heavy four by four and I don't particularly want it to change lanes like a sports car.. (one man's twitchy is another man's responsiveness though!)
  • Perhaps strangely it also feels more grippy, like it's digging in to the road more. I haven't done and actual testing (like stopping distances) though. Considering that 90% of my day to day driving is on narrow country lanes with poor surfaces, this feeling becomes more important than for people who spend a lot of time on motorways I would imagine. It may well be that the original tyres would be better on smooth, clean tarmac, but I seldom see that...
  • Locally there is a grass (aka 'green ice' ) slope which was a bitch to get up a couple of weeks ago, and I can't get stuck on it now, even if I try. (I have the land owner's permission)
  • There is a slight howl from the tyres (which in my previous experience will get worse as the tyre wears) but with the excellent sound proofing on the D4 it is not a problem at all.
  • Lastly (and this is the one that surprised me most) Prior to the change, I thought that the alignment needed doing since it had a very slight tendency to pull to the left. Now, since the change, this no longer occurs! I can only assume that with the skinny tyres on it was running down the camber.?.?.

SO: All in all I am a very happy bunny.

Oh and the new tyres and Compomotive alloys look great too :D :D :D :D :D :D 

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Interesting, I have always hated low profile tyres too and they just look wrong on a 4x4 plus you feel every detail in the road. D2s on 18s had the same sort of characteristics that you describe, tramlining and generally horrible to drive.

Why the modern vehicles aren't available on 16 inch rims as a no cost option I do not know - it wouldn't be rocket science to design a set of brakes that worked and fitted in a 16" wheel. I actually have the same size and type of tyre on my Shogun (replacing the original cardboard 18s) and they have been spot on but I'd prefer 16s.

I think by the end of its life the D4 had matured into a vehicle that I would finally buy - I wouldn't have taken on the maintenance mortgage for a D3 if you'd given me one free, and the early D4s were only a modest improvement. It's a shame they stopped making them and replaced them with the thing that looks like it was made by SsangYong or Kia.

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I like the look of that :)

I had a D4 3.0TDV6 as a loan car for a week or so when the 322 was in the garage. It had obviously led a hard life prior to becoming a loan car, but it was really nice - near RR levels of comfort, rode well and was absolutely cavernous inside. 

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8 hours ago, BogMonster said:

What type of alloys?


Compomotive PD1881. They have a touch more offset than standard which really makes a difference to how it looks from the front...

Wheels were bought direct from compomotive and tyres from 4x4Tyres - both most excellent companies in my opinion...

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:03 PM, BogMonster said:

... Why the modern vehicles aren't available on 16 inch rims as a no cost option I do not know - it wouldn't be rocket science to design a set of brakes that worked and fitted in a 16" wheel.

I couldn't agree more

@Threesheds, I'm loving those rims 

Edited by Ooops
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Snow forecast for Scotland (where I live) this weekend, and I have what is arguably the best car for dealing with that - amazing traction control through terrain response, and BFG KO2 all terrain tyres which are also rated as winter tyres...

However - I have a question... Has anyone on here fitted chains to to the D3 or D4? There doesn't look to be much clearance at the front, but it looks to me like the back would be ok... I am wondering whether to buy a set...

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1 hour ago, Bowie69 said:

Get some socks instead...

I did think of socks, but I don't think that they would be suitable for the muddy/rocky surface under the snow that I drive on on a daily basis on my track.

While they would be good for getting along the road to the track, I would have to take them off just at the uphill entrance where I would need them most.

In previous years,using the old RRC,  I have managed with aggressive tyres and a bit of momentum, but I don't really fancy that approach in the D4 - it's too shiny! (Last time I drove the RRC up the track in 12" snow I nearly took out the viewpoint bench! :D )

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I've been thinking and messing with the 'main beam' on the D4 recently... The reason I put 'main beam' in  parenthesis is that what I have been messing with is actually more of an infill light.

My D4 has projector HID lamps which are used for dipped beam with a shutter arrangement. When I select high beam, the shutter moves and the HID projector forms the major part of the main beam illumination.

It also has H7 halogen lamps with conventional sculptured reflectors that come on as, and look like 'main beam'... However, with the HID illuminating the road ahead, it appears that the halogens are designed to illuminate the trees to either side of the road. Not only that, but they leave a distinct gap between where they shine and the HID mains. This effect is very annoying to say the least when, as I do, you spend a significant amount of the time running high beam.

So I thought of ways of fixing it. The AULRO link above seems to indicate that moving the bulb is not effective, so I thought I would try LED technology..

Now, as you may or may not know, LED H7 style bulbs can be expensive and often receive a bad press since their light output is nowhere near as focused as a conventional bulb. In this case, however I felt that a less focused light source might actually help to fill in the gaps I mentions. I found some H7 style LEDs on ebay for £11.98 the pair that had no fans and were small enough to fit, so I ordered them. They had mixed reviews, but at that price I thought I would take a chance. Oh and they also are rated at 55w each and so shouldn't upset the canbus...

So a week later they arrived and they look fine. I fitted them both (six minutes on the D4! I should make a video one day) and and BOOM! ...<nothing> :D ... Well it turns out that they are polarity sensitive and I had got  both of them wrong! What are the chances of that eh? (yes I know - one in four :) ). Swapped them and they output a nice - rather blueish - light, with definitely less of a tree-shining-gap-producing effect. Happy me... But the gap is still there, just reduced...

Hang on - it's less on the left than the right. I had forgotten that it is common for these LED H7s to be able to rotate in their housing, and looking at them, one side was at a different angle to the other. So last night I whipped them out and turned both bulbs through about 10 degress and went for a short drive... Things are a lot better with much reduced gaps and less tree-blinding.

And that is where I am now.

I will try rotating them a bit more tonight to see if I can get it even better, and then perhaps get some photos of the pattern with them and with the old halogens. But for the moment I just wanted to post this preamble before work today (in six minutes)... I have to pay for all this fun somehow!


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1 hour ago, Blanco said:

Meant to ask whether there was enough snow to judge whether chains were required, I am guessing that with new tyres and the dusting there was it was never a problem?

There was some on the hills near by, and they closed the snow-gates on a couple of roads, but I think that was just a kneejerk reaction... The main problem was ice apparently.  There was no snow at all where I live :(  

The reason  I was thinking about chains is that I am in the process of joining the local 4x4 Response group and chains were mentioned in the training as being a useful thing to have, among a load of other stuff :D

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Chains take a bit of practice, but give great added traction. If it isn't just to get you home or up a hill situation though but rather one where you are spending an extended period with them on then really you will need 4, and you need to check the clearance on the front a bit more carefully. The right size is key. 

Had the same issue with sidelight led's, although I got 1 on 1 off at the first fit (50/50).

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Well the LED 'main beams' are a success!

I haven't managed to completely remove the gap ( or take any photos - sorry! ), but I was driving last night and suddenly realised that I hadn't noticed the gaps at all! Now the only problem is that the standard main beam is only just sufficient for my usual 50-60mph - so I really would like some auxiliary lights...

I'm thinking that round spots look better than mahoosive light bars on the D4, and if they weren't so expensive I would be thinking of some traditional KC Daylighters...Hmmm I wonder if I could swing that one as a Christmas pressy from me to me :D


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Next...  Mirrors & Special Brew!

I noticed that my side mirrors were a bit slow folding, and sometimes didn't make it all the way... So I toddled off to the hinternet and found that there are a couple of plastic covers that go over the hinge mechanism, which appears to be made from cast monkey-metal, and corrodes badly (I thought that we had seen the last of monkey-metal, but obviously not)

Anyway - I tried to remove the covers as shown in the vid, but gave up thinking that the force I was using was perhaps unreasonable and that I obviously don't have the knack on this one...

So I liberally sprayed into the area with what I call my 'Special Brew' which is a mix of Duck Oil and ACF50 and worked it back and forth a few times, and declared 'the jobs a goodun' :D

Zoom forward to my rainy commute next day when I realised that the overspray had got onto the windscreen <grrrrr> What a mess! Once many (many) years ago I was overtaking a car on the motorway when my screen went all greasy. As I drove past I realised that a rear seat passenger was spraying some kind of aerosol out of the window... It took DAYS for the screen to get back to normal.

I will be more careful next time! It took almost an hour of hard rubbing with microfibre cloths and hot detergent solution to get it acceptably grease free again...

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And another one: Lug nuts! 

Years ago, somebody at Land Rover came up with the idea of blinging up cooking steel wheel nuts with a stainless cover - presumably to make them look like wheel bolts as are generally used on normal cars.

On the D2 I had the usual problem that the nut inside the cover rusts, rust is bigger than the original steel, so the stainless cover suffers from bloat and the wheel brace or socket won't go on. On the D2 I tried removing the cover, but that leaves a rusty barstard-sized nut (it makes me laugh that I have to do that to get through the obscenity filter... If a nut is not a normal size then is is person I&#39;m not that keen on sized... :D ), so in the end I bought some solid blind lugnuts.

Roll forward 15 or so model-years and the same problem exists on the D4! Blimey you would think that someone would have  thought about improving it by now! Anyway, on  MY D4 there are 4 blown caps already, but luckily, I can just get the socket far enough over to carefully work them... For the moment! So I bought some nice chromed steel blind lugnuts. Looking forward to fitting them when my copper grease arrives (don't worry, I won't hydraulic them with grease :D )


Edited by ThreeSheds
obscenity filter
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