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ThreeSheds

Random musings on the D4

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Good thread. I had several brand new D4's on loan in the past and was tempted to get one at the time. There is no way I would entertain a D5, blandness personified.

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Brief update on the windscreen/special brew farce... 

Even after excessive cleaning effort, the greasiness just returned, so I thought that it must be impregnated in the wipers themselves. I got a couple of nice Bosch ones from my local shop and cleaned the screen again before fitting them -  now all is loverly!

Notes:

  • if it wasn't for the internet, I never would have worked out how to unclip the original ones. 
  • Also on the internet "you should replace wipe blades every six months"  😮 I usually replace mine when they tear... I would be interested to hear other's views on this.

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2 hours ago, ThreeSheds said:
  • Also on the internet "you should replace wipe blades every six months"  😮 I usually replace mine when they tear... I would be interested to hear other's views on this.

I replace them if they start squeaking or don't wipe cleanly, doesn't cost much and makes driving that little bit nicer.

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Yup, once they harden a bit in winter and start skipping they get replaced.

In summer with warmer weather obviously this is not an issue :)

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Ha! I’ve used “The Knack” video more times than I care to remember when running various training workshops. It’s a great icebreaker or indeed just a good laugh if things get a bit dry.

I’m not a Discovery driver but I’m enjoying the thread.

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18 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

I replace them if they start squeaking or don't wipe cleanly, doesn't cost much and makes driving that little bit nicer.

Snap. Smeary or juddery wipers are too irritating to tolerate. The best thing in the world for cleaning a slightly smeary windscreen is something called Mixra, used to be Holts now Simoniz. Miracle in a can. None of the other glass cleaners come close.

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Thanks to those who recommended mixra - I have never heard of it... On order now :)

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OK so here is a problem that is WAY beyond me... I want to be able to open/close the windows when the ignition is off. Several times recently I have tried to open a window when sitting in the car with the ignition off in order to for example, take a photo, and by the time I realise that it won't open without the ignition on, I have missed the opportunity.

I am thinking that the door opening circuits are energised when the car is unlocked or single-locked and was wondering if I could somehow take a feed from there to power the windows? I looked at the circuit diagrams and there are various black-boxes involved, and that frightens me... So has anybody done it? If so then how, please?

p.s. Most recently I missed an opportunity to talk to a nice YL because the window wouldn't open at just the right moment, so you can see how annoying it can be!

 

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Better option (IMHO) would be to feed the window fuse from permanent live rather than f** about with the wiring in the doors.

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21 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Better option (IMHO) would be to feed the window fuse from permanent live rather than f** about with the wiring in the doors.

I thought the same, and nearly posted it.... Then I realised this is a D4, and likely does all the permanent/ignition live gubbins in some becm, so not just moving wires about.

Then, I though about I more, I'm not sure I would want them available on permanent live anyways...

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2 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Then, I though about I more, I'm not sure I would want them available on permanent live anyways...

That's why I was thinking that the door mechs would be a good choice - they are live when the car is unlocked or when it is single-locked, but not when it is double-locked. TheBECM is the reason I was asking the question - that sort of thing frightens me... I tried something similar on a skoda a while ago only to find that the window switches didn't actually control the windows - they just sent a signal to the ECU... grrr

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different topic altogether. - what do you think these things are for? (arrow drawn on mobile phone - sorry) I mean the downward flaps that look a bit like spoilers, one each side at the front...

20181231_152801.thumb.jpg.37f3b3a5079aa4e698aa02ca8913fefa.jpg

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Possibly smooths airflow over the bottom of the suspension / wishbones when at speed?

My old L322 had similar fitted...

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Yes, all about fuel efficiency and wind noise.

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If the windows are under the control of the BECM you'd be screwed whatever you do, if the BECM doesn't want the window down the window ain't going down unless you bypass it and power the motor direct... but the amount of f***ing about with a somewhat complex wiring loom that entails is rather nasty, and blowing up the BECM would be a bad day out too.

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5 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

If the windows are under the control of the BECM you'd be screwed whatever you do

hmm... Think I'll shelve that idea then... Thanks for the reality check!

Rog

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How well does the FBH (fuel burning heater) work?

First - my traceable to national standards outdoor thermometer wot I found in the garden:20190103_152816.thumb.jpg.3c3d3c03fd30520a8c889655e2804370.jpg

To be honest I think it was colder than this, but the car agreed, -6oC

Now the car before running the heater as a 'single timed event' (which is a 20 minute (max) run)

20190103_151353.thumb.jpg.03ffc57160d7b856c1ba0576f5766457.jpg

 

Then a video of the FBH exhaust while its running (I can't upload this here as it's too large)

 

And finally - how the windscreen looked 18 minutes after the FBH started. Not bad eh?

20190103_153312.thumb.jpg.d591ec1e886e11af983ac269bcf367b2.jpg

 

It's interesting to note that on a cold day the FBH runs even if I just get in and start the engine and drive away - this means that I have warm air from the vents long before the engine has warmed up.

Also I think that the FBH just heats the cab unless it's VERY cold in which case it will preheat the engine instead.

 

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Anything below 4° has the FBH kicking in...think I read that in my D4 handbook when I had it.

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By the way, that's one very smart looking D4. The wheels and tyres suit it well.

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4 hours ago, Scotts90 said:

By the way, that's one very smart looking D4. The wheels and tyres suit it well.

Thanks! I think so too. The 18" wheels have 10mm more offset than the normal LR ones, which (combined with chunky tyres) really makes a big visual difference, and improves the driving experience. win-win really :)

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On 12/31/2018 at 12:39 PM, ThreeSheds said:

different topic altogether. - what do you think these things are for? (arrow drawn on mobile phone - sorry) I mean the downward flaps that look a bit like spoilers, one each side at the front...

20181231_152801.thumb.jpg.37f3b3a5079aa4e698aa02ca8913fefa.jpg

It's the cheap bit of plastic **** that emits an audible warning (distinctive crunch sound unlike other alarms) to warn you that in another two inches there is going to be a ucking expensive crunch as the hideously expensive and utterly misnamed 'bumper' fails to bump anything and disintegrates into 17 pieces, some of which will be jammed into the steering, others underneath somewhere, and a few lost for all time in the bottom of the relatively shallow ditch you just dropped the nose into :huh:

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I am a programmer...

I am used to complexity and pedantic instructions...

I have just received my new GAP IID tool and I am reading the instructions...

WOW! 180 pages...

Do there really need to be 9 sections in the 'Before first usage' section? Including:

2nd • • Create a user account on the website 
3rd • • Installation of the updater software
4th • • Installation of Interfaces : PC Interface*, Mobile App
5th • • Updating the IIDTool’s firmware 
6th • Synchronizing the Mobile Application,
9th • • Activating the IIDTool 

Time was when I could set up a car with a slot-blade screwdriver and a fag-paper..

;)

Rog

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The following post is full of my opinions...

I am NOT AN EXPERT and anything you do to your car should NOT be based on this post without checking things yourself

 

Battery thoughts:

This Disco4 is the first car that I have owned with an AGM battery... And since I knew nothing about AGM batteries,  I thought I would investigate and share my findings here:

AGM stands for "Absorbent Glass Mat" (or similar depending on what you read). 

Prior to AGM, batteries would be 'wet' or 'gel'.

'Wet' is when there are lead and lead oxide plates surrounded by sulphuric acid. Since the plates are not too well supported, they have to be made from a lead alloy so that they are stronger and more able to resist knocks and vibration. Lead alloy is less effective electrically. 

'Gel' is pretty much the same as wet, but with a gelling agent introduced in the acid to reduce the chances of spillage.

'AGM' is when the lead and lead oxide plates are separated and supported by a fine glass mat which also holds the acid like a sponge. Because the plates are rather better supported, they can be made from pure(r) lead which is more effective in the battery. An AGM battery is therefore stronger physically (more able to resist knocks etc) and better electrically. Some batteries spiral the lead-glass-lead oxide sandwiches into a drum shape and reflect that with the exterior shape of the battery.

An AGM battery needs (of maybe just benefits from) a different charging regime which is noticeable since the charging voltage will be around 14.7 volts rather than 14.4 volts for a wet or gel battery. For this reason the Discovery 4 and similar need to know what type of battery is connected. I think that all UK D4s were supplied with AGM batteries, so if you change to a wet or gel battery you need to tell the BMS (Battery Management System) or it might over charge the battery.

If you are replacing an AGM battery with a new AGM battery then there is no need to inform the car of the change. Also there should be no resetting of (radio etc) codes required as long as you don't leave the car batteryless for more time than necessary

So - what battery to fit? AGM is better in almost all situations so go for that, but be aware that if the car did have a wet battery then you need to tell the BMS that it's now an AGM!

Something else I picked up on my wanders through the world of lead-acid accumulators is that they like to be fully charged... They REALLY like to be fully charged. One comment was that keeping the battery topped up with a modern smart-charger can lengthen it's life by three times! One key point here is the phrase 'modern smart-charger' - old chargers wont be able to manage the charge well enough to get near this number. It appears from my researches that the most suitable charger for the D4 is the CTEK MXS 10 (if you can afford it).

Quote from some website somewhere: "The D4 is hard on it's battery"... As soon as you get in the car things start draining it, and when you press the button the battery really takes a hammering. I can take a few miles to put back in what you have just taken out so repeated short journeys can leave the battery in a reduced state of charge*. When I checked mine it was commonly running at around 75% charge with repeated 30 minute journeys. I am not sure if this is unusual or not, but having charged it with the above mentioned MXS 10, it is now (2 days later) still running at a higher charge than before. I am thinking that an overnight charge once a week will help prolong the life of the battery significantly. I feel that I should point out that the car was running fine on 75% charge, in fact a while ago it was sitting at about 50% and still running ok. 

*Note that the modern alternator on the D4 should be capable of charging the battery even when sitting at the lights with screen heaters, seat heaters and lights on. It's really the length of time that the system has in which to  charge the battery that counts.

Establishing the level of charge of a D4 battery is problematic since it is difficult to test the battery voltage without setting off multiple electrical drains, and the quoted voltages rely upon the battery having been standing with no drain for several (12?) hours. The voltages are also temperature dependent (perhaps counter-intuitively, a given battery will show a higher voltage at a lower temperature). On mine I took voltage readings from the trailer socket (see below) and compared it with figures here (although those figures are not for an AGM battery).

While on the subject of keeping the battery topped up, if the D4 has a 'caravan' towing socket (a '12S, 7 pin, white one) then the car can be charged through that socket as long as 10 amps is not exceeded... This is one reason why the MXS 10 was particularly mentioned above - it's maximum delivered current is 10 amps and so should be safe to use in this manner. The earth pin in the socket is the centre one and the constant live pin is the one at 9 o'clock (on the D4 socket - other cars may vary!). My plan is to use the 12S socket with a modified plug that will come out easily should I forget it and drive off. :D

Well I think that's about it. I hope this helps someone, and if anyone spots anything potentially dangerous or wrong, please let me know and I will modify this post accordingly. I repeat that I am NOT AN EXPERT and anything you do to your car should NOT be based on this post without checking things yourself

Cheers

Rog

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AGM are better from physical damage, but they are no better as a "battery".  Cycle life and sulfudation resistance is worse than a properly built flooded battery.  Unless you "need" one do to hard off road use, they are a waste of money.

The problem with modern cars and I'm sure the D4 is no exception is that they turn the alternator off as much as possible with the goal of saving fuel.  It kills batteries.

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