Land Rover and Range Rover Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since there seems to be a good number of newer DII owners on line, many with questions, I figured I would post this thread: 8 upgrades/mods you CAN do at home with no mechanical knowledge ranging from the retarded-simple & the cheap to the slightly-more-complicated-hammering-a-nail & slightly more expensive. I think each of these mods should be carefully considered prior to upgrading suspension. The one I don't discuss is tires. To get the most our of your DII, you should consider upgrading to a true all-terrain tire, such as the BFG T/A KO, that will give you major increase in off-road performance without sacrificing street ride. (If you are planning a suspension upgrade soon, you may of course want to wait so you can get larger tires. But if your suspension upgrade is for next season, make the move on tires today, you won't regret it). OK here goes, starting w/ the most simple:

1. Get a set of quick air tire deflators & a quality gauge. You can get quick deflators for as low as $10-$11. They let you air down all four tires at the same time & save you a bunch of time at the trailhead. My advice, however, is to only air down 2 at a time,,,it's easy to air down too much, tougher to correct the problem at the trailhead unless you happen to have an air compressor,,, A quality gauge will let you know exactly where you stand in psi. Those pen-type gauges are tough to get an accurate read on. A good enough quality gauge may run you $10,,,although you can spend triple that if you want. :) Pic attached

2. When you find yourself going up & down steep trails, you'll find that you shift in position on your seat (especially if you have leather seats). This happens gradually and all of a sudden you'll notice a bit of a pain in your right leg. It's your parking brake digging into your thight. The quick fix is to go to Home Depot & buy a length of foam tube, usually sold in lengths of 2' - 4'. You can duct-tape one end & slide it over your parking brake while on trail as illustrated in the attached pic. This foam pad doubles as an alternative to a Hi-Lift Jack 'isolator' and saves you a good $12 at least when you get your jack. You can slide a length of foam pad over the handle of the Hi-Lift to avoid that clanking noice.

3. OK, this one is pretty simple, not really a 'mod',,,,but the lumbar support in Disco seats is pretty weak. After long-haul highway driving or, particularly, off-road driving, you'll notice this. There are many types of lumbar supports on the market, the one in pic is made from the stuff they make those space-foam beds out of. This is a simple addition to your 'kit' that will go a long way for your comfort after hours on the trail. It also allows you to pull your seat back up a bit & give you a more commanding driving position & better visual when on-trail vs. the too-far-reclined position most have their seats in. (Plus it's better for your spine)

4. DI wipers. DI wipers are just plain better than DII wipers in my experience, especially when your windshield is covered in mud or snow. They are beefier,, and don't look as 'mall-crawlerish' as the stock DII wipers. See pic.

5. Fire Extinguisher. You can go on-line, or to a 4x4 shop, and spend $60+ on a galvanized 'off-road' extinguisher,,,,or,,,you can go to Home Depot & spend $10 on a properly rated auto fire extinguisher. For those more inclined to spend $10, spend a few more cents on 3 screws with those jointed metal backs with springs that set perpendicular to the screw & form a solid attachment (there's probably a simple technical name for what I'm describing,,,but I'm not talking about the plastic screw backs that you hang pictures in dry-wall with). Drill 3 holes to match the holes on the fire extinguisher mounting bracket that are equal in diameter to those screw-back-things (careful not to drill too deep!) and mount as illustrated in pic. This is a safe, out-of-the-way mounting position that will not interfere with your safety or comfort but will ensure the extinguisher is easily accessible. (this was covered in a previous thread)

6. Tow hitch mounted shackle. Essential piece of equipment often overlooked. You can pick one of these up for roughly $60-$70 from Roversnorth, I'm sure Red-Rhino, among others. (Always good to support sponsors) While you are at it, pick up a solid tow strap (or snatch strap) meant for off-road recovery. Don't skimp & get one at Wal-Mart made for towing cars down the road. Don't assume someone else on the trail will have one, or be willing to share. Plus it's good form to have your own when you are asking to be pulled out (or up) (or down) (etc). More expensive than the previous 5, but when you need it, you'll REALLY need it. You don't want to be towed out by your rear axle,,,,, While you're at it, get another shackle for the other end in case you need to be towed out by someone else who is not set up for recovery. Prepare for the worst & you'll seldom be disappointed. Pic of tow-hitch shackle attached. You can use your stock reciever, the strongest tow point on your stock vehicle but useless w/out this piece of kit.

7. Rock Sliders. OK, now we are getting into more costly bolt-on mods. But don't even think about getting that new suspension slapped on & hitting the real trails w/ that plastic stock side-sill nonsense,,,or worst of all,,,running boards. :eek: I have seen stock Discos go up Carnage Canyon in CO with nothing but rock sliders & survive relatively unscathed. Critical piece of equipment & will save you much more than you spend on 'em as body work and/or new doors are expensive. Many of the aftermarket companies fabricate and/or sell rock sliders. They are simple bolt-on. Worst case you may have to drill a few holes. No big deal. If you can operate a drill and turn a wrench, you can install your own rock sliders. Pic attached

8. Exhaust / K&N Filter: Exhaust is the most expensive of the 8, but easy to bolt on yourself. There are several available for DIIs. While everyone has their preference, I like NRP because I don't like that Borla "Harley" sound on the trail. Either way, the performance increase on-road is enormous,,, and will come in handy later when you run larger tires. Easy to install, big performance boost. Pic illustrates exhaust bolts on my dirty mud-encrusted undercarriage. K&N filter is more controversial. The logic for a high-performance air filter is 'what goes out, must come in'. Some argue whether there is any increase in power. Others swear they can feel the difference. I just installed one & within 10 days had to replace mass air,,, but I also had 65k HARD miles so maybe I was due. One thing I did realize after-the-fact is that they come packaged far too wet. If you install one, let it dry in the sun for at least an hour. When you clean it, be careful not to over-oil and again let it dry for at least an hour. Simple to install. Just like changing your stock air filter: drop it in

So there you go. 8 simple "mods" you can do yourself that will take greater advantage of the awesome capabilities of the stock Disco II w/out adversely effecting on-road performance. WARNING: you may get addicted to DII modification. :drive: :drink1: :wave:

Next edition: Disco II suspension 101, confidential industry secrets revealed! :eek:
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Nicely Done!

Well done!.

Adam
 

· Moderator
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
SCSL..thank you for that! I actually needed to pass by Home Depot to buy the foam tube. I was going to cut about 4 inches of it and put it on two of the bars on my stock roof rack so can put my Hi-Lift for this weekend's camping trip. Should provide good protection to both the bars and the Lift ( from which I've removed the base and handle ) reduced rattling noise.

Question though, would the industrial sized Tie-Straps ( the ones that are like 3 feet long ) be a good enough method of keep the lift on there? I was also thinkin of the U-shaped clamp bolts - similar to those that hold exhaust pipes in place - only that it would take longer to undo the nuts as opposed to just cutting the tie straps off and replacing them when putting the lift back. Any feedback on this would be appreciated. I'm only using this setup for the trip of course. I wasn't able to get my voyager roof rack so I have to resort to this.

Oh hey, this thread would be good to post the pics of the mods I made to my stock rocker panels for my hi-lift. Just gotta get those darn photos out of the cam. My bootlegged XP doesnt want to accept my cam so I have to go through my mom's comp and transfer the files onto mine.
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
01001010 said:
Question though, would the industrial sized Tie-Straps ( the ones that are like 3 feet long ) be a good enough method of keep the lift on there? I was also thinkin of the U-shaped clamp bolts - similar to those that hold exhaust pipes in place - only that it would take longer to undo the nuts as opposed to just cutting the tie straps off and replacing them when putting the lift back. Any feedback on this would be appreciated. I'm only using this setup for the trip of course.
The U-shaped clamps would definately work, I've seen several variations of this theme on home-made hi-lift attachments for both front bumper & roof rack. I'm not sure about the industrial tie-straps though. If they are appropriately weight-rated then they would, in theory, work. But if you are going off road I would think the jack would still move outward & bang back against either your rack or your rig. Because they can only attach to your rack (there are no attachments on roof or side of truck) I would think inertia would move the jack a bit on off-cambers. But I guess it would depend on how many ties you used & how you placed them (?)

Oh hey, this thread would be good to post the pics of the mods I made to my stock rocker panels for my hi-lift.
That would be great!! I'd love to see this :drink1:
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Lifts

Oh yeah, one more thing while on the topic of Hi-Lifts. For those new to wheelin', you might ask why a Hi-Lift if you're running 100% stock? Well, many reasons. But one biggy is that you can winch with a Hi-Lift. You probably won't want to make it a habit, but if you are off-road alone (which you really shouldn't be) or with a buddy or just get into a mess, you can winch short distances (such as out of a mud hole) with your Hi Lift jack. Hi Lift sells a fairly inexpensive kit that will allow you to safely winch with your jack, using it like a come-along. Also, you should have a base for your jack for use in mud, sand, or snow. Otherwise it'll sink. Hi Lift sells a custom fitted base made out of hard plastic, fairly inexpensive,,, or you can EASILY make one out of wood for a few bucks. Use WOOD SCREWS, not nails (not even nails with glue), if making it out of wood. One good idea with a jack-base is to attach a rope of some sort so you can get the base back if you are jacking in soft mud, snow, etc. Here's a pick of a Hi-Lift stand with two holes drilled in it and a length of rope to 'recover' the base.
 

· Moderator
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
Just got back from home depot S...I'm going with the U-bolt idea. For the safety of the jack, but primarily for the safety of others on the road ( I'll be driving for 2 hours on my way to the campsite this weekend ). I got the black a/c pipe insulation foam tubes, they are less spongier. I only got 2 U-bolts because I'll only be using the Middle and Rear Rack bars, the front is a little lower that the rest, unless i can make my Hi-Lift bend..lol

Turns out everything was in the same Isle. I love it when things are easy :cool: lol I was initially looking for duct tape ( something one must ALWAYS have out on the trails ). When I turn into the isle everything was there, the u-bolts, a set of 12 different sized bungee cords, hand-held sized bottles of WD-40 ( to be carried in my hydropack while out on the bike trials ), and of course, the tape. While I was in the line, i was checkin the stuff out and the Warning label on the Duct tape only limits its use to flues, chimneys, mufflers, and tail pipes...lol...anything else goes, Gotta love Duct Tape :clap:
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: I saw a rear-hitch-mounted recovery point/shackle in the recent Cabela's catalogue for about $40-ish,,,,a good $20 less than the Rover shops. Just an fyi
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks bud! Had a slow day today & figured I would catch up.
Whoever predicted I would be back in two weeks must be Nostro-freakin'-damus !
 

· Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
SCSL,

NICE post! What kind of tires do we see in your pics. I am riding on Wrangler HP's. I love the width of the tread and that is all so far. They don't perform well at all in the sand here on the beaches.

Does the exhaust modification make a lot more noise? I suppose one would have to do the air filter along with the exhaust for best performance--right?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
SCSL said:
Thanks bud! Had a slow day today & figured I would catch up.
Whoever predicted I would be back in two weeks must be Nostro-freakin'-damus !
It is an addiction we all knew you had to come back....
I'm ready for the 2nd intallment. :drink1:
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Litespeed said:
What kind of tires do we see in your pics. I am riding on Wrangler HP's. I love the width of the tread and that is all so far. They don't perform well at all in the sand here on the beaches.
These are BFG AT/ko (the new AT pattern). A good compromise tire for Colo as they perform better than mudders on pavement, especially when wet or icey. The terrain here offers little mud, more rocks & loose dirt/gravel. If I was back East I would probably run MT's, or maybe a 2nd set w/ MTs for summer. The Wrangler HPs are really not an off-road tire. I'm no expert on sand, so unfortunately I can't recommend one. I am generally a fan of the BFG AT & feel it's the best "all around" tire on the market.

Does the exhaust modification make a lot more noise? I suppose one would have to do the air filter along with the exhaust for best performance--right?
Some after-market exhausts are significantly louder than stock--Borla comes to mind. The NRPs are not significantly louder than stock. You don't have to upgrade the air filter when you upgrade the exhaust. The K&Ns are controversial in that some swear by their increased performance, others claim no difference.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
Im sorry but just curious, I have a 2000 disco, and could never see my self that far to the right to be riding the emergency brake. I find myself more to the left more than to the right. Second, the EB is a good 2-4" inside the console, are you completly out of your seat or something when your talking about this?
 

· Wheeler
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have a tendancy to slip down into the seat & point my knees to about 10:00 & 2:00 when going over obstacles (both up & down) to brace myself. The door keeps my left leg at 10:00 but I noticed my right leg tends to drift to about 2:30 which, when I'm sliding back into the seat, contacts the EB. I'm 6' 1" so I don't know if that makes a difference. I guess this is more of an issue on rocks where you really get jostled than it would be on mud or sand. Also on very steep declines the belt doesn't really hold you in the seat so I find myself "standing" with a lot of weight on my feet. Not enough room under the wheel to bend my knees at right angles so they tend to creep to the side. :drink1:
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top