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Hi all, new to the forums and also new to Land Rovers in general too. We kind of fell into them, long story short.. mom bought it sight unseen (she is a previous Land Rover owner and really likes them) and she didn't realize how large it was (she was more interested in the Evoque size.) She offered it to us, taking over the payments, we liked it and said sure. So far we really enjoy it.

One thing I was noticing was the lack of modding going on (or maybe I'm just not looking in the right places?) I don't do a whole lot of modding my self, but given that the Discovery is a pretty capable off roader, I'd think more people would start sticking more things on it to help them out (check out the tacoma aftermarket for example.)

Not a lot I would consider, mostly because I'm not really into off roading (but enjoy the fact that I can, if I needed to.) But I'd consider running boards/rock sliders and probably a front facing camera at the very least. However, I'm having trouble finding resources for doing those mod.

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated! Thanks!
 

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I'm finding I see two ends of modding. My other vehicle is a 2001 Jeep Cherokee (AKA XJ) and you can go on the various XJ forums and find modding out the wazoo. The XJ has things going for it from a modding perspective the DS doesn't --
- solid front and rear axles are much simpler to lift and cheaper, too
- I don' t think the most expensive XJ exceeded $30,000 USD so you're not risking your $55,000 USD vehicle. Even counting for inflation, the XJ was affordable to people who had already modded other vehicles
- the XJ is simple. You can tackle almost everything with a wrench and a screwdriver. You don't risk messing up some sort of expensive electronic do-dad
- the XJ (and older 4Runners, Pathfinders, Blazers, etc.) are built such that you can hang a bull bar or wench bumper off the front end and a spare tire carrier with gas cans and a hi-lift jack off the back. You can't do that with a DS.


And some of the lack of DS modding is a feedback loop. Since isn't much demand for modding of DS, no one at this point offers much for DS. I do know of a 30mm lift (my XJ has a 50mm lift) offered by, I think, ARB and Rival has skid plates. I don't know about rock rails. I recommend subscribing to the UK DS forum. There seems to be more modding discussion there.
 

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I think you have to weigh up what you’re modifying the vehicle for and accept that you can’t modify the DS into a capable rock crawler. Also, with the current mods available it will never look as hard core as your modded jeep.

If you added bull bars, rock rails etc., (which you can’t) you’d only reduce the clearance and approach anyway, and you’d probably add enough weight to undermine the character and make you curse the lack of low range. I think it’s worth thinking about how you want to use it before investing in any mods.

AT tyres will make it awesome for beach driving and good for muddy tracks and loose surfaces, the Eibach lift and Rival bash plates will help but aren’t essential until the tracks get rocky or really rutted.

For full on rock crawling or wading up to the windscreen and you should probably look at a different vehicle. The DS will never have the articulation or clearance, or the low range and diff locks that you would need.

I have mine setup for beach driving and bush camping and it excels at that for a couple or very small family. Plus is lovely to drive around town or on the highway. Add an off road trailer and/or an extra 200kgs of camping gear and kids and again you’d want to look at a bigger 4WD probably.
 

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I have mine setup for beach driving and bush camping and it excels at that for a couple or very small family. Plus is lovely to drive around town or on the highway. Add an off road trailer and/or an extra 200kgs of camping gear and kids and again you’d want to look at a bigger 4WD probably.

Thanks for this input. What is your beach driving and bush camping setup? I might want to shamelessly copy what you've done.
 

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Yeah, no worries. I just copied what other people had been having success with too.

Mine had 19” rims so I just added GG AT3 tyres in 255/55 R19 size, which gives a 10mm lift. Fitted the rival 6mm engine cover bash plate as the stock one would catch on the sand in heavily rutted sections. I always remove the front panel for off road, which exposes the recovery point and slightly improves approach angle.

Front runner roof rack, it’s slightly chunkier than the Rhino Pioneer platform but it’s the only one with the specific legs for the DS roof. If you get one, buy some ratchet spanners (wrenches) and keep them in the car. They are great for putting it together as there is often no space for a socket set and regular wrenches will drive you nuts!

I fitted a 40” light bar to the front of the rack and hid the wiring inside the windscreen gutter, works brilliantly for night driving and front runner make mounts for standard bars so that the light sits flush and doesn’t create further wind noise. I also have rack mounts for shovel and Treds recovery boards. On the side I have the Rhino Rack Sunseeker II 2m awning, which has proved its worth and is so easy to slide on and off for weekend trips. You just have to watch how much weight you put on the roof, I tend to just have recovery gear, awning and surf boards, bike, or kayak. The rack itself eats up half your dynamic load. I stand on the rear tyre and I got a door step for the front to access the rack.

I stash most of my snatch kit inside the spare wheel well (6.5T strap, D Shackles, rapid deflator) until I head off road, then I grab it out before loading the car. Rapid deflator and decent compressor are a must.

Next mod is the Eibach 30mm spring lift. That wasn’t legal before in Queensland but is now so I’ll sort that this winter. I haven’t strictly needed it yet but I know it will help on the really rough tracks as the flat bottom of the car will take far fewer hits on the soft sand!

Hope that helps!
 

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All, my two cents is that I generally concur with @outbackgeo previous post.

The exception for me being I went from 19in to 17in wheels with 255/65 R17 giving 30.1in*10in 6.5in sidewall in order to improve contact patch size during air-down situations and reduce the threat of damaging a sidewall from pinching. In CA we have a variety of conditions ranging from sand to mud to rock crawling (as difficult as you like) and conditions, even on the same trail can be mixed, usually rock/sand. Except Pismo, driving on the beach is not allowed... unless you go to Baja MX.

PH
 

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@outback thanks for the further input about your mods. I was going to ask about what else you had done.

I am planning a trip down Baja in Nov this year and looking to outfit the DS with the nearly the same as you mentioned. When I got the 17in wheels, I also got a full size spare and the tire bracket to mount on the roof rack. (I also recommend the Frontrunner.) My recovery gear and tool roll and inflator go in the Frontrunner wolfpack, strapped up top.

I'll be adding the following in the next few months.

+light bar and camp lights. I'm considering a shorter one from Baja Designs. Decision is cost driven. I'd like a 40in but can't justify the cost v performance trade off. Which one do you have? Was it difficult to integrate with the DS electrical? That is my main concern.

+skid (bash) plates. I agree that How was your experience with the Rival plates? Did you get just the front or the full set (front, fuel and rear diff)? Really they seem to be the only ones out there for the DS and I'm about to pull the trigger to buy them.

+awning. I haven't yet decided which one yet but will likely be a 270deg awning (batwing type).

The only other thing that would go on top is a SUP and surfboard, keeping in mind load limits as you rightly pointed out.

Last, your advice about keeping with you some ratcheting wrenches (spanners) is spot-on.
 

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@outbackgeo Sorry, last question. What does the door step look like? I hate standing on the front seat to load the rack. I also stand on the rear tire.

Ultimately I'd love to have a ladder and a platform to cover about a third of the rack so someone could sit or stand comfortably up there. (Not while moving of course.)
 

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@ph001c

Sounds like your setup is great! I love how capable the car is with hardly any mods. I drive proper 4WD’s for work and it’s great what you can do in them (particularly when you don’t care) but they are often so heavy and cumbersome for everyday driving then sink like a stone when you take them on the beach. My DS is 600Kg lighter than the 70 series I drive for work with way more power and almost the same torque. Though I will be tempted by the new Defender when that is released I reckon.

In sort of reverse response order:

You can get a telescoping ladder and bracket from front runner but I’m guessing you mean a fixed one which you can’t really do on the DS.

https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.com/en/au/catalog/product/view/_ignore_category/1/id/13767/s/telescopic-ladder/

The step thing I have is a cheap thing like this below, which works fine when I need to really get up there. I’m quite tall so I can normally reach everything standing on the front door sill.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Doorstep-Function-Rooftop-AOLVO-Folding/dp/B07G4BQNB4

I got a 40” light bar because you get a centre section which throws spot beams way ahead and the side parts flood, which is great for manoeuvring among trees on camp grounds at night. I got this Bushranger one because they’re a decent brand and I got a good deal. I had a mate help me fit it, so it works with the auto headlights and the switch is on the side of the steering column. No drilling needed and you can’t see the wiring until it meets the rack. I used the front runner light bar mounts too. Massive improvement over just standard lights when off-roading, I think the high position helps.

https://bushranger.com.au/product/led-light-bar-39-5/

Batwing awnings are cool but might be a pain with the boot (trunk) opening upwards? You can set it to only open to a certain angle, though, so it doesn’t destroy your awning when someone sits on the car key. I’d also have a think about the weight and whether you want it permanently mounted or not. I can attach and remove mine very easily, which I like, but most people just leave their’s on.

I just got the front bash plate. Super easy to fit. I damaged the original and it kept snagging on the sand. No harm done to the car thankfully!

I nearly got 17” wheels early on but there wasn’t a lot of option for aftermarket ones with this stud pattern here, and nowhere would guarantee clearing the discs and callipers. I didn’t want to pay LR top dollar to downgrade my wheels through them either. Ultimately, because I don’t do too much rocky trail driving I don’t think pinch blowouts will be much of an issue (haven’t so far anyway) and I can still drop the pressures really low if I need, so I’m fine on the soft stuff.

I’ll be interested to see the awning setup if you get it, so you’ll have to post some pics.
 

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I stash most of my snatch kit inside the spare wheel well (6.5T strap, D Shackles, rapid deflator) until I head off road, then I grab it out before loading the car. Rapid deflator and decent compressor are a must.
Piling on - I do the same and include a tire repair kit and vlair compressor which all fits in the spare well. I can report the tire repair kit works extremely well allowing for flat repair without taking the wheel off the car.

amazon.com/gp/product/B002I52RG0/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Disco Sport, a sheep in wolf’s clothing – you bet

Disco Sport, a sheep in wolf’s clothing – you bet

My wife and I returned this week from an 8000km trip to Karumba, via Bourke, Thargomindah, Hungerford, Windorah, Birdsville, Boulia, Mt Isa, Lawn Hill, Burketown, Normanton, and back through Lightning Ridge. The other couple travelled in a VW Touareg.

I purchased the DS SD4 HSE MY18 as a ‘tough’ replacement for my ‘well tested’ BMW X3, and after the sponsored Adventure Day, I was convinced that the DS would go anywhere – lifting wheels, down hills using paddles etc.

But, in reality, the vehicle is not suited to extended rough outback travelling. Loaded with the equivalent of 5 adults and luggage, no trailer nor van, but a month’s food and drink, fridge, spare battery, Adblue (not available anywhere out there!), compressor etc., the rear of the vehicle is lowered by about 50mm, just enough to be vulnerable to stones that other offroaders can travel over.
On the way out of Hungerford on a rough unsurfaced ‘main’ road a stone clipped the rear diff sump plug which fortunately only fell out near Thargomindah – saved by a Toyota plug and some diff oil! Could have been disastrous if we had been travelling faster..

A factory fitted Conti 235/60 R18 tyre was punctured by a stone on the unsurfaced road to Birdsville and the spare desperately required. Thank goodness for TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – saved shredding the tyre and damaging the rim). Travelled all the way to Mt Isa, a reasonable sized town, and managed to get the puncture fixed, but could not buy this configuration tyre anywhere (just in case we needed a second spare). It would take a week to air any brand of tyre from Brisbane – so kept fingers crossed and realised that the DS tyre options do not work outback.

Then on the way to Lawn Hill we lost the front left door moulding, which then allowed more dust to enter the cabin than we had hoped for.

Although not a ‘trip spoiler’ the reduced fuel tank range (now only 55l because 10l has been sacrificed for the Adblue tank – which is not available outback!) resulted in a ned to carry spare diesel, and top-up in every town.

Regrettably it is not possible to fit a ‘roo bar’ to the DS, and we had two whacks, but no serious damage. We only drive during the day, so take no unnecessary risks.

On the way back we noticed that all the tyres were very badly worn – with only 18,000 kms on the clock – turns out that the rough roads had ‘changed’ the toe-in and the tyres were scrubbing/chipping off. Have had to replace with four General Grabber AT3s.

And the rattles in the door panels and thumping on the corrugations were deafening – turns out that the exhaust system hits the chassis when the going gets tough.

During this trying adventure, the Touareg did not miss a beat, and I was not allowed to forget it!

Under controlled urban offroading the DS is magnificent, but beware when the going gets rough!

Having said all this, it was a fantastic trip – brilliant birding, great experiences, and lots of fun.
 
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