Took the DS on to the sand

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ksu499
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Took the DS on to the sand

Post by ksu499 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:13 pm

We took our annual trip to the North Carolina Outer Banks the week before Labor Day, and I thought that after 1900 road miles this would be a good opportunity to take the DS off the pavement. All told, I probably did 120 miles or so of sand driving, Sand conditions ranged from hard packed where the tide had recently retreated (note: make sure you have a tide table as there were places where you could see the high tide line was right up against the dunes. I use an iPhone app) to fluffy and soft. At one point I had to come to a dead stop in a large area of fluffy soft sand when a couple of dogs ran in front of us. I was able to roll to a stop pretty quickly without actually braking, and was a little concerned (the tires were sunk a little ways into the sand) about starting up again but I had no trouble. No need to get out the Treds.

I was running on the OEM Pirelli Verdi Plus All-Season highway tread tires, aired down to 18 lbs. Terrain response system was set for sand and DSC was off. This experience got me to thinking about tires. On sand you want to float, not dig in. An AT tire is going to want to dig, which you really don't want. I got to thinking that if your driving consists of paved roads and beaches/dunes, maybe a highway traction all-season tire is the way to go. And then I found this video to back up my thinking:

I ran mostly in 3rd gear. The DS would occasionally knock itself down to 2nd.

A little more running ground clearance would have been helpful. I was worried about thsoe little fin-like things in front of the front tires but they came through just fine. What I did manage to do is to partially tear off the plastic fairing underneath the engine/gearbox. Looks like a Rival 6mm engine skid plate is in my future. I'm not going to pay for a new plastic one. Who is the preferred Rival provider? I can't find one in the US.

I'm glad the dealer threw in the rubber floor mats/cargo area mats. Much easier to get the sand out.

4x4 vs AWD: the only vehicle I saw having trouble was a Hyundi SUV of some variety. I'm sure it's a cheap AWD system. A couple of Subaru Foresters were doing fine. I know there is some argement about whether the DS is 4x4 or AWD, but as a Jeep driver since 1988, it acts more like 4X4.

Where are the Discovery Sports? On a round trip from Northern Virginia to the NC Outer Banks and back, I didn't see another one. On the sand and on the OBX roadways Grand Cherokees and 4 door Wranglers were everywhere. Especially 4 door Wranglers. That thing is a cash
cow for Fiat-Chrysler. At OBX I did see a couple of Disco IIs and an LR3 or LR4.

ripped under-engine fairing.jpg

Tore the plastic fairing bulldozing sand

on beach.JPG

At the VA/NC state line. The pavement is 15 miles away.

2019 Discovery Sport HSE
2001 Jeep Cherokee
Arlington, VA USA


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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by dghdgh » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:37 pm

Great post.


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Mamil
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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by Mamil » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:29 am

Agree with everything you said. I had BFG A/Ts but they were too stiff a sidewall and too aggressive a tread for the beach, so I sold them and now back to Scorpion Verde. The road tyres 'spread' much better at medium pressures to give a larger contact patch and float over the soft sand. The BFGs would dig themselves in. Only thing I worry about is the sidewalls on a few sharp rocks on the way onto the beach, but just need to drive carefully and pick the line. I have the 4mm Rival skid plate and it does absorb the punishment much better than the plastic original. I also remove the air deflectors and front valance to expose the recovery point before I go on the beach, it's only a five minute job and better than trying to do it when already bogged!
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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by ksu499 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:17 pm

Mamil, thanks for the comments. Yes, one of the first things I did upon arriving at our beach house was to remove the front recovery point fairing because I knew people would pretty quickly want to to drive up the beach and go see the feral horses of Carova Beach. I discovered the damaged plastic under-engine panel while I was putting the recovery point fairing back on as we were getting ready to drive back to the real world at the end of the week. I'd like to find whomever thought that recovery point arrangement was a good idea and slap them with a snatch strap. Jeep just puts them out on the front and sometimes paints them red.

I thought about figuring out how to take the air deflectors off, but they seem pretty flexible and they came through undamaged. For future reference, how do they come off?

Is there any meaningful difference, in your opinion, between the 4mm plate and the 6mm plate, other than 2mm?

For a little extra ground clearance, have you, or anyone else, thought about the Scorpion Verde in 235/70r18? It's 31 inches in diameter as opposed to 29 inches for the 235/60r18?. The extra inch would be nice, but would they fit w/o rubbing? I just chatted with tirerack.com and they don't know.

Close to two weeks later and I'm still finding little piles of sand in the driveway under the DS. I think another undercarriage wash is a plan for this weekend.
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2001 Jeep Cherokee
Arlington, VA USA


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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by Mamil » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:38 pm

Yes I was going to mention about pressure washing the underside, but forgot! Sand seems to get trapped in lots of places, and I'd hate to think about the corrosion from the salt longer term.
Yes, that recovery point is awkward to get to, and too small for a decent sized shackle, luckily I've not needed to use it in anger.
The wind deflectors come off pretty easy, just two screws and a push-in type clip each.
Haven't tried any larger tyres, and don't like to mess with the standard specs too much as I've heard the drivetrain on these things is a bit 'sensitive' to non-standard changes. That's why I wouldn't consider a spring lift.
Can't comment on the difference between the 4mm & 6mm plate, but the 4mm has done fine for me, has a few gouges on it from where I've bumped rocks. Being ally rather than steel it deforms which I prefer because that absorbs the impact rather than transmit it through the chassis, and it won't rust when it inevitably gets scratched up.
SE TD4, MY 2016.5, 110kw/150bhp 2.2 PSA Engine, Fuji White/Ebony, Oz towbar, xenon pack. Delivered 25th June 2016, Perth Western Australia.


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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by PedroT » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:03 pm

Sounds like you lads need a Defender!!
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ksu499
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Re: Took the DS on to the sand

Post by ksu499 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:31 am

HA! I just started paying for this one! If I get serious I still have the 2001 Jeep Cherokee with the steel skid plates and the 2 inch lift. But it's a 6 hour drive to the beach house and when you've driven 6 hours in an 18 y.o. Jeep, you know it. But the DS is a Land Rover and by God they're going to live up their reputation. :-)
2019 Discovery Sport HSE
2001 Jeep Cherokee
Arlington, VA USA


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