Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand" - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    XC60 HDC and Engine Braking

    As explained in the review thread, the XC60 has user-selectable Hill Decent Control, similar to that implemented in the LR2.

    There are important differences though, in terms of availability.

    Where on the Freelander 2 it worked in any gear, and the default speed could be adjusted by tapping the +/- buttons of the cruise control, in the Volvo it is dedicated to "crawling" only.

    It can only be selected when the transmission is in manual mode 1st gear. It works well, and literally slows the car down to a walking pace.

    As an excercise, I thought it would be useful to know how well the engine braking then works - with HDC disabled - as frankly, the HDC is simply too slow for general use.

    So, on the way back home from Port Nolloth we stopped over at the Red Sands Lodge 10km west of Kuruman. Great place, nice trail, good accommodation - will report in more detail elsewhere.

    The video below was shot with a dashcam integrated with a Garmin GPS, so is somewhat interfered with by reflections on the windshield from inside the car. Also, it was shot at 6:30 this morning with the sun just up, which does not help either.

    Up to the concrete landing the speed was controlled via the brake pedal, but after that, purely engine braking: 1st gear, manual.

    The revs stabilized at 4000 rpm, with the car topping out at around 33km/h at the bottom of the concrete tracks (calculated from gear ratios and wheel diameter). The speed drop following, was due to the terrain leveling out. I have tried this again, this time down a gravel pass in the Cederberg. In second gear there appears to be no braking, but as soon as 1st is selected, something changes - possibly a friction band on the torque converter output - which limits the revs to 4000rpm. But the engine noise becomes intrusive, so back to auto, modulating the brake pedal.

    This time, a little fast, but given decent enough terrain, useable.

    https://youtu.be/7JK_ID08axo
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/05/05 at 11:03 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Pirelli Scorpion ATR

    Although the tyres were deflated to 1.5 bar at Die Plaat, this is not really noticeable when stationary. See below:

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    The video however, shows how the tyre moulds around obstacles when presented with harder terrain. These tyres work really well.

    https://youtu.be/rA7ceG0l450
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/01/04 at 09:10 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    This is the problem with low profile tyres.
    Kevin
    2016 VW Polo Vivo 1.4
    2014 Mitsubishi Outlander (wife's car).
    1969 Series IIa 109 station wagon (Chev 3800 engine) Sold

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    The effect of larger tyres on fuel consumption

    In summary: Tyre size went up from 235/55 R19 to 255/55 R19. The contact area therefore increased by 255/235 = 8.5%. But probably more importantly, the tyre compound changed from a low-rolling resistance to a softer AT formulation.

    When the car was delivered on the original tyres, it was from Polokwane to Pretoria, so a pretty flat 260km at a very constant speed contributed to a low overall consumption - at the pump - of 11.13km/l (8.9l/100km).

    The next tank was mostly commuting and the odd trail run trip beyond Hartebeespoort dam and back, which then dropped to 10.53km/l, which was more realistic in my usage.

    Then the tyres were changed.

    Over the next 5778km (holiday) the consumption increased to 9.78km/l. The trip did include 3x sand drive and one rocky game drive trails, and in further mitigation, the 500km stretch between Pretoria and Tom's Place (just beyond Bloemfontein) delivered a consumption of 10.6km/l on that tank.

    A 3% correction was made to the pump reading, as due to the 3% larger diam/circumference of the tyres, the car is now covering that percentage more distance than indicated. The odometer distance is picked off somewhere - probably transmission? - but the gearing has been calculated to be correct with OEM tyres.

    On the long open road stretches - where good consumption could be expected - the ambient temperature was between 35 and 38 from around 10 am on each travel day, so the increased fuel consumption should rather be attributed to the fact that the A/C was working hard to cool the inside of the car to 22C. If some refrigeration expert could assist with a BTU calculation linking that temperature delta to the internal volume of an SUV, and converting that to a kW figure required from the engine, this may be useful.

    Anyway, the real question is: Should one do something about this?

    I still have the original tyres. If I now buy another set of used 4x 19" Volvo rims - does not have to be the same design - from a scrapyard, the wheels could be swopped for town vs country driving without too much effort.

    What would the saving be?

    At 20000km annually and an increased fuel consumption of say 1l/100km, the total additional fuel used would be 200l for the year. At a cost of say, R15/l, that would amount to R3000 pa.

    I have not seen any Volvo rims - even used - for that price anywhere. Maybe I do not know where to look, so PLEASE! If you know of the availability of ANY design Volvo XCwhatever 19" rims at less than that kind of price, please post here.

    So the return on fuel cost will be amortized over 4 years. Then you break even, and start saving.

    Is it worth the expense and/or effort?
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    After some intensive research - OK, I googled a bit - on a number of articles on the effect of A/C usage on fuel consumption, I came - among other wild claims - across the following statement:

    The SAE (Society for Automotive Engineers) found that running an air conditioner in an automobile decreased gas mileage by 5 to 10%.

    This means that the jury is still out on how much of an effect a moderately increased - one size/profile - tyre size has on fuel consumption, and whether it even matters.

    To prove/disprove this for the present case, the same original tyre route would have to be covered on a similarly cool day - temperature not above 24C - for verification.

    This will happen sometime in the future.

    In the meantime, the same article which quotes the above SAE statement, also suggests the following:

    With that in mind, it’s probably best to do your driving in the early morning or later at night when possible. This is when the day is (usually) cooler. Driving with the A/C off and windows up is the most fuel efficient way to operate your automobile.


    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/01/18 at 12:19 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    With regards to AC usage...

    My Insight's fuel consumption sat at 5.8l/100km driving with the Eco mode on in temperate weather.

    However in the last while we've been seeing temps 37 to 40 degrees and I've switched the Eco mode off (makes ac more effective as well) and I'm sitting at 7l/100km on the last tank.
    Current: 2013 Honda Insight Hybrid CVT
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    2005 Volvo XC70 2.5T Geartronic

    SWAMBO: 2011 Volvo XC60 D5 AWD Geartronic

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    That sounds reasonable.

    I have no proof of this, but would think that a compressor driven by a smaller capacity engine would result in a bigger consumption increase than on a larger engine.

    This should be the case when similarly sized compressors are used as you are utilizing more of the "free" power of the smaller engine.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    I had to do a Centurion to Benoni return trip this morning. A total distance of 108km was covered, but including driving since fill-up yesterday, just over 140km, which includes one return commute trip between Lyttelton and Faerie Glen. The route was as follows, starting top left.

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    I kept the airconditioning off while driving, but blipped it on sporadically on the way back at traffic lights - it was getting warm - most of which were red on Great North and Atlas Rd.

    The indicated fuel consumption was 8.7l/100km, compared with my best 8.5l/100km (also indicated) open road delivery trip (with OEM tyres) 4 posts up.

    If the 3% diameter increase is compensated for, the fuel consumption is actually marginally better with the larger tyres. This of course is practically not possible due to the higher rolling resistance, but it is safe to say - in this case - that increased fuel consumption is attributable mostly towards the use of airconditioning, rather than the increase in tyre size, if at all.

    Of course, if you increase the tyre size into Mickey Thompson territory, then it would be a different matter due to larger footprint, heavier wheels, taller gearing as well as increased drag due to the taller vehicle.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Double post.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/02/17 at 10:32 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    KONI rear dampers

    One down, one to go. Only replaced the left one last night. 2nd one done.

    Installation was a doddle. If you discount the time taken to get the wheel off and on and the cleaning of the bits which are refitted to the new damper, 20 minutes.

    Damper Removal:

    • Chock the front wheel on the side you are working
    • Raise the car and remove the rear wheel
    • Insert a second jack underneath the transverse link, more or less below the spring. This is because the damper end limit is currently holding the suspension assembly to the car bodywork against the pressure of the spring. If you undo either end of the existing damper, the suspension will drop further, and who knows where all your bits are at the time.
    • Undo and remove the lower M12 bolt - 18mm socket required.
    • Undo and remove the two upper M8 bolts - 10mm socket required
    • Slide damper out.


    Removal of dust cover and upper attachment:

    • Clamp the damper vertically with the top bracket between the vice jaws, and the body of the damper hanging below. Take care when clamping, using preferably a carpenter's vice or soft jaws.
    • Loosen the shaft nut with a 13mm socket, as it is locked with some translucent green compound - not Loctite. Half a turn is fine - after this the shaft also starts rotating.
    • Change the clamping position to the damper bush between the vice jaws, with the body vertically above it. This should provide access to the top bracket at a comfortable working level
    • Place an offset 13mm ring spanner over the nut
    • Hold the machined flat of the top of the strut shaft with a small shifter or 5/6mm open spanner and
    • Remove the nut.
    • Pull the plastic dust sleeve off the shaft.
    • Clean the sleeve, bracket and bolts


    Installation of above on new damper:

    • Clamp new strut in the vice as above
    • Slide the dust sleeve over shaft
    • Place the top bracket over shaft and fit spring washer and new nut - supplied with damper - and torque to 20Nm - as per supplied pamphlet.
    • Re-install the damper on car and torque bolts as required.


    Below some images:

    Comparison. The new damper is 5mm larger in diameter than the OEM one. The shaft is also marginally longer.

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    Top Mount with screws

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    Lower mount, showing 2nd jack support point

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    All done. You can't really see it unless you know where to look. It is not like the bling of a red Brembo brake caliper viewed through a minimally-spoked wheel.

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    With only one new damper installed it is not possible to give an opinion of the ride, unless you have calibrated buttocks with the left one now reporting a softer ride than the right one.

    At least the ride is not any worse and the strut did not collapse on the way to work .
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/02/21 at 10:28 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Mudflaps
    An accessory, rather than a mod, installed more for preventing sharp stones thrown up by the left front wheel, potentially puncturing the left rear tyre on gravel roads.

    Do they work?

    At the front, perhaps a bit small, but then, really designed for 235 width tyres rather than 255. The wider tyre throws road debris past them onto the doors, as per mud spatter pattern below. But not too badly.

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    The rear ones work well, keeping the car clean and should also be kind to the windscreens of cars following close behind.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Chin Protection
    Visually comparing the front end of the Volvo with that of the Freelander 2 in passing, leads to a number of observations, some of which are false. This realization only becomes apparent once one has the two cars side-by-side and can do comparative measuring and analysis of how then were you fooled by this "optical illusion".

    Seeing as - for a few months - I had exactly that - an LR2 and XC60 side-by-side in my garage - I can offer the following clarification of these facts and myths:

    • The Freelander 2 has more ground clearance than the Volvo: No, it does not. A standard LR2 has 20mm less clearance than a standard XC60
    • The front overhang of the Volvo is a lot more than the Freelander 2: No, it is identical, measured from the centre of the front wheel.
    • The approach angle of the Volvo is worse than that of the Freelander 2: Yes. In an effort to streamline the nose of the former, the radiator had to sit lower. This prevented the chin of the car being swept upwards as early/sharply as that of the Freelander 2. This is also the parameter which gives rise to the previous two illusions.

    Ok, so the XC60 is going to dig it's nose into the ground leveling out from a steep descent earlier than the LR2. Well, how bad is it, really?

    Due to the much stiffer suspension, reduced upward wheel travel and lighter engine of the newer car, there is a lot less downward movement of the nose as the mass of the car shifts forward on descents as well as the dip of the nose when braking.

    So in part, quite well compensated for.

    However, in an effort to reduce the chances of scrape marks or outright replacement of the plastic cover under the nose - optimistically labelled "Protecting Plate" by Volvo -

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    a set of sliders was designed, manufactured and fitted in order to improve this outcome. Should the chin of the car now suffer from ground rush, it will skid on the sled bars and lift the nose - within suspension limits - and allow it to get through the obstacle with no/limited damage.

    That's the theory, anyway.

    Take note, this will not help if jaaging point-blank into an obstacle. It is for starrag-starrag applications.

    Here's the process and what the final product looks like:

    Starting off with paper templates of the chin profile, a pool noodle model, upgrade to wooden model, updating a Visio drawing as you go through many iterations.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    After a dozen iterations or so, export the Visio drawing as a dxf file and get quotes for water jet cutting vs machining. The former was exactly twice the cost of the latter.

    Supply an Al block of the dimensions above for machining. More than half of the material ends up as shavings. Jolly nice job done by Shaun Nagy of MSquare, Hennopspark. I like those guys, because they understand what I want, and do exactly that. A rare quality, these days.

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    Integrate the above parts with the rest of the sled - made at home from 300 x 60 x 16 sections of 6082 (marine grade) Al - and finish off.

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    Then install. A bit of an understatement, as it took at least a dozen "final" installations to check as well as having to continuously trim/adapt until it finally fitted as envisaged.

    The two images below shows it firstly at eye level, then at knee level. Discreet and unobtrusive.

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    Here is the complete assembly, showing how it is attached to the sump guard.

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    The plate in front is from the Freelander 2, shown for comparative purposes.

    The reason why the LR2 part is so much smaller is because it fits inside the engine subframe, where in the XC60, it fits over it. Installed, the two folds would line up.

    From here the LR2 bumper curves up sharply, where the other keeps going at the same angle.

    On the car

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    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/07/24 at 10:13 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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  15. #33
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Further offroad evaluation - Karoo

    Over the past Easter weekend we visited my friend Charl in the Karoo. Charl farms on De Put, which is roughly 70km equidistant from Beaufort West, Aberdeen and Murraysburg, at the foot of the Oorlogspoort Mountains.

    The Sarelsrivier runs through the farm, and you cross it to get to the homestead. This is usually not an issue, as being semi-desert - declared officially as a drought disaster area a few years back already - the riverbed is mostly dry.

    Except when they have some decent rain. We have witnessed previously in the same period an impassable torrent - which would sweep your car away - when it rains around 6 inches in the mountains. Ja, I know, these farmers and the metric system....

    It is then best to phone from other side the river. As Charl is expecting you, he would be on the ridge of the house roof - in order to get a signal - just in case you phone. Yes, that remote a farm.

    He will then come out the 6kms with the tractor and transport the passengers with minimal luggage through the river.

    The car stays behind till the next morning, when you go and have a look if the water has subsided sufficiently to drive through. Usually it is still knee deep, so you go home with only some additional luggage and go check in the afternoon again.

    By then you should be able to get through, but you still go check with the tractor, as by now the road is so stuffed up by the tractor itself that you may need a tow at places if you drive a normal sedan.

    Anyway, this time nothing as dramatic happened. We did go for a water-point inspection with Charl's aftermarket suspension/offroad bumper Hilux and crossed the dry riverbed along the route. The descent was quite steep and the ascent even more so, selecting low range.

    I was on the back of the bakkie at the time and it looked severe, but I was wondering if the Volvo could do it.

    The next morning I went off on a recce run to see from eye-level how challenging it would be:

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    The river crossing occurs at the midway point - 5.5kms.

    Following the run I was somewhat less concerned, but still wary, as it looked like the car could stick its nose into the ground on the descent.

    I however offered that we do the water inspection run in my car the next day.

    Here is how it went: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eunU...ature=youtu.be. It is shot at 1080p, so set the playback resolution to this level for optimal viewing.

    I am completely happy with what the car can do in the present state of modification.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  16. #34
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Where did the nut go?

    Possibly of more general use than this Volvo case where it manifested - to anyone who travels really poor gravel roads and has bolt-on equipment attached to their vehicle.

    After exclusive gravel travel - except for the tarred bits on Katbakkies and Peerboomskloof passes between Algeria (Cederberg) and Middelpos - a persistent knock developed at the rear of the car soon after we got to the top of the Gannaga pass, a few kms short of our overnight destination.

    Attachment 528686

    We pressed on, but once parked in front of the Middelpos Hotel, I checked the rear muffler, as I expected one of the hanger rubbers having torn, causing the knock. But everything was fine.

    The next morning, 200m outside Middelpos on the onwards journey, the knock was so bad, I had to stop right there and have a proper look. What a surprise.

    The right rear damper had come undone at the top where it attaches to the body, and the piston had completely retracted into the housing, leaving the car at the mercy of an undamped spring, except for the linking of the anti-rollbar. Like so:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    We limped back to Middelpos, parked in front of the garage, jacked the car, removed the wheel for a look-see.

    The upper bracket was removed and inside the spring washer was found, but the nut was just completely gone.

    The mechanic at the garage - Middelpos, she's no beeg - was not in yet, but miraculously I found on the back of his bakkie parked in the yard a brand new lawnmower grade M8 bolt and nut. As I was only interested in the nut, the grade did not bother me that much.

    Next a 13mm spanner was required to refit the new nut, and this I lent off one of the 3 motorcyclists - the only other guests at the hotel - on a road trip from the Strand to Richtersveld on 250 and 350cc bikes. Thanks, guys! In no time we were on the road again - took longer to remove and refit the wheel.

    As background to this - described in Post #30 above - I had recently replaced the Sachs rear dampers with Koni versions. Part of this swopping process is the transfer of the upper bracket onto the new damper piston, with specific torquing instructions. And this is exactly what I did: drop the spring washer over the threaded stud, spin on the new nut (supplied with the damper) and torque to 20Nm.

    I will remove the strut again to install a proper nut and also inspect the threaded part of the stud, as the only cause I can think of is that the stud is not fully threaded to the piston shoulder, causing the torque reading to come from trying to torque the nut onto this unthreaded part of the stud.

    This would be easy to fix by just adding another/thicker washer.

    However, I will discard the spring washer completely and replace with Nordlock washers. That will be the end of any vibration-related loosening of that nut.

    A Nordlock washer actually comes in a pair with fine serrations on the outside - which grips the components you are connecting - and flatter, larger teeth on the mating inner surfaces which lock the washers together. You effectively have to stretch the bolt in order to undo them. Here is what they look like compared to a spring washer:

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    Refer to the following video to compare the effectiveness of this locking method to any thing else available: Spring washer, Loctite, Nylok - https://www.nord-lock.com/insights/v...on-test-video/
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/05/20 at 09:32 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

  17. #35
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Just when I thought I'm talking to myself...

    I received the response below from Down Under. I'm sharing it here to show what their softroader issues are - from this reader, very similar to ours. And as an excuse to show some XC60 images.

    Hope you don't mind, Klemen .


    As previously said, so far I don’t have any modifications on XC60, apart from accessories like Volvo roof rack, Rhino Roof Box and Window Socks.

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    My background is partly in mechanical engineering, so I am very curious and keen to learn car maintenance and when taking a car to mechanic I always stick around and ask questions. I am originally from Slovenia (Europe) but now live in Brisbane Australia, therefore am new to sand and sand driving. I was quite surprised to find how enthusiastic fellow Queenslanders are about their beloved sand islands: Fraser Island being the biggest sand island in the world, then Stradbroke and Bribie Island.

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    I am somehow a rebel when it comes to having a “proper” 4WD just for a week or two of sand driving per year, and found XC60 to be very capable soft roader with rare 50/50 automatic differential lock and ground clearance better than Toyota Prado. Based on my conversations with 4WD owners, they rarely engage low range on sand which make sense since low range was designed for climbing and not sand driving. So far I have high hopes for XC60 if I can safely lift it between 3.5 and 5cm. I decided for same tyre width of 235 but will go with ratio of 70 instead of 65, most likely AT’s of 60/40 or 50/50 like your Pirelli’s. That alone will lift car approx. 1.2cm, without loosing any shock travel.

    So far I haven’t found any higher springs with longer shocks and am afraid of potential bottoming out when using spring spacers. As said I googled that XC60 shocks should have a bit more than 16cm of travel (both, up and down), and car currently have approx. 8.5cm up shock travel left. So if 5cm spacers are used, there is legally not enough shock space left and its not safe anyways (3.5cm).

    Any suggestions from your experience are welcome!
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/05/14 at 06:49 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Roof Bars
    As mentioned in the original Review thread, the aim was from the start to get a set of roof bars for the Volvo. The car is sufficiently spacious inside for two people's luggage, food and camping gear for a week expedition but I have become convinced that it is best to carry fuel outside rather than inside the vehicle. This is for the - unlikely, but possible - eventuality of a collision or roll-over - and for this roof bars were required.

    I had a set of Whispbar Flush Bars imported by EGR Auto - they were out of stock at the time - and this finally arrived last week, two months after order. Half of this time it was stuck at the local customs office awaiting more paperwork.

    The cost of R4500 - compared to the Thule equivalent at R6000 - still seems expensive, but after seeing the adjustment mechanism and quality of the assembly, it is very reasonably priced. Not only is the bar of an aero profile, it is also curved along its length, so follows the roof left/right curvature. And it is very quiet. Not "invisibly" so, but no whistling.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The foot pack has a ratchet mechanism allowing length adjustment of 60mm at each end of the bar. After fitting, this mechanism is locked, making the whole assembly mechanically rigid. This adjustment capability is required as many vehicles' roof bars are not parallel, but tapers closer together towards the rear, requiring bars of two different lengths. Through bars do not have this issue.

    I have checked the front bar in the position where the sliding glass panel protrudes the furthest above the roof - in the flip-up position - and the glass clears it, as well as everywhere else.

    However, for my application, I want to drop the load in between the two bars closer to the roof, and not on top, as it is usually done. This allows the top of the load to sit up to 50mm lower, reducing drag and lowering the CoG. This meant that the glass roof may not protrude beyond the front bar in the fully open position, as it would then hit the installed tray. The next image shows a closeup of this position:

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    This is the furthest the front bar can be mounted forward to have the rear edge of the sliding glass panel stop flush with the rear edge of the bar.

    Next, some engineering was required.

    The shortest the rear bar could be adjusted, was a length which would fit just behind the shown front bar. The bar therefore had to be disassembled down to the Al part only, clamped in the milling vice with soft jaws - slit hosepipe worked well - and 6mms milled off each end (1mm cut at a time) - basically sacrificing the max length adjustment at each end, leaving 9 more positions. An additional latching slot still has to be machined to get it back to 10 positions, but towards the inboard side of the present adjustment range.

    Only after the above modification could the bar be installed where it is shown below - just behind the GPS antenna. It also nicely clears the open boot:

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    So in the end, the max gap between the two bars was as below:

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    which is insufficient to drop a 20l jerrycan lengthwise in between.

    So
    • either two jerry cans have to be mounted widthwise - either side of the GPS antenna or
    • a complete rethink of the concept has to be done - the original intention was to actually get 3x jerry cans on the roof - a second tank of fuel effectively or
    • stick to the original concept, move both bars to ahead of the antenna and pull the glass roof fuse for the duration of the expedition.

    Probably the last option mentioned .
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/06/23 at 07:47 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Jerry Tray Design: Interim Report
    Background
    As explained in the Roof Rack post above, the primary purpose for this addition was to be able to carry additional fuel externally for a Namib Desert expedition, specifically the East/West crossing from Solitaire to Walvis Bay.

    Previously – 2006 – I had done the Luderitz/Saddle Hill trip in a 2001 Subaru Forester. This was the only of the various destinations possible in that vehicle due to fuel and accommodation being available at the destination, as with 4 passengers, luggage, sleeping bags, 25l of water and a bag of wood, there was no space for either a tent or extra fuel.

    The next trip will be in a much larger vehicle with only 2 people, allowing sufficient space inside for everything, including a tent and fuel.


    Plan A
    I have gone off the “carrying fuel inside” plan somewhat – although this worked very well for me in the Freelander 2.

    Observing how fuel is normally carried externally on typical expedition/overland vehicles, what bugged me of the status quo, was that Jerry cans are usually tied to a roof rack vertically: either upright or in some cases on the long end opposite the cap.

    This makes for a rather tall installation which makes you inadvertently duck when entering anywhere with a height restriction – even your own garage at home – and also adds to the drag as well as raise the CoG.

    On a pickup/double cab type vehicle this is probably irrelevant as the vehicle is already tall and topheavy, even prior to equipping the roof rack. But SUVs have generally good aerodynamics, which one would like to retain, if possible.

    From previous experience, if a jerry can leaks, it is usually caused by a deformed cap hinge, not by a damaged seal, although you would exchange that first. Chances are good that it would still leak.

    However, once you have reshaped the hinge so that the cap seats parallel to the mouth of the pouring channel prior to locating the locking hooks, it does not leak, even when upside down.

    And so a concept of laying the Jerry can flat on the large side, sprung to mind.


    Plan B
    Even though this was in essence a customized solution, a Volvo-only concept was to be avoided to allow transfer to future vehicles - or have my son use it on his next trip. He has already used the adapted LR2 spare wheel carrier on his XV for a recent Richtersveld tour .

    So the installation was to use only a set of crossbars to affix it to the roof, requiring very little change to accommodate practically any profile, from aero to rectangular.

    Measuring up the XC60 showed that it was possible to fit 3x 20l jerry cans side-by-side across the width of the roof. A choice had to be made between a single tray holding all three Jerry cans or rather a modular design consisting of three individual trays, each holding its own can. One could then carry just one or two cans utilizing the unused space for other items.

    The latter was preferred and while at it, the design was expanded so that the tray could easily be converted to carry a 10l jerry can instead of 20l, if required.

    Seeing as the object was to reduce the height of the total installation, the tray was also designed to drop in between the two crossbars to save an additional 50mm of headroom.

    To allow the roof bars to be positioned as far back as possible when carrying 20 + 20 + 10l of fuel – in order to get the mass close to the rear axle as well as the crossbar feet close to roof pillars - a pear-shaped cut-out was made in the base of the tray to accommodate the navigation antenna on the rear of the roof. This allows the central tray to drop over the antenna with a 10l Jerry can mounted just ahead of it. If the full complement of 60l fuel is required, the position of the rear crossbar must however be moved to just forward of the antenna.

    The initial prototype – which will end up as scrap – looks like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tray Installation
    The tray has a receptacle at either end which fishtails over the crossbars.

    The rear of the tray is slid over the rear bar from the front, then the front crossbar is positioned to clamp the other end into place. The crossbars are then locked to the rails. No other fasteners are used.

    To prevent damage to the crossbars and prevent rattles, a section of 1.5mm rubber sheeting is fitted inside the V of the fishtail prior to installation.

    During the installation a strip of scrap carpet is placed directly below the tray to prevent scratches on the roof or glass.


    Jerry Can Fitting
    The lowest of the three jerry can handles locates in a U-channel attached to the front/bottom of the tray and the rear end then swings in together with a sliding lock plate, which is secured with a patio door lock.


    Status

    The above prototype is now being refined and detailed.

    You can only design to a point, following which an in-the-metal model is required to evaluate. There is always something you have missed when it comes to fitting. Also – and a bonus - once you see what you have now, new ideas spring to mind, which can then be tested/implemented.

    For this reason the prototype is made from 1.6mm mild steel sheet which is cheap, easy to bend at home in a machine vice if angles are not optimal and also to trim with a 1mm angle grinder blade where required.

    Issues picked up to date and in the process of being fixed:
    • Screws holding the various pieces together, should have their heads inaccessible for security purposes
    • Find a more robust solution for the prototype PE lock plate
    • Reduce the folded lip dimensions
    • Tray assembly at 3.5 kg too heavy for theoretical roof bar limit of 75kg

    Ultimately, the trays will be folded from 3mm structural Al, with all the other components from C304 stainless steel and bits of standard U-channel and angle Al extrusions. So no paint to get damaged accidentally.

    A second round of the non-tray components have been sent out for manufacture in the final material and thickness.

    Once this comes back, the tray design can be finalized.

    So, now we wait.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/07/25 at 01:01 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Jerry Tray Design: Part 2

    What’s new?
    The first locking part set has been manufactured from the final material – 2.5mm 304 grade stainless steel. The fit is as hoped for and this part of the design is now complete.

    A hole has been cut in the tray mule to accommodate the NAV antenna and checked for fit.

    Regarding the cutting of the hole: This was somewhat tedious, as the process required drilling 8mm holes at intervals along the inside of the outline, then slitting between the hole centres with an angle grinder.

    Next, some more grinding closer to the outline, but finally, filing out by hand the remaining material. This took a while.

    Prior to this, I did consider the professional alternative - a nibbler. I don’t have one, and the cost of the stand-alone models could not be justified for the occasional use it would be put to.

    But there are drill attachment types. These tend to all look very similar – even identical – but locally Tork Craft/Vermont distributes one with two cutting ends. Typical capacity specs are 2mm material thickness for plastics, 1.8mm for mild steel and 1.2mm for stainless steel.

    The Youtube videos were entertaining to watch. Invariably, a corrugated roof sheet is used as demo, which at 0.5mm, is not representative of the 1.6mm thickness material requiring cutting.

    To show how well it works, the demo uses someone deliberately frightfully unhandy – you would want to stand well back if ever in the presence of such a practitioner - using as reference a pair of tin snips. It is a honed art to exhibit such multi-thumbedness.

    His dexterity makes a remarkable recovery as soon as he picks up the nibbler. See here: https://youtu.be/0LLBTyWFdkk.

    If anyone has ever used one of these attachments on between 1 - 2 mm metal, pse contribute your experience. Do they work? How easy is it to follow a line?

    Anyway, after that digression, solutions to the design issues mentioned in the previous post, were also implemented during this stage.

    • M5 threaded inserts have been pressed into the bracketry clamping the tray to the roof bars. The screws holding the various pieces together are now installed from the inside, making them inaccessible with a jerry can locked into position. This has addressed the security issue, except for when a 10l can is carried, when the rear clamp screws are exposed. Will have to use trick screws here or cover it up.
    • The lock plate is now also made from SS, rather than the prototype HDPE.
    • The tray design has been updated from a 50mm to a 24mm lip.
    • The initial ambition has been downsized from carrying 60l fuel on the roof to 50l, i.e. the central jerry can will be a half-jack. This allows stainless steel to be used for the tray, with the lighter fuel load bringing the overall mass to within the 75kg limit of the roof rails. The weight distribution is now also where it should be – over the rear axle, which makes access from both sides also very convenient when standing on a rear wheel. A bonus is that the installation is now also completely off the sunroof, so if the worst happens, you should end up with a dent only.

    To compensate for the loss of fuel quantity, an initial fit and template has been made to carry two additional 10l jerry cans strapped down inside the boot. That will provide for a full additional tank of fuel to be carried, which is a requirement for the Namib crossing – fuel consumption roughly doubles during the dune driving. This development will be covered in a separate post.

    Next
    The tray design was then updated with a number of additional features:

    • The contouring of the shape to fit the actual jerry can profile. The extra bend stiffened up the tray and also allowed reduction of the "flat" width by 38mm to lighten it up even further.
    • Three sets of slots were added to allow tie-down straps to be fed through the tray. This provides additional structure - it uses the object carried as stiffener, keeping the design light - as well as a method to hold in place a shroud to cover the width of the set of 3 trays.

    The requirement for this feature was realized through test driving with a tray and jerry can in first the central and then an outboard position. In the centre, the wind noise picks up marginally, but in the outside position, it becomes obtrusive. So some form of “aerodynamic” lead-in to direct the wind flow is required for long-term use.

    Once the second tray is done, the two trays will be mounted in the outboard positions and a pattern for the shroud shaped around this. If the tie-down strap concept works and holds down this cover sufficiently, the final product will be from a 4 or 5mm thick Correx sheet. Colour options are white and black.

    If the edges of the cover can be kept from flapping in the wind, this material should be sufficiently structural. We’ll see.

    An additional advantage would be the temperature isolation against solar radiation, provided by the hollow core of the material. The amusing thing is that on the supplier sticker of a jerry can, a warning stipulates to not store the can in direct sunlight. Refer image.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Where else have you ever seen a jerry can mounted? Sounds like CMA.

    • This most-recent tray design was then sent out for manufacture from 1.5mm C304 stainless steel, collected on Friday. It has been verified for form, fit and function, and is very close.

    So the complete evolution went like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Clockwise from top left:
    • A cardboard fruit tray, modified by scissors, carpet knife and a glue gun so a 20l jerry can would just fit
    • This dimension was then used to design a flat cut-out, which after a few Visio iterations and full-size prints, was transferred to a sheet of 4mm Correx, which could be used to check folds, shape and interference
    • Then a 1.6mm "hard copy" was water-jetted from mild steel and further refined to end up
    • as the stainless steel version at the top.


    How it works
    Hook the handle end in the channel

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    With the bottom of the jerry can still raised, insert the locking plate tag into the slot

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    Push the locking plate down, together with the jerry can and secure with the patio door lock

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Installed, showing 2 of 3. The cut-out for the GPS antenna in the tray works as hoped, with no detrimental effect on the navigation system in terms of knowing where it is.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The manufacturing wait is rather frustrating, as this cycle – from sending a dxf file for quotation, to collection - takes around 2 weeks, hampering progress.

    The wait is also expensive, as this two week period is sufficient to ponder the design and think up some new changes, instigating yet another iteration.

    Still, no two of the final trays will be identical, every iteration incorporating some tweaking. E.g., the outermost slots work well for the tie-down strap, but the inner ones, due to the very shallow angle of bend, need to be 5mm wide, rather than the existing 3mm.
    Also, it turned out that where mild steel comes in a 1.6mm thickness - as used in the prototype - stainless steel is "metric" and comes in 1.5mm.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2020/01/09 at 01:15 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Jerry Tray Design: Part 3

    Almost there

    In spite of ordering 2 trays to complete the set, the supplier only made one. This is being rectified presently.

    However, together with the prototype, the racks could finally be populated with three trays abreast and the 2.5 jerry cans installed.

    It looks fit for purpose.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Although it as low profile as it could be, the wind noise was not good. It actually felt as if the additional drag was holding the car back.

    So the fairing design received some attention.

    Fairing Design
    Based on information learnt on a very useful forum post the previous week – thanks for bringing this up, Masterzanshin https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...96#post4191596 – and subsequent forum contributions and conversations, the same design principle as employed by Front Runner on a LR Discovery wind deflector was used, but extended to the top of the jerry can, not just the lower front edge of the carrier.

    The usual Correx was used to prototype. Not much design went into it other than continual refinement of the template until it fitted the roof curvature, then the addition of a windscreen rubber profile from Rubberite. The shape/coverage of the Correx was determined by how much of it I had left. It needs to be replenished prior to the next job.

    The Al strip in the front holds the rubber lip in contact with the roof – theoretically – by looping 4x cable ties around the front roof bar. Getting the cable ties in there with the jerry cans in place – yes, I was lazy - was a bit like performing spinal surgery through the anus, but it finally was tight enough.

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    Testing
    On the first test run all was well until a frightening noise started at 100km/h. Through the glass roof I could see that this was caused by the front tie-down strap resonating.

    Back home, some further refinement was done, including the sticking down of this strap at a number of places along its length with strips of duct tape.

    Some objective form of before/after comparison was needed, and this was provided in the form of a nifty Sound Meter app, which displays the level in dB, both digitally and on an analogue scale, and also provides recording. From reviews, this is apparently quite accurate – within a dB or so from professional meters. Even though it is not calibrated, all that is required in this case is a relative reading. That is the nice thing about working in dBs.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So, first a drive with my wife’s “clean” Opel Meriva as reference. Going at 110 km/h, the app registered 65dB.

    Then this morning the Volvo with cans and fairing on the roof and the strap stuck down - the reading was around 2dB less at the same speed. Morning traffic did not permit a higher speed.

    You can hear that there is more noise than normal, but not obtrusive. Winding up Pink Floyd to 70dB, there is no wind noise at all.

    Hopefully a 120km/h reading can be taken shortly, followed by removal of the fairing and repeat for actual level of improvement.

    Long-term

    Although fine for prototyping and determining the final shape of the fairing, the Correx won’t be sufficiently robust for long term use, especially where the rubber extrusion fits over the edge. The depth of the extrusion is too shallow, easily coming off the edge while handling the fairing.

    Because of the hollow core, the material also collapses at the open edge, compounding the problem above.

    So this part needs to be made of Al, say 2mm, but the availability of a suitable rubber blade with narrower but deeper gap needs to be determined first before the design can be finalized.

    Also, the prototype tray – in the centre – is a few mm wider that the later versions, so final dimensions can only be taken once all 3 trays are of the production variety.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/08/22 at 09:26 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
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    Default Re: Volvo XC60 Translation: The "S" in SUV from "snow" to "sand"

    Jerry Can Protection
    Seeing as the jerry can tray could not be designed as a tight fit around the can - to allow for manufacturing tolerances of both the can and tray - there was a requirement to take up potential play and locate the cans snugly, preventing rattles as well as the chafing of the paint.

    The initial option was a canvas jerry can cover:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    However, the zip-up top would have interfered with the handle clip-in function on the tray - it zips open from the wrong side. It is also rather expensive: R317, which is almost 3/4 the price of a 20l can.

    Browsing, I came across this alternative from Front Runner:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    14 very neatly punched adhesive-backed foam strips, easily applied and very sticky.

    At R85/set, you can't steal it. Especially compared to the US price of $17.94 - marked down to $14.95 - I consider this a local bargain.

    In addition, the delivery service from Front Runner SA (in Fourways) was super snappy. I ordered online Friday midday, and it was delivered at my place of work by 10am Monday. The delivery fee of R107 would not even cover the petrol cost of driving there and back to collect. You also get a tracking number and can follow the parcel progress online.

    For those interested, the part number for the kit is JCFU003.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2019/08/24 at 01:59 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
    180kW/350Nm (1500 - 4800 rpm)

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