New Gears and WOW, 10 mph? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2005, 11:37 PM
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Talking New Gears and WOW, 10 mph?

I just put in my new 4:11 gears and it is (so far ) the best mod I have made. I gained 10mph on the road immediately.

Honestly, its the speedometer that is off now. I'm going the same speed as everyone around me (65mph) but my speedo says 75 mph. Is there an easy fix to the speedo or do I have to have someone recalibrate it? If I plan on going to 35" tires (currently 33's) in the future how close will this bring the speedo to the real speed? Just curious how some of you guys have fixed this minor problem.

Also went wheelin today with the new gears and lockers. This is now a new vehicle with a new heart. Obstacles that I struggled to concur b/4 the change are easily overcome now.
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  #2  
Old December 12th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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David Marchand
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Yes, easy fix. Replace with VDO programmable...
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  #3  
Old December 12th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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David M is right, also if you get yours re-calibrated (don't know if it's even possible with 4.1 gears) you'd have to do it again with the new tires. Get the VDO vision programable.
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  #4  
Old December 12th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Hmmmm, reads 75 at 65 is what 15.4%

35's v. 33's would be a 6% increase, so you'll still be ~!10% off with the 35's.

The Disco ( 4.10's and 32's ) is something like 12% off, but it gives me little math problems to do as I drive across Nebraska to get anywhere interesting

Yeah, I know, the 32's are just sissy tires .... whadya gonna do about it
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  #5  
Old December 14th, 2005, 02:17 AM
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Michael Elliott
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Mike,

I have a 97 D-90 SW just like yours and did the exact same upgrade last month (GBR 4.10 gears with LT285 tires). My speedometer was also exactly 10 mph off at 70 mph after the upgrade. I did a great deal of research and the advice thus far on this thread is exactly what I discovered independently--a VDO programable speedometer is by far the easiest, cheapest, and most versitile solution as it will allow you to recalibrate in the future nomatter what size tire you go to.

The model you will need is the 4 inch "Vision" series, which you can view on the Summit Racing website (www.summitracing.com), among others. The VDO model number is 437155. While it is slightly different looking than the factory unit is fits perfect and works very well. Expect to pay around $125 for this unit. I bought mine at North Hollywood Speedometer here in the LA area and they were very helpfull (www.nhspeedometer.com).

There are a few technical issues involving the installation of the unit, but they are easily overcome if you know what you are dealing with:

1. First, the speedometer system in all 97 NAS D-90s utilize an inductive sending unit from the transfer case. Thus, it is electronic, not cable driven like the 94's and 95's. This is schematic #2, Diagram D, page 2 of the VDO instructions. Again, it uses an inductive sensor--if anyone tells you it is a hall effect sensor or cable they are WRONG.

2. The factory speedometer plug will go directly into the VDO unit but will not work. This is because Land Rover had the factory unit specially configured. This includes the wires to the lights in the unit. This is easy to overcome as long as you understand the color codes. The color codes and VDO conversion are as follows:

Factory wires by color Use New connection to VDO Vision Speedometer
Yellow VSS (inductive sender) Pin #7
Thin Black Lights (-) (Jump to lights, negative)
Black/Red VSS (inductive sender) Pin #8
Thick Black Ground Pin #3
White Ignition Switch Power Pin #4
Red Lights (+) (Jump to lights, positive)

Again, these factory wires are contained in a plug in block that will mate up perfectly to the new speedometer, however if the wires are not converted as noted above the new speedometer will not work. The factory setup also uses pins #5 & #1 to light the gauge, whereas the VDO model has separate spade terminals directly on the back of each of the two lights. Given this situation the new speedometer can be connected in one of two ways:

1. Pry out the factory spade connectors and reinsert them in the proper pin # of the factory plug block as noted above and then separately "jump" the light wires as shown in the VDO instructions; or

2. Simply fabricate six jumper wires with matching spade terminals from the factory plug block to the appropriate pin #'s on the new VDO speedometer as noted above. Since this has to be done for the lights anyway I chose this method.

Since I just did this conversion I took a few photographs in case anyone wanted to see what it looks like. Let me know if you want to see any of these.

The new speedometer then will need to be calibrated per the instructions, but this is really easy to do and the speedometer will work great.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any more info. on this subject.

Michael

Follow-up Post:

Ahhh!!! My wiring/color code chart did not come out right. It looked great when I cut and pasted it into the E-mail but looks horrible now. Sorry about that. I will try again tomorrow when I have a little more time to mess with it....


Michael
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  #6  
Old December 14th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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Thanks a bunch Michael. I would be interested in the photos as well. If it is easier to send the photos by email you can send them to: mdmccallum@bresnan.net

Thanks again,

Mike

PS: How do you like the change with the gears? I'm in hog heaven. This is a whole new experience as far as I can tell. It just idels up things that I had to gas up b/4 the change. I don't know if its mostly the gears or the Tru-trac's but I'm impressed none the less.
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  #7  
Old December 14th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Actually you need to calculate the difference in circumference of the tires, not diameter, when figuring how these things will affect speedometer/odometer readings.
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  #8  
Old December 14th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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Shootin' in the dark here, but I seem to recall some "constant" to derive circumferance from diameter, no?

Do the calculation and see if the PERCENTAGE change isn't related to the diameter too...... enquiring minds
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  #9  
Old December 14th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Umm basic math here, lol circumference = Diameter * pi You can do the calculations with either, but most tire manufacturers give you the number of revaluations per mile to figure stuff like this out.
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  #10  
Old December 14th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Michael Elliott
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Mike,

Below are the photos I mentioned last night. They include both before and after as well as side by side comparisions of the two speedometers. In addition there are several of the wiring and the back of each unit so you can see exactly what I was referring to in my previous post. I used black and red wires and yellow and blue spade connectors to jump the factory plug to the new VDO speedometer because that is all I had at the time--thus the color coding of my jumpers is not relevant. Just make sure that you jump the plug to the new speedometer as follows:

Factory Wire Color----------------- Use-------------------------- New Connection to VDO Vision Speedometer

Yellow-------------------------------VSS (inductive sender)--------------------------Pin #7
Thin Black---------------------------Lights (-)-------------------------------- Jump to both lights, negative
Black/Red---------------------------VSS (inductive sender)------------------------- Pin #8
Thick Black-------------------------Ground--------------------------------------------Pin #3
White--------------------------------Ignition switch power----------------------------Pin #4
Red----------------------------------Lights (+)-------------------------------- Jump to lights, positive

Again, I hope this helps. Let me know if you want better resolution photos. I wanted to post the first set here so everyone would have a chance to view them.

With respect to your other question, yes, new gears and lockers transform a D-90. I think this is especially true with the 97, which is horribly geared from the factory for LT265 tires. The 33 inch tire with 4.10 gears puts the engine back in to its power curve. Conventional wisdom is that you will get worse gas mileage with the engine spinning faster, but my experience with both my Jeep and the D-90 has been the exact opposite--my gas mileage improved on both vehicles after I got the engine back into its power curve. It may have been better with the old carb. fed engines to slow them down, but I believe the new computer driven engines actually get the best fuel economy when they are operating at the higher rpms they were designed for.

Sorry for the lines on the chart but this is the only way I could get it to space correctly.

By the way, have you noticed an increase in noise or any vibrations on your front or rear driveshaft since installing the 4.10 gears? Curious if anyone else has experienced this also as I certainly have. I replaced the front driveshaft (most likely cause) with a GBR CV unit and the problem still exists while the vehicle is "coasting" or in neutral throttle on the freeway around 65 mph. My next guess is the rear driveshaft but I am curious if anyone else has experienced this problem and what they did to resolve it. Perhaps I am overlooking something.


Michael

Follow-up Post:

Mike,

I forgot to mention that no calculations are required to set the new VDO speedometer. All that is required is that you mark out one mile and then push the button (per the instructions) at the beginning and end of the mile. The speedometer will then make all of the calculations to obtain an accurate speed based on the number of pulses recieved by the inductive sensor on the transfer case. After this initial setting is done you can further fine tune the unit while driving the vehicle and using a known speed (ie, using a GPS). I followed the instructions and my speedometer came out to only .3 mph slow at 70 mph so I left it alone and called it good. The unit has very sensitive fine tuning capabilities so I imagine one could get it to within .1 mph, but I figured with my luck I would wreck the car trying to watch the GPS, control the throttle, and puch the button on the speedometer all at the same time.... Besides, the only time I can get up to 70 mph in LA is around 2 am on Sunday night....

Good luck and let me know if you need any more help. I will be driving my D-90 from LA to Washington DC starting on the 27th so E-mail me directly if you need anything specific during that time frame (mbeelliott@aol.com).

Michael
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  #11  
Old December 14th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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I love my vdo speedo and set it up with the one mile calculation. I checked it with a radar unit and it was within a mile an hour
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  #12  
Old December 14th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Are you moving out here, Michael, or is this just a vacation? God knows why anyone would vacation in DC in January, though . . .
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  #13  
Old December 14th, 2005, 09:59 PM
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Anthony,

It is an 18 month assignment in downtown DC. I will maintain my house in LA and rent out a place in Virginia for the 18 months. Hopefully it will only be 18 months, but who knows.... I am not sure I can go that long without my welder, uh, I mean my wife.....)

I am looking forward to the change of scenery though. The yellow sky in LA gets old after a while. Unlike my assignment here in LA it looks like I will have a good deal of free time on the weekends so I am hopefull to hook up with some of the members in the DC area and check out the local trails. I imagine the trails will be more like my home state of Washington than the desert/rocks we have in S.CA, but there is nothing like seeing for yourself.

Speaking of seeing interesting things, is there a status update on the guys driving across the US in the ECR 110? I really do want to try to take a photo of that operation from the opposite lane if possible.

Michael
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Old December 15th, 2005, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdmccallum
I just put in my new 4:11 gears and it is (so far ) the best mod I have made. I gained 10mph on the road immediately.

Honestly, its the speedometer that is off now. I'm going the same speed as everyone around me (65mph) but my speedo says 75 mph. Is there an easy fix to the speedo or do I have to have someone recalibrate it? If I plan on going to 35" tires (currently 33's) in the future how close will this bring the speedo to the real speed? Just curious how some of you guys have fixed this minor problem.

Also went wheelin today with the new gears and lockers. This is now a new vehicle with a new heart. Obstacles that I struggled to concur b/4 the change are easily overcome now.
Dude,

Don't even worry about it. My speedo says I am going 75 when I hit 50 with the 6.20 gears. It just makes me feel like I have a much faster truck than I actually do
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  #15  
Old December 15th, 2005, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seriesman
Anthony,

It is an 18 month assignment in downtown DC. I will maintain my house in LA and rent out a place in Virginia for the 18 months. Hopefully it will only be 18 months, but who knows.... I am not sure I can go that long without my welder, uh, I mean my wife.....)

I am looking forward to the change of scenery though. The yellow sky in LA gets old after a while. Unlike my assignment here in LA it looks like I will have a good deal of free time on the weekends so I am hopefull to hook up with some of the members in the DC area and check out the local trails. I imagine the trails will be more like my home state of Washington than the desert/rocks we have in S.CA, but there is nothing like seeing for yourself.

Speaking of seeing interesting things, is there a status update on the guys driving across the US in the ECR 110? I really do want to try to take a photo of that operation from the opposite lane if possible.

Michael
Give a call when you get out here, I'm in Arlington. There's a lot of inventory in the rental market out here now, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a place to rent.
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  #16  
Old December 16th, 2005, 12:35 AM
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Anthony,

Thanks. I will let you know if I need any help. I leave on the 27th so hopefully the weather situation in the midwest will calm down a bit.

Michael
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  #17  
Old January 3rd, 2006, 12:24 PM
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This is a great thread with invaluable info on doing the vdo speedometer conversion. For a 97.
Anyone have the magic tricks necessary for a 94-95 with mechanical speedo?
My upper cable is toasted, I figure this is a good time to 'fix' the speedo. If the conversion does not use the upper cable, I'd rather not buy something that I'm only going to rip out. Or do I it for the adapter?
tia
-scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seriesman
Mike,
[...]
1. First, the speedometer system in all 97 NAS D-90s utilize an inductive sending unit from the transfer case. Thus, it is electronic, not cable driven like the 94's and 95's. This is schematic #2, Diagram D, page 2 of the VDO instructions. Again, it uses an inductive sensor--if anyone tells you it is a hall effect sensor or cable they are WRONG.
[...lots more really good info]
Michael
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  #18  
Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Scott, I installed an electronic sender right into my t case. it has 3 pins and gets rid of any cables. its all electronic then with no problems. I will have to do a search and find the thread. I think it has the pics and part # of the sender
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  #19  
Old January 7th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Thanks Randy, but with your diesel you dont have to worry about the transducer thing to keep the ECU happy like us poor v8 buggers.
Since I havent seen a good concise summary for this w/ v8/ECU and mechanical speedo yet, my current thoughts are to plug the vdo speedo adapter cable into the transducer instead of directly to the tcase. Unless someone has a mechansim to plug the ECU into the cabling for the VDO directly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI Guy
Scott, I installed an electronic sender right into my t case. it has 3 pins and gets rid of any cables. its all electronic then with no problems. I will have to do a search and find the thread. I think it has the pics and part # of the sender
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  #20  
Old January 9th, 2006, 10:22 PM
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Scott,

Sorry for the slow reply but I just got my computer up and running here in D.C. The drive across the US was interesting.

To follow up on your question, there are in fact several excellent threads on this very website regarding the VDO speedometer swap for the 94 and 95 models. I only have a few minutes tonight or I would do the research and post the links. Try your search again and if you cannot find what you are looking for I will try to provide better help tomorrow.

To summarize, it is possible and has been done by several members of this site. It just takes a little bit more effort and a speedo shop that is willing to build the spliter/conversion device. Let me know what you find.

Michael
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