D-Max getting wired and Barred Up!

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 at 11:37


The Opposite Lock Bull Bar and side protection bars arrived in Hobart, and with the D-Max just 300 kilometres old the time was ripe for cutting up a perfectly good front bumper to fit the thing. The final result is a good fit that suits the front shape of the car and looks strong enough to offer the protection required to fend off branches and keep wildlife out of the radiator. It has strong enough mounting points for a decent UHF antenna, sand dune flag, and an external phone antenna (if the next phone we get has patch lead connection). The only snag with the antenna mounts is they are all out of a direct line of vision, being positioned well out to the sides. On the ARB bar we had on our GU Patrol, the mounted antenna was directly in front of Mrs Kanga. This was quite convenient because as we drove along, the shaking movement of the antenna would send her off to sleep and save me from listening to endless recipe recitals from a Margaret Fulton cookbook! Very thoughtful. Fog lights fitted in the bar give good peripheral light which is handy on the quiet roads around our area to keep a look out for the wildlife charging around the place a night, unfortunately validated by the amount of native animal road kill.

If I had had a better look to see how big the Lightforce XGTs' were before buying them over the phone, I might have gone for something a bit smaller. They do produce one hell of a view down the road at night though, the biggest challenge now is to find a stretch of straight road long enough to align them. One kilometre of straight road in Tasmania???? May have to wait until we roll off the Ferry in July next year for that one. We have used the big Hella Rallye 4000 spot and spread beam combination lights on both of our previous cars, they have proved themselves time and time again. What I have noticed in direct comparison to the Lightforce XGT is that the big Hella lights are quite a bit heavier than the XGTs' and the adjustment method of the Hella lights is far superior in design and use than the XGT. Considering the fact that they have such a massive range, something like that of the Hellas' would really make the best use of these impressive lights (Oh for a straight bit of road )..

Trying to think in three dimensions to come up with a design for the canopy was starting to do my head in, so time to do a bit of hands on.
The bracket for the Dieselcare secondary fuel filter/water separator needed fitting in order to tidy up the extra wiring and relays and provide for a central location for the fuse box and Midi fuse holders. The two circuits are as simple as possible to make problem solving easier. Both circuits are protected by Midi fuses fitted as close as possible to the Battery, the first 50 Amp feed runs to the Red Arc battery isolator that will feed through to the Ute Canopy. The second 40 Amp Midi fuse supplies a four circuit fuse box for in-car accessories, this fuse box has very small LED lights in it that are supposed to indicate a broken fuse. We only needed a four circuit fuse box in this location, one each for the Fog lights and Spotlights, one for the UHF and the last one is just a fused feed wire for the EngineSafe Unit and the Sensatyre TPMS.
The Laser cut Stainless Steel bracket fitted perfectly and I had already planned what would fit where on the back side of it and fitted the electrical components and done all the wiring that could be done prior to bolting it in.
There really isn't a lot of Real Estate under the bonnet to fit a dual battery set up, and for most of the year it won't be required anyway, so in compromise I would prefer to have the fuel well and truly filtered and the second battery in the Slide On Ute Canopy. This probably means that if the car battery won't start the car I will have take the battery out of the Canopy and use jumper leads to start it, we always carry jumper leads in any case so no big deal.

Anything else that needs power will be in the Canopy while in touring mode and be powered from there. Which is why I was having trouble getting to sleep, I had completely forgotten to order the wiring, lugs and other odds and sods for the Canopy. So 11.30 PM an order to ABR Sidewinder was sent through and just as I hit the pay now button I noticed it showed the delivery address as our previous one in WA. Bugger. So I sent a hasty email to Derek Bester to explain what had happened and give him the correct address, no problem was the answer and a good sized pile of cable, Anderson plugs, lugs, sockets and other stuff arrived in a few days.

First impressions of the D-Max in 1600 kms are pretty good, it is quite frugal with diesel considering it is new, I will do a consumption test on it before too long. The clutch is light compared to the Troopy. It pulls very well on the hills around here and in no way do you have to ring it's neck to get anything out of it. The fuel and Coolant temperature readouts are in red LCD, probably not the best colour choice IMHO.
With the standard 245/70 R 16 tyres fitted the speedo is reading 7 kph high at 100 kph, the Hema HN5I tells us. This could be bad for the resale of the car as will show on the Odometer that the vehicle has traveled 7 % more than it really has! After doing some research on suitable Tyre options for the car, the Bridgestone website shows the difference in rolling circumference between the factory fitted 245/70 and a 245/75 tyre as being approx 3% greater for the latter. Toyo do a 245/75 R 16 in the Open Country M/T with a load rating of 120 instead of the 111 rating in the factory Bridgestone 693 Duellers (which are now discontinued). However, trying to convince Mrs Kanga that we need to buy 6 new tyres for $1800 ish with "it's already got new tyres" ringing in my ears will not be easy, probably need a group hug after that battle, win lose or draw.
The seats in the D-Max don't have enough side bolstering in them, driving around the twisty roads in Tasmania has you hanging onto the steering wheel pretty tight to keep from sliding about in the seat. If they didn't have side airbags in them I would be looking for replacements.
Nit picking is really just confined to the volume knob on the Clarion radio. You have to turn it a hell of a lot to get the volume to adjust even the tiniest bit.
It will be interesting to see how the dust sealing goes with these suicidal rear doors, we'll find out when we get into the dust next year.
It does have Eeelectric winders, crooze control and the factory supplied spit cup in it to keep Rednecks happy too!
Cheers for now, Kanga.
Tempus Fugit

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