Suspensions

Why do we make such a fuss about suspensions? After all they are just a small part of what makes for the performance of a Rover, right? - Wrong!

Suspensions make the difference between a good going 4x4 and a fantastic one. All that needs to be changed, at least on Rovers, is the suspension. So why this?

Off road the keyword is traction. Keep all wheels on the ground all the time and you will have traction if the wheel grips. A wheel off the ground means immediate loose of traction on that axle if you don't have diff locks. And if now the wheel with the least traction on the other axle breaks loose as all the torque is now applied to that wheel- than you're stopped.

You think this doens't apply to you as you only do some gentle greenlaning. Ha! Remember that steep hill you encountered last time? Now what had happened if you had to back down all the way from the top in reverse? No fun, eh?

The ability of an suspension to flex is most important off road. In the 80's the need for an standardized measuring instrument came up and the folks in the States invented the Ramp and the Ramp Travel Index. See how well an otherwise stock 90 does on that ramp. Now for some modifications. You can already do a good job if you use either softer or longer genuine LR shocks. Look in this table to find out what suits your car.

Bill Ritchie uses, among other modifications, a Desert Rover suspension. Jim's red 90 uses an OME suspension. Sean Murphy scores a perfect 1000 on the ramp. Chris Hinkle even tops this at 1300. A long travel suspension on a Discovery (19.2.) by Ho Chung.

So what are the differences in suspension designs? This is a hard question as most manufacturers don't their products to be seen in detail on the Net. But we managed, with the help of fellow LR drivers, to get these reports. The Safari Gard Stage II suspension, the Safari Gard Stage III suspension, the coil-over setup from Chris Hinkle. New in 2001 is the Rovertym suspension on a Discovery I.

Lee suspensions in the UK make also some very interesting parts as does Fabitron in the US.

Some of us prefer leaf springs. After 3 years with a 110, I know why I love my Series III. Read here Takeo's point of view. (Annette)

Wheels and tires belong to the suspension. An ever reoccuring debate goes over what fits and what hits. Here a comprehensive list of tried-and-tested setups. In this list you will see the term "fender trimming. Here you can see how to do it.

Wheels aren't wheels. Here a short page of differences between steel and alloy.

Many a Landrover is blessed with wheel wobble, especially Discoveries and Range Rovers. This means you get a feeling of something moving in the front axle and your tires act as if they have a life of their own. Here's how to diagnose and cure this.

Changing the shocks is a simple job- or so I thought until I had to go through this. Also here's a possible cure for shimmy steering on coil sprung vehicles.

What to do if your Range Rover sacks on the rear? It's most likely the self-leveling unit. Read here how to replace that expensive Boge unit with an simple coil.

But what does the factory on the new models to improve suspension? The Active Cornering Enhancement ACE was introduced on the Disco II as well as other completely new parts of the suspension. ABS brakes come up and are now almost standard on new models. Luckily the system is now better than it was on the first Range Rovers that were plagued with it.

Still having trouble off road? Look at the Four Wheel Steering page, this might be the answer for you.

Not enough? Look at our index of extreme modifications.or at the Suspension modifications table but they may well contain the same info.

Here you find a translation table of the most important technical terms in english - german - finnish - swedish - french.

Look also at our other tech pages to see features on fitting engines, lockers and other assorted stuff to your toy. Here's the Engine and Drivetrain page.

-Alain-