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New to off-roading

Discussion in 'Off Roading' started by Maxeen, Nov 16, 2021.

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  1. Maxeen

    Maxeen New Member

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    Just been on my first proper off-road day on private land in my Defender 90. There were a few bangs from underneath, but no damage I think (well no fluid's leaking!!). So my question is what are the basic bits of body protection I should have fitted steering, diff etc? Thanks
     
  2. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    What sort of off roading? What was the terrain?

    And are you sure you where hitting the underside of a 90? If you are on standard height tyres (31”) hitting the underside of a short wheel base vehicle is pretty difficult.

    In terms of underbody protection. None.

    Nobody even sells any for a 90 that I know of. Apart from rock sliders/rock rails that replace the cill panel.

    Steering guard can be handy. But really depends what you’ll be driving over. They certainly aren’t “needed”.
     
  3. 4belleride

    4belleride Member

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    We need more information on the vehicle you were driving. A skid plate will be a good investment. A lot of my friends who are in off-road adventures have installed suspension lift kits to make room for all-terrain/mud tires.
     
  4. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Skid plates are not a thing a Defender 90.
    As for lifts... meh.

    Really depends. I know in the USA there is a trend to jack a vehicle a as high as possible and fit oversized tyres. Which can have benefits. But loads of them perform very badly due to poor mod selections. Also in the USA you are more likely to go Rock crawling if you are Mid West or further west. In the UK the terrain is very very different.

    Also worth noting s stock Defender 90 already rides quite a bit higher than a stock YJ/TJ/XJ Jeep. And you can fit 33" tyres without mods or a lift. You'd typically need 2-3"+ on the Jeeps to fit the same size tyre.
     
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  5. miktdish

    miktdish Guns n Chainsaws Full Member

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    There isn't much that catches underneath all of the 'fluids' are above the rail chassis (or run along the sides). The only real exception is the rear brake pipes which are above center on the back of the rear axle.
    Steering arms are susceptible and a company called Gwyn-Lewis sell heavy duty versions (Sumo bars).
    You 'could' damage the differential cases on a rock but you would need to seriously try hard, be moving at a pace and it would need to be a big rock... I drive through some ruts to get to a field I shoot over and they are deep enough for me to step down into the landy and I often plough a central furrow with the front dif and the tow hitch :(

    The main problem is the mud that builds up in the nooks and crannies, ledges and cavities that is the underside of a defender.
    Again Gwyn Lweis sell some mud shields that help.
    If you are offroading often you won't need front mud flaps and tying up the rear ones will stop them getting ripped off too.
     
    Disco1BFG likes this.
  6. neilly

    neilly Well-Known Member Full Member

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    You can get them. If you are running into rocks and stuff during a P&P or doing a lot of overlanidng where it is rocky.

    as an example....
    https://www.4x4works.co.uk/models/1990-2016/

    I personally run a HD steering guard, with diff guards and a GL fuel tank guard. Rock sliders on the sides.


    All the guards have been hit at some point at various off road sites.

    Cheers
     
  7. goonarmy

    goonarmy Beer tester LZIR Despatch Agent

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    I'd get 2 diff guards and a steering guard. Then I'd get some decent recovery points, probbably jate rings front and back.
     
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  8. kermit_rr

    kermit_rr Green Member Full Member

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    Trackrod is the weakest point.. anything else gets damaged your likely doing something wrong or just unsympathetic
     
  9. kermit_rr

    kermit_rr Green Member Full Member

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    +1 on proper recovery points front and rear
     
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  10. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Steering guard/rock sliders are not the same thing. Interesting about the skid pates. Very rare I'd have thought. Not noticed anyone actually running any and don't really know of any other places selling them. Not saying they don't have a use. But there is very little need for them on a 90 being used off road in the UK. Any skid plates will reduce clearance and become a place for mud to get trapped. And as said, actually hitting that part of the vehicle is quite a challenge.
     
  11. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Also wouldn't bother with diff guards unless rock crawling.
     
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  12. kermit_rr

    kermit_rr Green Member Full Member

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    I'd rather hit a rock, reverse and try another route rather than slide over a rock then be in a position where i can't move until I'm lifted off said rock
     
  13. goonarmy

    goonarmy Beer tester LZIR Despatch Agent

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    Doesn't take a big rock to damage the diffs. or steering. From experience. Certainly not rock crawling either.
     
  14. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Steering yes. Diffs no.

    Have been doing trials events (competing, setting up, running) for 24 years and been around competing Land Rovers since 1987. Personally never known or heard of anyone damaging a diff casing doing this.

    I’m sure there are exceptions. But it really can’t be common. By and large most of the vehicles I’ve scrutineered over the past 10 years also have not had diff guards fitted. None of the serious competition vehicles at any rate.
     
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  15. goonarmy

    goonarmy Beer tester LZIR Despatch Agent

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    There's no reason not to have them, they're cheap, easy to fit and remove and add negalible weight. Competing or not, they make sense.
     
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  16. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. Each to their own really. But buying a pair is money you could spend on something better.

    Cheap ones can be a pain to fit and are prone to coming off if they get hit/caught. And the design of them often means they hold mud and crud and help rot the diff casing. Can also make changing the diff oil harder.

    Also worth considering they will also reduce clearance and they are already the lowest point on the vehicle. In deep tramlines it can be enough to leave you beached.
     
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  17. neilly

    neilly Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I never said they were the same thing.

    Cheers
     
  18. goonarmy

    goonarmy Beer tester LZIR Despatch Agent

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    Depends in the design. The QT styles ones that go right round the diff seem a bit over engineered and do reduce the ground clearance. The ones I had and sold to BoB fitted straight on the difference front, the area likely to fail when struck. You could drop the oil with them inside and they had drain plugs but they could trap crud. They were easy enough to take off and clean though.
     
  19. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Meant not the same as underbody skids.... :)
     
  20. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean ones like this:
    [​IMG]
    Certainly the most common and available design.

    These can be a pain to fit (not difficult, just a pain). Depends how tight the ring is. You can also see how they are a bucket design and will trap muddy water which will rot the diff case. The recess is not perfectly aligned with the fill plug and does make it harder to refill as you can't pour from all angles when filling.

    They also reduce clearance by the thickness of the guard plus a bit. It might not look enough, but if the diff would be touching without the guard, it can and is enough to stop a vehicle.

    And incidentally I have seen these fall off. Occasionally people have attended trials with these. And while some are fine, I have see a few end up laying on the ground after a person has driven through the terrain.


    I'm not saying they are 'bad'. Just arguably 'worthless' on a D90 off roading in the UK. And the only place I ever hear of people damaging diff casings is on the internet. Never once have I witnessed it in person.
     
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