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Suspension Removal/ Replacement

Discussion in 'Defender 90 / 110 / 130' started by Maggsie8, May 16, 2019.

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  1. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Hi

    My 90 came with a 2" lift terrafirma kit already on it... Nothing wrong with it (in fact looks pretty new) but looking to take back to stock as I really don't need for the type of use it will be getting and want to improve the ride/handling on long road journeys to Scotland/ alps, etc..

    Any suggestions on what best options would be... original LR set-up, terrafirma, Old Man Emu? Also, been quoted what appears to be some stupid prices for getting this work done... is it something I could tackle myself or is it best to leave it to a professional?

    As always thanks for you advice
     
  2. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Do you have tools, somewhere to work and a basic understanding of how it fits together? Changing springs/shocks is fairly easy overall, just a bit of grunt work. You'll likely need a couple of jacks or someway to lift/support the chassis and drop and control the axles.

    As for what to go for. Really comes down to what you want to achieve and spend. Stock is a good mix of abilities for general use. Lots of choice on actual parts such as Genuine, OEM or 3rd party. Again comes down to budget and your feelings on it really.

    If you want to improve a certain aspect, such as comfort, high speed stability, off road flex, load carrying, etc. Then you can tailor the suspension to your needs. However improving one aspect is usually at the detriment to another. In many cases you won't be able to use stock items for this, but there is some choice. And lots in the aftermarket.
     
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  3. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Thanks for the reply...

    Tools, work space, following basic instruction and a bit of hard work shouldn't be an issue, but the lift might be (but there are a few places local that offer lift hire by the hour... so that could look at that). Most of the my driving is going to be long distance, with light off-road stuff at the end to get to base of climbs, etc.so I guess comfort and stability top the list.
     
  4. Scooby22

    Scooby22 Well-Known Member

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    I would say go back to standard as it was developed by Landrover as the best all round set up, good for most situations, as previous poster has pointed out it is a comprimise but a very good all round one.
     
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  5. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Thanks Scooby22.
    That's where my thinking was heading, but just wanted to check as not LR parts are always necessary the best... as you say it's more of a compromise!!
     
  6. dag019

    dag019 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with the above, go OEM standard spec, do not bother with HD, although if you are on a budget the £15 britpart shocks are very good. You fo not need a lift to complete the work, a good jack and some axle stands are sufficient. You will need a set of spring compressors to to do the front springs. If you are replacing the shocks and springs for the fronts you will also need turret rings as they will break when you try to remove them.
     
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  7. tottot

    tottot Well-Known Member

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    You do not need a "lift " as in total vehicle lift, just a high lift jack to hold up the corner of the body you are working on. Standard set up for your needs.
     
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  8. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Easiest way to get the rear springs out is to lift the chassis up. I meant via a jack of some sort and then supported on stands. Get it high, then jack the axle a bit to take tension off the shocks and springs and remove the shocks and the spring clamp and lower the axle on the jack and the springs should fall out. If you don’t get the axle drop from the chassis you’ll need spring clamps to squash the spring.

    You can do similar on the front. But he front axle drops less. So you may need spring clamps as well. But often just a bod to help, maybe jump on the hub while you pull the spring out/in.
     
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  9. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Are you saying I could just get away with replacing the springs and wouldn’t necessarily need to replace the shocks, etc?
     
  10. zeaphod

    zeaphod Well-Known Member

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    If the shocks are the right length for a lifted vehicle, then you will need to change them as well when fitting standard height springs. As mentioned above the stock set up is very capable. I think you will find tyre choice and the condition of your seats will make a big difference in comfort for long range trips - I find the standard seats fine (but others hate them), although a sheepskin cover really helps in hot or cold extremes. Narrower tyres can produce less road noise - and noise can be a big factor in comfort for long road trips.
     
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  11. callisr

    callisr Well-Known Member

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    I have Britpart standard height springs and their yellow gas shocks on my 90. When I fitted them, I also fitted the rubber spring isolators to the top of the springs. I’m really pleased with how it rides.
    I do all my work on my drive with no special tools.
    Nothing tricky about it but ensure the vehicle is properly supported. Best get whatever end you are working on up in the air and supported under the chassis with good axle stands. Then you can take the wheels off at that end allow the axle to droop. The jack will then be able to be used to lift / lower the axle as required.
    If possible, undo the shocks while the vehicle is still on it’s wheels. The axle should drop far enough for the springs to be easily pulled out.
     
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  12. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    It depends what has been done to your vehicle really. Lots of ways to lift a vehicle.

    Longer shocks allow more suspension droop. Stock springs will probably fall out of the upper seat on the chassis (they should be clamped to the lower seat on the axle). Stock shocks should help prevent this. However you could retain the springs at the top too or fit dislocation cones. Both possible solutions. If the shocks you have are standard length already then no probs.

    Btw to lift a 90 it can be done with just springs.
     
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  13. Dickeylefrog

    Dickeylefrog Member

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    i just changed the sprungs and shocks on my 110 a week ago. A three ton trolly jack and some axle stands will be all you need. Jack it up, put the stands under the chassis then jack the axle up in the middle to release the fixings (take off the shocks if at the rear) use a pair of spring compressors on the spring while its under weight as it reduces the effort of tightening up the spring compressors. Then slowly let the axle down on the jack making sure you dont stress or pinch the brake lines (take the front shock out from inside the spring) the spring should jiggle out of its seat compress the new one with the spring compressors and jiggle it in putting the shocks in as appropriate
     
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  14. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Thank you everyone for your advice... I’m feeling a lot more comfortable about undertaking the work myself and saving £s in the process. Not sure about how the lift was achieved and given I’ve already spent a lot time correcting some of the other bodge jobs done on it by the previous owner (using sealant to attach the door seals, not connecting fuel pipes fully when replacing fuel pump to name a couple!) l’ll look to fit a stock standard full kit, then I know everything fits together as it should.

    I’m already looking at changing the wheels/ tyres (freestyle with 265/75R16 Kumho MTs on at the moment) to Boost with 235/85R16 ATs so that will help and I may as well do them at the same time while I have it up and wheels off.

    Once again thank you all
     
  15. zeaphod

    zeaphod Well-Known Member

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    If it's any help, lots of people including myself have fitted Britpart springs and shocks and found them fine. I wouldn't use them for brake parts, but the springs and shocks seem to be decent quality.
     
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  16. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Thanks Zeaphod... currently window shopping on-line, but will hold off buying as going to head down to Beaulieu this Sunday so might get a deal there (think Britpart have a trade stool there)!
     
  17. slomofo

    slomofo Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at this clip on YouTube, very helpful and saved me some time & skin
     
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  18. Litch

    Litch Well-Known Member

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    As already stated, BP springs & shocks are good quality and you can fit them with no qualms whatsoever. If you are unsure what you might want long term then just go for the OE spec springs & oil-filled shocks, they are a very reasonable price and put the vehicle back to standard and from there you decide if you ultimately want to upgrade to gas shocks, std height HD springs etc.
    Before you start you do need to discover if castor correction radius arms of non-standard turrets have been fitted but a visual check should confirm that.

    With regards to replacing springs & shocks I have never found it the slightest problem, regardless of what springs have been fitted (even +2inch) and have certainly never required the use of a lift or spring compressors. *** It goes without saying that when lifting a vehicle on a jack, make sure it is chocked & stable and always use proper axle stands, not piles of bricks! *** Do one station at a time, not axle pairs.
    Rear. Jack up vehicle and support under chassis. Remove wheels and lower & support axle using jack (watch that brake-line!), remove shock, lower axle again (keeping an eye on that brake-line), remove spring, fit new spring & shock, lift axle, fit wheel, raise chassis and remove axle stands.
    Front. Remove plastic access panel from inner wing (and whatever may be positioned above it). Jack up vehicle and support under chassis. Remove wheels and lower & support axle using jack (watch those brake-lines!), unbolt shock, remove turret, remove shock, lower axle again (keeping an eye on those brake-lines), remove spring, fit new spring, shock & turret, lift axle, fit wheel, raise chassis and remove axle stands.
    Very brief but I think they are the steps I always use.
    Goes without saying that some fixings may be corroded (thinking shock & turret mounts here) so some prelim work with penetrating oil will be in order plus always grease on reassembly.


    The photos below are about 18-years old and show when I fitted Scorpion Std height HD springs & DeCarbon gas shocks to my 90.
    I had spent a long time researching what I wanted (it was an ex-MOD FFR and the original springs were almost rigid on my lightly loaded vehicle) and I have to say that the set-up I chose was as close to perfect as I could get. It served me for many years until eventually one of the rear springs snapped so I had to quickly obtain replacements and that is where the problems started as Scorpion were no-longer trading so I was trying to find equivalent springs from elsewhere. What didn't help was that by then the layout of the vehicle had also changed and the weight wasn't the same so what suited years before did not suit now. After experimenting with several set-ups I eventually settled on BP OE springs at the front, Bearmach Std height HD rears and Koni Heavy Track gas-shocks, this set-up has now been on for about 5-years and is doing everything I could ask of it.

    DSCF0013.JPG DSCF0014.JPG DSCF0015.JPG DSCF0020.JPG DSCF0021.JPG DSCF0022.JPG
     
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  19. Maggsie8

    Maggsie8 Member

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    Thanks Slomofo and Litch... really useful link and info/ pics ;)
     
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  20. aevans692

    aevans692 Member

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    does the turret need to be removed to remove the springs and shock ?
     
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