3-Link Suspension Setup questions - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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3-Link Suspension Setup questions

Ok, sitting here thinking about the D90s and what I want to do, so lets start by diving into another 3-Link topic here that I really didn't pull answers to my questions to in previous discussions. The replacement D90 I bought, has a SG 3-Link on it already but the shocks and springs that were on it are totally not correct for it not too mention too soft for a SW. the only thing I have done for a quick fix since one of the rear shocks was blown and seized, was put my rear OME's on the EE lower shock mount to level out the truck and reduce the bad handling.

So my questions are, since this is my first time dealing with a 3-Link first hand, a bunch of you guys have been going through the trials and failures of this for a while and want to hear some working combos on how best I might set this up since I have to do it anyway.

The current situation is this:
The 97 (SW) has the 3-link but super under-rated springs and shocks which I will defiantly trash since I know at least one shock was completely wasted. As I mentioned above, to fix one problem there is a set of OME rear shocks on the EE lowered shock mounts

The 94 (ST) has the "3" OME" lift (764's in the front and 781's in the rear) with OME shocks, the rears currently on the 97 and not sure if the fronts are still good after the fire. Springs look to be OK last time I looked.

I was watching the video of Randy's Silver bullet and was liking the performance from what I could see he was getting and didn't seem over the top for a daily driver, which mine will be.

So bearing in mind this is a SW and will be also needed for daily driving duty if I sell the Freelander, lets hear what your suggestions for a setup would be for springs, shocks and mounts. I am looking to have a real 3" lift and already have all the other additional goodies like GBR drive shafts, extended brake lines, modified rear arms, etc either sitting in my garage or still on the Yellow Flambé'. Also just so its out there, the 97 currently has 285/75s but a brand new set of 255/85s are in the garage. Since I also have a full set of 15" steels, I might consider 35's but at the moment, the 255's are eagerly waiting to go on.
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Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #2  
Old January 5th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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David Shechter
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I don't have a 3-link; however, I have been trying different suspensions. I currently have RTM RR3 & RR4 springs and like them. I went with a 3" lift, it is a real 3" lift. From the center of the hub to the bottom of the eyebrow it measures 23", the stockers were at about 20". There is a lot of space (too much) between the top of the tire and the eyebrow, I too have the BFG MT 255/85 16. I will probably install 35" tires this spring/summer. Getting back to the springs... They drive and handle very well. My OME springs wore out in less than a year; although, I do carry a lot of weight. I have a 10k Husky, Hi-lift and Camel Trophy brush bar on the front... not to mention the diesel engine. Additionally the full exterior roll bar and 2 full size steel storage boxes mounted on the wheel wells add a total of about 600lbs over a stock 90. My recommendation would be to consider the RTM RR3 & RR4, but in a 2" springs. For shocks I went with a Bilstein 7100 with resevoir. 12" in the front mounted outside of the spring and a 14" in the rear.
Good luck with the project.
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  #3  
Old January 5th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Although I don't have one myself, I have installed a couple. Safari Guard sells the 3 link with the disclaimer 'for off road use only'. I always advise customers of this and the potential liability issues of a radically modified suspension. The first thing I would do is talk to your insurance agent and see if your coverage will tolerate that much modification to the suspension if the truck is driven on the street. Finding out after an accident that your insurance won't back you up would be a serious problem.
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  #4  
Old January 5th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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Isn't this the case thought with just about every single modification anyone on this forum makes? I can't think of a single thing outside of tires and shocks that are DOT approved. My Rockware bumper, sliders, shock mounts, etc, etc are all custom like everyone elses gear for the most part. Isn't this sort of the inherent risk you take with modifying the vehicle? It seems unfortunate and maybe undesirable but theres practically no modifcations for any vehicle that are street legal. Why draw the line at a 3 Link versus a 150 pound bumper with a 80 pound winch? Or am I missing someting, are suspension mods more scrutinized?
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  #5  
Old January 5th, 2006, 05:58 PM
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States and insurance companies vary on the mods including bumpers and lift. There was a huge thread on this on Discoweb running for a while, but lets stick to the setup related part of this thread, although a good suggestion from Rob.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #6  
Old January 6th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Chris, As you saw in the video, my truck just walked up the one ledge where everyone else struggled a bit... And that was just with the rear locker engaged... Sorry, I had too.. lol I have the RYM 3" springs (RR3 and RR4) also but am running exo front shock mounts from Keith with 14" travel ranchos right now. When I get more $$ I would like to go with a Bilstein or Fox one day. THe rear just has rockware rear links and shock mounts. Springs are retained al around with EE HD retainers.

As for on the road characteristics, the 3 link is little softer but is great. We just put one in Jorges truck too and he loved the way it handles and he had the stock front arms for years. We still have to do his front shock mounts though.
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  #7  
Old January 6th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Yeah, That was a part of the video that really impressed me was how the front took that. What shocks are in the rear Randy?

Has anyone tried the new PRO series Ranchos? The ones that are silver like the Fox 2.0 shocks? I saw them in 4Wheel Parts here in town a few months ago.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #8  
Old January 6th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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First thing make sure your 3-link is dialed in. You need to have 2 degree's between the 3rd link and drive shaft. That would make a huge difference in drivability.
Not sure if this apply to coil springs or not but the best way is to weight your 90, then weigh the front and rear axles. There is a formula somewhere where you need to plug in the numbers and what kind of suspension link design you have and this should let you know what are the best springs for your 90. I'm sure RTE can make whatever spring rate you need. Again this is the way we do it on rigs with coil overs so not sure if this applies to just coil springs.
On this one you need to take my advice on it. DO NOT run 255/85. Yes I can see LR and skinny tires but personally I think this size tire on a modified rig is a poser. I can name 6 guys right now that though this tire is great till they really wheeled their rigs and found out they are not worth it. I would reconsider this size for something wider, and thank me later.
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  #9  
Old January 6th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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thats how i have mine yousef..... i would love to learn more about this spring rate thing though...
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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Let me do some search and verify what I said earlier.
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  #11  
Old January 17th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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On another note, I didnt install the 3-Link, is there issues with removing them like things cut off to install it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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no cutting required.. all bolt on
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  #13  
Old July 17th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Digging up an old thread while I was searching for another..
I need to replace the bushing at the axle for the 3-link. Is there anything special about these or are they the same as the stock one?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
[/size]
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  #14  
Old July 17th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Chris,

The third link? I believe it is just a jonny joint link common to Jeep aftermarket suspension kits. I'd try a 4x4 shop, if you have one locally. I used to get them from SG, they were good about sending them out no charge.

Tis
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  #15  
Old July 17th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Hey Tis.. how you doing man!
Thanks, I have a 4Wheel Parts shop near my place but may call SG as well.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #16  
Old July 17th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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SG has a kit of replacement bushings, I think it was around 40 for the 3 arms.
Also Tis could you post a pic of your 3link. I have a huge amount of thread wear on the adjustable center link. It makes a lot of noise now and I am wondering if a non adjustable link would articulate as well given the same type bushings. The problem with SG s set up is the threaded area is twisting all the time under alot of pressure. It doesnt take long for the threads to wear. The other problem is the attachment points on the crossmember and tie rod tube dont have enough room to fit a larger dia bushing.(such as johny joint etc). I wanted to go with a custom arm and ends, but refabing the mounts was going to be to time consuming. JP
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  #17  
Old July 18th, 2006, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrover
SG has a kit of replacement bushings, I think it was around 40 for the 3 arms.
Also Tis could you post a pic of your 3link. I have a huge amount of thread wear on the adjustable center link. It makes a lot of noise now and I am wondering if a non adjustable link would articulate as well given the same type bushings. The problem with SG s set up is the threaded area is twisting all the time under alot of pressure. It doesnt take long for the threads to wear. The other problem is the attachment points on the crossmember and tie rod tube dont have enough room to fit a larger dia bushing.(such as johny joint etc). I wanted to go with a custom arm and ends, but refabing the mounts was going to be to time consuming. JP

Are you sure? Joe and I struggled through the install last weekend and I was thinking as I was under there that it would be rather simple to weld up the seam on the arm and a bung on the frame end of the link and run a hiem. I am almost positive that there is enough room to fit a 3/4 with high misalignment and a 5/8 bolt. I did not measure though, so it was just the eyeball test.
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  #18  
Old July 18th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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David are you talking about a heim on both ends or one? I cant look at my truck , but I remember the axle end only having enough room to fit the orig terra bushing. The cross member end might fit something larger in dia like uniball. What would you do then? Have a Threaded insert tig welded into link? JP
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Old July 18th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrover
David are you talking about a heim on both ends or one? I cant look at my truck , but I remember the axle end only having enough room to fit the orig terra bushing. The cross member end might fit something larger in dia like uniball. What would you do then? Have a Threaded insert tig welded into link? JP
Hey,

Exactly, I can't remember the axle end very well as the crossmember is what grabbed my attention. I thought it would pretty simple to weld the treaded seam solid, then cut the crossmember end of the link off and weld in a bung. You could tig or mig, I think the tube in DOM, not Chrom. Then just run a hiem. That way it is still adjustable, and way stronger. You don't need a hiem on both ends, but if you wanted to, you need 1.5 in from the center of the hole to the interfering wall of the bracket. Someone could measure, but one hiem is great. Anyway, just a thought!
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  #20  
Old July 18th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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CVC- doing well, just busy at the moment...we just had our second baby today.

JP- I'll take some images for you when I get a moment and expain my setup. You going to make the rally this year, we'll be running some fun trails prior and during.

Tis
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