Defender 90 or 110 Handling Question - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 24th, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Christopher Baxter
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Defender 90 or 110 Handling Question

How does your 90 (or 110s) handle on the corners? I am asking from lack of experience. I always liked the LR Defenders and especially the 90s but figured that 110 were a more stable vehicle in the corners especially at speed?

Sort of spoiled in that my second truck was a a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo, and this vehicle is amazing in that it corners like a car and effectively has no body role. We bought a 2001 that we shipped over to Sarajevo in 2005, but the 97 with its leaf springs in the rear and probably 4-5" lower handles significantly better. It a remarkable truck in its handling

As I really do like the 90 & the 110 and your insight would be appreciated
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  #2  
Old July 24th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Well. Like crap. It is a truck, not a sports car. If you want to drive fast and enjoy yourself on the road, get a car. On dirt roads these can be fun though if well setup.

It is a bit of a loaded question though. There are a million options that you can do to the suspension to change the handling if you want. They don't normally go fast enough to matter.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Depends on the year I suppose. My 90 seems to handle OK, but it's got tall skinny tires and no anti-sway bars, so I don't go very fast around corners.

Newer defenders have anti-sway bars and slightly fatter tires which might make them handle better.

It's never going to handle like an IFS vehicle.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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I haven't had anti-roll (sway) bars on mine since the first month of ownership. I recall that it handled as poorly in cornering without as it did stock. Defender is basically a road going tractor, despite that it is fun to drive.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 03:36 PM
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I would often forget I was driving my defender and not my lotus.
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  #6  
Old July 24th, 2014, 03:39 PM
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What I've found the best way to improve the road manners of the Defender was to buy a Series and drive it around for awhile. After that, it feels like the most refined car in the world.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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^^^^ Right!
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Old July 24th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
but figured that 110 were a more stable vehicle in the corners especially at speed?
how do you figure?

The 110 weighs more while the tires, track width, and suspension are virtually unchanged compared to the 90. That makes it worse around corners, fast or slow.
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  #9  
Old July 24th, 2014, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
how do you figure?

The 110 weighs more while the tires, track width, and suspension are virtually unchanged compared to the 90. That makes it worse around corners, fast or slow.
Longer wheelbase.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergeant_V View Post
I haven't had anti-roll (sway) bars on mine since the first month of ownership. I recall that it handled as poorly in cornering without as it did stock. Defender is basically a road going tractor, despite that it is fun to drive.
I removed the sway bars on my DI after upgrading from 2" OME to 3" RTE w/front & rear arms and it was scary shit at every bent.


You can ask Goose... he though it was bad too
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  #11  
Old July 24th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z.G View Post
Longer wheelbase.
And lower CG.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z.G View Post
Longer wheelbase.
makes a huge difference and is considerably more stable, especially with suspension side loads in turns.
Wheel base greatly improves ride, 130's ride the best. Tire diameter also makes a huge difference/ Straight line driving a tall tire is much smoother over road undulations, potholes, etc. Down side is taller sidewalls equals flex in turns. I drove a 130 on 33.25 tires with sway bars front and rear for many years as a daily driver. I used to drive sports cars very hard and often found myself cornering hard enough in defenders that the tires were barking hard on ramps on and off interstates.
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  #13  
Old July 24th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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I was very happy in a 110 with no sway bars, 235s, and stock springs. Higher you go the worse the CG gets. Stock height & antiroll bars (as long as you're not wheeling it) and it'd be a good ride.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 05:06 PM
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my understanding of vehicle dynamics was simply that wheelbase only improved straightline stability. I wasn't aware that increasing wheelbase improves handling in corners?

Out of curiosity, how does a 110 have a lower center of gravity? There's more stuff above the frame, the frame is heavier, and the only difference under the frame is an axle...

Maybe some other folks know more about this, but wheelbase affects dynamic front/rear weight distribution. Ultimately if a 110 weighs 500 lbs more than a 90, those 500 lbs are not located underneath the frame...
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Old July 24th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Some Basic Specs for a better comparison

Some Basic Specs for a better comparison of the 1997 Isuzu Rodeo

Wheel Base 108.7"
Curb Weight 4165 lbs
Ground Clearance 8.5"
W 66.5"
H 66.5"
Length 176.5"
Engine 3.2 L V-6 24 valve (wouldn't mind a diesel of some similar class either)
190hp @ 5600 RPM
Torque 188 ft lbs @4000RPM

Please keep in mind that Isuzu has been producing trucks for the Japanese army since 1918 and have some experience. Many of the 5.7 GM engines are either Isuzu or Isuzu Design. GM seems to have undue influence on Isuzu and it seems Isuzu always ends up with the short end of the stick

All that aside the 97/96 body style as described in the original post is a incredible handing vehicle and the good question is could any of the handling qualities be breed into a Defender?? It would lead to some very interesting modifications?

Some people also trick the 97/96 Rodeo out and they handle like a trials bike over rocks,
On top of all that they are a very comfortable SUV to ride. Something is definitely going on with this truck ! I have never driven such a capable vehicle with so many positives as you usually have to give up some of the positives described above to get the others in other vehicles, but not this one. Do we have a "hidden classic" here like a Colt 1911 to learn from?

Perhaps a few creative ideas for discussion?
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Old July 24th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
my understanding of vehicle dynamics was simply that wheelbase only improved straightline stability. I wasn't aware that increasing wheelbase improves handling in corners?
Perhaps it has something to do with the large jump up in spring rates but a 90 is the worst cornering vehicle I have ever owned. Spring rates have a huge amount to do with the ability to keep the tread patch flat to the pavement and reduced weight shift in the form of body roll. I have cornered so hard (to miss a dog) in a 130 that I have lifted a front tire off the pavement, like to see someone do that with a 90.

Not sure where the 110 has a lower cg came from, they are taller and heavier
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Old July 24th, 2014, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Perhaps it has something to do with the large jump up in spring rates but a 90 is the worst cornering vehicle I have ever owned. Spring rates have a huge amount to do with the ability to keep the tread patch flat to the pavement and reduced weight shift in the form of body roll. I have cornered so hard (to miss a dog) in a 130 that I have lifted a front tire off the pavement, like to see someone do that with a 90. Not sure where the 110 has a lower cg came from, they are taller and heavier
That is what I hated when I drove fast in the 90. The inside front would lift.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Perhaps it has something to do with the large jump up in spring rates but a 90 is the worst cornering vehicle I have ever owned. Spring rates have a huge amount to do with the ability to keep the tread patch flat to the pavement and reduced weight shift in the form of body roll. I have cornered so hard (to miss a dog) in a 130 that I have lifted a front tire off the pavement, like to see someone do that with a 90. Not sure where the 110 has a lower cg came from, they are taller and heavier

The lower CG is a guess on my part. The longer wheelbase should cause the CG point to move aft and slightly lower.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 11:32 PM
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That is what I hated when I drove fast in the 90. The inside front would lift.

Not with 12" travel shocks. It's kind of insane how the tires stay on pavement, even with 3" springs
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Old July 25th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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Thank you for the feed back

Thank you for the feed back from all of you to understand the Defenders strengths and weaknesses, in addition to the very distinct charm factor that motivates many Defender enthusiasts

For me it comes down to what I need a Defender 110 (most likely) for and what I need the Isuzu Rodeo for. The simple answer is that I “obviously need both” !. One also needs to understand their own parameters to get the right vehicle for their specific purposes and prepare to drive and live within them. Dive outside them and you will end up with a self inflicted roll over. Easier said that done when you consider that many of the armoured Humvee roll overs in Iraq occurred when the “Young uns” (and sadly older ones drive a heavy armoured vehicle, with a gun on the top to further mess with the CG, like a sports car. Driving a vehicle or using a piece of equipment beyond its intended parameters will do it almost every time

I am also impressed with the Defender's handling in the messy stuff with the right use of the gears off road in the attached Rover link. It reminds me of the fighter pilot's saying that an experienced pilot in an older F-5 can take take on and win against a less experienced pilot in a more advanced F-16. Experience trumps equipment in many many cases, if not most. Link attached

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...486#post548486


Beyond the personal interest which is essential for the keeners among us their is also a tactical interest in deciding on the right vehicle for a specific job if the requirement arises and it is important to understand the many factors and nuances in advance before one finds oneself in the thick of it

Again I appreciate the input an experience of the forum members and please feel free to keep the comments coming. Additionally, if anyone has any handling experience with armoured Defenders your comments and insight would be appreciated. When a vehicle starts gaining weight this way a real microscope is put on its true strengths and weaknesses as you work with a series of trade offs, compromises and “good enough moments” followed by the law of diminishing returns when you go too far. Needless to say the trick is to reach a happy balance specific to what you want to accomplish/your mission(s)
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