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  #1  
Old January 18th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Christian Shea
1997 Defender 90 Wagon
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Help: Suspension Suggestions

Alright, I know this one might be a bit controversial as everyone tends to have their own opinions. That said I am trying to put together a good suspension package to purchase for the yet to be bought D90 Wagon I am planning on getting. I am going to drive the 90 here in Atlanta as my only vehicle but I usually only drive 5 miles a day if that during the week. I want something that is good and stable on road but one I get into the fun stuff I want good articulation and capability. This is what I have conceived as a good setup so far but is open to suggestion.

Shocks: 12" Travel Bilstein 7100 Remotes (are remotes really necessary?)
Springs: 3" Lift Rovertyms
External Front Shock Mounts (SG maybe?)
Bent Trailing Arms (Rockware)
Rockware Rear Shock Mounts
Sg Droop Kit
GBR Double Cardon Front Shaft

Finally, I am not sold on the idea of a 3Link quite yet as I am not sure I will need it right away until I do more trail riding. I know this is a pretty vague question so I am sorry if it takes up space, but I am looking for some good expert advice and any would be very appreciated.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Well this is not much of an answer but, i would say wait, drive it as is for a while take it off road a few times and see how you like it. You may find it is good enough as it is, if not then start moding your ride.
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  #3  
Old January 18th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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Christian Shea
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Well being on the east coast, obviously the great rock climbing isn't out this way, but way I see it is that I want to fit 33/34" tires and doing this will need either a 2 or 3" lift so thats sort of where I began to go from there. I realize a stock 90 is still a hell of a machine, I guess I have just read for so long about some of you guys great rides and setups I want to do start of with something stout but not extreme. Having talked to a couple of people it sounds to me most have had better rides with setups similar to the one I've mentione. Thanks though Mike for trying to be a voice of reason, I guess to some extent the bug many of you have has got me too. Any other suggestions and ideas would be appreciated.
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  #4  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:11 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
1997 Defender 90 SW
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Well if your looking for suggestions:

OME HD springs and LTR shocks.
Expedition Exchange Spring retainers
GBR 4.11 R&P
Rover tracks Rear trailing arms

Add diff guards of your choice.

Keep it simple and proven.

EwS
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  #5  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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LOL, well I can't say I started slow either, I bought my 90 witth 35s and 4" of lift. I would maybe check out Keith at Rovertracks for front external shock mounts, I know he made some and I am not sure what the lead time on Sguard is but I know they are not fast. I would think out back you would want 14" shocks, you will use every inch of them. As far as the Bilstein 7100 Remotes, they are overkill (what can I say though I have Foxs with remotes). They do rust up here in the salty New England area, but down your way they may not be as much of a problem. How wide of a tire do you want 12.5"? I bet all that you need is 2" of lift, you may have to trim a little, unless you will be hauling alot with you then you may want 3". You may not need the DC shaft but you won't know until after you lift it.
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  #6  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Christian Shea
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I had looked at some super swampers that were 34s and were something like 10.5" wide. I plan on fitting a winch bumper and winch out front and sliders as well as diff guards and if possible hunting down the safari roof rack...all of which would add some substantial weight so I think 3" might be what I am looking for. In all honesty I am not sold on SG products, seems there are plenty alternatives out there that are cheaper (seems to some extent SG is the default aftermarket so they get the $ they want). I sort of plan on doing all of the suspension work at once, way I figure I'll do it once and save some time in the process, plus I am just anxious I guess. Do you guys think that spring retainers whether they be EE units or Rockware would be necessary? It seems like worth the money to be sure to me. Thanks.
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  #7  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Depends, I made spring retainers for the front lower and they would work for the rear. I used some 1/4" plate by 1/2" wide and some grade 8 bolts tto hold them on with a ton of locktight. The mettal and bolts can be picked up cheap at Home Depot. As for the top I think everyone just uses hose clams 4 heavy duty ones should do. But if you don't want to drill hole in the steal and don't mind spending the money tthen get the EE or rockware ones.

The tires would they be I think the LTBs, Dave Souza runs them on his 90, they are good tire, they work well in mud, but they need to be aired down alot as they are stiff. i am glad you said diff guards, everyone seems tto bang up there diffs pretty bad without them.
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  #8  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Matthew Bremner
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My 2 cents,

I started out slow in the beginning with a 97' ST. I added bumpers and took the sway bars off and it was a decent ride. I wanted to go with a more aggressive tread so I purchased the OME kit hd in front and md in rear. I had an ARB winch bumper with 8000i and it was still nosed down. I lightened up the front with a used SG bumper and this leveled it for me. The next step was to buy the SG drop kit which adds about an inch - 2 inches of travel in the rear and has spring retainers. I then had enough lift to get the 285/75/16 SSR's from Super Swamper and that was a great choice. I mainly went off road in Tennessee (went to Vanderbilt) and then interned in Atlanta, GA and did some off roading there. This setup was a great on road / off road setup and I did not even have to deal with a lot of the gearing and driveline problems. I then decided to go bigger and went with the Stage II, 3-link, and SG front shock mounts. It was a drastic change because I had to buy wheel spacers to keep the stock rims, driveshaft for vibration, and it is a lot more loose on road. Off-road it is a great set up, but I had to sacrifice the nicer on road handling that it had with the OME kit.

-Matt
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  #9  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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Christian Shea
1997 Defender 90 Wagon
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Do you all think that 3 Link is necessary, desireable, etc? In some senses it seems like it would help as keeping 4 tires down is always a plus but I think for my uses right now it may be overkill, is it? My concern tire wise is that I again want something to plug around on the highway and not feel like im riding a tractor but also be able to go offroad as well. That said, the idea of 12.5" wide tires turns me off for some reason, I guess I conjure up images of ridiculous looking Wranglers that have tires swelling outside the arches and look like a lowrider. What do you think? Would the 12.5s be useful and not garrish?
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  #10  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I say wait on the 3 link, there are other cheaper ideas out there that will work well if you want better front end flex. Swampers run wide anway I think you will be fine with the 10.5s. Sure the 12.5s put some more tire on the ground but they also increase wearand make it harder to steer.
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  #11  
Old January 18th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Christian, I have a similar setup with RYM 3" springs, EE spring retainers all around, Rockware rear shock mounts, RYM rear links, Upfront I have rover tracks External front shock mounts and a 3 link. I am also running 14" shocks all around and SG 4" bump stops. If you have any questions, shoot me an email.
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Christian Shea
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Do you think the bias ply tires that the LTBs are will be ok for daily driving? I have no experience with swampers so I am trying to get a feel on this part of the equation as well.
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  #13  
Old January 18th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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They are going to be noisy, you won't feel much differance as they have stiff side walls but you will hear them.
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  #14  
Old January 18th, 2005, 05:11 PM
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David Shechter
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Another tire option which is very close in size is the BFG 255/75 R16. They are about 10" wide and 33.3" tall. Very good ride, fairly long lasting and not very loud. It seems like you are pretty into the suspension travel thing, I can understand it looks pretty cool to see a truck all twisted up. I know I'll probably get flak for this but, my opionion is that it is over kill. Don't get me wrong here it is functional to a point. Think of it this way, a tire on the ground doesn't always mean traction. If you have "x" amount of travel and your tire is on the gound but for the most part the only weight holding it there is the tire and wheel, lets say 60 lbs, do you think it wil help pull you out of a situation? I have 2" of lift (all OME) 33" tires, Brownchurch bumper and brush bar with a 10K Husky winch. I have yet to break a shock or loose a spring, never had a problem tucking a tire in the wheel well, don't have any drive line vibration and yes I off road in CA and take it through rocks. Look at Bill Burke's ride, he spends about 2/3 of the year off roading all over the country and calls the rockie's home. He has a very simple suspension for one reason, it works. For your local conditions I don't think most of that stuff will help you. You'll end up spending a lot of money and may create problems with all the mods, you know... the can of worms theory. If you are concerned with getting stuck or getting through/over things... get lockers. Only my opinon.. let the barrage begin.
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  #15  
Old January 18th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Well said David.

EwS
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  #16  
Old January 18th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Well here's my $.02, and with this you are up to about $.14.

I have the OME setup mentioned and the swaybars are gone. ARB bumper and winch. I added spring spacers to level it out and 33 X 12.5 MTR's. No rubbing as of yet. Drives well on the road and as of yet almost unstoppable offroad ( what did stop it would not be remedied with higher lift). I can't really see needing that much more, except possibly lockers. If you get too extreme with this then you can really lose that street performance (performance is probably not the best term), handling. But with only 5 miles a day, you can ride a bike. I suggest getting the D90 and driving it for awhile. Change the tires. Take it off road and then decide. It ain't gonna need much.
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  #17  
Old January 18th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Christian Shea
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Thanks again guys for all the input. I definately see where most of you are coming from, and believe me any modifications are being done not to impress anyone with stats or parts but more my own perception. Let's be honest, if we were all trying to get stares and what not than a sportscar might be a better choice. From my experience everyone thinks its a Jeep (sic). I think I will hold off on the 3 Link for sure now that I consider it more heavily. The real issue it sounds like for most people is whether to spend more money on retainers, mounts, and trailing arms and reading this thread it seems there is two different schools. I respect both and of course not actually having the vehicle yet still gives me time to think about it but I am still open to some ideas. I have even entertained the idea of an air suspension just to tease myself I guess. This has sort of turned into a learning experience for me with all the mods and I figure since we already have gotten into the tire I will open up another can of worms and ask what you guys might suggest for a winch/bumper combination as this will also effect what sort of lift I go with. I like the Rockware bumper a lot and have read good things about the Superwinch ep9 but also like the camel trophy bumper and husky combo. Thanks again for your input, I am keeping it all in mind.
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  #18  
Old January 18th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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Russell Newton
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anybody with any expeience with arb shocks and springs I have not heard them mentioned too much. And where to buy bistien or ome springs? I have not found a good, cheap source for these.
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  #19  
Old January 18th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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Z
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Ome Hd

I got my OME HD shocks/springs at TLR in TN. I had them with RTE rear hinged links, retainers, and the SG drop kit. As far as rear travel goes, it was impressive, though travel up front was lacking.

Z
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Old January 18th, 2005, 11:12 PM
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Buy a truck first, wheel it. Then do the bling shopping.
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