How are Defenders on the highway? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 19th, 2010, 05:49 PM
Mister Bean
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Matt Cullen
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How are Defenders on the highway?

Say, in comparison to a Jeep Wrangler (TJ) or Land Cruiser FJ60?

I've wanted a Defender for a long time and have recently been thinking more seriously about getting one. I don't imagine they're great on the highway, and that's fine. I drove many highway miles with my FJ60 and never minded it. However, driving my father's TJ on the highway was an awful experience; emergency stops were very difficult to handle, winding roads weren't much fun, and the rear end wanted to come around at just about any speed in the snow with any application of the throttle. The Defender 90 wheelbase is much closer in length to the Jeep than the Land Cruiser so I'm curious how they compare. Any thoughts?

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, I didn't see one that was specifically Defender, but not technical. If this is in the wrong place, feel free to move it mods.
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  #2  
Old November 19th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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Joshua
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They're fine as long as you don't have a "death wobble" ... this was mine when I first got it. It no longer has it after I got an alignment and balance with new tires. Honestly, I find it quite comfy, if not a bit loud.

http://www.youtube.com/user/rijosho#p/u/10/qnQb7zRvKWs

Here's my channel if you want to see what we did last weekend. Fun times!

http://www.youtube.com/user/rijosho

------ Follow up post added November 19th, 2010 06:12 PM ------

Honesly, this is the best deal around right now. SUPER CLEAN Defender.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...6&postcount=20
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  #3  
Old November 19th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Hey Matt-

Come on down to Monument, and you can drive mine if you'd like. They all drive fine on the highway.
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  #4  
Old November 19th, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Neil McCauley
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It's a blast as long as its running and your not driving up a hill.
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  #5  
Old November 19th, 2010, 07:07 PM
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Joshua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley
It's a blast as long as its running and your not driving up a hill.
Oh yeah I assumed we weren't talking about uphill highways.
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  #6  
Old November 19th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Brad Harris
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loud....

my take for freeway travel: better than a Jeep worse than a Land Cruiser

ymmv
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  #7  
Old November 19th, 2010, 08:15 PM
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IF youre crying about the TJ you might as well get a Land Cruiser
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  #8  
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:06 PM
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Scott Y
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They are fine on the highway. I drove my D90 between Arizona and Mass a total of four times. However, with a 15 gal tank and 15 mpg, you are stopping every two hours or so to refuel. You really want to pay attention to managing your fuel. On a couple of my trips, I got close to running out of gas because I bypassed stations with say 40 miles of fuel and then not seeing another station for miles, miles and miles. A GPS navigator with fuel station locations is great and very helpful. On an interstate you can start bumping into the speed limiter built into the fuel injection system, which can be annoying. The limiter is set at about 85-90 miles per hour. On my last trip I installed a second ECU as a backup, mounting using standoffs on top of the original in tool compartment. I picked the second one up on ebay and it is from a Disco. One difference is the limiter, I have never hit it yet; the Defender can go that fast.

By the way, I always get roughly 15 mpg, whether driving in soft sand, on an interstate, or around town.
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  #9  
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Louder w/bigger tires and if you have an exceptionally "rumbly" drivetrain. Also, should you decide to lift it more than about two inches, a whole array of issues may/will probably follow due to the changes in geometry, necessitating money thrown at it to make it better. In particular, they get squirrelly at highway speeds without caster correction/longer radius/trailing arms, and maybe even get very rumbly under accel/decel without correcting driveline angles, adding double cardon driveshafts, etc.

As you may have surmised, I dealt with all this on one of my trucks. After all the corrections, however, it now drives like a Cadillac on the highway, even if it is huge.

Or, you can buy one, leave it pretty much alone, and it'll be great, although loudish. (Except uphill as mentioned, unless you regear it......also a result of all the aforementioned excesses. ) My newer purchase will not get all the craziness the first one did. It does, however, ride like a truck even though its littler. Oh yeah, and make sure you have and keep a good tire balance and alignment as Josh mentioned if you'll be doing a lot of highway driving.

Just get one and you (probably) won't regret it.

Murph

On a side note, Boulder, CO! Sweet! <CU-Boulder. Class of '93>
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  #10  
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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Andrew J. Hutton
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If maintained meticulously they are pretty good, loud though. The tdi can be good if you drive more conservativly and with tuning will do 120-125kph all day. The V8 is a lot more fun and quieter (on highway, off-road or slow both do well) but you really want a 4.6l.

The one caveat is that if you lift one then you *need* to fix your castor or it will be more effort on the highway.

I also fitted a heavy front anti-roll-bar which makes any quicker manoeuvre much more predictable. Not 100% needed but I certainly prefer having it.

I also fitted the firm polybushes all around, koni heavy track shocks, and nearly every wear part is new or refurbished.

That all being said, I am now 90% happy with highway handling. What I still have left to do is to restore about 3 degrees of castor to get some self centering back. The reason I am doing this last is that it also tends to hide other issues like worn parts, by having the castor out every little issue is evident.
So, they can be kinda bad if worn like anything, but with time and attention they can be as nice as any double live axle vehicle can be.

(Can you tell I had spare time in the 110 waiting on picking someone up)
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  #11  
Old November 20th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharris View Post
loud....

my take for freeway travel: better than a Jeep worse than a Land Cruiser

ymmv
agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
....However, with a 15 gal tank and 15 mpg, you are stopping every two hours or so to refuel....
my TDI is what really puts it ahead of my CJ or TJ on the highway, I only have a ~12 gallon tank, but I can still go further than my TJ did with a 19 gallon'er. One of these days I'll save up for an aux tank (when I eventually do a WVO conversion) for some serious range.
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  #12  
Old November 20th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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I think a D90 is better on the hwy than an FJ60 or 62 but not as good as the 80 series and above. Long wheelbase of the LC helps it but the leaf springs suck when you hit the bumps if they are worn.
A defender 110 drives great on the hwy.
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  #13  
Old November 20th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Jeff Davis
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Just drove from Denver to Dallas and back in a soft top. Very loud. Wore ear plugs and saved myself a headache. Got anywhere from 11-13 mpg depending on wind direction. Ran out of gas once. 90 mph with tail wind. Max 65 mph with strong head wind. Have 33 inch tires, 2 inch lift, and roof rack. Rack actually cut down on noise....flooring seemed to redirect the wind from bouncing the top up and down. You can test mine if you're ever in Denver. Buy it for the mountains and tooling around town. Get a Range Rover for highway.
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  #14  
Old November 20th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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More comfortable and better ride than my Discovery II......
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  #15  
Old November 20th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho

Honesly, this is the best deal around right now. SUPER CLEAN Defender.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...6&postcount=20
Out of curiosity Horsey, how do you know this is the best deal and that it's "SUPER CLEAN"? Have you actually seen it in person?
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  #16  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 03:24 AM
Mister Bean
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Matt Cullen
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Thanks for the info everyone. Now I just need to convince my wife to let me trade a money pit Saab for a money pit Land Rover.

Newf and Zeus - I may take one of you up on your offer. Though it will be a little while.

Helo - It's a great place to live.
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  #17  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 08:03 AM
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I will put in a gratuitous plug for a mid 80s-93 Range Rover. It will do just about anything you can do in a Defender but not beat you up in the process.
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  #18  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bean View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. Now I just need to convince my wife to let me trade a money pit Saab for a money pit Land Rover.

Newf and Zeus - I may take one of you up on your offer. Though it will be a little while.
LOL. Anytime Matt, anytime. I've got three different examples, all with different power plants. We keep going back and forth about selling the 90, but dangit, I know we'd miss her once she's gone.
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  #19  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:18 AM
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the longer the wheel base the better the ride.
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  #20  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:28 AM
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the longer the wheel base the better the ride.
Thats what she said.
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