lift, droop and tire size, ground clearance... - Defender Source
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Old October 12th, 2011, 12:12 PM
wantone
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Rick Thompson
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lift, droop and tire size, ground clearance...

ok guys, i have a question that involves a few things all linked together and i will do my best to articulate it so that it makes sense.

this has to do with the beaten to death question of largest tire size and lifts, suspension travel and suspension droop out and ground clearance

1. when off roading, ( trail running, not high speed desert stuff ) it is my understanding that suspension droop is more imortant generally speaking that suspension up travel. as some wheelers will set the suspension so that it has 4" uptravel but 10" of droop or down travel fro example. correct?

2. now, with stock trailing arms they are limited in the downward travel due to the design of the bushing, therefore, if one puts a 2" lift on without changing the arms, won't this effectively limit the downward travel from the new ride hieght? meaning, they have already traveled down 2" from the 2" lift?
(i understand that chaning the arms, changing to heim joints etc., will help but i am only speaking about a stock set up for now and i want to keep this simple)

3. lifting the suspension raises the truck and only gives more ground clearance for the frame and body and putting on larger tires gives more clearance where it is need the most, the differential (the lowest point)

so if 1-3 are generally correct, wouldnt you want the largest diameter tire you can fit with the stock setup as this gets you more ground clearance and gives you the most suspension drop out without doing major mods to the suspension? (also, keep the correct castor and pinion angles etc.) Then, if one does decide to lift the suspension for even larger tires (to keep them rub free and full suspension compression, limited of course by the bump stops) then you would want to do something to increase the drop out even more (and of course all the needed castor/pinion angle corrections) and then lengthen the bump stops? (alot of work!)

Whew!

now the reason i ask is i am currently running 285 km2's with a 2" lift and 1.5" spacers and have alot of clearance (the fender flares are trimmed) and was measuring and i think i can get 36" to fit, possibly even if i take out the 2" lift (this will also keep my ride hieght so i can get in the garage). i thought for real world off roading (without doing major suspension mods for now) the best overall setup would be to go to stock suspension settings (btw i have 2"+ shocks on) for max drop out and the largest tire for max. ground clearance.

I remember an old thread where buck mentioned he ran 40" on a 1.5" lift but with some trimming, which i really dont mind doing.

what do you all think? am i on the right track or completely off or completely confused?

thanks for the help!
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  #2  
Old October 12th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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The jeep guys do a high fender kit so that they can get larger tires with a minimal lift. Part of the droop is the length of the shock. It is also part of the spring, if it is retained or you have dislocation cones. Also the larger diameter tires will decrease your turning radius. The larger diameter tire will also increase your un-sprung weight. If you do not beef up the suspension it will not be able to handle the added weight. I saw a D2 with one of those large Michelin military tires have the whole set up take off running before the truck going down a hill. The truck balanced pretty well on three tires, for a little while.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 11:54 PM
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Yes, except that droop is not limited by the stock trailing arms, but by the shocks. The trailing arms can handle a lot more than stock droop.

36" is possible at stock height with trimming and limiting up travel, but you should do a a lot of work making the drivetrain stronger At 36 a bit of lift is helpful to gain back the lost up travel and add the right things to increase droop (shocks or shock mounts, spring retainers and brake lines) at the same time.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 09:32 AM
wantone
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Tha ks for the replies. So the trailing arms movement will be limited by the springs & shocks well before the bushings. Totally get it. Thanks for the help
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  #5  
Old October 13th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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Droop not limited by the springs - just the shocks.

Typically on the Defender, drivers fix the spring to the perch on the axle using a flat metal plate. When articulating, the spring actually completely leaves the frame perch.

A device called a dislocation cone ensures the spring returns to the frame perch correctly when articulation has completed.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Springs can limit droop if you are running retainers top and bottom like many people do
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Old October 13th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Limiting up travel in the front will hurt you on the the trail, the front radius arms are a limiting factor from the factory. The rear is where the travel happens on a 90, you will want to limit your up travel or those 36" tires will eat the rear quarters of the body.
Depending on what kinda wheeling you will be doing i would fasten the springs to the chassis, my thoughts are after the spring looses contact with the frame it doesnt have much advantage as traction and is more or less a balance point for the truck.
I run 36" tires on my 90 and have 3" of lift and will say while the stock arms can take a lot of droop the rear bushings will not, A good set of corrected arms will make things happy.
What size of wheel and what offset would you run with the 36" tires, as this will make a difference on where the concerns will be with rubbing.
With 3" castor can be corrected with radius arms, but if your just wanting to run the 36" tires and fit in your garage then you are probably on the right track. But for trail use you will find that two large a tire with limited travel will in most cases not be an advantage over a smaller tired truck with good suspension travel.
The biggest tire doesnt allways go the furthest on the trail, In some cases the bigger tire wins.
I think its about a balance between suspension components to tire size to build a combo that complements the way the truck is going to be used.

Mall crawlers excluded

cheers Ed
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:20 PM
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thanks guys, all makes good sense to me. i just want a good understanding of everything before i start adding things to the truck, and i want to do them in a logical order while fitting my real needs. ed, you make a good point as well, any suggestions on how to attach the springs? after thinking, i am going to go with 315 KM2's which are 35" and i will probably keep the 2" lift on, would you suggest extending the rear bump stops 2" then?

yep, i am not wanting a mall crawler, if so, i would just slap on some big tires and not worry about it since the most the suspesion would see is a curb!....
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  #9  
Old October 14th, 2011, 03:46 AM
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The rear springs can be attached to the chassis with a simple piece of flat bar and two bolts i can take some pics of mine if you like.
As for the bump stops I like to articulate the suspension till it just starts to rub then secure vehical and measure the distance you need to drop bump stops.
I also add about 1/2 inch for rubber deflection on the bump stop for good measures and you should be good to go.
If you go with a narrow wheel you will have a better chance of tucking the wheel and tire combe into the wheel well rather than into it.

Cheers Ed
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Old October 14th, 2011, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantone View Post

now the reason i ask is i am currently running 285 km2's with a 2" lift and 1.5" spacers and (...) and i think i can get 36" to fit, possibly even if i take out the 2" lift

(...)trimming, which i really dont mind doing.
This is mine,
I run 285/75 SSRs (34") as daily tires and 36" TSLs (35.5", in the pic) with no rear lift (retained stock springs) and close to 1" front...

Trimmed though.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 09:31 AM
wantone
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thanks ed and michele! ed, did you simply "sandwich a two pieces of flat stock on top of the spring mount and in the springs with a bolt in the middle?
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Old October 14th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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That or,
as I did, a disc shaped plate on top to mimic the spring seat,
better to spread the load.
Flat bar below, 2 bolts, job done.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Cube nice truck like your set up.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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This is all i have of mine i never seem to get any good shots of my own rig.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Wink

Thanks!
I like yours too, they seem related must be the color
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Michele,
Beautiful truck! How much trimming did you have to do to get the 36 to tuck? Am I correct they are 12.5 wide? Thanks!!

-Aaron
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Old October 19th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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Hi Aaron, thanks for the kind comment.
Minimal trimming, the rear corners which you barely notice,
the plastic flares, and a bit of inner sheetmetal at front,
right above the bulkhead mounts...

My TSLs are labelled 12.50, yes, I can't remember if it's a real value or they're slightly different.
They are wide just fine to me, not to narrow, and not too large to be unpractical...

------ Follow up post added October 19th, 2011 04:47 PM ------

Edit: 13" wide, what is says on the tin...
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  #18  
Old October 21st, 2011, 02:45 PM
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Need 4 fender flares for 94 D 90

I am redoing my truck and I am looking for all 4 fender flares. I understand the new ones that are sold by the different websites have the shiny plastic look. I was hoping to get the origional mat look.



Does anyone know where I can find them?



thanks



Dave

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