Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?





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  1. #1
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    Default Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    i am thinking of upgrading the 130's suspension and initially i looked at the Terrafirma complete suspension upgrade which included radius arms, front shock turrets, etc etc but I think that maybe over kill for an overlander? I dont know. The main aim is to improve the ride and upgrade all the standard components that are now 115k kms old. I am not particularly looking for a lift or a kit for extreme 4x4 stuff as it will be used for overland travel.

    I have been chatting to a few people locally but not one of them ask details about the vehicle or how heavy it is. All they do is either give me a quote or say they will send me one and when I ask what about caster corrected radius arms, they either look at me confused or say they will quote me on them if I want them.

    I am not looking at asking for a list of stuff getting a quote, fitting it and hoping for the best. I am looking for someone who actually knows what they are doing to make a recommendation. We do this in Racing and have people who can "tune" our suspension, so am I expecting a bit much for the 4x4 industry?

    Is there anyone in Gauteng that actually knows what they are doing and will take the time to work out the best option instead of just quoting and hoping for a sale? I am not stuck on Terrafirma so will look at other solutions.



    Thank you.
    BruceT
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Can't help to much.
    I decided a lift was out and for overlanding in some quite tricky terrain I have never been caught. I was also worried about being top heavy as we already load on roof etc. I did do double shocks at the back mainly for redundancy if one is damaged. I have the terrafirma big bore at the back. I have never been happy with the ride on corrugations but I have not ever heard of anybody who is. Will follow with interest.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I spoke to the owner, but I have forgotten his name, at East Rand 4x4: next door to outdoor warehouse on East Rand Rd.

    He's been in the business a long time, but has recently set up on his own, he wasn't in a rush or pushing for a sale, a really nice guy.

    I eventually bought iron man from him and am very happy.
    He took his time to listen to what I use the vehicle for and definitely did not push for the most expensive sale he could sell

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I'm a bit hesitant to post a comment here...its such a broad topic.

    I dont think LR got it wrong re suspension when it left Solihul.

    For your purpose, I would put in airbags.

    Personally up to 2inch lift, I wouldnt worry about caster(also note every defender is different), but I can see from my setup that the trailing arm chassis bush is taking strain, so will most likely get kinked trailing arms to relief the bush.

    I've stayed with std 110 coils as they give the best articulation/weight carrying ratio.

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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I had medium coils up front and heavy duty coils in the rear with big bore all around. All terrafirma. No issues but i did carry weight. For the standard lift you don't need caster correction etc.

    on the classic i had about a 6" lift, medium coils all around and long travel sport shocks. Also terrafirma and also no issues. Did have to go with radius arms and prop spacers and adjustable panhard rods etc.

    goody2shoes on the forum uses his 130 for tours so travels heavy, also terrafirma and also no issues. (Big bore etc).

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    TBH I am really getting negative about local part suppliers. You have to keep begging them for stuff. I ordered a Terrafirma panhard rod 3 weeks ago from a company in Pretoria, for example......i was told i would have it the next day. I have tried calling several times to find out if it has arrived, and I keep getting I will check and call you back and 3 weeks later still nothing. Ive given up and will just import it and everything else if I have to. Seems they are just not interested.
    Same as accessory suppliers, a marketing manager from a company I have supported for probably 15 years and spent a huge amount of money with, promoted their products because i believed in them, doesnt even bother replying to me after 4 weeks (and I wasnt trying to sell him anything); so tomorrow I will be visiting his competitor who does take the time to reply and seems interested, and replacing everything i currently have with his products and fitting even more accessories - not bothering to reply to me has just lost them about R60k to R70k worth of business tomorrow alone! And I dont mean this in an arrogant way.; in this day an age with all the rubbish going on you would think people would make an effort to retain customers.


    Sorry for the moan.

    Anyway, i am looking for someone who can help "tune" and supply the correct suspension for my setup and like I said I am not necessarily looking for a lift, just an upgrade on my old suspension to improve the ride on dirt roads especially. I understand the theory and things like when caster correction is needed etc. I would like someone who would work out the weight of my vehicle and all its accessories and then make suggestions as to what would be best. Is there anyone like that?

    I could be being unreasonable so please tell me if that is the case.
    Last edited by BruceT; 2020/07/02 at 09:22 AM.
    BruceT
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
    TBH I am really getting negative about local part suppliers. You have to keep begging them for stuff. I ordered a Terrafirma panhard rod 3 weeks ago from a company in Pretoria, for example......i was told i would have it the next day. I have tried calling several times to find out if it has arrived, and I keep getting I will check and call you back and 3 weeks later still nothing. Ive given up and will just import it and everything else if I have to. Seems they are just not interested.
    Same as accessory suppliers, a marketing manager from a company I have supported for probably 15 years and spent a huge amount of money with, promoted their products because i believed in them, doesnt even bother replying to me after 4 weeks (and I wasnt trying to sell him anything); so tomorrow I will be visiting his competitor who does take the time to reply and seems interested, and replacing everything i currently have with his products and fitting even more accessories - not bothering to reply to me has just lost them about R60k to R70k worth of business tomorrow alone! And I dont mean this in an arrogant way.; in this day an age with all the rubbish going on you would think people would make an effort to retain customers.


    Sorry for the moan.

    Anyway, i am looking for someone who can help "tune" and supply the correct suspension for my setup and like I said I am not necessarily looking for a lift, just an upgrade on my old suspension to improve the ride on dirt roads especially.
    A lot of businesses are having stock problems with resupply because of the lock down. However, the phones are still working but they seem to forget that.

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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
    TBH I am really getting negative about local part suppliers. You have to keep begging them for stuff. I ordered a Terrafirma panhard rod 3 weeks ago from a company in Pretoria, for example......i was told i would have it the next day. I have tried calling several times to find out if it has arrived, and I keep getting I will check and call you back and 3 weeks later still nothing. Ive given up and will just import it and everything else if I have to. Seems they are just not interested.
    Same as accessory suppliers, a marketing manager from a company I have supported for probably 15 years and spent a huge amount of money with, promoted their products because i believed in them, doesnt even bother replying to me after 4 weeks (and I wasnt trying to sell him anything); so tomorrow I will be visiting his competitor who does take the time to reply and seems interested, and replacing everything i currently have with his products and fitting even more accessories - not bothering to reply to me has just lost them about R60k to R70k worth of business tomorrow alone! And I dont mean this in an arrogant way.; in this day an age with all the rubbish going on you would think people would make an effort to retain customers.


    Sorry for the moan.

    Anyway, i am looking for someone who can help "tune" and supply the correct suspension for my setup and like I said I am not necessarily looking for a lift, just an upgrade on my old suspension to improve the ride on dirt roads especially. I understand the theory and things like when caster correction is needed etc. I would like someone who would work out the weight of my vehicle and all its accessories and then make suggestions as to what would be best. Is there anyone like that?

    I could be being unreasonable so please tell me if that is the case.
    I dont think a sales guy in SA will have the knowledge...I think you need to email Gwyn Lewis.
    I'm still off the opinion, that 130 coils +airbags will be correct for your application.
    There have been guys with terrafirma medium on 130s to swop them out immediately as even without weight on the back, wasnt up to task.

    I also agree with you, that you dont want to add lift for overlanding.

    http://www.red90.ca/rovers/springinfo.html

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    old man emu's with airbags in the back, they will help to level all out depending on your load..
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Quote Originally Posted by D-tox View Post
    old man emu's with airbags in the back, they will help to level all out depending on your load..
    Also noted on the red90 website that OME has a variable coil for the rear.

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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I broke two ome coils on the 130 and 1 on a 110. Since then dont trust them on a landy. On other vehicles they seem to work well.

    Air bags are great as long as they don't start leaking. Was also considering them at one stage till did a trip with a guy who had them on his prado. One bag got a puncture from a rock or something and his standard coils couldnt deal with the weight. What a nightmare.

    now i rather just fit the right coils for the task.

    Have a look at the terrafirma suspension selector on-line. Do the math on your weight and see what works for you. I usually add a bit more because you often start changing your kit etc.

    just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I only skim read most of it so that is my disclaimer but as someone pointed out the standard Land Rover set up is very good. IF you not lifting it I would stick with Genuine coils and Koni heavy Track Raid and that will be it.

    Maybe throw out inner spring on the back and use an airbag but get it fully kitted first and see where you stand.
    Last edited by Byron; 2020/07/02 at 11:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
    TBH I am really getting negative about local part suppliers. You have to keep begging them for stuff. I ordered a Terrafirma panhard rod 3 weeks ago from a company in Pretoria, for example......i was told i would have it the next day. I have tried calling several times to find out if it has arrived, and I keep getting I will check and call you back and 3 weeks later still nothing. Ive given up and will just import it and everything else if I have to. Seems they are just not interested.
    Same as accessory suppliers, a marketing manager from a company I have supported for probably 15 years and spent a huge amount of money with, promoted their products because i believed in them, doesnt even bother replying to me after 4 weeks (and I wasnt trying to sell him anything); so tomorrow I will be visiting his competitor who does take the time to reply and seems interested, and replacing everything i currently have with his products and fitting even more accessories - not bothering to reply to me has just lost them about R60k to R70k worth of business tomorrow alone! And I dont mean this in an arrogant way.; in this day an age with all the rubbish going on you would think people would make an effort to retain customers.


    Sorry for the moan.

    Anyway, i am looking for someone who can help "tune" and supply the correct suspension for my setup and like I said I am not necessarily looking for a lift, just an upgrade on my old suspension to improve the ride on dirt roads especially. I understand the theory and things like when caster correction is needed etc. I would like someone who would work out the weight of my vehicle and all its accessories and then make suggestions as to what would be best. Is there anyone like that?

    I could be being unreasonable so please tell me if that is the case.
    You're not moaning. You are stating facts. I often have to beg suppliers to get back to me to buy THEIR stuff! I also want to just import directly from UK now as it seems the parts/accessory businesses here are doing too well for our business!
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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    I broke two ome coils on the 130 and 1 on a 110. Since then dont trust them on a landy. On other vehicles they seem to work well.

    Air bags are great as long as they don't start leaking. Was also considering them at one stage till did a trip with a guy who had them on his prado. One bag got a puncture from a rock or something and his standard coils couldnt deal with the weight. What a nightmare.

    now i rather just fit the right coils for the task.

    Have a look at the terrafirma suspension selector on-line. Do the math on your weight and see what works for you. I usually add a bit more because you often start changing your kit etc.

    just my opinion.

    hehe, this is interesting.. I had more than 2 Terra firma shocks fail on me within the 1st 1000km (on the 90 and 130), hence going to OME ... but I think after all the fiddling with suspensions, next time I will go Original LR with airbags in the back.

    OME has served me well thus far..
    Last edited by D-tox; 2020/07/02 at 11:54 AM.
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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    In my experience the closest I got to advice for coils and shocks is Mikem. They design their own progressive coils which they pair with bilstein shocks. Maybe worth trying them if you havenít already


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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    if going to +2" coils and shocks you don't need caster correction arms but would also put extended bump stops, if you go +2" and more then you need to change caster correction front and back and looking at about +-15K

    i have made my own spacers +2" all laser cut and a fraction of price shops sell them for. also rear pin shock mount brackets, i also have TF twin shock turrets lying at home as well as TF STD shock turrets as well have to check on that
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    I am not sure it Ted Garsteng of Billstein is still in business,but he sure used to know his stuff around shocks.
    Has the 130 not have double coils at the back?LR mark their coils with paint to differentiate the different load rating.It is somewhere on the web.I have it somewhere for the RRC,sure the same info for the 130 must be available.
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Thanks all for the replies. Apologies for my moaning. Was a bit grumpy when I wrote some of the above.

    now that I have started adding weight to the 130, she does feel a lot better. Perhaps I should just wait before changing anything
    BruceT
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Speak to Darrell at Mikem suspensions once you have everything fitted and the vehicle as close to loaded as you would for a trip.

    They load test each spring to get the exact loads they are experiencing in the vehicle and then either custom make coils to suite if they have nothing available
    Then they will also test your shocks to see if they are compatible with the spring rates - they do Bilstein shocks if yo need to change them out.

    I think you are looking for the same technical insight that i was when it came to fitting the correct suspension and not just picking catalog parts and they are the only people i found in gauteng that answered all the questions and are willing to put the work in to get everything setup to match my specific vehicle.

    They will also be changing all my suspension bushes as preventative maintenance.

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  33. #20
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    Default Re: Defender 130 Suspension Upgrade - who?

    Thank you Jay_B
    BruceT
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