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  1. #1
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    Default Freelander 2 mods

    This is a follow-on from my question on the Land Rover page yesterday which I think I should have posted here in the first place! Thanks for the advice guys. I'm curious as to how I can improve the TD4's capability without negatively impacting on-road high speed (too much) and without spending a fortune. 1. What tyres - BF Goodrich doesn't come in 235/65/17 - Pirelli Scorpion's? 2. Are mild mods to the suspension a good idea to get an extra 20-30mm ground clearance? 3. Recommendations on better underbody protection such as side bars and bash plates? I don't mind scratching the paint a bit and would like to try the Eastern Cedarberg.
    Last edited by michaelh; 2010/04/22 at 10:46 AM. Reason: incorrect tyre size

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    Default

    It's honestly very very capable already. Go to www.miata.net, go to garage and then tyre calculator. Look for similar size tyres up to 10mm bigger and then punch the sizes into google. You'll soon see what tyres are available, check if yes in SA and then call around.

    We had Pirelli AT/R's (I think) on a Freelander 2 at work, they looked a bit more aggresive and apparently they were quite well priced.

    If you have the cash, put VPS on the car as it will save the paint and you'll get much better resale.

    The car has good underbody protection, I am sure that you could get a fabricator to put on a full aluminium plate underneath but if you are aware of the sensitive points and are careful you'll be fine.

    I haven't seen if you have said it is still under maintenance / warranty. If yes, only change the tyres.
    Last edited by Andrew5336; 2010/04/23 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Ground Clearance

    Hi,

    My sons FL 2 has VPS and Scorpion ATR's.

    The FL 2 already has pretty good underbody protection, anything you add could compromise ground clearance.

    The FL 2 also has proper factory fitted recovery points so nothing you can do here.

    We are concidering a mild suspension/body lift and possibly a chip that optimises the low down torque to help offset the lack of low range.

    Cheers
    FLuffy

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    Default

    I reckon 1 - 2 inch spacers on the coils and shocks would make the LR2 unstoppable...

    Fluffy do you need more than 400nM?

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  6. #5
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    Default No

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew5336 View Post
    I reckon 1 - 2 inch spacers on the coils and shocks would make the LR2 unstoppable...

    Fluffy do you need more than 400nM?
    Hi,

    Not really, but it would be nice if the Nm were available a few hundred RPM earlier. On several technical inclines (eg rock crawling), the lack of low range is a hastle. Better torque at lower revs would help a LOT.

    Cheers
    Fluffy

    Has anybody actually lifted a FL2. If so where and who

  7. #6
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    Default Freelander 2 "Robusting"

    Hi Michaelh,

    Thank you for starting this thread. I was getting concerned about the lack of content on these cars. Perhaps we can get this vehicle somewhat less vulnerable at the front.

    Having recently obtained a used LR2, I have also taken it off-road and discovered it was very good. However, the front suspension being somewhat pliant - mind you, coming from a Tiguan, where the car was BENT on following the front wheels through every hole, to the point of your breath going WHOOSH!, I'm not complaining - the odd scrape is picked up on the plastic strip located between the lower lip of the bumper (underneath the tow eye) and the front of the bash plate.

    After removing this component over the week-end - a bit finnicky - I could properly assess the damage and the purpose of this part, and also see what is beneath it.

    I must say, this is the first car I have owned that comes by design, with rock sliders. Only with the bash plate and this part removed do you realize the extent of the over-design of the structure ring that is hidden there, and the extra mass of this car over comparable(?) vehicles immediately becomes clear.

    Turning the plastic cover inside out, you notice that it is not just a cover, but hidden inside high-density foam strips soften any impact you may have from the outside. It almost makes you want to weep for appreciation.

    The cover itself is somewhat vulnerable, as it hangs below the bash plate. If one could design a clip-on shield from say, 2-3mm Al treadplate, this would be reduced.

    However, instead of getting the plastic pierced by rocks, you will now get dents on the Al, so a little bit of lift would help. Not much, mind you, as the severity of the scrapes is such that 10mm should clear most obstacles for general driving. But seeing as one makes the effort, I'll settle for 20mm.

    Having lifted both my Forester and Tiguan, this should not be too difficult. However, taking a working car apart - as I've done in the past - to measure up the external and internal diameters of a spacer which can be accommodated between the top of the strut and the suspension turret, is a schlep.

    So if someone knows where a smashed up LR2 could be viewed in the Pretoria vicinity, or has a loose strut lying round, I am quite happy to share any spacer design emanating from this measuring up.

    The attached images demonstrate what I am referring to in terms of this cover, with an outside view, typical damage experienced and inside view.
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    Last edited by JJJ; 2010/07/12 at 08:32 PM.

  8. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    Hi Michaelh,

    Having lifted both my Forester and Tiguan, this should not be too difficult. However, taking a working car apart - as I've done in the past - to measure up the external and internal diameters of a spacer which can be accommodated between the top of the strut and the suspension turret, is a schlep.
    Please can you offer advice for someone who has recently purchased a 2006 Forester and also wants to lift it a few cm? Thanks!

  9. #8
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    Default LR2 Mod Progress

    As reported previously on the intended changes to increase the Freelander 2 ground clearance, the attached images show the present status.

    In terms of the spacers (11mm) - before anyone asks "but why so little?" - the intention is to stay within the camber adjustment limits of the car without having to file slots in the suspension turret top plate or "bend the hub". There is no front camber bolt on the car, so the above "invasive" procedures are the only way to stay within the design limits.

    The suspension geometry has been measured and drawn to scale, and 20mm spacers would be permissible without exceeding the inner CV joint articulation on full extension. All you really want to do is reduce the impact and have less scooping of sand, and the (just) scraping of the sills, as demonstrated in the attached images. If you need more clearance, you bought the wrong car.

    Then the bash plate came as an afterthought, to be manufactured from 6082 T6 Al, replacing the existing unit. Not because the present one is too flimsy (it is a bit, though), but as scratches - if you use the car to its capabilities - are inevitable, and the Al at least won't start rusting.

    The clips below illustrate how Witblik fared relative to a Jimny and Hilux on an "obstacle" at De Wildt last week-end:
    

    Jimny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMnm84fPCQM
    Hilux: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTzJ46C3DMM
    LR2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N0Nio4VOZM
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    Last edited by JJJ; 2011/01/06 at 02:31 PM.

  10. #9
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    Default

    I have a Freelander 2 TD4 myself, went to Botswana with it to the Kaa Concession area (Matseleng pand, Name Pan), Kgaligadi via Kaa gate and then off to Mabuasehube via the cut line from Kaa.

    Lots of sand but the only problem I had was vehicle height. I never got stuck or hung up but just low enough to level the middelmannetjies for the guys behind me.

    My gut feel is that 11mm will not be worth the effort. 20mm may help.

    I never felt I did not have enough power, but got quotes from Steve's Auto Clinic and Maus Performance. Both install the UnichipQ.

    Maus Performance claim roughly 140kW and 450Nm and will cost R3900.

    Steves claim 130kW and 450Nm and will cost R5900 including tuning.

    I am not sure if it is worth the effort. May be with more torque one can tackle certain obstacles with less speed.

    Francois

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    Default

    Hi francoisj,

    I see what you mean about the ground clearance when driving on sand. I deflated the tyres to 0.8 bar in my garage this afternoon, and saw that 25 mm is lost from the centre of the wheel hub to the ground, although once you are going, this will pick up slightly. Especially with the HSE 60 profile tyres, this may be a problem.

    Although, while I was looking for a vehicle and explaining I do NOT want the HSE because of the 18" rims - rather the SE - one of the dealers explained to me that this car has been specially designed to drive on sand without deflating the tyres - well just a little bit then, to 1.8 bar - and can go up Dune 7, just outside Walvis Bay.....

    Regarding low-down torque, I am actually surprised at the inclines possible from standstill with the i6, especially if you consider that at reef altitude there is only 260Nm of torque left of the stated performance. The torque converter probably has a lot to do with the car's ability, as it allows the revs to climb untill there is sufficient oomphh to get you up the obstacle.

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    Default

    Thanks a million for your advice, JJJ. I'm pretty useless when it comes to anything mechanical (if you told me the engine was under the boot I might just actually go look there!) so my apologies for not understanding half of what you advised (As well as any further "dof" questions below).

    I like the idea of both the spacers and the aluminium bash plate. Is your LR2 still under warranty? I'm curious whether Land Rover would say this voids the warranty & service plan. Secondly, does anyone know where could I get this done near Cape Town or Wellington?

    Excuse my ignorance but I understand that rock sliders are strong aluminium strips under the sides of the car between the wheels to help protect the body and facilitate sliding (scraping?) safely over obstacles on "breakover". Are you planning on getting or making some for your Freelander? This idea appeals to me because I am worried about rock damage.

    That said, and getting back to my original question on tyres I also did specifically NOT want an 18inch HSE (couldn't find a second-hand SE so bought an S). Hopefully I don't lose as much as 25mm ground clearance if deflating to 1.0. I was going to go for Bridgestone Duelers or Pirelli Scorpions but have been told the Kumho offroad tyre is very competitive and a lot cheaper. Also saw the Leisure Wheels Patrol with the Kevlar reinforced Goodyear Wranglers stating they're tough and not bad at all on the road. No idea what they cost though. The ordinary Wrangler AT/SA seems to not be very puncture resistant from what I've hear. back to square one!

    On the low-down torque I'm more worried about losing it on steep descents seeing as the HDC seems to be set at 8k/h. I read somewhere that this could be adjusted downwards to 5k/h with the speed control buttons but it doesn't seem to work so I run the potential risk of losing grip if then applying the brakes (which switches off the HDC) on a particularly slippery steep downhill which is a scary thought.

    PS. I'm going to start a new post on the general chat about taking the vehicle along Cedarberg's Old Post Road.

  13. #12
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    Default Proto sump guard

    Hi Michaelh,

    Attached images show what the final product looks like. The rear screws should also be replaced with button heads, as the ones I bought turned out to be too short once the final length of the rear spacers had been determined. You'll notice from the images that the plastic cover at the bottom has been removed for clarity.

    What I did learn, was that the grade Al I made this one from is too hard. The hydraulic bending machine could not cope, so the plate had to be heated up with a gas flame in the machine to soften the material temporarily. I must make another two for friends, so I'll use an Al grade that is easier to cold work.

    If the transport cost/postage is not too prohibitive, I could make you one, but I can't give you a price yet. The plate weighs 6.7kg, so together with the bolts, spacers some bubble wrap and a flat box, would probably come to around 8kg. But work on 10kg and an external dimension of 850 x 600 x 50.

    I have a 2 year extension on the warranty. I've also wondered about the issue of it being nullified. But if you have e.g. an electronic failure, it would have nothing to do with a mechanical mod that was done on the car. So if they want to be difficult, LR could dishonour a claim, but I wonder if they would, as the two things are not related. I'll have to enquire.

    In terms of the rock sliders - your understanding of where they are, is correct. I was referring to the ring structure below the engine, which is actually lower than the original sump guard, and therefore also serves as "sled" when the car's nose drops. I'm presently working on something to stop this.

    My experience on the HDC was that the default speed was too SLOW. I'm always setting the speed up to get a more comfortable "gait".
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  14. #13
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    Default

    Hi

    My problem is not so much that the vehicle is too low but that it sags due to soft(ish) rear springs and the independant suspension in the back when loaded, this causes the bottom to scrape. Is there a way of stiffing the rear up a little fo when you are loaded.? Something like Firstone Air Helper Springs for FL2. Or other "Heavy(ier) Duty" springs in the back perhaps?
    2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 VNTd5 ES

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    Default Stiffening up LR2 rear suspension

    Hi Fontuin,

    I have not had a good look at the rear suspension, mainly as I do not have a tow bar (yet), so have not experienced rear end sag.

    Due to the McPherson strut layout, it's a bit more tricky to raise the rear (other than spacers), as the way I understand air helpers is that they go inside the spring and push from the inside to make it more difficult for the spring to compress. I.e. the spring is now working against the mass of the car PLUS the air pressure. The space for the air helper is taken up by the damper, and I do not think one could adapt the leaf spring air helper design to fit a car with independent suspension.

    Perhaps a progressive spring is the answer. Under normal use the car then has the original ride, but when loaded, it stiffens up.

    I have not seen this type of spring readily for sale for the LR2, so you may have to have it manufactured. This is not as farfetched as you may think, as I've recently seen an advert for a Jo'burg-based company (probably Springs ...) which makes them to requirement. I would guess they need the original with instructions as to how it should be changed. It should actually work out cheaper than ordering a ready-made product (if it was available) from overseas, as the postage generally kills such an excercise.

    Best would be then to go buy a scrap spring at a place like British 4x4 and use this as sample. I'll try to recall where I've seen the advert and let you know.

    JJJ
    Last edited by JJJ; 2010/08/22 at 01:06 PM.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    Hi Fontuin,

    I have not had a good look at the rear suspension, mainly as I do not have a tow bar (yet), so have not experienced rear end sag.

    Due to the McPherson strut layout, it's a bit more tricky to raise the rear (other than spacers), as the way I understand air helpers is that they go inside the spring and push from the inside to make it more difficult for the spring to compress. I.e. the spring is now working against the mass of the car PLUS the air pressure. The space for the air helper is taken up by the damper, and I do not think one could adapt the leaf spring air helper design to fit a car with independent suspension.

    Perhaps a progressive spring is the answer. Under normal use the car then has the original ride, but when loaded, it stiffens up.

    I have not seen this type of spring readily for sale for the LR2, so you may have to have it manufactured. This is not as farfetched as you may think, as I've recently seen an advert for a Jo'burg-based company (probably Springs ...) which makes them to requirement. I would guess they need the original with instructions as to how it should be changed. It should actually work out cheaper than ordering a ready-made product (if it was available) from overseas, as the postage generally kills such an excercise.

    Best would be then to go buy a scrap spring at a place like British 4x4 and use this as sample. I'll try to recall where I've seen the advert and let you know.

    JJJ
    Hi

    Thanks for the advice.

    Yes, the air helpers wouldn't work, it would be perfect if they could though.

    I hadn't considered having springs custom made, I'll also look around, perhaps Koni will be able to make me a set, they build custom springs for racing cars? Let me know if you find someone, I would appreciate that.

    I don't want to change the tar and grvel road handling or comfort of the vehicle too much it is part of what makes it so good, that is one of the reasons why a lift is not really an option for me also not stiffer springs but progressive rate springs would do nicely me thinks.
    2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 VNTd5 ES

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    Default Variable Rate Springs

    Hi Fontuin,

    The company I was thinking of, was Geary Suspension in Durban, at http://www.gearysuspension.co.za/ind...d=48&Itemid=59

    The following - and I may be preaching to the converted - excerpt from the web explains how these springs differ from those with a constant rate. It sounds exactly like what you want to achieve. The ML Mercs came standard with these springs.

    VARIABLE RATE SPRINGS

    Definition: A type of spring that changes stiffness as it deflects. A variable rate spring uses coils of varying thickness or spacing to provide a soft ride when the vehicle is lightly loaded, but a firmer ride when the load increases. Only a few vehicles have variable rate springs as original equipment. On most vehicles, the rear coil springs can be easily replaced with variable rate springs to reduce bottoming and to increase the vehicle's load carrying capacity.

    As indication of what to expect in terms of cost, I imported a set of H&R lifting springs from Germany for my Tiguan, and this came to just over Euro200, when the Rox was worse than R10/Euro. Shipping would have added another Euro100, but I fortunately had a friend in Germany who brought it out in his suitcase during one of his visits here.

    JJJ

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    Hi Fontuin,

    The company I was thinking of, was Geary Suspension in Durban, at http://www.gearysuspension.co.za/ind...d=48&Itemid=59

    The following - and I may be preaching to the converted - excerpt from the web explains how these springs differ from those with a constant rate. It sounds exactly like what you want to achieve. The ML Mercs came standard with these springs.

    VARIABLE RATE SPRINGS

    Definition: A type of spring that changes stiffness as it deflects. A variable rate spring uses coils of varying thickness or spacing to provide a soft ride when the vehicle is lightly loaded, but a firmer ride when the load increases. Only a few vehicles have variable rate springs as original equipment. On most vehicles, the rear coil springs can be easily replaced with variable rate springs to reduce bottoming and to increase the vehicle's load carrying capacity.

    As indication of what to expect in terms of cost, I imported a set of H&R lifting springs from Germany for my Tiguan, and this came to just over Euro200, when the Rox was worse than R10/Euro. Shipping would have added another Euro100, but I fortunately had a friend in Germany who brought it out in his suitcase during one of his visits here.

    JJJ
    Thanks

    Some Defenders have variable rate springs.

    I'll get in to contact with Geary Suspnsion.

    Have a good day.
    2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 VNTd5 ES

  19. #18
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    Default LR2 Chinguard

    Fellow Freelander 2 owners,

    Following on from the LR2 vulnerability as described in post #6 of this thread, attached image shows the first in-the-metal prototype of the chinguard I've devised for my Freelander 2.

    I apologise for it not quite having the professional appearance of Uys' Stofpad products, but this is all done in my garage through the evolution of half-a-dozen cardboard templates, transferring this into a DXF file, with the manufacturing of the final design subcontracted to local companies capable of waterjet cutting and bending.

    But it has covered in excess of 800 km over the past week-end without falling off, so I am really pleased that at least the attachment concept has been proven.

    Now comes the refinement in terms of more accurate alignment, smaller gaps, welding up the seams and more suitable material choice.

    Hopefully quicker than the 6 weeks it took to get the first one done.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default

    Hi All,

    Attached images illustrate why, even if you just go mildly off-road with the Freelander 2, the standard sump guard is not optimal. Possibly it is strong enough and it will keep the underside of the engine clean and also soak up a considerable amount of crude should you strike oil. The trouble is that it is spraypainted vs powder-coated, which is not scratch-resistant. Soon those scratches will start rusting, especially at the coast.

    The initial image has the original guard placed over the prototype Aluminium version, showing the difference in area covered by the new design - and that at least the mounting holes are in the same place .

    The second image shows the limited production run I had done recently. One's mine, two are sold, and the remaining one is available if anyone's interested. Pse PM.

    It is made of 5mm 6061 T6 (machine grade) Al, edges rounded off and sanded to an even appearance - note that the scrathes it picks up during handling by the different manufacturing processes are not polished out as other than making the plate thinner would be pointless anyway, considering where it is going.

    The prototype was made of 6mm sheet, but this was considered too strong. The plate should still be able to ding, otherwise it would take the attachment points out. It weighs 5.6kg, as opposed to the original 1.6mm steel version's 4.8 kg.

    The reason I mention the grade and condition of the Al above, is that this material is sometimes regarded as very much inferior in strength to steel. This is true for the lower grades, but the material chosen has 80% the tensile strength of mild steel. Taking into consideration the 5mm vs 1.6mm thickness, the Al version is clearly superior.

    Mounting is via 4x button head Allen cap bolts with spacers. The front holes use the original LR bolts.
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  22. #20
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    Default Brace mod

    I’ve noticed, after a recent off-road excursion, a ding in an under-body component of my LR2. Not a serious dent – the paint was not even damaged - and fortunately also a part that is easily removed and just as easily straightened out by hand and the aid of a bench vice.

    For lack of knowing what it is called, I will describe it as: Brace rear; Front sub-frame. This is what it looks like, after straightening it out (Michaelh, you should recognize this part, as yours had a much more radical shape than mine, pre-straightened ). The part is viewed from the top, with the indented section facing forward.



    What puzzled me was how it was possible for this component to even come into contact with the ground, as it has more clearance than both the sump guard and door sills.

    I then figured out that the damage occurred – and will again - when descending along a rocky path like typical Tankwa Karoo terrain, where the front wheels roll down “steps”.

    The brace is located on the centre-line – between the transmission and where the exhaust levels out underneath the car. This places it in line with the rear of the front wheel arches, so should there be a pointy rock in the middelmannetjie, this will push the component upwards into deformation as the ground clearance decreases when the wheels roll down the step.

    It is made of 1.5mm mild steel with folded up edges and a central dimple for stiffening, and is therefore not really structural. Here you can see to what extent it deviated from the straight and narrow.



    I then set out to make a slightly beefed-up replacement part from Al (same material as the sump guard, but 10mm thick), and even though it still can’t be used as a jacking point in lieu of where it attaches to the under-body, this should be a bit more robust than the original part (by calculation, around 9x more robust).



    I could not determine what the function of the indentation of the original part was on my car - petrol model. Possibly the transmission housing/exhaust runs differently on the TD4 models and perhaps need more space. Checked on a TD4 - the part needs the indentation in order to clear the rear of the transmission, it appears. Even so, if the cut-out is done to the Al part, it would still be 5x stiffer than the original. On the petrol models a straight brace fits with no interference, even if it bends upwards.

    So we’ll see in due course if the new part behaves any better.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2011/02/21 at 08:42 AM. Reason: Clarification in red

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    By 280iNyati in forum Vehicle & Technical Chat - General
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2006/09/12, 10:39 AM

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