Page created: 13-May-05
|Technical: Discovery I|
I purchased my Discovery the existing standard suspension was rather
tired, which is not surprising as I suspect that both the springs and
dampers were those originally fitted by the factory. I already knew that
I wanted to upgrade the suspension as I needed to be able to travel
fully loaded over rough terrain and tow a large caravan. I was also
conscious of the fact that some of the other modifications I had planned
such as steering
sliders and a substantial roof
rack would add a significant amount of dead weight to the
knew several people that had bought 1 and 2 inch suspension lift
packages from Scorpion Racing comprising De Carbon dampers and their own
brand springs. This seemed an obvious solution and I initially thought
that a 1-inch lift would be appropriate.
when I described what I wanted together with the other modifications I
had planned to the Service Manager at Keith
Gott Land Rovers, he advised against a suspension lift. His reasoning
was this: Lifting the suspension raises the center of gravity, changes
the steering castor angle and changes the prop-shaft angles. The first
two, when combined with a heavily loaded roof rack, will adversely
affect the vehicle handling and the latter will increase wear on the
universal joints. As I was keen to maintain good mechanical integrity,
and I wasnít after ultimate off-road performance, this all seemed to
make sense. He recommended that I fit new standard front sprints and
up-rate the rear springs to original equipment heavy-duty items Ė the
same as fitted to Camel Trophy Discoveryís. He also recommended Koni
adjustable gas dampers. These have three levels of stiffness, set during
installation, and the recommendation was to set them on their softest
level at the front and firmest at the rear.
fitting, the front springs were actually deemed to be ok and so were not
the suspension was upgraded in this way, the transformation was
immediately noticeable. The vehicle felt much more taught and stable
through corners, and the back end was no longer lower than the front.
Overall the vehicle was slightly higher than before, even at the front
which retained the original springs. This is due to the dampers, which
are positively pressurised and so provide a certain amount of lift.
the longer term, this suspension set-up has more than lived up to itsí
expectations. During our trip to Morocco
the vehicle was very heavily laden but it remained level whilst still
being able to soak up the rough terrain and provide a comfortable ride.
More recently, whilst towing our Desert
Wolf trailer, the rear end of the vehicle drops no more than
25mm when hitched up.
also toyed with the idea of installing quick disconnect fittings on the
rear anti-roll bar, which was a recommendation from Scorpion Racing.
This is supposed to increase axle articulation. I eventually decided
against it as really I donít need that level of extreme off-road
ability for the majority of my driving and I didnít fancy crawling
underneath on a regular basis to connect or disconnect it.