|Up-rated Front Springs|
There is lots of suspension options to modify and improve your Land Rover, from aftermarket heavy duty springs, shocks, lift springs etc etc. I won't be modifying My Disco that much, and because I have rear Air suspension then I only need to look at the front suspension setup.
With the "addition" of the Front mounted winch, Steering and diff guard the weight on the front axle has increased by approx 50kg's, although not a huge amount, I have noticed a difference in how the vehicle "dives" under breaking etc with the additional weight up front.
So to compensate for this and for the fact I will also be adding another battery under the bonnet soon, it was important to do something at the front end. In 2003 Land Rover produced a new "range" of spring fitments for the Discovery 2 to compensate for when a front mounted winch is fitted and with the introduction of the 4.6 V8 engine fitted in "other" markets. The pre- facelift Discovery setup is no different as far as the road springs go, so its perfectly ok to use the "new" fitments
The springs are identified by 2 colour bands painted on 3 of the lower coils. Below is a table of the spring fitments and which springs "should" be fitted after a front mounted winch is installed to retain the vehicle attitude and to compensate for the additional weight.
My car is a TD5 and because the Diesel is heavier than the V8 it is already fitted with longer "free length" springs. Below is a table of the "free length" of the front springs
The original springs are manufactured from carbon chrome, but the "new" range are manufactured from silicone manganese. The correct ones for me to use were the Pink / Brown springs and as you can see from above they have a longer "free length" to compensate for the front loads. My original springs were 383mm long.
Fitting the springs is a relatively simple task. Jack up and support the vehicle on its chassis, it has to be high enough to allow you to lower the front axle away to allow the springs to be "slipped" out. the manual then tells you to remove the 2 anti roll bar links to allow the axle to drop even further (ITEM 5) below, I started the first side like this and found my right hand side link was badly corroded and it "locked" up whilst undoing it. I continued on with the job and left it in place at first to see if I could still get the spring out.
You then have to disconnect the 2 lower bolts securing the shock absorber to the axle (ITEM 6), NOTE this is all that is holding the axle up, so ensure its not allowed to drop away, I used a couple of trolley jacks to support it and make it easier to lower it down. I found there was not quite enough movement when lowering the axle to allow the spring to "slip out", so I used some spring compressors to close it up, push the shock back up and the spring can be maneuvered away. NOTE you will have to unclip the brake line and ABS sensor loom to avoid damaging them whilst lowering the axle.
Once the spring is out, clean its lower and upper seat. I again used my spring compressors to close the new springs up as much as possible to aid refitting, you still may need some jiggery pokery to get them in as the new springs are longer, but they will go
I never bothered disturbing the left side anti roll bar link incase it did the same as the right side due to corrosion as I was going away the next day !!. I broke several bits and a very large screw extractor trying to get mine off, in the end I had no choice but to cut it off and replace it the next morning when I had managed to get a new one
When installing the new spring ensure the lower coil sits correctly in the lower seat cutout before re-connecting everything else and removing the spring compressors. New Pink / Brown spring and roll bar link installed
Due the fact my original springs were several years old and covered 80,000 miles, the new springs definitely feel better and the amount of "dive" under braking is significantly reduced. I feel much happier now that the additional weight I have added now and in the future etc has been compensated for by the new springs.