Jump to content
Jamie_grieve

Thoughts and musings on the new defender

Recommended Posts

The p38a air system was by all accounts diabolical. I'm sure everyone will agree. 

However the control methodology and system is to blame there. I think it would be unfair to tar any JLR product with the P38a system brush.

In terms of hardwear, yes parts will wear out, but If you aren't checking the general condition of your car regularly enough to spot bags that are on their way out then you can hardly blame the car can you? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the concept of air, but just to counter the inspection of rubber items.... I wonder how many of us check the condition of our coil springs regularly to check if they are just about to fail or not?

Like it or not, air bags just will not last as well as a piece of metal (in my opinion), yet the air bags do offer massive flexibility, at a compromise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(@ discomikey)

 

That's an interesting point.

You are right for the first world, and the first and second user.

But never underestimate the ability of the average person to neglect anything technical.

I've a friend, very intelligent, bright, aware person.

Didn't believe me when I insisted that they get their car serviced at 50k miles. For the first time since new. 4 bald tyres and all!

We nearly fell out over it. Happy to spend £20k on a car but not £600 on a service two years later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I changed a front air bag on my L322 last night and I have to say what an easy pleasant experience it was compared to changing a normal front coil spring!

Wheel off

Anti roll bar link off

2 Bolts to hold the strut (one was stuck in the hub but that was my only issue)

3 Bolts to drop it from the top

1 Airline connector

 

None of this compressing a spring, trying to get a pinch bolt out and then slide the damper out of the hub, or having to take the bottom ball joint out because there is not enough clearance to get the strut out. The air bag was deflated so just squeezed it closed. Simple and all with basic tools

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gazzar said:

(@ discomikey)

 

That's an interesting point.

You are right for the first world, and the first and second user.

But never underestimate the ability of the average person to neglect anything technical.

I've a friend, very intelligent, bright, aware person.

Didn't believe me when I insisted that they get their car serviced at 50k miles. For the first time since new. 4 bald tyres and all!

We nearly fell out over it. Happy to spend £20k on a car but not £600 on a service two years later.

I don't disagree that in some markets simplicity will overrule the advantages of air. As far as I'm aware I have seen evidence they will be offering coil springs too. 

What I do disagree with is those who state the downfalls of a vehicle when they haven't actually given chance to prove itself yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And in truth most buyers will be happy with air and independent suspension, so long as jlr engineer it to a decent standard, which they can.

If I was looking for a new serious off-road truck for out of dealership range travel today I'd look at the wrangler Rubicon twice.

Second hand it would be a series/90/110 with a TDI.

Great to have the choice, isn't it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pah, all this technical pish over the merits or pitfalls of this or that will probably be skipped by what is felt will be the average target buyer who will be more interested in where he can hang his jacket and if there are enough 12v outlets for his coolbox and other necessities out in remote areas of your average caravan site.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Happyoldgit said:

Pah, all this technical pish over the merits or pitfalls of this or that will probably be skipped by what is felt will be the average target buyer who will be more interested in where he can hang his jacket and if there are enough 12v outlets for his coolbox and other necessities out in remote areas of your average caravan site.

That is exactly the truth.

At 0:36 you can clearly see the front wheel has run out of downwards travel and the traction control has kicked in holding the wheel at 0:37.

This tells me two things, one they're either not fitted with a front locker or aren't using it and two, the people trying to convince me or themselves that the d7u platform has more travel than coils and live axles are mistaken. The (lack of) wheel travel here and is almost identical to the video of my friends disco 5 I posted earlier.

Just to be clear, I'm not one of these people saying old is good, I'm in the 'old was garbage and should be burned with fire' camp. I just think a huge opportunity has been missed if this is the defender replacement and I don't understand why anything as simple as a utility body on a D7U platform should have taken 5 years to develop, unless it's just a clever hoax which I increasingly believe it to be. There's also nothing particularly durable about that suspension either. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Air suspension gets hammered here in the UAE.  Winter temperatures are lovely, around the high twenties to low thirties.  But summers are brutal, sometimes exceeding 50oC, and that causes the rubber to perish and crack.  Ad very abrasive sand that blows everywhere (honestly, cars look dirty half an hour after washing them in summer), further damaging the air springs but also clogging the filter on an already overworked compressor and it's just a ridiculous system to have.  The seven seat D2s all got refitted with coils (unless that was standard spec for them here, unlike the rear EAS and ACE in Europe).  Discoverys, L322s and L405s need new springs every three years here.  Coils will be an absolute necessity for any serious offroader here or in other harsh climates.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2019 at 10:52 AM, Eightpot said:

Air suspension makes loads more sense for a Defender - you wonder why it was never an option before.  Gone is the dilema of which springs to fit, putting up with tall boingy springs on the motorway or jarring your bones on HD's when there's no load in the back.  Much better on corrugated dirt roads, and drop the height and save a few bucks on long motorway journeys. 

Lets see if they can resist the urge to put huge discs/rims and low profile tyres on.

 

That wold make it a good option in milder climates, or even the harsh ones if the customer is content to deal with the increased maintenance to gain the EAS advantages.  I think they need to make it a customer choice, and hopefully they have already decided to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The air suspension on discos/rangies seems well thought of in southern Africa,  especially on corrugated dirt roads.  I've done thousands of miles on them myself in various coil sprung land rovers, and traditional springs can give a vicious ride leading to broken coils, shocks, spare wheel carriers, doors, exhausts - even had a windscreen fall out once!   So overall maybe one set of maintenance traded for another,  but I'm still happy to get shaken to bits with no A/C, leaked on and deafened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Snagger said:

Air suspension gets hammered here in the UAE.  Winter temperatures are lovely, around the high twenties to low thirties.  But summers are brutal, sometimes exceeding 50oC, and that causes the rubber to perish and crack.  Ad very abrasive sand that blows everywhere (honestly, cars look dirty half an hour after washing them in summer), further damaging the air springs but also clogging the filter on an already overworked compressor and it's just a ridiculous system to have.  The seven seat D2s all got refitted with coils (unless that was standard spec for them here, unlike the rear EAS and ACE in Europe).  Discoverys, L322s and L405s need new springs every three years here.  Coils will be an absolute necessity for any serious offroader here or in other harsh climates.

^

That. Same issues here, for different environmental reasons. Winter roads are just a sea of abrasive mud that is like valve grinding paste. Brake pads can wear out in a couple of weeks if it is really bad, carp gets into the sensors and everything else, and crater-sized potholes hammer the suspension to bits.

The live axle system on the D2 was about the best compromise, better suspension control than the old Defender layout and the big radius arm bushes were very robust, but none of the complexity and alignment issues of independent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, looking at that video that is plenty capable for 99% of the buying public. If they get the looks right, it will be winner in my opinion.

For the people that want more, there will be plenty of aftermarket business for coil conversions, lift kits, bash plates, live axle swaps etc later on. This is a good thing imo. I don't think it is all as bad as the 18 pages of hate mail would suggest. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Daan said:

I think, looking at that video that is plenty capable for 99% of the buying public. If they get the looks right, it will be winner in my opinion.

For the people that want more, there will be plenty of aftermarket business for coil conversions, lift kits, bash plates, live axle swaps etc later on. This is a good thing imo. I don't think it is all as bad as the 18 pages of hate mail would suggest. 

You are missing the point.  They should be creating a vehicle that is better off road than the previous model AND better off road than any other vehicle being sold for road use today.  It should be a world killer.  They should be setting a new benchmark that other would need to catch up to.  While still being acceptable to drive on road by today's standards.  They are not doing that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Red90 said:

You are missing the point.  They should be creating a vehicle that is better off road than the previous model AND better off road than any other vehicle being sold for road use today.  It should be a world killer.  They should be setting a new benchmark that other would need to catch up to.  While still being acceptable to drive on road by today's standards.  They are not doing that.

Why?

I agree with you, and if they added reliability and value for money to the mix, it would be a company saviour.

But, if their target market doesn't value the ultimate off-road ability (and it doesn't), why would they bother? Most UK supplied 4x4 utilities are sold on looks, BIK, branding and payload.

That's what the designers and engineers are told to target, "oh, and make it reasonable off-road, whilst you are at it".

It's not the way I'd do it, but I've not turned an ailing sub brand into a fairly successful car company, so I'm not the best person to ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once upon a time Red90 but they're different people now, glib, faceless, characterless, generic money makers. 

No sense of adventure beyond their carefully choreographed and slickly produced adverts and marketing ploys.

No sense of Empire.

Mo

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is clear that it is a "lifestyle SUV", so no work capacity like the old Defender and no far flung expedition capability.  It is going to compete not with Jeep, Toyota or Nissan but with the Discovery models.  Even if it sells like hot cakes, it'll be at the expense of Discovery sales, not in addition to them.  And so, LR hammer another nail into their own coffin lid...  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@discomikey please elaborate what is so diabolic about the P38's air suspension? For the last 12 years I've always had one, and the ones I cared about where very reliable. Enough to take one to Ladoga Trophy and back. And I'm dying to do that again. If I didn't want EAS, I'd have a Classic, because to me that's better looking. Even spares cars that have been sitting for years very rarely have issues with the EAS.

As for commercial users, if you take a look at any of the popular pickups, they're far from utilitarian, but loaded with all possible gadgets and fluffy car-based interiors, because apparently that's what sells! So a working variant of the people carrier Disco, with a legendary badge on it, should sell very well. Like the D5 and similar, it will easily match any of the competition off road.

Filip

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My pickup is on a 25k service interval. Had it's first service recently and all they did was an engine oil change. Didn't even take a wheel off they rely on the computer to tell them when things need looking at. It's to make them cheaper on lease deals etc but I'm not at all impressed. That means it'll get to 50k with no-one looking at anything. I keep cars a long time so it'll be having an annual service at a propper garage rather than a dealer from now on. 

Every truck and trailer for the last couple of decades has run on air bags and the only problems I've ever encountered are valves leaking. A vosa fail but not journey stopping. Not that I have a fleet of hundreds of trucks mind 🤣. I can see why you wouldn't want it if your in the middle of nowhere hours from anyone with no phone signal but in the UK where your filmed and posted online as a yob if you drive on the grass verge I would quite like it. Partly as I've had 3 coil springs fail on my van in the last year, one sticking into the top of the tyre 😡 although I guess 200,000 miles isn't too bad. 

People want them to make an ultimate offroader, that's like homer Simpson's car, the cost whilst still maintaining all the regulations and get good mpg / low emissions would make it very expensive. If you look at the markets for offroaders, the jeep is king in America, the Toyota is king in Australia and everywhere else just makes any old stuff work. There's no market for it in the UK. Companies either buy cheap, so that's a pick up with an old fashioned chassis they can bolt stuff to, land rover are never going to make anything for £16k it's not worth the production line space, or they buy for a purpose ie unimog, iveco 4x4 truck, sprinter 4x4 or one of the raft of other things which are more practical than than a car sized 4x4 for a utility environment. 

There are lots of neat things they could do like easy to replace bumpers for when you clip them or even ones that come off for off-road and store on the roof. Or easy to remove rear seats leaving a flat easy clean load area but they won't. It'll be all about how many settings on the off-road dial and how well connected it is.

It will be a freelander based on parts they already have and branded a defender for marketing. 

Let's face it though, if your hankering after land rover that you can tinker with on your drive and customise to your needs you've got 70 years of production to go at and for a lot less outlay than the new one will be. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2019 at 2:07 PM, Red90 said:

They should be creating a vehicle that is better off road than the previous model AND better off road than any other vehicle being sold for road use today

Who's to say they aren't? :huh:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Who's to say they aren't? :huh:

I'm sure they are!  It'd be a dismal failure to release a vehicle with worse performance either on or off the road.  The later Discoverys are better on road than the D1 or D2 and reputedly hold their own off road too, as long as everything is working.

But there lies the rub.  The modern vehicles have much lower ground clearance and wheel and tyres that are better suited to posing on the streets than being competent, and so the vehicles rely more and more on electronics and subsystems to perform in a way that good mechanical engineering should do alone.  Traction control would barely activate on the typical modern LR if they had appropriate wheels and tyres, but because the current vehicles are lead by form, not function, they have oversized wheels, low profile tyres and stupid high performance tread.  That choice also affects ride comfort, so the suspension has to be designed to mask the harshness of low profile tyres on a luxury, not sports car.  So, the vehicles are being made ridiculously complex, affecting reliability and dependability, their ownership costs and resale values, all because LR have followed Jerry McGovern's mantra of styling trumping all engineering considerations.  The positioning of the exhaust and oil coolers show how little emphasis is put on genuine off roading credibility now - yes, the car will drive those trails, but they had a support team with trucks full of spares and a recovery system to be able to risk it.  Would any of us really risk driving such trails without such extensive support to fix or recover the vehicle?  That is a major distinction from the old Defender, which was easily fixed and had most of the delicate stuff tucked up out of the way (track rod noted, but that could be straightened to get the vehicle home or replaced cheaply and easily with uprated parts).

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Yup, agree with all that Snagger.

Making a modern plastic LR good offroad is like making a cat hover. It can certainly be done, but it's a bit pointless when you consider the additional functionality is still fatally flawed, the functionality is not really much use at all for its main intended role, and the whole premise relies heavily on expensive, complicated and inherently unreliable and overstressed technology that will probably break just when you don't want it to.

Only a man who wears collars like Dumbo's ears would seriously think it was a good idea. Meet Gerry.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Snagger said:

I'm sure they are!  It'd be a dismal failure to release a vehicle with worse performance either on or off the road.  The later Discoverys are better on road than the D1 or D2 and reputedly hold their own off road too, as long as everything is working.

But there lies the rub.  The modern vehicles have much lower ground clearance and wheel and tyres that are better suited to posing on the streets than being competent, and so the vehicles rely more and more on electronics and subsystems to perform in a way that good mechanical engineering should do alone.  Traction control would barely activate on the typical modern LR if they had appropriate wheels and tyres, but because the current vehicles are lead by form, not function, they have oversized wheels, low profile tyres and stupid high performance tread.  That choice also affects ride comfort, so the suspension has to be designed to mask the harshness of low profile tyres on a luxury, not sports car.  So, the vehicles are being made ridiculously complex, affecting reliability and dependability, their ownership costs and resale values, all because LR have followed Jerry McGovern's mantra of styling trumping all engineering considerations.  The positioning of the exhaust and oil coolers show how little emphasis is put on genuine off roading credibility now - yes, the car will drive those trails, but they had a support team with trucks full of spares and a recovery system to be able to risk it.  Would any of us really risk driving such trails without such extensive support to fix or recover the vehicle?  That is a major distinction from the old Defender, which was easily fixed and had most of the delicate stuff tucked up out of the way (track rod noted, but that could be straightened to get the vehicle home or replaced cheaply and easily with uprated parts).

They do rely on the electronics, I can't argue with that, 

But as a result, the TC and air system make the vehicles incredibly capable off road. Take even a full fat Range Rover off road and you'll be amazed at its capability and nimbleness!

The suspension is not complex either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2019 at 11:30 AM, elbekko said:

Air suspension dependability in remote areas is fixed with a push-fit schrader valve and an air compressor. The bags themselves are hardly failure items, unless you run them for 20 years without looking at them. Just like other rubber components, like tyres.

For me the trade-off of a bit of extra maintenance is so worth it for the versatility of air suspension. Towing, heavy loads, aerodynamics at high speed, ground clearance at will, ...

Plus, it allows independent suspension to work better off-road by cross-linking the bags, mimicking a live axle.

I'm honestly interested in the new Defender. If it's somewhat affordable, offers a BIK-friendly hybrid option, and doesn't look like arse I'd seriously consider one for the future.

I'll say it again - they fail rapidly in sub-tropical conditions.  Tyres have to be replaced by law once they reach four years old here, and air springs only last about three years.  Wiper blades seldom last longer than 24 months and no car manufacturer warrantys suspension bushes beyond three years on a new vehicle hear because the environment is that harsh.  Air suspension is fine for first world countries in mild climates, but it's no good in Africa, the ME, Central or South America, Australia or even in Arctic conditions like northern Scandinavia, Canada and northern US where the compressor or valve block are liable to freeze in winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Snagger said:

I'll say it again - they fail rapidly in sub-tropical conditions.  Tyres have to be replaced by law once they reach four years old here, and air springs only last about three years.  Wiper blades seldom last longer than 24 months and no car manufacturer warrantys suspension bushes beyond three years on a new vehicle hear because the environment is that harsh.  Air suspension is fine for first world countries in mild climates, but it's no good in Africa, the ME, Central or South America, Australia or even in Arctic conditions like northern Scandinavia, Canada and northern US where the compressor or valve block are liable to freeze in winter.

Gerry doesn't hear you. Gerry doesn't care.

Big wheels. Chrome. Marketing. Twin tail pipes (square ones).

That's what is required.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy