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Hi Guys. I’m a complete novice when it comes to tyres and have no clue what I’m looking for. I’ve just changed the springs which has lowered the car by an inch on my adventure 90 and wanted to get a set of tyres that would beef it back up a bit because at the moment it’s looking a bit too small for my liking. I would love a set of bfg’s but I have no clue what to go for. I’m aiming to achieve the same height as stock. I’ve currently got 18’ rims. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

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What width are your 18” rims?  It’ll constrain the choices of tyre as it’ll limit the widths you can choose from.

What are those wheels in your photo?  I’ve not seen those before, but I do like them.

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If that photo is the currently fitted set then you have 16 inch rims not 18,  the only tyres bigger are 255/85/x16, which would give you approx a extra 1 inch under the diffs. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@western I only assumed they were 18’ rims because they are the stock tyres that come with the car from factory and they say do not fit to 16’ rims on the tyre wall but they could be 16’s. Thank you for the help.

Edited by Holmes515
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@landroversforever If I am to be completely honest with myself I won’t be taking this car off the beaten track as much as I might like so it will be primarily for road use. By stock height I was referring to the overall height of the vehicle as the slight lowering of the car has made the car look and feel too low to the ground for my liking so I was hoping/assuming that a wheel with a slightly larger diameter might raise the height of the car slightly. If I’m wrong please let me know. I am also aware that bigger and more heavily grooved tyres will effect the road noise but that doesn’t bother me. If people want a nice quiet and comfortable cockpit environment they don’t buy a defender.

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So a 33” tyre will get you about an inch extra height as Western says. But watch out for extra width and offset as that will make it more likely to hit the bulkhead outrigger. 255/85R16 is a nice size that equates to ~33” and doesn’t screw with the gearing too much. It’s also not massively wide which is good. 

Any reason for not putting different springs on again to get it back to standard height? 

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1 hour ago, Holmes515 said:

@western I only assumed they were 18’ rims because they are the stock tyres that come with the car from factory and they say do not fit to 16’ rims on the tyre wall but they could be 16’s. Thank you for the help.

It probably says don’t fit to 16.5” rims as that is or was a common US size. 

Sorry if I’m teaching granny to suck eggs here! Feel free to ignore! Your tyre has 235/85R16 on it which breaks down as follows:
235: tyre width in millimetres
85: tyre sidewall height as a percentage of the width.
R: radial
16: 16” rim. 

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11 minutes ago, landroversforever said:

It probably says don’t fit to 16.5” rims as that is or was a common US size. 

Sorry if I’m teaching granny to suck eggs here! Feel free to ignore! Your tyre has 235/85R16 on it which breaks down as follows:
235: tyre width in millimetres
85: tyre sidewall height as a percentage of the width.
R: radial
16: 16” rim. 

Yeah sorry you’re right didn’t look close enough thank you for the advise and apologies for having to explain such simple things I understand the feeling.

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17 minutes ago, landroversforever said:

So a 33” tyre will get you about an inch extra height as Western says. But watch out for extra width and offset as that will make it more likely to hit the bulkhead outrigger. 255/85R16 is a nice size that equates to ~33” and doesn’t screw with the gearing too much. It’s also not massively wide which is good. 

Any reason for not putting different springs on again to get it back to standard height? 

The springs I have put on are much stiffer which I prefer a lot more to the softer stock springs and the only stiffer springs I could get were an inch shorter than my previous springs. Thank you for your help.

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53 minutes ago, Holmes515 said:

Yeah sorry you’re right didn’t look close enough thank you for the advise and apologies for having to explain such simple things I understand the feeling.

Not at all, if you don’t know you don’t know :)  we all started somewhere with it!

As for the stiffer springs, you can get stiffer springs than stock without dropping the height. The stock HD springs are a bit stiffer as are the likes of OME stuff if you pick the right part number. Both of those options would likely give you a little lift (over stock) if you’re not running with much/any extra weight. 

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8 hours ago, landroversforever said:

Not at all, if you don’t know you don’t know :)  we all started somewhere with it!

As for the stiffer springs, you can get stiffer springs than stock without dropping the height. The stock HD springs are a bit stiffer as are the likes of OME stuff if you pick the right part number. Both of those options would likely give you a little lift (over stock) if you’re not running with much/any extra weight. 

The only slight issue is that I used a defender specialist to do the work as I couldn’t justify spending a month without my defender whilst I worked on it here and there as opposed to getting it all done in a day. The only springs they had were a tad shorter but it works out nicely because I wanted beefier wheels anyway but I am limited by the stock height due to having a roof rack and the car only just fitting into my garage with the old springs on.

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Baring in mind new springs are around £30 each and new tyres are four+ times that, why not just set the springs correctly in the first place?  

NRC9463 rear and NRC9447 front should work well, but do you know what springs you currently have - do they have colour code stripes on?

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13 minutes ago, Eightpot said:

Baring in mind new springs are around £30 each and new tyres are four+ times that, why not just set the springs correctly in the first place?  

NRC9463 rear and NRC9447 front should work well, but do you know what springs you currently have - do they have colour code stripes on?

I couldn’t tell you exactly what springs I have on at the moment but I have done this intentionally as I am limited by my garage door height and wanted larger tyres on the car so I thought that lowering the car and putting larger tyres on it will allow it to fit in the garage but still get the larger tyre. 

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I'm confused now.... is this for real? 🥴

Fit lower springs to get the vehicle into a garage then raise it again with a larger tyre just so it retains a "look" which was taken away by fitting the shorter springs in the first place. How long before we are asked why do the oversized tyres now rub on the wheel-arches of the lowered vehicle?

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I think this is one of those " not getting it" moments

to clarify, if your springs are 1" lower than stock the overall height of your vehicle will be 1" lower than stock, however if you put bigger tyres on say 2" bigger in diameter this will increase the height of your vehicle by roughly 1" ( taking into consideration tyre flex at the at the footprint) therefore you have returned your vehicle back to stock height, if your intention is to keep the vehicle slightly lower to get in the garage then bigger tyres are a no go, if you want to go for bigger tyres, lose the roof rack of modify/ buy  roof rack that will sit lower on the vehicles roof, hope this helps or have I just confused myself regards Stephen

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I think my understanding of it was wanting to run bigger tyres, but having clearance issues with the height of the car, so the car has been lowered slightly to give back the clearance tyres will take away.

 

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Has anyone developed a full air-spring conversion for the Defender?

I don't mean those helper bags that sit inside the rear spring but a full system that replaces the coil springs C/W height sensors etc. With that he could drop the suspension to get into the garage and then raise it back to full height when out.

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28 minutes ago, Litch said:

Has anyone developed a full air-spring conversion for the Defender?

I don't mean those helper bags that sit inside the rear spring but a full system that replaces the coil springs C/W height sensors etc. With that he could drop the suspension to get into the garage and then raise it back to full height when out.

@simonr did a full air ride setup on his 90 many many moons ago and I believe @Turbocharger is doing his own homebrew system right here and now:

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Holmes, I think you have been lead up the garden path by your specialist, who may be trying to sell you expensive services and parts or stock he couldn’t get rid of, at the cost of the practicality of your vehicle.  
 

I understand your height restrictions - that makes perfect sense.  But what you are trying to achieve is costly and is going to cause a lot of trouble.  Bigger diameter tyres need raised, not lowered, suspension to keep the tyres clear of the body.  Lower springs are only used by the vehicles that are tarted up and tuned for road only use with high performance engines.  The idea of having tall tyres is only beneficial for aggressive off reading, to increase ground clearance under the axles, but comes at the loss of steering angles and tight turn radius, braking effectiveness, all aspects of engine performance including acceleration, torque, fuel efficiency, and a reduction in feel and handling.

You are deeply compromising on road driving with big tyres, but also hobbling the car off road by combining those sutures with short springs, which will likely result in tyre and body damage if you off road more than a grass verge.  Your specialist is not giving you good advice, just taking lots of money from you.

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On 3/5/2021 at 10:39 AM, FridgeFreezer said:

@simonr did a full air ride setup on his 90 many many moons ago and I believe @Turbocharger is doing his own homebrew system right here and now:

I think it's fair to say I'm a year in to this project and progress is slow, it's been a cold winter and the damn thing won't build itself.

If the OP wants to lower the car for big tyres but still fit in the garage, that's fine, we're a broad church. Biggest you can buy for those rims is probably 255/85R16 or 285/75R16, you can search blackcircles.co.uk etc by tyre size to see what's out there. 18s are available for Defenders which might give a different choice, especially in a road pattern. You may need to extend the bump stops and reduce the steering lock to stop larger tyres from rubbing though.

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