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The "Greeen Monster" (official name proposed by mother in law and approved by all) has been finally available to us one saturday morning in mid July. Two hours laters, we were hitting the road for a hell of a running-in: 1100km on Russian roads! (and another 1100 three weeks later)

Here is what I would say about this experience (feedback is welcome):

- My 5-month old baby girl liked it very much with is probably the best advertising we can give to the beast (the car, not the kid).

- Besides a few Range Rovers and other gold-plated SUVs, no-one passed us during the trip! I found 110km/h a good speed but we passed the 130 a few times (even 140 but don't tell).

- It's cool to have a CD-player embedded in the dash-board as well as tweeters but honnestly, even with the supposed noise reduction implemented in the new version, it is still best to listen to the music when you switch off the engine...

- The electric windows are, well, tough! A black nail on my index reminds it to me every day. I heared modern electric windows have a captor that stops the window going up if restrained; obviously not the case of the Defender system. So watch out.

- The long jack of the car is good-looking but needed some metal ajustment to be functional (good I did it indeed!): the two holes on the front side are made a bit too low in the chassis. Hence, a perfect tube could not enter it, I had to grind the jack so that it can fit in. Did any one experience the same default?

- The seats are very comfortable. No one got tired after the trip. The car is better than good in this regard.

- The average consumption of diesel was about 11 lit. per 100km, really not bad considering we were going rather fast on ****ty roads.

- I am now waiting for the snow to come to see how it will behave but heavy rain and mud went unoticed (for that trip...).

The overall experience was very positive and we really did not regret to wait to get this 110. B)

Now, part 2 , last WE, we took the monster out to have a tour in the forest and... we got stuck in mud well. It did not look a bad spot but even after all the tricks tried we still could not have it out of 60cm of mud... The front bumper was in the mud and even when we unstuck the back wheel (thanks to the grinded jack) we still could not put the car out. Good a chap had a tractor around. When I heared that this guy got himself stuck on this spot and got out with his tractor too, it made me feel better but still the image of the unstoppable green monster is tarnished in the family now. :( If only we had a wrench!

So, I have one question: Is a portable, manual wrench exist? I don't want to install a whole electric wrench on my bumper just in case one day I get stuck again. But, I could have one in my trunk. I dunno, something with two hooks and a crank in the center to twist the cable... Some rescuers once got me out of a canyon with some stuff looking like that. Any ideas?

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I have one of the T-max hand winches, copy of a Tirfor but a fraction of the price, and though I haven't had to use it for anything apart from a bit of testing to make sure it worked, it seems to do the job. Mine is only carried as a backup and so I have something if I ever need to use another vehicle, but there is no reason why you can't use it if you only expect to get stuck occasionally. Slow and hard work but beats walking any day :lol:

The Land Rover jack is effective but very very slow to use (I'm assuming the jacks on 07 Defenders are the same screw jack as the old ones). A better bet would be to get yourself a Jackall or Hi-Lift with the appropriate adaptor, much quicker for jacking anything.

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what tyres are you running too? If not MT's and you want to go playing in 60cm of mud again I'd fit these too.

Cheers, Steve

There are some "General Grabber" with some 235 alloyed wheels. I've never heard of such brand before they came with the car. According to the LR brochure, they are supposed to be among the most polyvalent...

And, well, the mud part was not really part of the plan! ;)

BTW, any advice for winter tyres? Around here, we'll have to install those snow/ice tyres soon and I wonder what would be appropriate on a Def.

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thanks for such a nice report on 07 defender owner ship

seem you are having fun the only mud i have seen is that on the road from a lorry on a building site

genral grabbers are a very good tyre but not for the real off roader stuff did 30 thousand miles in under two years did not wear out at all looked like new very good in the wet

try genral grabber all terrain

dan

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try BFG All Terrain or BFG Mud Terrain 235/85R16 or 265/75R16, both practically the same height the 265s just wider.

I would recommend a TIRFOR for a portable hand winch - as above, excellent but slow. one of those with a couple of shortening chains would be ideal for your needs.

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try BFG All Terrain or BFG Mud Terrain 235/85R16 or 265/75R16,

Thanks a lot all of you for your comments, it helps.

As for the "BFG All Terrain or BFG Mud Terrain", do the have metal studs? And while I am there, do you think it is absolutely required to have studs on such heavy vehicle in winter? After all I don't plan (yet...) to make the trans-siberian race with that, just to get out on the road.

I heard some snow and mud tyres have no studs (hydrophilic rubber), what do you think of that? Any of you tried?

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BTW, any advice for winter tyres? Around here, we'll have to install those snow/ice tyres soon and I wonder what would be appropriate on a Def.

Cooper Discoverer M+S, its what most scandinavians use on 4x4's

Cooper Tyres

Definately DO NOT go for an AT or MT tyre for proper snow/ winter driving.

Although they may be marked M+S, you can have lots of fun not going round corners

and not stopping.

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Hi there,

Thank you for all the comments. However, I'd like to have your specialist point of view: do we need winter tyres with metal studs or not?

If not, why?

Sorry for being stubborn but I precisely do not want to end up ballet-dancing in a 110... :blush:

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metal studs depends on the roads you are driving and how good they are at keeping them clear. most M&S tyres have the holes to have them fitted whether you need them or not depends on your roads.

what temps are you talking?

are they always covered in snow/ice or regularly cleared

are they gritted

what does everyone else use

what are the local laws regarding the use of studded tyres?

as for NOT using an AT/MT for proper snow driving i would argue that they are actually pretty good for proper snow driving (ie uncleared roads) hwoever AT/MTS on cleared roads without studs are not good, an AT/MT with studs on cleared roads we found to be the ideal compromise.

if your just driving on cleared roads (ie some compacted snow and ice) and arent going studded then a less aggressive tread would be beneficial

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Hi,

I've driven hundreds of miles in up to 8 inches of snow in a Subaru Legacy with fairly standard tyres with nothing but the occasional drift when I got over-confident.

Most moderate off-road tyres will be fine in most snow/ice circumstances if you go steady on the right foot and allow plenty of space.

Studs will cost loads, chew up ordinary roads, wear out fast and need swapping over as conditions change.

Personally, I'd carry a set of chains (gloves, mat, torch...) for when the going gets really tough. However, I've never actually needed to use them.

Skid-pan training is also great fun...

if your just driving on cleared roads (ie some compacted snow and ice) and arent going studded then a less aggressive tread would be beneficial

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metal studs depends on the roads you are driving and how good they are at keeping them clear.

Well, that's the trick. The roads here (Russia) are, let's say, less than good, and they are definitely not very efficient in cleaning them (at least not as swift as the Canadians...).

what temps are you talking?

are they always covered in snow/ice or regularly cleared

are they gritted

- Hum, in winter, regular temps in January/February could be -10/-15 celcius, down to -25 occasionally.

- They are regularly cleaned in town, where I drive most of the time.

- They can be gritted with gravel and/or salt

what does everyone else use

They all use winter tyres with studs! That why I am wondering what to do.

what are the local laws regarding the use of studded tyres?

Well, I guess S+M would do anyway.

an AT/MT with studs on cleared roads we found to be the ideal compromise.

So you think I should get some tyres with studs, don't you?

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Well, that's the trick. The roads here (Russia) are, let's say, less than good, and they are definitely not very efficient in cleaning them (at least not as swift as the Canadians...).

- Hum, in winter, regular temps in January/February could be -10/-15 celcius, down to -25 occasionally.

- They are regularly cleaned in town, where I drive most of the time.

- They can be gritted with gravel and/or salt

They all use winter tyres with studs! That why I am wondering what to do.

Well, I guess S+M would do anyway.

So you think I should get some tyres with studs, don't you?

There are advantages to using studs and disadvantages.

-Disadvantages

Noisy on clear asfalt.

Cannot be removed easily nessecitating 2 sets of tyres.

Rubber is harder in the tyre to hold the studs.

They do wear and can get pulled out.

Have no benefit on melting/ slushy roads, or roads only covered in snow.

-Advantages

Give excellent grip on ice covered roads.

Most people that use studded tyres are in areas where there is no salting and the roads are left to freeze.

As for AT/ MT tyres, yes they are adequate, BUT russianfrog is asking due to his concern about safety for his new

vehicle and I don't think adequate covers that.

I would go for a prper snow tyre such as the Cooper and leave out the studs. See how you get on,

if you feel the tyre is not adequate get it studded.

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Hi,

I've driven hundreds of miles in up to 8 inches of snow in a Subaru Legacy with fairly standard tyres with nothing but the occasional drift when I got over-confident.

But not quite a 2 ton defender with high centre of gravity though is it?

Most moderate off-road tyres will be fine in most snow/ice circumstances if you go steady on the right foot and allow plenty of space.

But he wants safe driving and to be able to react to unforseen situations and hazards, not crawl at 30 Km/h leaving a 100m gap

between vehicles.

Studs will cost loads, chew up ordinary roads, wear out fast and need swapping over as conditions change.

Cobblers, you put them on at the start of the season take them off at the end, There is a minor surcharge for studding the tyres.

Over a season you may loose a couple. They usually last the life of the tyre.

Personally, I'd carry a set of chains (gloves, mat, torch...) for when the going gets really tough. However, I've never actually needed to use them.

Nothing wrong with that.

Skid-pan training is also great fun...

if your just driving on cleared roads (ie some compacted snow and ice) and arent going studded then a less aggressive tread would be beneficial

But why not get proper snow tyres, they don't have to be studded.

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Most people that use studded tyres are in areas where there is no salting and the roads are left to freeze.

not in norway/sweden where studded tyres are a requirement for winter regardless of snow clearance.

in my experience even cleared roads that are salted etc soon freeze over if slush is created from clearing/salt/grit/vehicles, (ambient -15C) so studded are still useful for the frozen slush.

not having the local experience of driving in those conditions or grown up with them i would go studded.

looks like horses for courses!

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not in norway/sweden where studded tyres are a requirement for winter regardless of snow clearance.

No they are not :huh:

Because if they are I have been driving around illegally for the last 10 winters.

The only requirment for winter tyres is that there is a minimum of 3mm treaddepth.

Being marked M+S helps aswell.

The only problems are likely to arise from your insurance company claiming your vehicle was not fit for purpose

without proper winter tyres and therefor not paying in the event of an accident.

And yes I live in Norway and have done for the last 11 years. :D

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not in norway/sweden where studded tyres are a requirement for winter regardless of snow clearance.

not having the local experience of driving in those conditions or grown up with them i would go studded.

q-rover, i stand corrected then we obviously got the wrong end of the stick for the 3 years we were there. apologies

i still stand by the lower line then, and personally, as i fall into that range, i would use studded tyres.

if i had be driving in those conditions for 11yrs then i dare say i would agree with you and not use them

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Thank you q-rover for understanding what I meant. Yes, I have been driving too in snow: Among other with a old Peugeot 504 family version. It was alot of fun as the car was full of people and we had nothing else to do than follow the traffic at 30 km/h!

Today, effectively, I just wonder how a Def with the latest tech (you know all those acronyms) would react on an icy road for normal driving with a family...

Thank you for all your messages. I believe, first of all I will give a try with the General Grabber untouched. After all they are S+M and the streets of Moscow are being cleared somehow. If I feel like a ice-skater, then straight to the garage to be equipped with anything with studs.

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No problem, its always good to help.

Just wanted to try and get the point across that a M+S marked tyre

is not neccesarily a good snow tyre.

Untill you have driven proper snow/ winter tyres, you won't believe the differance.

Like you say it's the differance between having to drive carefully and on the edge and

driving with confidence in the conditions present.

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