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Suspension lift and MoT regs!!??


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Thanks to all for the advice on my last post!!

The next 'newbie' question is in relation to suspension lifts. The story so far...

A set of 1" lift springs landed in the boot of the RR when I picked it up - FOC mind - but I am somewhat uncertain whether this will be enough with it still being the standard length!! The eventual aim is to cut some off the back, but not just yet!! I am assuming that If I am fairly capable in a standard-ish RR, then a shorter one with big mods will make for a whole lot of fun when the time comes!!! :D

And so...

There have been various mentions about 2", 3" and even 4" lifts with the aid of kits and expensive goodies!! I am, however, tight (some would say frugal, but I say it as it is!!) and would like to consider budget ways of getting high!!! It has been demonstrated to me that, using some 3x2 box section, a welder and a pillar drill, it is possible to create a 2" lift fairly easily, but I do wonder whether the MoT man and his big, wobbly, "that's not quite right" finger would instantly point it out as a FAIL???????????? :angry:

Any clues on this one, or has anyone done it??

I understand that it is quite a good way off getting up in the world quickly, but I'll need to keep the vehicle roadworthy to take it to play-days and events - mainly cos I have nothing to tow it with yet!!

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I wouldn't bother with too much of a lift for the time being - once you get much over 2" they start to muck up your steering geometry, and unless you're desperate to increase your ramp breakover angle it's not worth the messing about, imho. A lift would also raise your centre of gravity - not such a good idea.

I have 235/85 MTs on Disco rims with police spec spings, which are cheap and give about 0.5" lift. The lips of the rear arches just needed trimming a little (and hammered flat) in the area normally covered by the rear doors. The tread occasionally rubs the tops of the rear wheelarches on full articulation, but that's no big deal and I haven't felt the need for anything taller.

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I am a firm believer in the body lift principle, it has a lot going for it compared to spring lifts and can be done on the cheap if you are prepared to get handy with welding some bits and can find a sympathetic (cheap) machine shop.

There might be some info saved on the Tech Archive, I am too lazy to look today, if not I can give you some pointers.

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If you turn it into a pickup and then bobtail it, the resulting weightloss negates the need for taller springs!! :lol::D

as mentioned, any more than a 2" suspension lift will bu99er up your steering. And, without looking at things like extended brake hoses, longer shockers, bent radius arms and castor corrected hockey sticks, the benefit of a big lift isn't really felt 'cos you ain't actually increasing the amount of travel you can get. :unsure:

I've been toying with the body lift idea for a few months now, have some 40mm spacers, just need to get around to fitting them now :rolleyes: Yet another job to add to the ever increasing list!

D B)

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Suspension lift or body lift??? Either way the centr of gravity goes up!! Sorry if that seems a little naive, but that's how I see it!! :unsure:

Deano: Maybe post a few pics for the uneducated amongst us to view??

I'd have thought the centre of gravity would be raised less by a body lift than a suspension lift, as the heaviest parts of the vehicle (chassic, engine, gearbox) aren't being raised.

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I'd have thought the centre of gravity would be raised less by a body lift than a suspension lift, as the heaviest parts of the vehicle (chassic, engine, gearbox) aren't being raised.
But does a body lift achieve anything particularly useful? Unless it's to create room for some truly immense tyres I can't see much point to them.
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Deano: Maybe post a few pics for the uneducated amongst us to view??

Well ok here you are.

lift1.jpg

lift2.jpg

lift3.jpg

lift4.jpg

lift5.jpg

lift6.jpg

And before anyone says they aren't strong enough: they have had loads of stick, on the offroad course and nothing has bent or broken concerned with the modification. The motor handled like a dream on road.

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You can get 2" ali spacers with all necessary fittings for under £100. Steel is cheaper still. Try HERE for steel and HERE for ali.

Personally, whilst the box section approach might be performing OK I'd be concerned about then "lozenging". Having said that, they are a cheap solution so may be worth the risk?

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Well ok here you are.

lift5.jpg

And before anyone says they aren't strong enough: they have had loads of stick, on the offroad course and nothing has bent or broken concerned with the modification. The motor handled like a dream on road.

I've already got Police Spec red & White stripes on the rear and L/R H/D green stripes on the front.

I've also got a huuuuuge lump of 40mm X 80mm box section in the garage.

Do you reckon it's a go-er Deano?

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Well the reason I jacked the back of that one was that the guy who had it before bought new springs and gas shocks but due to a mix up it had red/white stripes all round. As you can imagine it had a rather nose high atitude, hence the spacers. It also made rather a lot of room under the arches for the 31/10.5x15 tyres.

Interestingly enough that one with the set up previously mentioned stands exactly the same height as mine with Pro Comp +2 kit and same sized wheel/tyre combination.

brothersinarms.jpg

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But does a body lift achieve anything particularly useful? Unless it's to create room for some truly immense tyres I can't see much point to them.

Either will raise the centre of gravity but the body lift much less so.

Think about it, with a spring hike you raise everything except the axles, the chassis engine and gearbox account for around 60% of the vehicle weight.

More importantly, with a spring hike you raise the roll centre, different thing from centre of gravity, affecting the whole vehicle dynamics including the steering castor angles and the brake reaction forces. If you intend to rely on the Boge strut for self leveling it won't work properly as the static ride position has been moved relative to the designed point, you might as well remove if if you are going with spring lifts.

If you lift the body the main benefits are:-

  1. Better all round wheel/tyre clearance, remember the inner arches are raised as well.
  2. More room for the same axle articulation with bigger tyres.
  3. Minimal increase in centre of gravity.
  4. No change to roll centre or steering geometry without changing tyres etc.
  5. Improved approach & departure angles if you raise the bumpers to match.
  6. If needed you can raise the fuel tank to match for better protection.
  7. There is more room under the bonnet for "stuff", the area at the rear of the plenum chamber is easier to get at as is the upper bell housing bolts when doing engine or gearbox work.
  8. You can get at the petrol pipe on the top of the chassis to repair or replace.
  9. It's easier to get clean above the chassis and repair when not if it's needed.
  10. If you have a diesel you can get better insulation around the bellhousing / bulkhead :P

Don't get me wrong I am not against spring hikes but I feel I at least have to justify it to myself, "what am I trying to achieve? what are the plus's & minus's of each?

I think there is a case, with the RRC at least, of doing a bit of both if you are going for broke and are prepared to accept either slightly compromised handling or spend serious amounts of money to address that isssue.

Edited by Niall_CSK
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Hm - one or two advantages there that hadn't occurred to me before. My tyres rub the inner arches slightly at the back (I should probably do something to the bump stops, but can't be bothered!), and replacing the fuel pipes was a real fiddle on mine. Just out of interest, does the steering need modified with a body lift?

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Just out of interest, does the steering need modified with a body lift?

No. :D

You slacken the steering column sliding section before lifting, give it a couple of lock to locks to settle things afterwards and then tighten up again. Steering geometry is not affected unless you do spring lifts or change tyre sizes dramatically.

PM your email if you want a copy of some notes on the job.

Edited by Niall_CSK
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You slacken the steering column sliding section before lifting, give it a couple of lock to locks to settle things afterwards and then tighten up again.

Surely it can't just be as simple as that? :unsure:

1) Unbolt body

2) Jack it up at the front

3) Put spacers in

4) Jack it up at the back

5) Put spacers in

6) Wiggle the steering wheel and tighten up the steering column.

Surely if it was that simple, everyone would be doing it to be able to get a set of 235/85 or 265/70 tyres on?

Confused now :huh:

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I think you need to be careful with the steering linkages. Any body lift will increase the distance between the steering wheel column and the steering box so "slackening off.....and re-tightening" will result in less of the splined length of the rods engaging in the UJ's. At some stage (don't know how much body lift is required personally) this will result in weakness in the steering linkages. Not something to be taken lightly in my opinion.

Other issues with body lifts are the length of the transfer case lever and in extreme cases the length of the (auto) gear lever.

You also need to make sure all your seat belt mounts are not compromised.

Body lifts aid fitting larger tyres, but your chassis will still be the same distance from the ground so ground clearance is not improved.

I am not for or against body lifts and I haven't done one myself (although contemplating it). I just think you need to consider all the pros and cons before making a decision.

My 2p. :ph34r:

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I think you need to be careful with the steering linkages. Any body lift will increase the distance between the steering wheel column and the steering box so "slackening off.....and re-tightening" will result in less of the splined length of the rods engaging in the UJ's. At some stage (don't know how much body lift is required personally) this will result in weakness in the steering linkages. Not something to be taken lightly in my opinion.

IIRC RR's have two identical steering column uj's and these are the same as the lower steering column uj on a 90/110. 90/110's have a different uj in the upper position which is longer than the lower one. Substituting one, or maybe two, of these might help if doing a body lift.

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I think you need to be careful with the steering linkages. Any body lift will increase the distance between the steering wheel column and the steering box so "slackening off.....and re-tightening" will result in less of the splined length of the rods engaging in the UJ's.

Other issues with body lifts are the length of the transfer case lever and in extreme cases the length of the (auto) gear lever.

You also need to make sure all your seat belt mounts are not compromised.

Body lifts aid fitting larger tyres, but your chassis will still be the same distance from the ground so ground clearance is not improved.

BB - fair comments, answers as best I can.

Perhaps I should have stated that my comments did not cover all aspects, I did say I have some notes that go into a bit more detail though.

On the earlier RRC, pre air bag / soft dash, the intermediate column with the splines on either end has a slot where hte pinch bolt goes through, that's why I said slacken not remove. You can't take the UJ's off without removing the bolts which means you can't extend beyond the designed limits. Later ones have sliding compresible intermediate shaft with a rubber doghnut at one end and a bigger UJ at the other, this is the one I use and it coped with 25mm lift without a problem. The odd leg UJ sounds like a good idea, I hadn't considered that.

The Auto lever is not normally a problem as it operates through a Bowden cable and the human end is fixed to the body so there is quite a bit of scope there. 25mm you can get away without modifying the levers, more than that you will certainly have to put an extension on the H/L lever, main lever has enough scope for at least 25mm and possibly 50mm (not tried) depends on your box / body combination.

You do need to make sure the seat belt tie down bolts are retained and extended as necessary, these are integral with the body shell for both the static and inertial assembly ends of the belt and attached to the body shell on the catch end, again 25mm you can get away with just trimming the existing rubber isolators.

True, it does allow you to fit bigger tyres but bigger tyres give your axle more ground clearance :D

As you can see "it's not as simple as that" but it is straight forward armed with the proper information and has a lot going for it.

I will put the finnishing touches to my notes file, anybody want it drop me a PM with your email & I will send around when I'm done, probably by hte weekend.

Edited by Niall_CSK
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Whilst i concur with everything Niall says . . . . i'm sure he'll go :rolleyes: *sigh* at the following :P

When I fitted the 1" lift to mine I:

undid all the body mount bolts

loosened the front seat belt mount bolts

got truly f***ed off trying to undo a couple of unknown bolts that appeared to be attached to the boot floor / chassis and resorted to angle grinding through the buggers ( read on before commenting on these 'unknown bolts')

jacked up the car a side at a time and replaced the bodymount rubbers along with the new spacer.

retightened the front seat belt mounts.

Steve RR came round later and i commented on the unknown bolts to which the reply was "oh - you mean the seatbelt tie downs for the rear belts "

.

.

.

.

.

errrr yeah errr those !<_<:unsure:<_<:unsure:<_<

DOH! :lol:

Perhaps foolishly, I did not undo anything on the steering column, the brake pipes gear levers, hand brakes etc etc etc. I just cranked it up into the air and whacked the spacers in !!! True Fisha Styleeeee :ph34r:

26-05-05_2050.jpg

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