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Can I use a defender axle on my s3 chassis?


johnbunni
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Not without significant modifications. Some modify the chassis to use coil sprung suspension (check the legality of this where you are; UK is legal but requires IVA check and likely a change of VIN and reg number, and a loss of historic status if you currently have that) or you can modify the axles to suit leaf springs (as I did), but the front needs some creativity with the steering and spring set up to avoid losing ride height. Not to bad for the experienced DIY mechanic and modifier, but not a good first project.

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Defender axles will require Defender arches, yes. Back axle wouldn't be a massive job but front is a world of pain, there's no easy answers for the front of a Series.

Also, if it's a 109, you'll likely need a Salisbury on the back (from a 110), not a Rover.

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Series 2/3 track width is 51.5 inches wide, coiler track is 58.5 inches, which gives some idea of the difference in width.

Coil axles under a Series motor with 'SWB' or early 'LWB' type rims will leave a set of 7.50x16 or 235/85r16 flush, or ever so slightly proud of the body.

I do think they look a bit strange with those rims set like that though.

Wolf rims don't look too out of place, but stick out about an inch and a half

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Les' guide shows very well how to alter a Rover rear axle (RRC, Disco, D90) to suit an 88. A Salisbury rear axle from a 110 is pretty easy too, as you leave the bumpstops on those too and again just fit saddles for the springs, but this time you can use symmetrical saddles or even saddles off a scrap 109 axle as they sit on the straight tubes, not the diff housing.

The front is harder as the bump stops have to be rotated round and because both the stop and saddle on the right hand side sit over the inclined diff housing, making shaping of the parts tricky. You also need to play about with the saddle height, angle and spring mounting to get the track rod to pass cleanly over the back end of the leaf spring while minimising height loss. I added a third leaf to my parabolics to regain the flattened camber, already running on a Military/1-ton spec chassis (ie taller suspension mounts and shackles), but many use their standard chassis and 1-ton shackles and rotate the spring a little aft down; you would eed to measure the change in the spring axis and add this to the angle at which the saddle is welded to the axle in order to retain the steering castor angle, but not add this to the bump stop angle.

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Would it not be possible to simply use the complete swivels/cvs/stubs from a coil vehicle stick a coiler fiff in the series housing, and get some custom shafts made up. Would surely not be too spendy compared to the hassles of refabricating the complete axle. Appreciate would need to change ration of R&P in either the front or back and

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Would it not be possible to simply use the complete swivels/cvs/stubs from a coil vehicle stick a coiler fiff in the series housing, and get some custom shafts made up. Would surely not be too spendy compared to the hassles of refabricating the complete axle. Appreciate would need to change ration of R&P in either the front or back and

No, because of the track rod - it would want to pass through the Series' diff nose.

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That makes sense. Guess if using flange adaptors or welding new flange on then you could tilt diff and use a double cardon, but then you have to cut off and reweld bumpstops and spring seats so have gained nothing sticking with the series axle tube.

Hmm, back to the drawing board. Guess I need to get on and buy my mates series 2 and get to work

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Some may tell you that you can use the coiler parts by using LHD and RHD nearside swivels (steering arm on the front of each swivel) or swapping the swivels from side to side so that you can relocate the track rod to the front, like on the Series axles. This is beset with further problems: a) the swivel arms have only one track rod hole, so you'd need to connect the drag link to the track rod, which would involve some cunning fabrication, and; b) the steering Ackerman angle would be reversed so that the wheel on the inside of the turn would pivot less than the outside wheel, causing scrub and skid. That could be potentially dangerous at medium speed on wet or loose surfaces.

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