Suspension – The entire under car suspension that was standard on the Defender has been replaced with TDC 520 Tough Dog Coils on the front & TDC 522 Tough Dog Coils on the rear. These have been supplemented with TDR 1049B Tough Dog Ralph shocks on the front & TDR 1397 Tough Dog Ralph shocks on the rear.
We have installed a pair of CR5028 AirBagMan Air Bags to assist with the management of the varying weight loads.
Valves to inflate / deflate air bags conveniently protected by the diesel intake. We typically fill these to 20psi with a full load down to 5psi empty.
Tyres – The Defender comes standard with General 235/85/R16 light truck tyres that have been rotated every 10 thousand kilometres at services & have proven their worth on sealed roads and performed well in sandy conditions. It is worth mentioning that at each rotation we notice a slight camber on the inside of all tyres. Our main issue with these tyres and the tread specifically... they are absolutely useless in the mud.
Prior to our Lake Eyre expedition we had spent many months reviewing tyre manufacturer claims and talking to the owners of the various brands and models we were considering. Weighing all the info up we settled on BFGoodridge Mud Terrain KM2’s for the Adventure Defender.
Factory issue – The rear door acts as a bellows with the tyre mounted as is, and the door will eventually drop on the hinges due to the combined effect of weight and corrugations!
Pendo modification – Having seen what the Australian Desert is like first hand it is a wise decision to carry at least 2 spare tyres. We have opted for a West Australian manufactured product to mount our tyre upon. Locating this carrier took some time but with persistence & help from Andrew of Overland 4WD in Maroochydore we found the exact solution ... amazing what a bit of research & determination will dig up!
Steerage – We have also added an RTC Steering Damper for safety and ease of driving.
There are 2 important factors to note when it comes to a Defender: The spare tyres mounted on a frame detached from the rear door means you are not choking on dust due to the bellows effect. A real issue when traveling in the dessert!
Another minor point here — and this is a real pain at times — with the tyres mounted on a frame it means the door remains open & doesn’t swing back onto you when you are accessing the rear area ... it is now locked outboard on either side with 2 spares.
Our strategy is to maintain 2 sets of tyres, principally because we have different usage requirements for each set. We will keep the set of BFG’s for the fun stuff and have the other set for the road work around town and driving to work occasionally.
We have managed to pick up a set of 6 rims for $300 per rim from British Offroad.