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Want to Improve Load Carrying Capacity?
Want to Improve Suspension Performance?
Want to Improve Vehicle Handling?
Want to Raise your Vehicle?
If you have answered "YES" to any of these questions, you need to read on before ordering or changing your suspension on your Land Rover...
Unlike other shops or mail-order companies, here at WCB we are willing to discuss what might best suit your LAND-ROVER...  and before you buy, not after. 
We offer a variety of road springs and shocks, and choosing the correct combination for your coil sprung LAND-ROVER isn't that difficult, but... there are a few things you must take into account before you begin.

So many people fit the wrong springs to their 4WDs, we see it all too often. Here are some things you should consider before you buy.

What are you trying to accomplish?

Weight plays a huge part in choosing the correct springs & shocks.  Over springing a vehicle can cause problems on and off road. Too heavy of a spring will not allow the spring to compress when needed, thus the wheel(s) will not follow the road, which means no traction, and a horrible ride. Too soft a spring will cause the suspension to bottom out early. Either way, your vehicle won't be performing the way it was meant to.

In order to figure out which springs to fit, we will need to know what you're going to do with the vehicle and how much weight is on each axle. Again, too stiff a spring might not be the right thing to fit. You don't see NASCAR teams fitting any old spring, there is a science to all of this.

The same applies to shocks, and their rates. Under or over shocking a vehicle will change how the wheels follow the road and how the vehicles handles. So don't just fit any old shock. When replacing shocks, always replace in complete sets of 4, or you might find evil handling as a result.  For extreme cases, we offer additional shock kits, thus permitting the addition of two more shocks on the rear or front axles. Note: Fitment of these to a stock vehicle will result in a harsh ride. Knowing which shocks (all of them) to fit when adding additional units is also key. 

Sway bars (aka: Anti-roll bar; in Europe) are another concern. In 1991 Rover introduced sway bars (2) on the Range Rover, having none since 1970, and it made a huge difference in its handling and drivability. The Defender-110 Wagon & HCPU are fitted with a rear sway bar standard since its introduction in 1984, whereas the original NINETY had none. When the NAS V8 Defender-90 arrived State-side it was fitting with a front & rear bar similar to, but not the same as, the Range Rover and Discovery. There is a reason these bars were fitted. Removal, or modification of these bars, will again change how the vehicle handles and performs. Those with roof racks (loaded) will feel a drastic difference with a sway-bar verse without a sway-bar, thus another reason for leaving it on.

There seems to be far too much bad information on the internet, and one subject it that of sway-bars on Land Rover vehicles. We do not suggest their removal, in any case. Cars fitted with sway-bars are normally fitted with softer springs when compared to those without (meaning from the factory). Thus removing the sway-bar will greatly effect its handling and comfort.  Changing to a stiffer spring (with the bar removed) still won't replace or replicate the handling of a car with sway-bars fitted.

Some are under the impression that removing the sway-bar will increase wheel travel; it will not. Removal will free off the axle from the chassis, which it is attached to, thus allowing the axle to move quicker in its travel arch during cornering or over rough terrain. On road, it will have a negative effect on road holding; meaning, it will have increased body roll and weight shift, which isn't something you want while cornering, be it 25 mph or 80+.   Some cars are near diabolical to drive at speed with the bars removed, two that come to mind; the Denfender-90 and 110. Ever wonder why a D90 does not have the same wheelbase as its forerunner, the 88"? Answer: Because the handling was so nasty, that you couldn't drive it, it was plain dangerous! Thus they kept moving the rear axle backwards until they found the key wheelbase, and it's not 90" either.

On the same note, other people are under the impression that they can remove one bar, usually the rear sway-bar. Again, this isn't a good thing, as it does change the handling characteristics of the vehicle... a common side effect is making the rear feel light and producing "over-steer" when cornering ("loose" in NASCAR terms), even more so on lose or wet surfaces. On a D90, this is nothing but trouble waiting to happen, and a change in driving styles is a must, as is a reduction of speed. Sadly, some owners have found out the hard way by rolling the vehicle on to its side, or completely over! This is what we call "driver error".

In the case of a Defender-110 (NAS V8), which is only fitted with a rear sway-bar, hard driving will result in "under-steer" (or "push"), and this is a direct result of no front sway-bar. Upon entering a corner the 110 feels as though the nose is taking a dive, while the rear stays somewhat flat.  To cure this problem, we at WCB have fitted front sway-bars (two diameters are available) to cure this problem, and increase road holding and drivability on and off road, thus making the 110 a pleasure to drive, even more so on a winding mountain road.  

Not all sway-bars are the same. Sway-bars come in any number of diameters, the larger the diameter, the stiffer the bar, which equals less body roll, and firmer road handling. For example; the Defender-90 has a smaller diameter rear bar than that fitted to a Discovery, and this is due to the less weight of the D90 verse the Disco.  

Bottom line? Leave the sway-bars fitted. If you really think you have a need to remove them while in severe off-road conditions, we suggest a "quick disconnect" system, thus allowing the bar to be re-attached for high speed use, on or off road.  All of our vehicles have the bars fitted... and if you need to see proof, stop on by or view the photos on our other site  Fact is, we will not remove the bars from a customer vehicle.

Here's an example of vehicle set up: A customer brought us a 1993 Defender-110 V8 Wagon... After finding how much weight it carried inside and out, including the ARB front bumper and M9000 Warn Winch, plus 4 lights, Southdown skid trays, Roof rack, and a spare tyre on the bonnet; we determined that we must fit Heavy Duty front road springs and Bilstein shocks, plus a front sway-bar from a Disco. In the rear we fitted Heavy Duty straight-wind road springs and Bilstein shocks, plus two additional shocks mounted behind the rear axle (these were stock LR shocks). The handling of this 110 was transformed, and driver confidence and comfort greatly improved as well.  Off-Road performance was greatly enhanced too... as the wheels now follow the road surface better than before.  Something to think about.

So, before you buy, drop us an e-mail, or call us direct.

CLICK HERE (or one the logo) to get to the Old Man Emu Suspension page.

Copyright WCB/WCBR 2005

Note: Dues to management changes at ARB/OME importer in USA, we no longer stock these items. This is for reference only.  Oct 8, 2014.