Disco's still got the moves
I know the truck does not get the love it should. It moves me day in and day out to work, tows my boats all over the area, takes me places to go hiking and biking. It's a reliable steed that just keeps going. It got some love.
With 111,700ish miles "on the clock" it was time to do something about the suspension. The shocks were beyond blown and useless and the springs had seriously sagged. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until I towed my new boat down from Long Island and the undulations going down the parkway could have provoked seasickness as the weight of the boat and trailer set up quite the harmonic between the two.
I knew this day was coming, and didn't want to go with new stock springs or the usual aftermarket springs as those are all for lifting your truck for serious off roading. I didn't need that. A company in England, Bearmach, sold stock height heavy duty rear springs, but only recently started selling the same for the front. I jumped on them and a set of Bilstein heavyduty shocks and new swaybar links. Everyone tells me those break off rather than unbolting, so it seemed prudent.
Being on furlough from work due to the pandemic seemed the perfect time to get the work done, ordinarily all my boats and vehicles would be competing for my limited time off, now that I am sitting at home working on projects, it was perfect timing!
The rear came first. Off came the old shocks, springs, and swaybar links. The latter being a serious PITA to remove. They and the shocks were completely blown and useless.
I am not certain what tools you are supposed to use to remove the swaybar links, but it was not anything I owned. Definitely a Rube Goldberg contraption that I eventually got loose and off.
After that, it was just a matter of compressing the spring and removing it, followed by a bit of "installation is the reverse of removal" for them and the shocks. Things were looking clean and pretty!
As you can see though, the old springs had definitely seen much better days. As had the shocks. I am not sure the would have dampened the suspension on a playmobile car.
That was yesterday, today was the fronts. The suspension on a Landrover is seriously overbuilt, it is the only part of the truck to never break. Even the lug nuts have some heft to them. Unlike the rear, the front has the shocks inside the springs. To remove them you have to pull this odd open topped cone like housing that holds the top of the shock. Once you do that and remove the two bolts at the bottom, the entire shock assembly slides out the top through the engine compartment. After that, it is just a matter of compressing the springs and reversing everything to get it back together.
Look ma! No suspension!
All back together, looking neat and tidy, at least until I have to drive through some nasty weather.
Unlike the rear, one of the front swaybar links did not want to respond to any type of persuasion. I tried talking nice, I tried pleading, I even tried begging and bribery. I finally had to resort to violence.
Now that she is all done, a few tidbits I have noticed. I feel every little bump going down the road, I anticipated that with the heavy duty springs and the Performance shocks. I did not expect that the bigger bumps would feel better. I can only assume I was hitting the bump stops all the time. This also cured the rattle I had in the rear. Every time I hit a big enough bump, the exhaust would bang against something. Now that the suspension does not compress all the way just going down the road, the noise is gone.
She also sits a LOT higher. The stock springs on the Discovery 2 all sag pretty badly with time. It's how Land Rover was able to give the truck a more luxurious ride, but at a cost to longevity. Eventually the new springs will settle in a few thousand miles, lowering the truck a touch. I certainly hope so, or I am going to need bigger tyres to fill that fenderwell gap.
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I brought home my Disco over 4 years ago when I bought my SeaSprite 23. I needed a vehicle that was not a pickup for both towing and daily driving duties. The fact that I did not want an American SUV led me to either a BMW X5 or a Land Rover. I could not afford the 5er, so this lovely red Disco it was.