Home      Modifying the Range Rover
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Okay so lets start with a bog standard Range Rover Classic. You have just bought it & want to start driving it off road & your thinking what modifications do I need to do?
Well to start with the Range Rover in standard form is quite capable as it is right out of the box for say your normal off road driving. When I say normal off road driving I refer to the needs of say a farmer, driving across muddy fields, muddy tracks & through fords up to the standard wading depth of course. Also they were quite popular in the hunting scene, used again for the same type of thing up muddy tracks & across fields, after all they do say Land Rover is the best 4x4xfar.
Tyres & suspension
So as your still reading this I'm guessing you want your Range Rover to be a little more capable than your standard out of the box Range Rover? Everybody else you know is modifying their 4x4 so to follow in their tracks literally, you need to modify too. The most basic modification is to change the tryes to a mud terrain or at the least you should fit a good all terrain. This should be your first modification, but be warned this will get addictive. Deciding between a mud terrain & an all terrain will be down to a few things like usage of the vehicle & how good you want it be in the mud & different types of terrain. As you can imagine a mud terrain will be better in the mud than an all terrain but an all terrain will be better on the road & what you choose will be down to your personal situation. Will you only use it off road or will it be your daily driver? Also what type of terrain will you be driving & where? If you spend most of your time driving in off road sites then you will most likely need mud terrain but if you happen to be doing an expedition then you will want an all terrain tyre.
Now to tyre size, you can change the tyres for the same size as standard & this will give you much more grip & better capabilities off road & you won't have to make any more modifications, no extra modifications that's the advantage of not increasing tyre size. The disadvantage is you won't have increased your ground clearance & won't be able to drive deeper ruts very easily & will most likely have to try & straddle to sides for fear of grounding out. Most people that modify their 4x4 will fit larger size tyres to increase ground clearance & as a result the ground you drive will have been driven by them increasing the depth of any ruts you come across. This will really only be an issue if you plan on driving off road sites & some green lanes but this is something I'm sure you will want to do at some point. After all once you have got the bug there will be no stopping you, be it a gentle drive in the country enjoying a green lane with the dog in the back or something more challenging like a pay & play day. The most common larger size tyre to fit is a 235/85/16 or 265/75/16. Both will require some modifications to be able to drive with this size fitted. You will have to fit a minimum 2" suspension lift, most commonly done using +2" springs. It can also be done using 2" spring spacers but not worth the effort in my opinion, especially when +2" springs are readily available for little expense & will give a much better result. You can also use a 2" body lift but I would reserve that for a later date when you get really serious & need even more lift. For the 2" springs you will also need to fit some +2" shocks for the extra articulation, if you think about it +2" springs will need 2" longer shocks. One more thing you will need is some +2" front braided brake lines as each wheel will now have an extra 2" of travel (drop) & you don't want to rip off a brake line. There is a cheaper way & that is to unbolt the brake line bracket off the inner wing & make a longer bracket effectively lowering the brake lines by 2 inches. Your Range Rover is now ready for some action.
Okay so now you have fitted the suspension lift & some larger tyres. You now want to go have some fun in your newly modified Range Rover, however now is a good time to think about some under body protection. No point in having your Rangie out in a 4x4 play site only to bash your diff in as soon as you start to play ruining your day. So what do you need to buy next? Well the first thing to buy would be some front & diff guards, these are not normally expensive is basic form & well worth the extra cash for piece of mind. While your shopping you should also look at buying a steering guard to protect your steering from being bent on some nasty rock, I would say this is more important than a rear diff guard if cash is tight.The diff & steering guards are your basic protection & all you need to get started out. You can however always benefit from some extra protection like some rock sliders or tree sliders, this is something I didn't fit & in the early days managed to bash a sill in. So if funds allow I would recommend to fit some.There are also fuel tank guards available to protect the fuel tank, again something I didn't fit & managed to dent the flimsy Range Rover one that is fitted actually denting the plastic fuel tank. If you have fitted some protection your Range Rover now is truly ready to go off road without any further modifications.
Other modifications
Remember when I said " be warned this will get addictive" ? Well it's not just addictive, it almost becomes necessary for some people to add more mods to offset problems with earlier mods you may have done like the ones listed above. One classic example of this is how the suspension lift affects the drive. Since fitting the larger tyres & the 2" suspension lift you may have noticed that it doesn't feel the same as before on the road. It is something I noticed right away after fitting the above modifications. I drove down the motorway at 60mph & thought this doesn't feel quite right, the steering felt as though it had more play than before & the whole truck felt less stable. Now this is going to be down to a few factors like a higher center of gravity & more rubber on the side walls of the larger tyres, it could also be worn suspension parts like bushes that you didn't notice before. You ask yourself what can I do about it?
Well renewing old suspension bushes & other worn out parts will go a long way to helping things feel better & to stiffen things up & feel more precise it's a good idea to fit some poly bushes instead of standard bushes. Some people will disagree & say fit standard bushes but it is all down to personal preference. I have driven a Range Rover with poly bushes & one without, both had 235/85/16 tyres & a 2" suspension lift fitted, the one with the poly bushes felt a lot better at higher speeds & also round town in corners. Which poly bushes you fit is again down to personal preference, there are a few different makes & you can also buy ones which is sold as a comfort bush which is the best of both worlds, keeping as close to factory feel as possible while stiffening things up just enough. My advise would be do your research into each one available & buy the best you can afford.
Castor correction arms for the front are also a welcome modification to correct some steering issues. Since you have lifted your suspension you have changed the suspension geometry by altering the angle of your axle & pushing your front wheels back slightly changing the castor. You may notice that your steering doesn't self center any more after cornering. Fitting castor correction arms will rectify this problem bringing it back to normal & centering the front axle to how it was when you first bought it standard. You will also need to fit a wide angled propshaft as your standard prop will be at a more extreme angle so fitting a wide angled propshaft will cure this also. At the back you should also fit some cranked rear trailing arms as what happens at the front will also happen at the back & fitting the cranked rear trailing arms will also center the rear axle & reduce the stress on the bushes + at the same time give you more articulation.
Wading your off road Range Rover is no doubt something you will want to do at some point in your adventures. Lets face it, there is something kind of exciting about driving a motor vehicle through some deep water & for some of us the deeper the better. Now Land Rover already say it's fine to drive through deep water up to the recommended wading depth which is about half way up the wheel. In reality this isn't really that deep in the world of off roading & people will always want to go deeper. This is the point at which you need to start thinking about making some more modifications. The first & most important thing to fit is a raised air intake or as they are more commonly known a snorkel, these are a must for deep water wading. You then have piece of mind that you aren't going to suck water into your engine through the standard air intake. Further waterproofing is then needed if you drive a petrol V8, the distributor is the weak point. You can buy V8 waterproofing kits for the distributor but what nobody tells you is that there are small breather holes in the bottom of the dizzy body that let the water in & no V8 waterproofing kit that I'm aware of addresses this problem. What you need to do is a little diy modification. You can buy some small brass nipples from model shops, you need four of these & some rubber tubing to fit over the ends, these can be screwed into the small breather holes on the bottom of the dizzy. Then you need to drill a small hole in the left hand side of the EFI unit & screw in one of the brass nipples, then drill another small hole somewhere on the airbox & screw in another brass nipple. Then fit one tube to the EFI unit & the other tube to the airbox, this then creates an airflow through the distributor helping to stop condensation build up & prevents water from getting into the bottom of the distributor. This is a modification I have already done but first time, I didn't get round to finishing it & didn't bother connecting the tubes to the EFI & airbox, what happened was no water got into the dizzy but after wading for a while condensation built up in the distributor causing a misfire so it is essential you do the complete job in full. The modification I have just described is the cheapest & easiest way to waterproof a V8 petrol but there is a better way & that is Megajolt. I'm no expert on Megajolt so all the info you require is here  (Click)