Springs v Spacers

CORover

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2007
431
7
Colorado, USA
Are spacers used just because they are cheaper and easier to find than the correct length and rate of springs?


Any advantage v disadvantage for them. Does it affect the overall goal, height of lift, performance of the spring, travel etc.?
 

squirt

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2008
796
2
Los Angeles
There's no reason to use spacers other than cost savings.

A good aftermarket suspension setup can greatly improve both on-road and off-road handling. Spacers will just throw off your suspension geometry with the benefit being more tire gap.
 

disco_drum

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2006
1,880
0
36
Fayetteville, GA
www.lykachamp.com
I run 3" springs and 1.5" spacers. I added the spacers when I went to 35" tires because a good 4.5-5" lift was not available at the time. This combo works just fine for me. I have tons of travel front and rear, partly due to the panhard link in the back (i got rid of the watts link) and all heim jointed steering components in the front.

BUT...to answer your question. I WOULD NOT run just spacers on stock flimsy springs....
 

squirt

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2008
796
2
Los Angeles
I wonder which is it - haven't come across one in 20 years.

Funny - I've had the opposite experience - starting with my first many years ago, which was a used OME HD spring/shock combo.

Compared to the old, worn-out stock suspension, it would be difficult not to see an improvement in both areas.
 

p m

Administrator
Callsign: AK6PM
Apr 19, 2004
14,173
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53
La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
Compared to the old, worn-out stock suspension, it would be difficult not to see an improvement in both areas.
This.

Compared to not old and worn out stock suspension, everything else means giving up some ground.
I replaced a perfectly good stock suspension on ex-my green D1 with OME, and immediately found that I only gained a bit of body ground clearance. Everything else I lost, handling first and foremost.

Kennith, I call your bluff. I don't give a shit what suspension you have, but if you have non-stock geometry, your handling sucks compared to a new stock D2 suspension.

This topic has been beaten to death, in jeep circles a lot earlier than in land rover. If you want more clearance, cut a ton of sheetmetal, bolt on larger tires, and keep the suspension stock.
 

ukoffroad

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2010
1,485
5
Lynchburg, Va
There's no reason to use spacers other than cost savings.

A good aftermarket suspension setup can greatly improve both on-road and off-road handling. Spacers will just throw off your suspension geometry with the benefit being more tire gap.
Not necessarily. Some folks use spacers for leveling, etc. I would agree that in most cases a spring is a better solution to a problem.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,663
19
North Carolina
This.

Compared to not old and worn out stock suspension, everything else means giving up some ground.
I replaced a perfectly good stock suspension on ex-my green D1 with OME, and immediately found that I only gained a bit of body ground clearance. Everything else I lost, handling first and foremost.

Kennith, I call your bluff. I don't give a shit what suspension you have, but if you have non-stock geometry, your handling sucks compared to a new stock D2 suspension.

This topic has been beaten to death, in jeep circles a lot earlier than in land rover. If you want more clearance, cut a ton of sheetmetal, bolt on larger tires, and keep the suspension stock.
You're right about the geometry, but it's not an issue with handling. Tracking on long straights isn't as ideal, but cornering is not adversely affected when combined with the rest of the system. It's capable, but in a slightly different way.

That places them neck and neck until you factor in the stiffer springs and what you can do with them when you leave the pavement for dirt, sand, and gravel.

I'll pit mine against a stock unit on pavement, and I'll pit it against a stock unit with ACE on a combined course.

My suspension isn't anything special, as anything beyond bolt-on becomes difficult to service or replace in the field. Right now, it's sitting on an OME combination; raked out like an unloaded pickup truck.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,663
19
North Carolina
A properly executed spacer kit is good enough and should not cause any problem.
Good enough for what?

Obviously it's good enough to fit bigger tires, but these aren't leaf sprung pickups. There is a difference.

When it comes down to brass tacks, you don't need any of this shit to run a trail, but the combinations of trail and road ask a little more of how well you put things together these days.

Land Rovers handle well in general, and PM is correct in the assertion that you're not likely to improve things if you're not making very deliberate modifications.

They may not be particularly modern, but Rovers are actually surprisingly nimble. You can't treat them like pickups and Jeeps and expect to keep that ability.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

mgreenspan

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2005
4,369
2
Briggs's Back Yard
OME HD lift is an improvement in handling if you have a lot of weight in your vehicle. On road empty it sucks every time you hit a bump. It's only good on a freshly paved road otherwise.
 

Blue

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2004
8,491
32
AZ
It's been so long since I've driven a Land Rover with stock suspension that I wouldn't know what to do if my '04 Disco had a smooth, supple ride. Although I will admit that I do enjoy the smooth ride of my OME HD suspension when I hit the road all loaded up for a trip.
 

p m

Administrator
Callsign: AK6PM
Apr 19, 2004
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53
La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
Land Rovers <...> may not be particularly modern, but Rovers are actually surprisingly nimble. You can't treat them like pickups and Jeeps and expect to keep that ability.
I definitely second this feeling. I was surprised how vague the steering was on a G500 (after finding how vague the steering was on a long wheelbase JK).
 

K-rover

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2010
1,903
4
Raleigh, NC
Im running 1" spacers under my 3" coils on the rear. I personally wouldnt run anything taller than 1" spacers. And I sure as hell wouldnt run spacers on stock coils!
 

ankeneering

Active member
Apr 21, 2017
28
0
wyoming
Land Rover spent so much money and time engineering and testing all these complicated suspension bits to actually work well together in a variety of situations it seems like altering even one tiny bit of that mechanical puzzle can lead to huge or subtle downstream effects. I'm a big fan of stock because that crap has been tested and tested and tested and thousands upon thousands of real world individual scenarios and events.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
3,954
15
Seattle
Describing the factory coil-sprung suspension of the RRC/D1 as "complicated" feels like an overstatement, however I agree with the idea that all the stock bits were designed to work together. What often gets overlooked in these conversations is how capable a Rover is without modifications. I enjoy the handling of my D1 and RRC in stock/close-to-stock form and for the majority of off-road driving that I do their performance does not leave me wanting. Choosing the right tire for the kind of driving you do might be the only change you need to make.

Part of the enjoyment of Rover ownership is configuring the vehicle the way you want it. This guy wants custom springs to support the weight of all the equipment he has added to his truck, someone else is happy to drive a vehicle unchanged from the factory. It's all a matter of what you want out of it.
 

Blueboy

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
1,958
6
Back in the USA; Rockwood, PA
Although I will admit that I do enjoy the smooth ride of my OME HD suspension when I hit the road all loaded up for a trip.
Agreed. This is how our RRC LWB is set up as we carry a lot of stuff on extended camping trips and use 235/85-16 tires. However the D1 is totally stock including the tire size. It does ride better yet it is not used the same as the Rangie.