Terra Firma 2" lift for Disco 1 + tires

Knightspirit

Active member
Sep 22, 2019
39
1
Mount Shasta, CA
Looking for input from anyone who has done this to their Disco 1. Looks easy enough - but I saw that if you don't have your winch bumper mounted (or purchased) yet - that the lift in the front could be too high and put pressure on the front driveline. Anyone experience this? Am also interested in tire sizes being used with this lift (with the stock wheels). I assume that I can run 31" tires since the stock tires are 29" - but maybe 32" tires will work?

I was hoping to do a little at a time - but it seems like you have to just save your money and do everything at once to get it all dialed in correctly. I am more interested in "overlanding" than rock crawling - so don't need anything extreme - but I used to run 32" tires on my Suzuki Samurai - so 31" tires on a Disco seem small to me. Thoughts?
 

DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,499
18
Vermont
I dont know why you're wasting your money on a lift if you're looking to do mostly overlanding. The ultimate pack from overland bound to become an overlander is only $70, lifts are like $500+
 
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ERover82

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2011
3,230
98
Darien Gap
Overlanding is about where you go, rather than what obstacles you drive over. Overlanding is taking the scenic route while avoiding unnecessary obstacles.

With this understanding, you'll be best served by investing your cash in making your D1 as mechanically sound as possible. Your D1 will need some off-road capability to tackle scenic trails, but it's there from the factory. It doesn't automatically need a lift. You're starting with a highly capable platform. Stock coil springs are longer and softer than most aftermarket options. Keep weight low and you can avoid the costs of stiffer springs.

For your intentions I'd stick with 245/75R16 AT tires. Invest in spare parts, training, overland books. Get out and practice driving your D1 off-road. Figure a way to sleep in the back or get a quality tent that sets up quickly. Avoid RTT if you can. Figure out your food, storage, communication, first-aid, etc. strategy.

For the bumper I'd stick with stock, buy some JATE rings for recovery, and maybe trim the bottom for better clearance. Aftermarket options are either for animal strikes (ARB), or rock crawling, and all add significant weight.

Steering and diff guards are good insurance.

You eventually learn that a lot of "mods" in the off-road world just look cool, but aren't well thought out.
 
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Levi

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2004
525
1
Cheyenne, WY
I saw that if you don't have your winch bumper mounted (or purchased) yet - that the lift in the front could be too high and put pressure on the front driveline. Anyone experience this?
I had my 2" lift on for several years before my front bumper and didn't have any issues.
 
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ERover82

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2011
3,230
98
Darien Gap
I had my 2" lift on for several years before my front bumper and didn't have any issues.
Above 2" you run the risk of vibration and wear due to increased driveline angles. There's no one-size-fits-all 2" lift. Depending on the stiffness of the particular lift springs and the weight of the vehicle, you may get more, or less, than 2" of lift.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,409
101
North Carolina
I dont know why you're wasting your money on a lift if you're looking to do mostly overlanding. The ultimate pack from overland bound to become an overlander is only $70, lifts are like $500+
From the looks of that site, the last thing any potential "overlander" needs to do is hang out with those candy canes.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,064
51
Seattle
Overlanding is about where you go, rather than what obstacles you drive over. Overlanding is taking the scenic route while avoiding unnecessary obstacles.

With this understanding, you'll be best served by investing your cash in making your D1 as mechanically sound as possible. Your D1 will need some off-road capability to tackle scenic trails, but it's there from the factory. It doesn't automatically need a lift. You're starting with a highly capable platform.
Best advice so far. I have 29.5" tires (the uncommon size 235/75/16) on my D1 with TerraFirma light duty springs and Blingstein shocks. It looks fine and I can keep up for the most part with more heavily modified trucks on harder trails. For overlanding, less is more. I drove the 600-mile Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (in my Discovery) and was completely satisfied with the performance of my truck for that trip - not technically challenging, but very demanding on the vehicles. Here's a pic from that trip:
 

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Knightspirit

Active member
Sep 22, 2019
39
1
Mount Shasta, CA
Thanks for the comments - all good advice. I should qualify that while not looking to make a "crawler" I do get out to some pretty rough stuff here in CA - Death Valley, Mojave desert, etc. The Rubicon is in my backyard, although I wouldn't necessarily want to tackle that. I did the Saline Valley road and Panamint mountains some years back and that really took a toll on my suspension. I had a shock fall off and some other things break (lifted Suzuki well outfitted). I have heard before that leaving the Disco stock in terms of hight wasn't a bad idea - I might consider just leaving it and getting new tires and bushings and see how the ride is after that. I've got a lateral shimmy when going over bumps that I am guessing is bushings. And YES on reliability first! I am starting there for sure...👍

Thanks for the pic Tugela - pretty much where I am going with this rig. So I assume the light duty Terra Firma springs still gave you some lift then?
 

DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,499
18
Vermont
From the looks of that site, the last thing any potential "overlander" needs to do is hang out with those candy canes.

Cheers,

Kennith
You can't be an overlander if you're not certified by overland bound with a badge & at least 15 patches.
 

ERover82

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2011
3,230
98
Darien Gap
So I assume the light duty Terra Firma springs still gave you some lift then?
They will, but they're actually shorter. They ride height increase comes from being much stiffer, even at "light" duty. If you want a comfortable ride and better articulation/more even contact pressure, stick with stock. D2 spring isolators can be fitted to level the ride height and have a secondary benefit of reducing vibration slightly.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,409
101
North Carolina
Overlanding is about where you go, rather than what obstacles you drive over. Overlanding is taking the scenic route while avoiding unnecessary obstacles.

With this understanding, you'll be best served by investing your cash in making your D1 as mechanically sound as possible. Your D1 will need some off-road capability to tackle scenic trails, but it's there from the factory. It doesn't automatically need a lift. You're starting with a highly capable platform. Stock coil springs are longer and softer than most aftermarket options. Keep weight low and you can avoid the costs of stiffer springs.

For your intentions I'd stick with 245/75R16 AT tires. Invest in spare parts, training, overland books. Get out and practice driving your D1 off-road. Figure a way to sleep in the back or get a quality tent that sets up quickly. Avoid RTT if you can. Figure out your food, storage, communication, first-aid, etc. strategy.

For the bumper I'd stick with stock, buy some JATE rings for recovery, and maybe trim the bottom for better clearance. Aftermarket options are either for animal strikes (ARB), or rock crawling, and all add significant weight.

Steering and diff guards are good insurance.

You eventually learn that a lot of "mods" in the off-road world just look cool, but aren't well thought out.
It depends on how "overland" is defined.

Used to be people understood that overland travel was the more difficult but occasionally required alternative to sea, and later air travel; which is how I define it and why I enjoy it. You are at point A, and need to get to point B. For some reason or another, sea and air are not options. You're stuck getting there the old fashioned way, with all the trials and dangers associated.

Overlanding is not meant to be desirable. It's meant to be the last option when nothing else works, because it's unreliable as hell. That's why you get fucking paid to do it. Nobody else wants the job. Now, however, it's "glamping". I blame those nancy Australians and their "bush-gating" for that shit.

That's the word now, though, whether I like it or not.

Somewhere in the middle is what he's talking about and what you mention; taking that scenic route, which really is the heart and soul of off-pavement driving: Enjoying the outdoors. Everything you do to yourself and your vehicle should facilitate that enjoyment by mitigating terrain and travel variables.

All that said, you're on point. The first thing I'd do is cruise Ebay or Amazon for a full-color copy of that "vehicle dependent expedition guide". That's about twenty years of experience shoved in your head in however long it takes you to learn and understand the contents. The author knows his shit. Don't buy a single screw until you've read it.

Absolutely let that man talk you out of spending money.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,409
101
North Carolina
Best advice so far. I have 29.5" tires (the uncommon size 235/75/16) on my D1 with TerraFirma light duty springs and Blingstein shocks. It looks fine and I can keep up for the most part with more heavily modified trucks on harder trails. For overlanding, less is more. I drove the 600-mile Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (in my Discovery) and was completely satisfied with the performance of my truck for that trip - not technically challenging, but very demanding on the vehicles. Here's a pic from that trip:
God damn that looks like the kind of vacation I need right now. Great picture.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

p m

Administrator
Callsign: AK6PM
Apr 19, 2004
14,322
70
54
La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
There isn't anything on through-roads in Death Valley that a stock D1 or Classic could not do.
You may have to be careful not to bend the rear bumper going down Steele Pass, that's about it.
Spur roads to the mines may be more challenging, but you aren't looking for those.

Shocks... shocks break in Death Valley. Everything breaks on washboard.
 
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Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,064
51
Seattle
Thanks for the pic Tugela - pretty much where I am going with this rig. So I assume the light duty Terra Firma springs still gave you some lift then?
Correct. I can't put an exact number on it but between the tires (slightly larger than stock, maybe 0.5" bigger diameter) and the springs I gained a little bit of lift. I also added rubber spring isolators. Next time I'm due to replace springs I will probably go with OME medium duty - the ride quality feels better, but I don't complain about the TerraFirmas and they have held up well so far (3+ years).

As for your steering shimmy, you might do a little reading on swivel pin preload. A swivel rebuild (new pins, bearings, shims, seals, and grease) is neither expensive nor difficult to do, and the improvement in handling can be considerable. I'm not saying that's your issue, but it's a possibility that fits your description.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,409
101
North Carolina
Everything breaks on washboard.
Absolute truth.

The one thing nobody ever considers, though, are body mounts; and they should be replaced on a vehicle of that age before tackling such terrain with any amount of regularity or over a long distance. Not only will every single part on the vehicle appreciate it, but so will your back.

Cheers,

Kennith