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New Defender News

Carson G

Well-known member
So I figured based on @naks post above, that the subframe lift by J Auston Fab would get some more conversation than it has thus far. Since it hasn't and I have curiosity questions, see my deeper dive below.

Firstly, regardless of concerns, this lift looks good. Personally I wouldn't put 35s on, but probably 33s.
Based on this second Defender to get this lift installed (at LR Denver I think), it looks rather labor intensive. Full drop of the front subframe and at least a semi-drop of the rear. While I do think it is a better (albeit drastically costlier) option than lift rods, it is still changing factory angles. So someone correct me if I am wrong, but by fully lowering the suspension subframes you would be increasing the angle of the driveshafts from the transfer case to differentials, correct? That would be my primary concern, although I would rather that than the compromises you make with rods.
Would there be any other points/spots where angles would be increasing?
Any other comments / concerns / criticisms?






I think they’re lowering the entire driveline as well. But I’m not positive.
 

mspeters

New member
Agree....not a lot of technical run-down of the guts of this system yet.

Monitoring this for potential purchase of a coil springer. Stock ground clearance of a coil spring version, front suspension downward flex are hard roadblocks.
Really hoping the aftermarket offers a system that nominally increases front travel; high angle ball joints & CVs, longer shocks etc. The new Bronco has nominally more front articulation. My modified D1 was flexy with 10”/12” travel shocks....to be fair, it was >$5K total for 3+” lift/arms/shocks & mounts/driveshafts etc.

Subframe lift is appealing as it retains downward suspension travel, but not at that overall $5,000 price for the hardware shown. Haven’t seen a true complete photo set of the kit. Obviously need brake hardline extenders, steering shaft, likely ABS sensor, diff locker & EPS cable extenders and probably additional relocation brackets for misc items mounted or partially tied into the subframes.
 
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tdhunter13

Observer
I think they’re lowering the entire driveline as well. But I’m not positive.
That was the other thought or method that I had come to on this. It just seems drastically more intensive. Because that would mean lowering the entire engine/trans/diff and adjusting all the ancillaries; intake, hoses, wires, etc.

Agree....not a lot of technical run-down of the guts of this system yet.

Monitoring this for potential purchase of a coil springer. Stock ground clearance of a coil spring version, front suspension downward flex are hard roadblocks.
Really hoping the aftermarket offers a system that nominally increases front travel; high angle ball joints & CVs, longer shocks etc. The new Bronco has nominally more front articulation. My modified D1 was flexy with 10”/12” travel shocks....to be fair, it was >$5K total for 3+” lift/arms/shocks & mounts/driveshafts etc.

Subframe lift is appealing as it retains downward suspension travel, but not at that overall $5,000 price for the hardware shown. Haven’t seen a true complete photo set of the kit. Obviously need brake hardline extenders, steering shaft, likely ABS sensor, diff locker & EPS cable extenders and probably additional relocation brackets for misc items mounted or partially tied into the subframes.
I have found multiple posts/photos showing the primary items and also verbiage saying that there are more items that they will not show. Basically so others cannot easily copycat the design. Yeah, if it truly lowers the entire driveline then you are talking tons of little odds and ends to make the extra length all over the place. That's why my thinking is/was that it isn't lowering the driveline and thus just increasing the driveshaft angles.
 

gatorgrizz27

Active member
Agree....not a lot of technical run-down of the guts of this system yet.

Monitoring this for potential purchase of a coil springer. Stock ground clearance of a coil spring version, front suspension downward flex are hard roadblocks.
Really hoping the aftermarket offers a system that nominally increases front travel; high angle ball joints & CVs, longer shocks etc. The new Bronco has nominally more front articulation. My modified D1 was flexy with 10”/12” travel shocks....to be fair, it was >$5K total for 3+” lift/arms/shocks & mounts/driveshafts etc.

Subframe lift is appealing as it retains downward suspension travel, but not at that overall $5,000 price for the hardware shown. Haven’t seen a true complete photo set of the kit. Obviously need brake hardline extenders, steering shaft, likely ABS sensor, diff locker & EPS cable extenders and probably additional relocation brackets for misc items mounted or partially tied into the subframes.
Articulation isn’t the big deal it once was with LR’s traction control system since 2005ish. I refer to it as “black magic”. You can be climbing, be spinning all 4 tires, it will slide backwards, adjust, and keep going uphill.

If this thing can run 35’s on 18’s with no lift, (other than a software lift or small spacer) I’d just run it like that and add a winch.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
That was the other thought or method that I had come to on this. It just seems drastically more intensive. Because that would mean lowering the entire engine/trans/diff and adjusting all the ancillaries; intake, hoses, wires, etc.

I have found multiple posts/photos showing the primary items and also verbiage saying that there are more items that they will not show. Basically so others cannot easily copycat the design. Yeah, if it truly lowers the entire driveline then you are talking tons of little odds and ends to make the extra length all over the place. That's why my thinking is/was that it isn't lowering the driveline and thus just increasing the driveshaft angles.
If they're lowering the entire drivetrain then I don't see how $5,000 is going to cover that - that's a significant amount of re-engineering and parts adding/swapping. My guess is maybe a knuckle extender for the rear driveshaft to prevent binding or excess wear on the diff or other geometry problems, but not lowering the transfer case, center diff, shafts, etc.
 

soflorovers

Well-known member
So I figured based on @naks post above, that the subframe lift by J Auston Fab would get some more conversation than it has thus far.

Momma told me that if I don't have anything nice to say...

Seriously though, the reason this lift kit isn't getting much conversation is twofold. First, J. Auston Fab has been around for decades but that entity is practically a ghost. I don't know if this is by design or not, but it is what it is. They finally got an IG a few years ago, and I think that's because they finally started getting some business on Gen 2 RRS lift kits due to that Supercharged red one that they did a subframe lift on; J Auston actually started with H1's though funny enough, so that shops involvement with LR products is fairly recent. I believe their last project was an L405 LWB on 35"s.

More importantly however is the price: A 2 inch subframe lift is $5,250, a 3 inch lift is $7,250, and a 5 inch lift is $10,500. I don't care how rich you are, that's a TON of money. I know, I know, I know...people blow $5,000 all day on Jeep suspension lifts and axles, but that's kinda become it's own absurd subset of individuals in a much broader community. The Defender market is relatively small, and I don't ever see myself dishing out $5,500 (plus labor) to get a 2 inch lift. Yes, the subframe lift keeps the stock driveline angles, but it requires a TON of work to do it (Dropping both subframes, wheel spacers, cooler mod, custom exhaust routing, trimming, etc...). Furthermore, their claims about maintaining a factory warranty are dubious. I'm familiar with Magnuson Moss, and the reality is that you've still tampered with the suspension. No amount of expert witnesses (if you decide to fight the denial in court) are going to be able to get away from the fact that you've modified the basic architecture of the vehicle. You can argue all you want about maintaining stock driveline angles on everything and maintaining stock airbag pressures, but I'd still slam you as Defense Counsel for running a 35" tire because the vehicle was not designed for that sort of unsprung weight and rotational mass.

Furthermore, (and please correct me if I'm wrong), but these subframe kits don't magically create lift out of thin air...there has to be a compromise. The subframe is dropped by whatever the corresponding lift amount is from my understanding. So great, the body gets lifted, but at what cost? You're dropping the subframes back closer to the ground and no longer maintaining a relatively flat bottom. This all leads me to my final point here: are you really going to do more than a 35" on a New Defender and still keep it usable? You can get a 1" rod lift and stuff a 33"/34" without issue/compromise. You can technically stuff a 35" with the LK8 1.5 rod lift, but now you're compromising and losing downward travel (Nobody has been able to give me a straight answer as to whether the New Defender will self-raise if it encounters rough terrain - if it doesn't, then I'd argue 1.5 inch lift is fine as long as you lock the vehicle in "normal" mode when off road). I still maintain that the solution here isn't as drastic as a subframe kit, but rather something akin to the old LK8 LR3/4/RRS SYA kit. You'd be able to maintain stock airbag pressures and would only be dealing with the increased angles in the drivetrain. Not an ideal solution, but frankly it's really a non-issue because I guarantee it's going to be the same amount of wear on the drivetrain that someone running exclusively the 1.5 inch lift rods would be incurring. If that's the case, then I'd be shocked if this new Defender is any different from previous air sprung LR's in the sense that the overwhelming majority of us never encountered issues with running a mild lift. So what would change here? This kit works, but it's overkill for 95% of us and it's priced in such a manner that I don't think it merits a conversation since 95% of people will be priced out of it as well.
 
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soflorovers

Well-known member
If they're lowering the entire drivetrain then I don't see how $5,000 is going to cover that - that's a significant amount of re-engineering and parts adding/swapping. My guess is maybe a knuckle extender for the rear driveshaft to prevent binding or excess wear on the diff or other geometry problems, but not lowering the transfer case, center diff, shafts, etc.
Pretty sure that's EXACTLY what they're doing. Their RRS kit did all that plus custom driveshafts I believe.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
This conversation is silly bc you can find 35s without a lift. Arctic trucks fit 34s easily. Start trimming plastic and call it a day.

The subframe lift is boss, but unnecessary.
 

naks

Well-known member

"Finally! The 18" Alloy Wheels for the New Defender that you have been waiting for are here and in stock at Lucky 8! This kit consists of 5 - 18x8" Alloy Wheels in Satin Black and our exclusive Brake Caliper upgrade kit that is required for fitment of the 18s on the New Defender P400 model with 350mm rotors. The brake calipers are a direct swap for your existing calipers and require no modification to the vehicle as they use the same hardware, brake lines and even brake pads. These calipers are a smaller housing and allows the fitment of these specific 18" wheels. "
 

Carson G

Well-known member
And their answer was?

As watching their videos always feels like a load of waffling and little action.
I honestly don’t know. But from what I saw in the video it looked like the Defender did very well without lockers or solid axles compared to the fully locked rubicon. IMO had the Jeep not been fully locked up with the sway bar disconnected it would’ve struggled.
 

naks

Well-known member

"The A&E network and Land Rover North America are partnering on a new documentary called "All You Need To Know: Overlanding." The 60-minute doc premieres on Sunday, April 18 at 10 p.m. We're guessing LR loves this project as its cars, particularly the Defender, have been historically known for the practice. Though they haven't been the only ones. ..."
 
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