What shocks are you guys running on your Classics?

m3 bavaria

Adventurer
I had an OME/ARB rear shock break in half this weekend. Atlantic British recommended Bilstein replacements due to the weight of my LWB. I'm having second thoughts though...

What are you guys running?
 

Snagger

Explorer
I have had my RRC for ten years and 100,000 miles and the DeCarbon dampers fitted by the previous owner are still going strong.
 

86inch

New member
In my humble opinion, the best spring and damper combination is the one that comes from the factory in the form of Genuine Parts.
These offer the best ride/articulation compromise at the best price. Contrary to popular opinion (certainly in the UK) Land Rover's engineers are not a bunch of muppets upon whose talents you can improve by spending £300 on an aftermarket spring and damper kit :)
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
One of the real advantages of the factory Classic suspension is its softness and compliance which gives it really good flex compared to a Disco or other Rover. Any stiffer spring and shock, particularly the lift kits out there, will limit this flex to a degree, as well as the comfort level. I agree that the factory shocks work best with the soft factory springs. However, under abuse, they don't last as long. They are still available new though. Another option is the Terrafirma All Terrain shocks, which are their lower line ones. I put a set of these on my last Disco and they are much softer than the OME's I had before. I think I'll try a set of these on my Classic next and see how they compare to stock.

I'm a big believer in staying with the stock springs and rear Boge load strut on the Classic, without sway bars. An alternative to the strut is to run Firestone air bags, or equivalent, inside of the rear springs and air them up or down depending on load.

An option for softer lift springs is to take the factory rear springs and move them to the front and replace the rears with a set of factory NRC4304 police spec springs. This combo will keep it soft and give a 1.5 inch lift. For a little extra lift (3/4") you can add the front rubber isolators from a Disco II and an extra set of factory rubber isolators on top of the springs in the rear. Add some two inch longer brake lines and shocks, and you can loosen up the flex even more.

You also don't need big tires to run a Classic pretty much anywhere you want to go. Stock works fine, but slightly larger sizes such as 225/75R16 or 215/85R16 work well with the stock springs.

David
 

AxeAngel

Expedition Leader
Another option is the Terrafirma All Terrain shocks, which are their lower line ones. I put a set of these on my last Disco and they are much softer than the OME's I had before. I think I'll try a set of these on my Classic next and see how they compare to stock.
As someone who has used Terrafirma/Bilstein/OME. I would recommend Bilstein and OME not terrafirma. Their springs are fine but go with a shock from elsewhere.

-Sam
 

JackW

Explorer
I ran Bilsteins on my classic with some custom made 1" lift springs and 245/75R16 tires - rode well but I did break the top mount of both rear Bilsteins one at a time. That usually happened after a long stretch of rocky trail where the shocks got overheated. They were replaced under warranty and I'm still running Bilsteins on my D-90 and my Series truck.

The ultimate shock is the Koni Raid but they are pretty pricey
 

Colin Hughes

Explorer
I can't say the RRC drives better without sway bars. I've had both and the one with the sway bars was a much better and safer drive.
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
As someone who has used Terrafirma/Bilstein/OME. I would recommend Bilstein and OME not terrafirma. Their springs are fine but go with a shock from elsewhere.

-Sam
I was just recommending the Terrafirmas for their relative softness compared to OME's I've had. I haven't run them long enough to comment on durability, just ride, which I think is nice. I have never run Bilsteins. No doubt they are better quality than the Terrafirmas, but they also cost twice as much. . .
 

dcwhybrew

Adventurer
Bilsteins, on both my RRC and D1. They did very well on road and off. I believe they have a life time warranty.
 

Snagger

Explorer
I have only driven four RRCs, two without anti-roll bars and two with. I found the earlier unequipped vehicles very uncomfortable when cornering and frankly a little worrying. The beauty of that, though, is the driver bottles out before grip is pushed to the limit. Anti-roll bars may increase the vehicle's turning ability, but will mask much of what is going on, allowing the driver to get much closer to the edge of the car's limits.

My RRC not only has the DeCarbon dampers (as I said, fitted by the previous owner) and factory anti-roll bars, but also has police spec rear springs. Again, these were fitted by the previous owner, who also had the matching front springs but never got round to fitting them. The vhicle still ahs the original front springs. The resuslt is a good poise with slightly firmer rear, but not over sprung. The Boge strut is still fitted, but with those rear springs, I don't think it's doing anything. The lift is very moderate, probably less than an inch, and is just enough to get rid of that saggy rear look that parked RRCs tend to have. The handling is fairly crips but the ride is very comfortable, even on our potholed and speed-bumped roads!

I agree that LR's engineers came up with a good system, but it must also be remembered that they have to work to a cost and also to a compromise of applications and driving styles. Altering the dampers or springs to suit different applications or driving styles is not a waste, as long as it is done appropriately.
 

m3 bavaria

Adventurer
Thanks for the comments guys! I went with the Bilstiens. The ride is good, though not too different than the OME's that were on it when I bought it.

Overall, I'm pleased, though they were a bit pricey. This month alone, I've sunk $3,000 into the truck. Oh well, love has no price, right?
 
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