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Thread: P38 Suspension Lift Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    P38 Suspension Lift Guide

    Hey guys n gals,

    This is quite a long thread – please grab a 6 pack and be ready for a lot of reading, plenty of pics and hopefully some good information.

    So with the collective efforts of Peter (Pete38), Sean (Davidsonsm), Gary (mtb gary), Paul 1 (Hammer H), Paul 2 (PaulP38A), Benji (oddly enough – Benji), Martin (Fantom P38), Sam (Danmal), Dave (DT-P38) and myself (Keithy P38), we have compiled experience to make a guide to lifting your P38, all the while retaining the EAS system’s normal functionality and features. I thank everyone for their contributions towards making this guide. Reference links to other posts within the forum during the design and implementation of the kits can be found in the “Summing Up” section below. I talk in 3rd person during this thread – don’t assume that makes me the bomb! All of the above lads have contributed to this thread!

    Everyone has a reason for lifting their vehicle – in fact I wouldn’t take a standard (non P38) vehicle to any of the places I travel without a 2” lift. P38’s are an exceptionally underrated 4wd vehicle - lucky to have a little button on the dash that allows it to gain an extra few inches, however, for one reason or another there’s a need or want to take them up a further few inches. My reasoning was to allow the increased ground clearance of the factory P38’s “High” setting while retaining the spring rate of the factory P38’s “Standard” height, and to maximise available wheel travel. Other reasons include (but are not limited to) allowing room in the guards for larger diameter tyres, issues with air springs rubbing on guarding on the front of the chassis (seemingly related to additional weight over the front end such as steel bull bars, etc), or simply wanting more ground clearance for whatever hardcore 4wding you may be planning.

    None of the people involved in this lift thread, happen to hold “on-hand” a lift kit that is ready to go. Nor are we planning on manufacturing and selling the lift kit, hence the DIY aspect to this thread. If you wish to have one made up and sent to you as a bolt-in proposition, I’m sure that between us someone might be interested in doing this. Obviously you will need to organize this with the person making the kit for you (deposit/payment for consumables and other bits required to make the kit plus postage of course). It is advised that you DIY this kit though, not only is it a simple kit – it gives you the opportunity to bond with your P38 and become very familiar with how the suspension works. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing and being able to repair a part of your suspension in the event something fails in the middle of nowhere.

    *DISCLAIMER* This is a guide provided by the members of this forum through experiences gained during the lifting process (it’s not a simple set-n-forget bolt in and drive proposition on a P38). MANY MANY hours were spent in developing this lift guide and ironing out the bugs that reared their heads during the process. At no stage during this guide do any of the forum members (nor the forum itself) claim any engineering trades/background/training nor take any responsibility for any repercussions that may arise should you choose to lift your P38 using this guide. PERFORM AT YOUR OWN RISK - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO KEEP YOUR VEHICLE ADR COMPLIANT AND LEGAL TO DRIVE ON PUBLIC ROADS.

    Now that’s over, let’s get into the basics of the lift. For the sake of easy reading, I’ll split this up into groups – First will be the basics and a bit of a run-down on a “generic” lift kit. Then I’ll go through our individual setups under sub-headings (just takes out the confusion). For all intensive purposes we will call it a 2” lift – should you choose to take it further is your prerogative. To perform a 2” lift on your P38 you WILL need:

    - Arnott Gen III air springs
    - 2” spring spacers
    - Extended front shock absorbers
    - Extended rear shock absorbers
    - Height sensor extensions
    - Panhard Rod adjusters (optional)
    - Bump stop pad extensions (or longer bump stops if you can get them made)
    - Consideration to brake lines and ABS sensors (as not to over-stretch)

    LEGALITIES OF LIFTING A VEHICLE

    Short and sweet here – you will need to have a read of the VSI (Vehicle Standards Instructions) document on your relevant Government website. This is the link to the National VSB LS (Vehicle Standards Bulletin relating to Tyres, Rims, Suspension and Steering) – your state may differ from this:
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa..._2011%20v3.pdf

    Page 44 onwards contains the bits relating to lifting or modifying suspension.

    Don’t forget to let your insurance company know as well! I/We are not claiming any legal responsibility for any lift you may put beneath your P38.

    AIR SPRINGS

    The very fundamental items to the lift kit are the Arnott Gen III air springs. If you are going to run OEM air springs then you may as well kiss your hard work goodbye as it’s likely you will over-extend the springs and run into dramas. Although not cheap (around $950 to $1,000AU delivered to Australia), the Arnott Gen III air springs are very durable and come with a lifetime guarantee. They are also designed to alter the spring rate compared to standard bags. At highway height they claim a firmer ride, standard to be much the same, and a softer ride up high. This is due to bladder and piston design changes.

    SPACERS

    The 2” spacers are quite simple really and shouldn’t cost you much to have cut – from memory my spacers cost $60 to have plasma cut. If you use any thicker than 4mm steel plate you will not be able to get the “R” clip into the air spring to secure it to the spacer – you must use 4mm steel plate (at least for the top and bottom plates).

    Between the collective “lift group” there are a few different designs and height variances for the spacers. The key common element between our spacers is that all have a forward angle on the rear spacers to compensate for diff rotation angle. You will rip the rear air springs off the pistons if you don’t do this (and you will limit wheel down-travel as well). Essentially the spacers are made from 4mm steel plate and consist of two 125mm circular plates with cut-outs for the air spring piston bosses to fit through, and two 100mm by 42mm uprights on each spacer to achieve the desired lift (with the uprights for the rear spacers, you will have the front 20mm shorter in height than the rear – to have the centre of the upright at your desired height). A few points worth mentioning with the spacers:

    - The front spacers will sit side-on due to the direction required for the air spring piston bosses. If the spacers you decide to run will sit on top of the air spring, you will not have to worry about this.
    - The rear spacers will need to be welded together with the piston boss cut-outs (the “D” shape) facing 180 degrees to each other on each spacer (i.e. left rear spacer will have the “D” shape pointed to the rear, right rear spacer will have the “D” shape pointed to the front) due to factory mounting position for the piston bosses – this allows the air springs to be swapped left-to-right in the front and rear ends, thus eliminating the need for a separate designated spring for each corner.
    - The height of the uprights on your spacers IS NOT how high you’ve lifted your P38 (if running the twin upright and twin plate design)! You need to allow 4mm top and bottom for the thickness of the spacer plates (i.e. to achieve 50mm of physical lift in the front of a P38 you will have the uprights at 42mm and add 8mm for the top and bottom plates).

    There are various heights among the forum as described in each individual lift below. Just as our heights are different, the spacer designs themselves are different. Needless to say, it’s your choice at the end of the day how high and what design you wish to go with for the spacers. 4” is possible if you so desire. Use the profiles below to find what suits your desires.

    SHOCK ABSORBERS

    When it comes to shock absorbers, you can choose to do your own research and run whatever brand you favour, however, the Terrafirma TF144 and 145 shock absorbers are specifically designed for a 2” lifted P38 range rover and are available easily and relatively inexpensively. You can purchase them online via the Terrafirma website, or others like Island 4x4, etc in the UK, or sites within Australia (shopping locally is the preferred option as it’s always good to support our Auzzie companies, but at the end of the day it’s your choice). The TF144 shock absorbers are for the front of a P38 and the TF145’s are for the rear. From personal experience, I can say that the ride on-road is better with the Terrafirma shocks – better bump absorption and softer damping for better articulation speeds off-road. Definitely a good shock absorber.

    You also have the option of running the Off Road Boss 570344 (front) and Off Road Boss 530324 (rear) 12-way adjustable shocks. These were standard-issue with the Hard Range Lift Kit.

    HEIGHT SENSOR EXTENSIONS

    This part of the lift kit determines exactly how much actual lift you will end up with on your P38. Despite the spacers underneath the air springs, if you do not modify the length of your height sensor arms, you will not “actually” lift your P38 – you will have only altered the air spring characteristics at factory heights and potentially risk damaging the springs. This is also where the group differs in their lift kits. There are plenty of descriptions and pictures in the individual lift setups below for you to draw inspiration from. My lift, and anyone with a Hard Range kit will have altered the length of the bottom arms only on the height sensors, others have extended both arms, or in the case of Sean’s lift – made a 1” bracket to lift the front sensor location on the radius arms.

    When removing your height sensors you must take care. The ends that attach to the radius arms and to the trailing arms push through a rubber mount. If you happen to rip this rubber mount from the suspension arms, you will have a lot of fun getting them back on (i.e. new trailing arm $$ or some very awesome glue).

    Also noteworthy is the condition of your current height sensors. If you have some spare change and want to make it all brand new, why not consider buying a brand new or good second-hand set of height sensor arms before you begin? Rather than re-use a questionable set, you’ll have a baseline to work from.

    You may or may not need to perform an EAS Calibration once you’ve lifted your P38 as well. I personally have not needed to, others have. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case you destroy a height sensor or something doesn’t work out.

    PANHARD ROD EXTENSIONS (ADJUSTERS)

    This is purely an option. You don’t “need” to have adjustable Panhard rods on your P38 once it’s lifted (at the time of writing I don’t have any on mine and it does everything it’s meant to do– but it is in the pipeline). More details of this modification are included in a couple of the lifts below.

    Also now available is a front Adjustable Panhard Rod from Whiteline. Only found (thanks Gary) as this guide was going to press, so nobody here is running one at this stage. Details are on the Whiteline website or ebay page.

    BUMP STOP EXTENSIONS

    Another aspect where we all differ is the bump stops! You will need to lengthen your bump stops regardless of how much you lift your Rangie. Obviously, the less spacer height, the less bump stop extension you will need. This will all be dependent on what size tyres you run or plan to run, the rear height sensor clearance, front height sensor arc (you’ll find this out when you end up on the bump stops – it’ll throw up a fault code), etc. There are plenty of variables. If your P38 is not the primary vehicle in your household and can afford time off the road to tinker you’ll be able to get this to an exact science and maximise every millimeter of travel available – others here have not got that luxury (nor are the family keen on dad spending all his time off work under the Rangie). For simplicities sake, if you don’t have the time to measure and play, I would extend my bump stops by the amount I’ve lifted the vehicle.

    OTHER MODS

    You will need to take into consideration that your brake lines and ABS sensor lines are also designed around a “standard” P38 and will need to be lengthened.

    In the case of the rear end it’s a simple fix – lower the brake line/ABS line bracket by an inch or two. That will prevent either of them becoming over-stretched.

    I have put extended s/stl brake lines on my P38 (custom made) and left the sensor bracket alone. When I plan to go off-road I take the ABS sensor out of its lower hold bracket to overcome stretching.

    INSTALLATION GUIDE (Courtesy of Paul – Ex Hard Range CEO)

    This guide is used with the permission of Hard Range, with a few of my own touch-ups (not major).

    Give yourself a few hours to complete the installation. There is nothing overly-complex about the installation and no specialist tools are required. Note: These instructions are for the HRA Lift kit – this guide assumes you are replacing the air springs during the lifting process. You will not need to remove the upper spring clips or remove air lines if you currently run Arnott Gen III springs, or are planning on having front spacers below the spring.

    Required tools and equipment:
    • A quality set of spanners and sockets
    • Long nose pliers
    • Long flat blade screwdriver(s)
    • Electric drill
    • A fine hack saw blade.
    Other recommended tools and equipment:
    • Floor trolley or hoist to simplify access to suspension components
    • A 200mm length of coat hanger wire with a hook bent into one end can assist in removing the rear upper spring clips (if you need to remove them).
    • Diagnostics equipment to check and modify height settings after lift kit installation.

    Depressurising the system - The Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) should be fully depressurised before starting work. If diagnostics equipment (e.g. TestBook, Rovacom/FaultMate, Nanocom, EAS Unlock) is not available to depressurise the system, ensure the vehicle height is set at the lowest possible height (i.e. Access mode) and take extreme care when disconnecting air lines from the valve block or air springs.
    Safety glasses are recommended when disconnecting pressurised air lines, and whenever working on the EAS.
    If the car is not already sitting on the bump stops, be aware it may drop in height when air fittings are disconnected.

    Front Shocks, Spacers, Bump Stops and Air Springs
    1) Jack up the front of the vehicle to gain access to the suspension components.
    2) You may remove the wheels to improve access if you wish.
    3) Remove the front inner wheel arches to enable access to the top of the air spring bracket. Be careful with the clips as they break easily.
    4) Remove the original shock absorbers:
    a) 1 long bolt at the top
    b) 1 nut, 2 washers and 2 rubber mounts at the bottom.
    5) Remove the original air springs:
    a) Disconnect the air line at the top
    b) 2 clips at the top
    c) Bolt and pin at the base.
    6) Install spacer at the upper air spring mount using bolts supplied.
    7) Install Gen III air springs, reusing clips removed in step 5b.
    One customer reported that the air line to the front right hand air spring would not reach and offered this solution:
    I solved this by very carefully cutting the non-split plastic loom that bundles the lines where they exit the valve block (razor blade), pulling that line out of the bundle and re-routing it. You might also consider an extension line and coupler.
    8) Install extended shocks.
    9) Install front Height Sensor Extensions.
    10) Remove original bumps stops by simply pulling them off. A bit of WD-40 or silicon spray up the centre of the bump stop will help.
    11) Fit the supplied extended bump stops.
    a) Typically, these should be trimmed down to approximately 90mm length.
    b) Check the distance between the bump stop mount and diff plate with the air springs deflated and the shocks compressed. Add 20mm to this length to determine the length of the bump stops.
    c) If unsure, leave the bump stops longer than required and trim to suit later.
    d) The bumps stops can be difficult to attach by hand. Use some WD-40 or silicon spray to lubricate the small hole at the top of the bump stop before fitting.
    e) If possible, place a 90mm wooden block on the diff plate, align the bump stop and then lower the car on to the bump stop. It will seat itself.
    f) Check and re-check that the bump stops are secure.

    Rear Shocks, Spacers and Air Springs
    12) Jack up the rear of the vehicle to gain access to the suspension.
    13) You may remove the wheels to improve access if you wish.
    14) Remove the original shock absorbers:
    a) 1 long bolt at the top
    b) 1 nut, 2 washers and 2 rubber mounts at the bottom.
    15) Remove the original air springs:
    a) Disconnect the air line at the top through the small gap above the chassis rail
    b) 1 R-clip at the top
    c) 1 R-clip at the bottom.
    Fit spacer to plate on diff, noting orientation and alignment of D-holes in the plate.
    d) Use brackets supplied to fix the spacer to the plate. You may wish to drill a hole through the spacer and plate to affix another bolt in the location of the “spare” D-hole.
    e) As noted earlier, pre-1999 models may require some re-routing of the brake line running along the diff housing.
    16) Install Gen III air spring
    a) reuse R-clip at top
    b) use supplied pin at bottom
    c) insert air line at top.
    17) Install extended shocks.
    18) Install rear Height Sensor Extensions

    Height Sensor Extensions
    It is easier to work on the Height Sensors if they are removed from the vehicle, however if you are careful you can cut the arms with a fine hack saw blade while they are on the vehicle.
    The supplied Height Sensor Extensions give approximately 45mm of extra length to the lower arms at the rear, and 20mm at the front.
    1) Make a fine cut through the lower arm of the height sensor in the centre of the arm. Each front sensor only has around 20mm of exposed arm so do not use a coarse cutting blade as you will lose valuable length.
    2) The front Height Sensor Extensions have a hole in each end of approximately 10mm. It is recommended to use a “super glue” compound to attach the arm and then secure with the supplied grub screws.
    3) Repeat for the rear height sensors.

    Brake Line Bracket Extensions
    If you find the brake lines appear to be too tight, you may use the supplied extension brackets to lower the existing mounting brackets.
    At the front, check that the ABS Sensor wire “strain relief grommet” is sitting as low as possible.

    Check Heights
    An EAS Unlock Cable with the free EAS Unlock Suite from RSW Solutions is my preferred tool. Please make a donation to RSW Solutions if you find the software useful.
    Measurements should be made from the top of the centre wheel cap to the bottom of the guard. The distance from ground to the bottom of the guard is affected by tyre wear and pressure, and is not as accurate as the top of centre wheel cap method.

    Other Checks and Good Practices
    • Raise and lower the vehicle to confirm that height settings are correct.
    • Check compressed and extended shock lengths. The shocks should extend to their maximum without over-extending the Gen III air springs. The bump stops should prevent the shocks from bottoming-out.
    • Take the vehicle for a drive at different heights. Ensure all new components are secure and operating as expected.
    • Castor angle will be affected by the lift. Check your wheel alignment if steering confidence is affected.
    • EAS HIGHWAY mode should be your default setting for road use. You may experience some drive-shaft vibration when the vehicle is at EAS STANDARD and HIGH modes at highway speeds. If you intend to use the vehicle at STANDARD or HIGH modes for high speed use, consider investing in a Double Cardan joint to relieve stress on the drive-shaft.
    • EAS STANDARD mode gives best compromise for clearance and articulation (travel). Use EAS HIGH mode for wading and clearing obstructions.
    • If you have installed the Boss 12-way adjustable shocks, experiment with dampening settings to suit your preference. I find a setting of 7 is comfortable for on-road and off-road use.
    • Regularly check all new components to ensure they are a fastened securely and nothing has worked loose.

    SUMMING UP

    That’s about the general overview of what’ll be involved in lifting a P38 on air springs. The concept is simple, the application is basic, but (until now) information was quite scarce. Don’t let things like welding or the misconception that P38 air suspension is a complicated and mysterious beast hold you back. If you’ve started out with a solid platform, suspension that’s already in good condition (I.E. valve block does not need an overhaul, compressor is working fine, etc) then you should have no problems. Intending to modify something that needs work already will be where headaches start.

    I’m sure if you are not handy on the tools there’d be someone on Facebook or your neighborhood that would be willing to crack out a welder and make 36 welds for you. The rest is not beyond an average DIY’er. Generally speaking, you can fit the entire kit up in half a day – provided you’ve already done the necessary mods to the height sensors and fabricated the spacers. Best to start fresh on a Saturday morning and plan to have it done and driving by Sunday night.

    Be sure to post pics and info if you do decide to use this guide to lift your P38, same applies if you are lifting and run into dramas and need assistance – I personally love feedback, especially when it’s something that I’ve been heavily involved in, I’m sure the other fellas involved in this project would appreciate it too. We all enjoy helping out a friend in need!

    A table of heights as a reference will follow in the coming days.

    A bit of reference material for anyone who has a few hours spare to read:

    “Lifted P38 on Air – Questions” Thread contains everything from go-to-whoa in the R&D process. There are some bits that may get repetitive in there, but there is also a valuable knowledge base and details on any hurdles that were encountered during the process.

    Lifted P38 on air - questions

    “Panhard Rod Mod” Thread contains good information about what you’ll need to do if planning to turn your Panhard rods into Adjustable Panhard rods. I can’t claim fame to that section, so many thanks to the boys involved in the research there.

    Adjustable Panhard Rods

    Good Luck!
    Keithy




    KEITHY’S LIFT KIT

    COST BREAKDOWN
    - I already had Arnott Gen III springs on the vehicle before I decided to lift.
    - Spacer cutting and fabrication $60 (I had a mate weld them up for me)
    - Shock absorbers $330 (plus freight)
    - Height sensor mods $20 (a few bolts, some connector nuts, stainless nuts, chemi-weld)
    - Bump stop mods $15 (not permanent – I plan to change them once I’ve increased tyre size)
    - TOTAL $425 (not including misc. engineering shop work I had done as the spacer pins I made were too long)

    SPACERS
    - My front spacers are 60mm high, the rears are 60mm at the high point and 40mm at the low point (I wanted to soften the front end of the car up)
    - I am running a basic twin plate with twin upright design (which Peter and I designed and drew up in CAD)
    - For my lift I machined up a set of pins that resemble the bosses on the bottom of our air springs – I had teething issues with mine as I was initially aiming to allow the spacers to dislocate from the diff and run the longer TF144 shock absorbers in the rear, but I’d highly advise that you do not do this as airbags and coil springs have a different nature when under load, and due to the angle of the rear spacers, mine were dislocating under load and causing issues with the springs bending. I am still using the pins, albeit shortened to retain the spacer with a 1mm movement margin, and I’ve welded the rear spacers to the diff housing

    SHOCK ABSORBERS
    - I am running Terrafirma TF144 shock absorbers in the front and TF145 shock absorbers in the rear.

    HEIGHT SENSOR MODIFICATIONS
    - My front height sensor lower arms have been extended by 23mm. To do this I purchased two large-diameter bolts (12mm by 120mm bolts from memory – only needed to use ¼ of the length, but the extra was handy if I stuffed up), cut the heads off the bolts and made the tapered part of the bolt (the bit without thread) 43mm long. I then trimmed back some of the rubber on the lower arm of the front height sensors (as they are quite short, just take enough rubber off to allow an exposed shaft length of 22mm-odd) and then cut the arm in half. Then I drilled down the shaft of the bolt 10mm at each end with a 6.5mm drill bit (to allow each half of the cut height sensor arm to go in), made some chemi-weld, shoved the ends of the sensor arms in and let it set. I then drilled a hole through the bolt sideways, 5mm from each end, to allow a split-pin to go through the arm and extension together. Simple – but not adjustable, so get it right the first time!

    - My rear height sensor lower arms have been extended by 48mm. As the lower arms on the rear are quite long, I wanted to make the extensions adjustable, so I simply cut them in half again, threaded each half of the arm (about 25mm up each half using a 6mm thread die). Can I emphasize the importance of good tools here! My thread die was an el-cheapo and was unable to cut a thread onto the arms. I was lucky enough to have a mate with a quality set and raced over to his workshop and cut the threads there. From there, purchased 50cm of 6mm threaded rod from Bunning’s and about 6 connecting nuts (in 6mm) and a dozen 6mm stainless nuts to suit. Thread one nut on each half of the sensor arm first, then measure up 10mm the threads on the arms and put a bit of tape (plumbers tape will do) to thread your connecting nuts up to. I put a bit of loctite on the threads before I threaded the connecting nuts on. Once they were on, I wound down the stainless nuts as locking nuts. Then it’s just a matter of making your 6mm rod that you got from Bunning’s into the length you wish (in my case it was 48mm), wind two stainless nuts up the rod before applying loctite to the thread, then screw the rod into the connecting nuts on the sensor arms (but not too tight as you’ll snap the sensor arms – they are brittle) and winding down the stainless nuts as locking nuts again. The benefit of doing it this way is that you can take the rod out if you find it’s too short or long for your application, and shorten it or cut a longer bit of rod. If you don’t wish to do it this way, you can do it the same way as the front sensor arms – just need to make sure it’s right the first time!

    PANHARD ROD EXTENSIONS (ADJUSTERS)
    - I am currently not running Panhard Rod extensions or adjusters. I plan on running them in the near future.

    BUMP STOP EXTENSIONS
    - My bump stops have been extended by 35mm front and 50mm rear at the moment using solid rubber blocks attached to the axle pads – down the track I’ll make extended bump stops by cutting a factory one up and gluing a poly bump stop to that. The front only due to the height sensor going below zero (EAS bit count in the ECU) and throwing up a fault. The rear is due to the height sensor arm pivot elbow touching the chassis under articulation/deflation. If the elbow was not to touch the chassis in my case I’d probably only need 40mm bump stop extensions or less.

    GENERAL COMMENTS

    I am very pleased with how the lift has turned out! After a few teething issues, I think it’s perfect. Based off height sensor mods alone, I gained 55mm in lift at each corner, in each height. I am planning to make up an adjustable Panhard Rod for the front and rear very soon to centre the diffs, and I’d also like to get double cardan universals for the shafts (more-so the front shaft). Otherwise it’s great. I am running 255/70/16 BFG KM2’s and plan to go up to 255/85 or 285/75 in the near future so will have to reassess the bump stops possibly, but otherwise the car is set up to run them.

    Not sure if it was just me, but it took a few hours straining to get the shocks in! They are quite hard to compress from under the car, then my IQ kicked in and I realised that humans invented machines to assist with heavy lifting jobs – once I got the trolley jack under the extended shocks, they compressed no worries and I then seated them on the diff. Be sure to “pump” your new shocks before you fit them to remove any air. To do this you stand the shock absorber up vertical and run it through its full length of travel up and down three times.

    Image of my lift kit (note: I did not end up using the turnbuckles pictured)


    Image of my front height sensors with a bit of rubber trimmed off the lower arm.


    Image of my front sensor arm once modified for the lift.


    Image of what happens if your rear spacers are not secured to the diff and you attempt to raise the vehicle.


    Image of the inside of my rear spacers with the pins welded in.


    Image of my front spacers installed.


    Image of my rear spacers installed.


    Image of my Rangie at its new “Standard” height.


    Before the Lift Kit was installed:


    After the Lift Kit was installed:


    Before the Lift Kit was installed:


    After the Lift Kit was installed:


    Video of my rangie having a bit of a flex on a 4wd trip after the lift was installed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0T2...ature=youtu.be



    BENJI’S LIFT KIT

    SPACERS
    - Benji is running 1” spacers on top of the front air springs and 1.15” rear spacers under the springs (1” at the front of the spacer, 1.3” rear).
    - Benji has the front spacers on top of the air springs. His top and bottom plates on the front are 4mm sheet with an ID of 120mm, OD is 150mm. And, ID 130 x 5mm pipe cut to 18.6mm high. (I.e. 18.6+4+4= 25.4mm (EDIT BY KEITH – Almost 25.4mm hey Benji ;-}).
    - The rear spacer top and bottom plates are 4mm sheet cut to 120mmOD. The middle section is 114mmOD pipe 4.5mm thick. As the pipe is a smaller diameter than the plates, it is cut 17.83mm high at the front and 25.45mm at the rear. With the added thickness of the two plates at a 120mm diameter this gives 25.4 at the front and 33mm at the rear.
    - Mounting for the spacers, Benji has gone a bit different again with the fronts getting 8.2mm holes for the pins on top of the bags and 3/8 UNC studs (8.0mm tapping hole) for securing to the chassis hanger. For the rear, the bottom plate will be bolted to the axle via ½ inch UNF 8.8 bolts and nylock nuts each side. To get the pin in he cut a recess in the pipe 40mm long, and 12mm and 6 mm high.

    SHOCK ABSORBERS
    - Benji is using Terrafirma TF144 and TF145 shock absorbers.

    HEIGHT SENSOR MODIFICATIONS
    - Benji’s height sensor mods to the front arms involve taking the top arm to 86mm and 109.8mm on the bottom arm (how much extension this actually is – I’m unsure as I cannot recall the original lengths of the sensor arms). He has not specified the length of his rear arm mods. He has gone to town on getting this right! See the detailed pic below and the following explanation to go with it:
    “The following is a cad pic of the front height sensor geometry. The two diagrams on the left are the stock bump stop and max droop. The two in the middle are stock bump stop and 2 inches more droop. The two on the right are for one inch bump stop compression, and two inches more droop. Using the diagram on the left as an example, 30mm is the vertical distance between the fulcrum of the height sensor and the lower arm attachment bolt on the radius arm; and 75.4mm is the horizontal distance between those two. 90mm and 88mm are the top and bottom height sensor arms. The top arm sits at 130 degrees at maximum compression, and 83 at full droop.”

    PANHARD ROD EXTENSIONS (ADJUSTERS)
    - Benji is not running Panhard Rod extensions/mods

    BUMP STOP EXTENSIONS
    - Benji’s setup is 1 inch bump stop spacers front and rear (25x90x3 RHS) cut to 100mm long for the back axle, and 70mm for the front. These will be bolted with one bolt either side of the bump stop pad on the axle (i.e., 8 x 1/4UNC bolts {requires 5.1mm tapping hole in axle pad}).

    GENERAL COMMENTS

    “The main bearing of my lift revolves around getting as much use as possible out of the gen3 bags, and the TF144/145s.

    Myself and another lad have struck the problem with the Gen3 bags chaffing on the back of the front spring hangers (pic attached). I believe this is due to me having the bulbar and winch. Extra weight requires extra pressure in the bags, which make them a slightly larger diameter thus they chafe. The other lad put spacers on top of the front bags (ala Hardrange), and it fixed the problem. Whether the original owners of Hardrange experienced this would be interesting, though I don’t think their alloy bar weighed near as much as my MCC one. I initially wasn’t going to lift the car. But because of this chaffing issue, I didn’t have a choice. By putting a spacer on top of the bag, it drops the bladder below the chaffing point on the hanger. This may be something some on the forum should check who run the MCC bar and gen3 bags.”

    Benji’s front spacers – mounted on top of the bags:


    Benji’s rear spacers:


    Another shot of Benji’s rear spacers:


    The image related to Benji’s height sensor mods – description listed above under his height sensor section:


    Image shows the area of chaffing experienced by Benji:




    SEAN’S LIFT KIT

    SPACERS
    - Sean has 48mm fronts and the rears have a 50/30 height. 10deg slope.
    - Sean is running one helluva mean spacer design – I don’t even think the Titanic had this much steel and bracing! Best you see the attached images as to describe them!
    - Sean has made “bosses” that were cut and turned down from M24 bolts. They are welded to the lower plate of the spacers. The lower spacer plate is secured to the axle pad by 6mm lynch pins at the rear. At the front Sean made a hybrid pin using 6mm st stl screwed rod in combination with the original front spring retaining pins (to allow pick-up of the securing screws on the axle pad).

    SHOCK ABSORBERS
    - Sean is running Terrafirma TF144 shock absorbers in the front and TF145 shock absorbers in the rear

    HEIGHT SENSOR MODIFICATIONS
    - Sean has made a bracket (shown in photos) to raise the attachment point of the front sensor arms on the radius arms by 25mm. For his rear arms he’s extended the upper arm by 25mm (to 175mm by memory) using a carbon fibre 6mm ID tent pole and JB Weld to secure, and the lower arm he’s extended by 25mm (to 150mm) using an M6 threaded turnbuckle – this allows for adjustment and to ensure the EAS settings are in range.

    PANHARD ROD EXTENSIONS (ADJUSTERS)
    - Panhard rods made using OEM rods, plus adjusters using Synergy weld studs and Synergy double adjuster, from Off Road Warehouse (jerry@orwmail.com) as per in USD:
    - These adjusters cost $173.90
    - This involved cutting the rods and removing 90mm in length. The front adjusters were turned down to a press fit inside the 20.3mm ID rod. The rear adjusters were turned down to press fit inside the 24.6mm rod (check dimensions on your actual rods – as tolerances may vary). They were then welded and painted. All DIY with access to a lathe.

    BUMP STOP EXTENSIONS
    - Sean has gone for a different approach. He has used a half-height hockey puck (approx 12.5mm) glued to the axle pads front and rear. His bump stops themselves are a combination of the originals (cut off at around 25mm shoulder to retain original fixing method), glued to some poly bump stops. The height of the bump stop has been altered from 55mm to 75mm, plus the hockey puck to give an extra 12.5 + 20 = 37.5mm. He has used the same front and rear.

    GENERAL COMMENTS
    “Loving the new ride height. I can now eyeball other 4be4’s, and then move up to standard height and look down on them!!
    I still have an issue accessing “access height” for some reason – but this will be resolved to allow me a little more clearance in car parks. Funny enough, each of my new heights are more or less 2” higher than they were. So the spring rate hasn’t changed. I took out a set of Koni shockers, so the new TF’s took a little getting used to. They’re softer. I’ve not really noticed any degradation in road handling manners. I’m looking forward to putting the car through its paces off-road (only tried it on gravel tracks and corrugations so far). Fitting everything up takes little time – perhaps half a day. But the fabrication and modifications do take time. And the recalibration and troubleshooting takes time. I’d ensure your EAS is in tip top condition before starting.
    My next steps and considerations are fitting the adjustable Panhard rods, adjusting the drag link, checking steering alignment and then perhaps: double checking I’m comfortable with the current front prop shaft (in terms of spline engagement) and installing a 6 mm or 12mm spacer behind my radius arms. Oh – and also, I’m in the process of making some sway bar disconnects.”

    Image of Sean’s height sensor modifications.


    Image of the welding involved in Sean’s spacers! Braced to the max!!


    Image of Sean’s disassembled spacers!


    Image of Seans completed rear spacers (upside down in the pic)


    Image of Sean’s completed front spacers (upside down in the pic)


    Front spacers again


    Sean’s rear spacers and bump stops installed.


    And again.


    Image of Sean’s Panhard rods finished.


    Image of Sean’s front spacer installed




    GARY’S LIFT KIT

    COST BREAKDOWN
    - Gary purchased his kit 2nd hand off eBay for $1,300 after doing less than 1000k. Comprised in that purchase was 2 x Arnott Gen III front air springs, 3 x Arnott Gen III rear air springs, adjustable Off Road Boss shock absorbers for front and rear, 1 x HRA EAS bypass kit, 1 x drier, 1 x complete pump and valve block assembly in perfect working order, plus several other bits of tube and connectors. What a score that was!
    - Bump stop mods $18.95
    - Misc. nuts, bolts, washers $20.00
    - Brake line, stainless clamps and tent pegs for height sensors $31.00
    - Panhard rods and work required to make adjustable $258.00
    - EAS Unlock suite $30.00
    - TOTAL $1,627.95 (a great price if you take into account what’s included)

    SPACERS
    - Gary is running a Hard Range lift kit (sadly they are no longer in business) which is a neat 50mm and 60/40mm.
    - Essentially the kit is made up of spacers on top of the front air springs (at 50mm) and the rears I cannot specify on. The rear spacers are bolted to the diff and extend out to act as a bump stop extension.

    SHOCK ABSORBERS
    - Gary is running Off Road Boss 570344 (front) and Off Road Boss 530324 (rear) 12-way adjustable shocks on his (as they were offered as a part of the Hard Range kit). Although a good shock absorber, Gary has had an issue with one shock absorber.

    HEIGHT SENSOR MODIFICATIONS
    - Gary’s initially started with straight 6mm fuel line with rigid plastic garden sprinkler riser inserted inside of the fuel line to get the desired height extension. This has since been replaced with 6.1mm ID brake line with 6mm steel rod (tent peg) cut to length inside the brake line. The extenders are held onto the height adjusters with stainless steel clamps.

    PANHARD ROD EXTENSIONS (ADJUSTERS)
    - Gary sourced a second set of Panhard rods for modifying. These were sourced for $22 each from Linn Rover in Perth (unfortunately no longer trading).
    - Gary sourced his adjusters from Technico Automotive Components Technico Racing in Melbourne, email Andrew at technico@live.com.au. Cost for these to be custom made was $65 ea + $14 P&H. The bosses were bored to 30.05 mm and have 3/4" threads for the adjustment. The great thing about these adjusters is that the adjustment can be made with the Panhard rod attached to the car.
    - Gary chose to get them professionally welded. He has very basic welding skills with his MIG welder, so for this vital part of the vehicle he elected not to do this job himself. He made contact with Mike at XLR8 Fabrication, 10 Clavering Road, Bayswater WA, Tel: 0414 185 889. The cost for cutting of the Panhard rods, pressing on the bosses (they needed a bit of encouragement), then plug weld and circumference weld the 4 bosses cost him a slab of Cougars at $70.
    - Painted in a rust proof paint
    - Total cost $258 for 2 adjustable Panhard rods

    BUMP STOP EXTENSIONS
    - Gary’s bump stop extensions are a part of the spacer design and are the same height as the spacers in the rear. Gary has used docking rubber for the front.

    GENERAL COMMENTS
    “I have also fitted a switch on the dash to turn off the EAS, rather than removing the relay under the passenger seat. I now have a habit of disabling the EAS whenever I turn off the car.

    Also critical to the lift is the EAS unlock suite provided by Storey Wilson. I have the older free version that still works fine along with a com cable purchased from HRA quite some time ago for around $30.00.

    When in highway mode with the road wheel/tyre combination the ride quality is brilliant. Steering is tight and responsive and the height is not too much higher than the highway height without the lift and still suitable for towing. Once in standard height with the 265/75/16 Maxxis Big Horns the car takes on an alter ego and becomes the off road beast.

    For the relatively small price that I have paid for the components I have been really surprised at how much difference it has made to the off road performance without sacrificing the road handling. My Rangie is purely a weekender and holiday car with primary duties of towing, off roading and when interstate family and friends visitors are staying with us, transport for them to use whilst in Perth.”

    Image of Gary’s front bump stop packers – docking rubber!


    Image of Gary’s Panhard rod adjusters – freshly done.


    Image of Gary’s Panhards (new vs old).


    Image of Gary’s Panhard (installed).


    Image of Gary’s front Panhard (installed).


    Image of Gary’s P38 having a flex in what I like to call “Grandpa Spec”






    Image of Gary’s rear height sensors installed


    Image of Gary’s rear spacer (awesome sticker!)




    OTHER LADS ON THE FORUM LIFT KIT

    SPACERS
    - Peter’s front spacers are 30mm high, the rears are 40mm at the high point and 20mm at the low point (30mm average)
    - Peter is running a basic twin plate with twin upright design (which Peter and I designed and drew up in CAD)
    - Dave is running the Hard Range spacers in his P38. Of note – he is also running Arnott Gen II air springs (not Gen III).
    - Martin is running the Hard Range lift kit in his P38.

    SHOCK ABSORBERS
    - Martin was running Boss shock absorbers as well, but due to dramas, he has gone back to Bilstein shockies in the front.
    - Sam is running Off Road Boss shock absorbers (same part # as Gary’s).
    - Peter is running the Terrafirma TF144 shock absorbers in the front and TF145 shock absorbers in the rear.
    - Dave is running Boss shock absorbers in the front and standard front shocks in the rear.

    HEIGHT SENSOR MODIFICATIONS
    - Dave’s height sensors are made by Martin! I can’t elaborate any further as I don’t know what height sensors Martin is running!

    GENERAL COMMENTS
    Dave mentions in his comments that he’s looking to add the Whiteline adjustable Panhard rods to his wish list (only a very recent discovery). He also seems quite appreciative to the lads for their hard research and development on the topic (as we all are). Good onya Dave!

    Peter is yet to install his kit, time and work have been major handbrakes in his journey and I’m certain he’s itching to fit it all up! I’ll swap an X-rox bar for flights and fitting of your kit Pete J

    A snippet from Paul’s (PaulP38A) comments:
    “So, a 2” suspension lift will solve a lot of articulation and clearance problems and let you run 33” tyres on your P38. Here’s the bad news:
    - You need to get shocks to suit the lift (you can move existing fronts to the rear)
    - You need to extend the EAS height sensors
    - You need to get extended brake lines or fabricate brackets to lower the existing lines
    - You will need extended bump stops (or other means to compensate)
    - With 33” tyres, speedo and diff ratios are no longer correct. You will be travelling faster than the speedo indicates (around 15%), fuel consumption calculations on the Message Centre will be out… and most importantly for off-road use, you will travel much faster downhill in Low-1 than is comfortable. Consider swapping the diff gears out for a 4.1:1 ratio
    - Due to the permanent 2” suspension lift, there will be a greater angle on the front and rear drive shafts. This may lead to some whining noises and extra wear on the UJ’s. A double cardan joint on the rear shaft should fix this.”

    Image of Martin’s height sensor mods (rear lower arm) at min and max adjustment.


    Image of Paul (Hammer H) height sensor mods.


    Image of Paul (Hammer H) P38 on a trip wearing those lovely 285/75 BFG KM2’s.


    Image of Sam’s P38 having a flex in the driveway


    Image again of Sam’s P38 having a flex at home!


    And another of Sam’s P38 having a flex!




    Thanks for taking the time to read all of this! It’s taken weeks to get it all sorted and together!
    Cheers
    Keithy
    Last edited by Keithy P38; 8th April 2014 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Made it pretty!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carrum Victoria Australia
    Posts
    104
    Awesome job Keithy this is what owning a p38 is all about ie no one makes stuff for our cars so you have to DIY. People all over the world will reference this and make there lift that much easier Good for you Man! Dare I ask what the deal for us low life's with coils who want to lift there cars

    Brucel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mullaloo, Western Australia
    Posts
    1,086
    Great job Keith for bringing it all together! Also 10/10 for what I believe is the longest single post on the forum

    Gary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    26,118
    Quote Originally Posted by Keithy P38 View Post
    MODS: Possibility of making this thread a Sticky?
    A lot of good stuff there, Keith. Maybe it should be in Projects and Tutorials?
    Ron B.
    VK2OTC

    2004 L322 Range Rover Vogue 4.4 V8 Auto
    Yamaha XJR1300
    Previous: 1983, 1986 RRC; 1995, 1996 P38A; 1995 Disco1; 1984 V8 County 110; Series IIA



    RIP Bucko - Riding on Forever

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bendigo
    Posts
    1,619
    Thanks for doing this. A lot of work indeed.

    Must correct myself though; as Keithy kindly pointed out.

    The height of the pipe in the front spacers is (as guessed) 17.4mm
    Equaling 25.4 overall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Townsville, QLD
    Posts
    2,470
    Thanks guys! If you're on coils, I think there's no hope ;-0 You do have it quite easy, grab a set of coils, bolt them in, drive away!

    I did think about a different location for it Ron, I'm not sure on technicalities? Would this info rot over in the other forums, it would likely stay fresh(ish) here!

    Cheers
    Keithy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Camden
    Posts
    680
    Yeh great job Keith! I read the whole post with my morning coffee before heading to work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sunbury, VIC
    Posts
    12,422
    Great write up. Mods agreed that it would be better served staying here than in P&T so here it stays.

    Stuck fast as requested.


    1977 101 FC - 'Chucky'
    1986 Classic RR - 'Thing'
    1976 Series III Tray
    1997 Honda CBR1000F
    2003 L322 - Gone to a new home.

    I don't know how to act my age - I've never been this old before...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Townsville, QLD
    Posts
    2,470
    A gentleman and a scholar!

    Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Broken Hill
    Posts
    97
    Very comprehensive write up! An air lift is on the cards for me in the near future - this will be printed and handy when it comes time to take the plunge!

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