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Hello all,

First of all - totally knew to this so forgive my ignorance or lack of knowledge in asking any questions here, but I am certainly here to learn.

Just purchased a 1987 RRC Two door 2.5 VM and looking to get a 3" lift, run some good all terrain tires - my off road needs are decent, but no rock crawling. This car will be on the highway in 60 percent of the time. I go up to the Sierra Nevadas pretty regularly, and do some mild to semi-hardcore off roading.

I welcome all thoughts, ideas, and expertise.

I love the RTE set up, but it is a tad pricey. OME is good, but I would love to know the best way to get this dialed. Was thinking of run-in 235/85s on the tires. And that is all.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

At 3 inch lift you are approaching or within significant geometry change for steering as it rotates the axle casing and moves the front wheels pivot point more vertical.

If going ahead it's generally accepted that 2 inch is a more distributed compromise between clearance and steering integrity, especially as you have a stated 60 % on road bias.

Higher lifts start to need corrective radius arms to bring geometry back in range, then it steps onto propshaft angles to avoid joint failures.

You can get 255 65 R16 onto std setup to use larger tires, but they are a close match in circumference to original fit so don't really give you any lift. I've this size fitted and they work well particularly on road.
 

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1989 Range Rover Classic
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RRLondon makes good points. 3" will affect the castor angle of the front axle and reduce your steering stability at speed (it gets scary, the wheels want to tuck under slightly as you turn). This can be alleviated with castor corrected radius arms, but this introduces the new problem of pinion angle offset. My usage sounds similar to yours. I have a 2" lift on mine with 245/75 R16's, and added the castor corrected arms to correct the geometry (freeway steering stability was definitely affected by the lift). This in turn affected the pinion angle on the front driveshaft, resulting in driveline vibrations. Solving this involved installing a Tom Woods driveshaft with a double cardan joint, which can handle non-uniform pinion angles.

From a tire perspective, 235/85's are a tall narrow tire, with lots fo sidewall. That plus the lift without geometry corrections is just an accident waiting to happen. A small twitch of the wheel at 60mph could mean tumbling down the freeway end over end. Bad day. 245/75's fit nicely (~31" tall), 265/75's (~32" tall) will fit as well (with a lift), with some rubbing when turning sharply. Stock tires were ~29" tall.
 

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Lifting might very well be a fairly standard thing to do in the USA (I live in TX, it's rampant here), but as LanceL says you really need to consider the safety of this practice. Land Rover over the years has attracted it's fair share of attention about their cars being unsafe in regards rollovers. Compared to modern cars the RRC does not provide a lot of protection to start with.

Might sound like and old fart, but is it really worth it for looking cool? With some decent tires alone you should be able to do a lot of off roading and get back home in once piece...
 

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The Camel Trophy Range Rovers had only small lifts and reasonably sized tires, and they went though some serious stuff! Those guys with crazy the lifted pickups and such are just trying to show off.

288242
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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I have a 2” lift, 235/85 tires, no double cardan axles, no geometry corrections, no sway bars, and it still drives fine at 130km/h (81mph). Sure it’s not a Cadillac, the steering wheel is as tight as a BMW but the body stability isn’t at all, but it’s not like you’ll find yourself in the ditch wondering how.
 

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The CT trucks ran 215/85's with a lift due to the extra weight.

You can run the same tire without a lift kit (normal loads) and go pretty much anywhere by managing pressures and being smart. I would certainly go this route before lifting.

However, should you decide to lift the truck - update the suspension (bushings, springs, shocks, etc.). The higher you go, any 'play' due to wear will be accentuated - think longer moment arm.
 

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I put on 215/85's (approximately 182.75mm diameter, 30.59 inches) without a lift and have not noticed a difference in the driving. Some people said they were too thin and there would be noticeable difference, but I can't tell. I don't drive over 75 MPH, and that is rare on straight freeway. The spare just barely fits without any modification, other than removing the carpet tire cover (anyone need one, it's beige). I plan on doing a 2" lift with a bit stiffer springs and Bilstein shocks. I guess we'll see how it goes, but this is not a car to be driven fast, particularly if the rear sway bar is removed. The lift is to get more weight in the car and a bit for body clearance. Looking at the CT trucks, based on the same tire size I have, I suspect that there is a 2" lift under there or perhaps more.
 

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Great point about the spare tire!

my 235/85 fits, but with a custom cover, relocated rear seat belt and totally deflated. I travel with a compressor anyway so that’s not a big deal, but it’s definitely to be considered.
Before relocating the seat belt I carried it flat on the trunk, and it definitely too a lot of space.
 

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Where did you put thet seat belt top? I was wondering about this, as it seems to be a really poor place to put it because it places extreme limits on the spare tire size.

Thanks, aric
 

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I used the mounting point for the belt ring, on top of the pillar. You just remove the belt ring and install the belt roll in its place. Since the orientation of the belt roll changes, you have to remove the inertial mechanism (it’s just a sphere and a plastic lever) from the roll assembly in order to keep the belt free. It will still lock if it’s pulled hard, but it won’t lock in case the vehicle is rolled over or on a steep incline.
 
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