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Discussion Starter #1
Despite all the warnings not to, I'm about to convert my 95 RRC back to air suspension. It seems like a fun? project and there's a lot of good information on the web about what to do and how to do it. The one thing I can't work out though is what shocks will fit. I wanted to buy some Koni's as i've been offered a good deal on them from the distributor in Dubai but when i e-mailed Koni (UK) to double check which I should get, they told me they didn't do shocks that would fit the EAS Range Rover Classic.

Can anyone advise me what the difference is between shock absorbers for air and coil range rovers. I'm aware that the mounting point on the front shock is different but I thought the overall travel was the same.

Thanks, Simon
 

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There is a world or difference with respect to coil versus air suspended Classic Rangies relating to the length of shock travel in both compression and re-bound !

When a conventional coil spring compresses or expands, there is a physical limit to how far the steel can travel which relates to the specified length of damper.

The air suspension equipped Rangies offered an additional 2 inches of clearance above & beyond the original coil setup, which meant shockies had to be longer ?

Cheerio,


Vinniman
'88 Highline
Perth, W.A.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what i thought, because the Air Suspension Range Rovers can drop down to access mode and then go to extended travel mode which is higher than the stock coil sprung Rangie. As far as I can tell though the suspension mounts at the rear are exactly the same on both types of car and although the ones on the front are offset on the EAS car, they don't look to be able to accommodate a longer travel shock than the coil sprung car.

Has anyone fitted aftermarket shock absorbers to an EAS Range Rover Classic and if so, what did you go for? My preference would be Koni's if there are any that will fit or Bilsteins. I've got OME at the moment with the coils, but want to go with something different when i install the airsprings.
 

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I fitted Bilsteins to mine and ended up removing them and going back to new factory standard fit units. To me, the Bilstens ruined the ride quality and did nothing to improve the handling.. Put new stock units on and the ride was back to how it should have been. Don't want to cast doubt on Bilsteins quality and I've had them fitted to other cars and been happy with them. I just don't think they work well with air suspension.
Regards,
Pete.
 

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Have a look at the supplier web-site http://www.airbagman.com.au which offer their simpler "on-air" bellow system which is a better option than Rangie EAS's !

Also checkout http://www.doetsch-shocks.com and specifically their shock specifications page that illustrates various lengths of their aftermarket Pre-runners ?

I believe "Desertboy' in the backblocks Stateside has improved his P38 model Rangie with Arnotts GIII product and had front and rear DT8000's fitted to his ride.

Cheerio,


Vinniman
'88 Highline
Perth, W.A.
 

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bagospanners said:
I fitted Bilsteins to mine and ended up removing them and going back to new factory standard fit units. To me, the Bilstens ruined the ride quality and did nothing to improve the handling.. Put new stock units on and the ride was back to how it should have been. Don't want to cast doubt on Bilsteins quality and I've had them fitted to other cars and been happy with them. I just don't think they work well with air suspension.
Regards,
Pete.

Have to admit I think this is great advice.

I have a late 94 classic on EAS, and put Bilsteins on it and while it improved the road manners as my old shocks were so worn, the ride is quite harsh.

I am unsure though as it may have something to do with oil versus gas filled shocks, as mine are gas and I have heard that for EAS cars you should go for oil due to the rbound characteristics of airbags versus springs and how the shocks interact in the mix. I am not changing my shocks due to cost reasons, but would go back to OEM any day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the advice guys, I think that's the Bilsteins ruled out then, I did prefer the sound of the Koni's as the rebound is adjustable so it should be possible to set them up to suit the EAS, if I can work out which model fits!!!

Vinniman, I had a look at the airbagman bellows and they seem a lot better than the OE ones but I think i'm going to go for the Arnott Gen3; it seems like they've really thought out the design, and of course there's the lifetime warranty.

The Doetsch shocks also look really promising so i've e-mailed them to see what they say. I particularly like the re-buildable custom valved shocks, you could then get exactly the ride you're want but it's probably going to get a bit pricey.

Has anyone else got any suggestions or ideas for EAS compatible shocks??? As mentioned previously I don't want something too harsh, I want to preserve the comfortable ride with a bit more control on the rough stuff.
 

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I got Koni's on the P38 and they are great, but the OEM's from the local dealer aren't expensive at all and will be my pick if I ever need new shocks
 

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I've got a93 classic and fitted gen3's about 12 months ago. At standard and off road height they are softer, but hit a big bump and the spring rate rises dramatically, resulting in a more 'bouncy' rebound. With oem bags the rangie would soak up the big bumps and rough bits, especially at speed, but now it doesn't. The car does handle better, i.e., it'll go around corners with less body roll (with almost no body roll on the hwy setting unless you push it), but as for wether it'll go around a corner quicker, you need to push the car very hard indeed to find the difference! Off road on the high setting is a lot softer, and is very enjoyable to drive, it's good on sand where a softer spring is best, and you can skip over tree roots, ruts and small logs at a fair clip. At full wheel articulation however (with standard length shockers) I feel there's less usable wheel travel, as the down sprung wheel most definately has less weight on it at the limits of articulation. I've also had to drive on road and off road with a hard fault and the rear top and bottom hats bang together sometimes worryingly so, because the lower hat is longer. I've driven on both bags for a while and on my 95 lse i've just bought i'll be putting dunlops on it.

When I bought my 93 it had Bilstiens on it. It handled really really well, especially mid-corner, bit they were jittery, rough and tireing on a long run. I've since put Koni heavy tracs on it, 8677 and 8678 on the atlantic british website. They're not 'range rover' smooth, but very well valved though I havn't mucked around with the adjustable re-bound. They also tighten up well if you swerve at hwy speeds or brake suddenly. For me they're right on the border of being firm, and they're simply awesome with a full load! I recently did a 1300km day to Sydney and they were simply perfect. My lse's got oem shockers on it and i'm going to leave them for the while, because i'm after that rangie ride. But if we do a big offroad trip i'll be putting the konis on. Really I couldn't recoment the Konis enough. Just a note on the konis, i needed to cut an inch of the top of the left hand front stud because it would have made contact with the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice Benji, that's really useful, it seems like you've been running the exact combination I was going to get. You've definitely got me in 2 minds about which springs to get, I was all set to buy the Arnotts and it sounds like they are superior off road but ultimately 90% of my driving is on road so i'll have to decide if they're worth the extra expense. The lifetime warranty might still swing it as rubber doesn't tend to last all that long in the Dubai heat, I don't think i've seen a single Classic or P38 that's still got air suspension though I suspect that's partly down to a lack of maintenance.

If I adjusted the bump stops to prevent the Arnotts bottoming out and had a shock that could use the extra 50mm of travel, would that make them a better proposition?

For the shocks I've decided Koni's are the ones to go for (unless Doetsch get back to me with an 11th hour offer) although now i've looked into it further there's 2 types of Koni that will fit, the 84-1186 & 1187 (twin tube hydraulic) and the 8240-1206 & 1207 (twin tube low pressure gas). I'm not sure which would be most suitable??!!
There's never an easy decision with a Range Rover!!
 

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With the springs it depends on what sort of ride you want. If the roads are smooth around dubai i'd be going the arnotts; that's why i'm going dunlop here, cause the roads here are woefull. Dunlop bags are getting cheaper too, 35 GBP from island 4x4.

Also i've found the arnott3 bags will give an extra 50mm droop on the rear, but not on the front. From looking at a fully extended front bag it seems any longer than a standard shocker would be really stretching the bag! (aparently the arnotts don't pop off as oem but they rip).

I will be lowering my bump stops on the rear soon, probably 10mm will do it.

Another thing i've found is that on my 93, and also on dad's 88 and my previous 84, the front axle hangs out to the left, i.e., it seemed like the panhard rod is too long. On dad's old 77, and my 95 the front axle alignment is correct, no idea why, i've measured everything and compared part numbers and swapped panhard rods many times. But... i've found the drivers side front bag is getting scratched / nicked by the brake pipe braket on the top swivel joint when cross axled. The oem bags which are narrower didn't have this problem.

This probably makes the choice a whole lot harder... sorry about that.
 

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Have you got any pics of your ride that you could host as we might also want to know what tyres you're running under your Rangies to work with any shock options !
I spoke to another forum member that wanted to use Defender spec' dampers on his Arnott GIII equipped P38a and check with your 'Koni' supplier in the UAE here.

Since the specific vehicle that may accept an EAS re-version has fitted Old Man Emu's, have you thought of checking out their new "Nitrocharger Sport" shockies ?
My Classic has King Springs with Bilstien dampers that I'm really happy with, but note my truck is before anti-roll bars & the shocks are longer than your versions.

Cheerio,


Vinniman
'88 Highline
Perth, W.A.
 

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very interesting project Simon.

Keep me involved! Also let me know when you need a hand or advice of any kind.

Regarding the Konis Heavy track: Had them on my Disco in combination with King Springs ! Wow what a ride!!! Had them in the softest mode and it just worked well. Any time again.
They are also available for a two inch lift which might be what you are looking for?!?

On the RRC so far there are OME gas shocks which are quite brutal to the spine. But great when the car is loaded for camping or exploring.
 

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At last! found someonewiththesame dilema as myself! I have gen 3 springs on the Rear of my classic (can not aford the front yet!) and bilstine dammpers all round. and yes the bilstines are way to harsh. The only dammpers that bilstine do for the EAS on a classic are there B6 version which are desined to increase the road handaling of the Range Rover to do this they presurise them to stiffen up the suspension and hence better road holding abailaty, which I carn't fault, my classic has almost zero body roll on cornering at speed.

The down side is the ride is really harsh. I want a soft ride that soaks up all the bumps, as people have described the Range Rover ride, so have been looking around for another dammper. I also want to increase the travel of the rear axel by 1.5 inch (Arnott say the gen 3 have an extra 3 inch of travel on the rear, but I have found I can only get about 1.5 inch more befor putting too much strain on the air spring) After thinking the Koni raid would be perfect I found they did'nt do it for EAS?

So here comes the best bit, I got in touch with Bilstine and found that for £94 (each!!!) I could send them my Dampers in and they would re-valve them to give me the ride i was after and.... they could also give me an extra 1.5 inch of travel! Problem soved!..... well allmost I have 2 problems now, the first is I don't know how to ask for wat I want.... if I ask for a soft a ride as possiable will that give me a sloppy ride, reduse the hardness by 50%.... will that be enogh!

The second problem is the money!

I did also ask why you could not use a dammper for coil springs on EAS.... he did'nt know the answer but said he would find out!

Suspension is alot more involed than I thought!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I've decided to definitely try the Arnott's, based on Benji's comments. The roads are generally pretty good in Dubai so I think they'll give me a more controlled ride and then for the rough stuff I can jack it up and benefit from the softer ride when they're extended.

As for the shocks - Vinniman, I looked at OME's as I've got them fitted at the moment with coil springs but I fancied a change, not for any particular reason as they've been great but I thought I'd see what else is out there. Doetsch got back to me and said their 2.0 shock would be suitable and of course it can be custom valved however I want it, but like Jonny said on his post, I'm not too sure how i'll actually describe the ride characteristics I want and they haven't given me a price yet!

The Koni's are still the favourites as everyone who's tried them reckons they're great, i've just got to choose between the gas pressurised or the basic hydraulic non pressurised ones, depending on what i can get.

Having said that, Jonny, I'd still be interested to hear how you get on with custom valved Bilsteins, particularly if they can actually explain what the difference is with the EAS shocks, I've assumed it's the length but can't find the specs anywhere.

I'll post some photos of the Rangie and it's current set up when I get chance but i'm away for a couple of weeks at the moment, escaping the Dubai heat!! My a/c has also packed in - (knackered evaporator) - so i'm going to have to get that fixed before I move onto the suspension. Burne will testify to the effects of trying to drive anywhere in Dubai with your a/c not working, after 10 minutes you look like you've been swimming fully clothed!!

I'm also going to rebuild the valve block and EAS pump with one of the seal kits from Dennis at Rover-Renovations once i'm back so i'll try and take plenty of photos once i start that and post them on here.
 

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SimonB said:
My a/c has also packed in - (knackered evaporator) - so i'm going to have to get that fixed before I move onto the suspension. Burne will testify to the effects of trying to drive anywhere in Dubai with your a/c not working, after 10 minutes you look like you've been swimming fully clothed!!
Indeed I do and 10 min it will only take in a white car and when you are at stage of serious dehydration (nothing to sweat) - otherwise it takes 3 min. :lol:

Talking about A/c's I brought mine now to a stage where I would dare to use the car during midday heat AND wearing a suit! If you need any tips once back give me a shout.

Futher on ACs - the lads of a2b garage in Al Quoz Tel: 043475712 have RRC (should be 93 not sure) to be parted out. You want to give them a call regarding the evaporator? Had the full AC system last time I was there.
 

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It is possible to use a coil shocker on eas, but you won't get as much travel out of the front, as I believe on coil there is 6 inches of travel, compared to the 8 on eas. However the valving between the two would be quite different. Coil shocks are valved for 133lb front, and 155lb rear constant rate spring (standard set up), ie, the compression and rebound valving are specifically tuned to match the spring, the sprung, and unsprung weight for a desired ride quality. Koni have different valving for eas, coil, and lse/p38.
What you would end up with is a mis-matched ride, you may get excessive axle hop for example, or it may be okay, but the ride wouldn't be as good as with an eas valved shock.
 

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A late reply but great post so I had to add something - (Ive been looking for some info on Air sprung classic shockies for a while!)
I went for Bilstiiens on my EAS classic to replace original oil dampers - Not particularly impressed. The only reason I changed was that the old shocks were of unknown age and knocked about. The handling might have improved slightly - couldnt honestly say for sure. I find the ride a bit harsh on road - particularly over small surface imperfections. Also off road I was getting some very uncomfortable heavy rebound and bouncing on Fraser island late last year. It was as if the shock could not handle the rebound of a fully compressed air spring. In the end i just drove slower than everyone else and comfortably crawled through every track without even looking like getting bogged. It turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. However, I did have to really keep the speed down on the big track undulations - which does not seem quite right to me? I replaced all the airbags and the suspension is in otherwise pretty good condition.
Both front and rear shocks were different part numbers specific to EAS - but I cant see why the rear would be any different to coil models?
As for the front, the shock is mounted further forward of the axle line so i guess it has to have a longer travel to allow the same up and down axle movement as a coil model.
I am thinking of trying some new original spec oil dampers as currently the ride quality is not quite as good as my clapped out 82 model with Heavy duty coils and shot bushes!
I love the EAS variable ride height and it was perfectly reliable in 8 months of touring around Australia heavily loaded. Its quite easy to understand and fix if you do a bit of research.
 

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Not quite sure about ruining any other shock, the physical strength of a shocker and the valving are two seperate things, koni and bilstien use the same shock body, and just change the valving to suit.

I would have thought a bilstien RR shock would have controlled the rebound better too, was that on the high or nomall setting? I was going to go to Fraser next year on oem shocks, but may change them to the konis and wind up the rear rebound.
 
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