Land Rover technical advise and fitting instructions problem solutions and more

Defender suspension – what is important?

Suspensions are available on the market in all price ranges and in every quality. First, you should be clear about the field of your Land Rover Defender. How do you use your car? Do you use it often for long distance travel, off-road Trophy, Rally Raid, on streets and roads, mainly in the field, when working with a trailer or just for the trip to the ice cream shop? Do you have for example a living trunk, which is only occasionally mounted on the vehicle? First, you should carefully consider what requirements are placed on the suspension.
Then the question arises: How much can and want you invest?

Lift kit on the Land Rover Defender – Technical details of the suspension

The most complete suspension kit for the Land Rover Defender consist of 4 shocks and 4 springs. The customer enjoys to install the lift kit in his Defender and at the latest after the first test drive follows a rude awakening. This massive change in suspension geometry causes strong vibrations in the drive train, especially with the Defender from year 2007. During braking, the car pulls slightly to the right, the articulation of the front axle is also changing and the driving dynamics is changing significantly. Each lift kit, that raises your Defender more than 25 mm, requires a correction of the entire suspension geometry. These include the so-called trailing arm (push rods and tie rods) and the Panhard rod. The flexion angle of the propeller shaft also changes the wear of the universal joints and the bearing of the transfer case increases significantly.

Tested Defender suspension = more security – Suspensions for the Land Rover Defender with TUV parts certificate

Components from low-cost providers are gladly installed. Not all parts of it may be inferior, apart from the quality of the workmanship, but all suspension components are without TUV approval test. When obstruct of safety-related suspension components without TUV approval or general operating permit (ABE), the operating license of the user will void with immediate effect. For example: When it is found, in a traffic accident with a lifted Land Rover Defender, that changes have been made ​​to the suspension without TUV registration, liability insurance will reclaim the amount of damage from the vehicle owner. In an accident, with subsequent inability to work or even a fatality, this can mean the financial ruin.

What parts need to be tested in a Land Rover Defender suspension by TUV?

The following components of a Defender chassis as suspension springs, push rods, Panhard rod, tension and longer brake hoses may need to be supplied with a TUV parts certificate or type approval. All other parts, such as bumpers or bushes, need no certificate.

Whereon have I need to pay attention with a Defender lift – Here is a summary:

  • Complete suspension with all components – avoid evil surprises
  • Parts tested by the TUV – ensure the operating license for the vehicle 
  • Quality OEM manufacturers such as Eibach, Bilstein or Sachs – durability and consistent quality

What qualities do I want to achieve with my new Defender suspension?

Most customers would like to have all the advantages in one: Suspension Lift Kits, comfort, sporty on the road, more entanglement, no change in height in payload, etc. Unfortunately, this is technically very difficult to implement due to physical reasons or only with sophisticated shock absorber technology and air spring support feasible. Therefore, you should decide for one of the following options:

  • comfortable, plenty of entanglement, less payload
  • athletic and toned in the on-road mode
  • less comfortable and tight, but with a lot of possible payload

However, other solutions and opposing chassis characteristics are also possible, but with more sophisticated shock absorbers (adjustable), air springs, auxiliary springs or so-called inconstant or progressive springs.

Short repair manual Defender wheel bearings to go – repair manual for the journey

Required tools

  • wheel bearing nut 52 mm (special tool)
  • torque wrench 50 to 300Nm
  • ratchet Set (17 mm nut)
  • lug wrench or impact wrench with lug nuts and nut 27 mm
  • circlip pliers (for spreading a snap ring)
  • splined nut (15 mm) for caliper
  • punch / large screwdriver
  • gavel


  • bottle for manual brake bleeding (if required)
  • any brake fluid
  • sealant RTV Black (recommended)
  • grease lithium soaped
  • brake cleaner

Required Land Rover Parts
Defender TDI

  • 2 times FRC8700 wheel hub nut (can be possibly reused)
  • 1 times FRC3179 locking plate (can be reused in an emergency)
  • 2 times STC4382 wheel bearings (only Timken or Land Rover using genuine)
  • 1 times FTC4785 oil seal wheel hub (re-use in an emergency)

Defender TD5 & TD4 models

  • 1 times RFD100000 hub nut (can be re-used only in an emergency)
  • 2 times STC4382 wheel bearings (only Timken or Land Rover original use)
  • 1 times FTC4785 oil seal wheel hub (re-use in an emergency only)

Step by step instructions:

  1. Lift the defective wheel and the car safeguard, for example against slipping off the jack. 
  2. Removing the wheel.
  3. Caliper dismantled (at a field repair can remain on the caliper by the brake caliper is carefully secured with a cable tie at the Defender with special caution the brake line). This procedure is not recommended, except for repairs on the road!
  4. Remove rubber cap and wheel hub circlip.
  5. Wheel hub dismantle (5 screws M 10 wrench size 17 mm).
  6. Loosen the safety approximate disc / lock nut, remove the wheel bearing nut with wheel bearing nut (52 mm).
  7. Carefully pull the hub with the wheel bearings from the stub axle.
  8. Remove with slotted screwdriver the old wheel hub oil seal. In connection with a punch or screwdriver slot screwdriver, carefully knock out the wheel bearing shells from the wheel hub and make sure that the hub is not damaged.
  9. If possible, clean the wheel hub and wheel adapter, screws etc. and wash them in a vessel with diesel. In case of emergency you can also use a rag.
  10. Very carefully, the new wheel bearing cups tap into the wheel hub (it is important that the new bearing shells are not damaged or scratched). Best is this a suitable mandrel made ​​of brass or plastic or the old bearing shells.
  11. For Defender TD5 and TD4 is a spacer sleeve between the two wheel bearings existing. This must not be forgotten!
  12. Grease the new wheel bearings with clean fat and insert it into the bearing seat the bearings. Then, carefully tap the new wheel hub oil seal into the wheel hub without damaging it. Grease the oil ring also.
  13. Now push the wheel hub with the new Defender wheel bearings on the stub axle and (preferably a new one). Unscrew the hub nut carefully.
  14. The wheel bearings at the Defender TD5 and TD4 must not be set, since the adjustment of the spacer sleeve is specified. The hub nut is   tightened to 220 Nm of torque.    

Adjust wheel bearing (the Defender TDI or older models)

  1. The Defender TDI and older models are set with so-called lock nuts. Since no standoff between the two wheel bearings is available, you have to set it manually. First, considering the first Wheel hub nut with about 50 NM. It should be able to notice how stiff is the wheel hub.
  2. Then dissolving the nut by 90 ° and pulls it with 10 nM after. Then mounted to the locking plate FTC3179 and sets the counter nut.
  3. You will find a helpful post here in Landy Pedia portal.
  4. Now the cleaned wheel drivers with RTV Black (silicone sealant) is carefully applied to the cleaned sealing surface of the hub, all screws with a dab of Loctite does not provide 243 and create evenly crosswise, then tighten with about 65 NM.
  5. Install wheel and tighten to approximately 110 to 130 NM. After 30 kilometers driven, tighten the wheel nuts again!