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Build your own Sport Defender: Part 1

Don't want to shell out £50,000 for a sport Defender? Build your own, with these parts...

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

August 21, 2014

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year
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Special Edition sport and performance Defenders. They're the latest rage. You can buy a sporty Defender pre-built, but you'll pay thousands on top of the cost of a Defender. The problem is each company add their own mark-up. In reality, there are very few companies who produce & design their own unique parts and so you are paying for a collection of aftermarket parts bolted together. With a big mark-up. We say, stop this madness and build your own! Here's the list of parts you'll want to fit to upgrade your Defender to a sport Defender, starting with the handling:

Upgraded Brakes

brakes

If you're looking to push a Defender to make it quicker, then you need to upgrade the brakes. The factory standard items were designed with the loads and stresses of a standard vehicle in mind. If you fail to up-rate the discs and pads, then you may find yourself in a whole heap of trouble. Brakes are one of the key areas that time can be gained on a racing car, so don't overlook your stopping power. Look for drilled & slotted brake discs (and vented if you have the correct calipers), with EBC or similar pads. These are designed to reduce brake fade and work at higher operating temperatures. Braided hoses help firm up the feel of the brake pedal and better deal with increased braking stress.

Brakes and Pads

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Braided Hoses

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Lowered Suspension

shocks

If you're going to go fast, then you must alter the suspension. Drop it down an inch or two. This will help reduce body roll whilst giving the vehicle a stout and beefy appearance. Terrafirma produce lowering kits, the springs are designed to match the original Land Rover spring specifications whilst giving the 1 inch drop. These kits are available for both the 110 and 90. You can also purchase lowering coil over springs. Also worth consideration are the performance dampers from Koni & Bilstein.

-1 inch Suspension Kits

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Bushes

superpro

Worn and fatigued bushes on old Land Rovers will create a sloppy, vague driving experience. Switching the standard bushes for performance bushes from SuperPro will make a noticeable difference. We fitted SuperPro bushes to our TD5 90 and the difference is startling. Everything feels much 'tighter', the steering is more precise and responsive (even though there are no SuperPro steering bushes as yet). The 90 feels much more composed in corners. Expensive, but well worth the time and effort to fit - you'll have a sport Defender that feels like a brand new car.

Bushes

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Anti-Roll or Sway Bar

rollbar

If you're serious about getting the handling of a Defender under control, you'll need roll bars. 110s often come with a rear anti-roll bar. If none are fitted presently, try fitting a rear first. This will make your Land Rover lean towards oversteer. If you don't like the feeling, you can add a front roll bar too. If you prefer understeer, fit a front roll bar only. Don't forget to add SuperPro bushes for the roll bar.

Anti-roll bar kits

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Anti-roll bar SuperPro bushes

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In Part 2, we'll work on improving the engine with a list of parts to boost performance and power

2 Comments

  1. LandyLover says:

    This is a brilliant post! I’m going to be buying some anti-roll bars soon, then save pennies for the bushes. Thanks FunRover!

  2. Alex Mileham says:

    Hi – this is a great blog with some good advice. Can I ask when part 2 is coming out? Thanks. Alex

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