I'm thinking of buying a Defender with a 2 inch suspension lift and
gas shocks, mainly for towing a horse trailer. When I mention the
suspension mods to insurance companies (Sureterm, Lancaster) they say
they won't touch anything with a suspension lift, and it is dangerous
The guy at the (unnamed) 4x4 specialists didn't think it would be
Does anyone have advice on a) the safety of this scheme and b) what
insurance companies will allow this?
I don't want to turn the thing over or invalidate the insurance
Thanks for your help
Funny how they manage to "specialise" in every category really innit? ;)
They're always advertising in the boy racer rags too, as "specialists" in
insuring fast/modded cars for young drivers. When I had a 2.0 Sierra they
wouldn't touch me, yet the non specialist big names quite happily gave me
I find it exceedingly hard to see how a 2" lift wouldn't compromise
the stability of a tow vehicle. It might not be a huge issue, but if
it is mainly for towing and you want your towing to be as safe and
relaxing as possible then keep the suspension at its standard height
In message ,
" firstname.lastname@example.org" writes
If you want a Defender for mainly towing a horse trailer then don't get
one with a 2" lift.
The lift will do nothing to enhance the vehicles towing ability.
I have 3 Defenders 2 have been lifted by 2" for offroading and have
towed with them both but have now removed the tow gear (plough) all
together and replaced with pure recovery points. If I want to tow then I
will use the other one.
If you want to offroad the defender then that is a different matter and
you will just have to put up with the towing side of things.
They're not insurers they're brokers, so they just ring round their
contacts to get a quote.
I found them to be useless when I wanted a quote for a 109 owned by a
In message , Matt Brown
In message , Tim Jones
Critical issue IMHO is the height of the tow hitch. If that is at the
correct level then I wouldn't expect the 2" suspension lift to have too
great an effect.
If the hitch has been raised by 2" then watch out.
What is the "correct level"? I guess it really depends on your trailer
but for no particular reason I think it's with the draw bar just a little
bit above horizontal rising to the hitch rather than dead level or
falling. Is that right?
Says him having just bought a trailer (handy for the dump and the bikes)
and not really having a clue about trailers. B-)
On or around Wed, 28 Feb 2007 22:18:57 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"
enlightened us thusly:
hitch height is only critical on >1 axle trailers. on single axle trailers
it's the balance of the load that's critical to get the noseweight right.
I'd normally reckon between 25 and 50Kg noseweight. on a >1 axle trailer,
noseweight is MUCH more if the hitch is too high and non-existent if it's
Mine is a single axle trailer a shade under 3m overall. The dump won't
allow trailers with more than 1 axle or longer the 3m without a permit.
Guess I'm going to have learn to judge 25 to 50 kg by arm.
I can see how that comes about.
On or around Thu, 01 Mar 2007 21:59:30 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"
enlightened us thusly:
less than 25Kg is easy to lift, more then 50Kg is really hard to lift.
If you can hold the hitch at ball-height easily with one hand it's a bit
light, and if you damn'near herniate yerself it's a bit heavy.
same technique applies to the twin-axle kind - you should have to put a bit
of effort in to get it level with the ball, but not a lot.
In news: email@example.com,
Austin Shackles wibbled :
If you're brave or as in my case foolish, you could try putting a set of
bathroom scales under the jockey wheel, it'll give you an approximate
value. Remember to put a bit of wood on the scales too as a load
spreader else the scales are apt to come out bent!
In message , Austin Shackles
The following may be of interest
In theory, all tow bars should set the ball at the correct height. The
present relevant standard (BS AU 113c), and for newer vehicles, EC
Directive 94/20, requires the centre of the ball, when the towing
vehicle is fully LADEN to its gross vehicle weight (but without the
caravan attached) to be between 350 and 420mm from the ground. This
should be compatible with any reasonably modern caravan, given one or
? If the car manufacturer chooses to set the tow ball height towards
the upper end of the height range, and especially if the vehicle has a
relatively high load carrying capacity, it may be that under normal
operating load conditions the tow ball is significantly higher than this
range. This is permissible according to the letter of the standard or
directive requirements, but may result in difficulties achieving a well
? Off road vehicles are exempt from the height requirements in the EC
Directive, in order to permit them to achieve the necessary ground
clearance for off road use. This may make a fixed-height tow bar
inappropriately high for safe, stable on-road towing. When choosing a
tow bar for an off road vehicle, therefore, ensure that it is either:
(a) a fixed height bar which is similar in height to those made for
conventional cars, or (b) a height-adjustable bar which can be set to an
appropriate level for on-road towing or off-road driving.
The laden/unladen part is not an issue with a 7 seat DII, it has SLS to
maintain ride height (when it works...) B-) The recomended ball centre
height is usefull info though.
When I got the hitch fitted I made sure it was a height adjustable one, I
was hoping to get the easily adjustable type that you see on the back of
Defenders but I got a large plate with four sets of holes and a pin and