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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
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Joined: Jun 17 2018
Posts: 259

More of a question of curiosity.

How does a P38 handle with springs is it as drastic as some might suggest?

Not that i want Springs you understand..

H

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 4032

Harsh at low speed, decidedly unstable at high speed as it doesn't lower so the centre of gravity is that much higher. Or at least the one car I've swapped back did, I assume they are all as bad.

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Joined: Aug 19 2019
Posts: 67

Comparing mu Disco 2 (coils) to my P38 on EAS, I'd say for moderate speeds, like around town to slow highway speed, they're fairly comparable. As you go above 100kmh, the Disco feels worse the faster you go. Off road the P38 also outperforms as the air seems to keep the wheels on the ground much better.

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 426

Harv has it.

If properly sorted by professional Land Rover engineers a P38 on springs would be comparable to a Disco. How much worse than the real thing at higher speeds would depend on whether or not it was set permanently lower and, if so by how much. Probably fairly acceptable if set-up as a pure road car with normal road car axle articulation and suspension travels.

Kit from aftermarket (non) experts with "that'll do spring rates and sounds about right for the load damper characteristics". Which is what you actually get. Fergedditt. Just pray to God that it doesn't do something lethal if you push the wrong edge of the performance envelope.

Aftermarket guys may be good at optimising for a fairly specific advantage. Especially when compared to a clapped out standard set up. But the engineering and development effort needed to make something that works well over the full range of road and off road conditions a P38 handles with aplomb is way beyond any aftermarket outfit. Even if they could be bothered.

There are good reasons why Land Rover went air suspension and retained live axles for the P38.

Clive

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Joined: Jan 07 2016
Posts: 125

I have here in the shed, 2 virtually identical 02s
Bolt is EAS, and the Borrego has springs Old Man Emu, if i recall (NO I did not castrate it, it came that way)
Having an opportunity to drive them under identical conditions back to back, which I have done, I will have
to say that at speeds 35mph and below, the springs are bloody awful. I would say about 25% more harsh.
Small bumps really hit hard.
At highway speed, they are about the same as long as you do not hit any bad pavement.................
On the LA Freeways, in the inside lane at 85-90 mph, if you hit a bump, and there are lots!
and you happen to be on any kind of curve, you MUST have a death grip on the wheel and be wide awake!
The front end will tend to try to jump sideways taking the rest of the car with it.
It is not really scary as such, just unnerving. Oh, Borrego has good shocks all round......
On smooth 85 mph sweeping turns, there is noticeable body lean and sway since, as Gilbert mentioned, it sits too high.
With EAS, it feels so much more planted. I hate having to swerve to avoid something in the road in the Borrego,
Bolt is much more stable on EAS. It just feels like you are much further from the edge stability wise.
I really do not need to sing the praises of a P-38 on EAS, as Bolt is. Let's just say, Bolt is the go to daily driver for local and long distance. It is just so much safer than the Borrego on springs.
In fact, we are heading off next week to the snow country 1500mi R/T.
I am selling the Borrego, and may or may not put the EAS back.
Car is so perfect otherwise, it is a shame it is on coils.
I had another enthusiast come round and try both as he was thinking about springs. He kept his EAS.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Interesting, as Old Man Emu are definitely experts in the field. But.. they cannae change the laws of physics!

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Joined: Jan 15 2016
Posts: 382

Two things noticed immediately on getting rid of coils and going back to air, on the same run.
1) Body roll was dramatically reduced
2) The harshness of Manila roads disappeared. Teeth rattle to smooth!

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Joined: Dec 29 2015
Posts: 720

I've driven one on coils, and it was horrible on the road and very nearly as bad as a Defender off road.

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Joined: Aug 05 2019
Posts: 14

One of the issues you often find with people converting to coils is the .... "I swapped to coils, 2" lift, HD rears and gas shocks" as opposed to standard height and correct shocks.

Mine now has standard height coils and shocks. I find is rides well and handles fine, for the barge it is. It is certainly a lot better than the usual ride you get from a classic on standard coils and shocks.

Oh, and the only time I have come down in the morning to find a corner hanging down ..... was when I had a tyre go flat overnight ..... just sayin.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Marshall8hp wrote:

Mine now has standard height coils and shocks. I find is rides well and handles fine, for the barge it is. It is certainly a lot better than the usual ride you get from a classic on standard coils and shocks.

But have you experience one on EAS to compare? I've owned a Classic on coils and it really did ride and handle like a truck whereas the P38 on EAS is completely different. It doesn't feel as big as it is and can be hustled around country lanes without noticing the size and weight, it feels a lot more nimble.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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I'm not sure I'd ever put the word "Nimble" to describe a P38 but they do cling on suprisingly well to corners when pressing on.
The body roll is epic, you can't hide that! I'd guess that the EAS means you can't get too fierce with roll bars unless you had some mind of extending roll bar links to compensate for the variable ride height.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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I did say it feels a lot more nimble. If you've ever driven a Classic on springs (or a Disco 1), you'd know exactly what I mean.

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Joined: Jun 07 2017
Posts: 310

I have 2 identical P38's - same colour - same week of manufacture and my first one has EAS which I have kept in good order. The second P38 (temp emergency buy) has springs and is a horrible experience. Off road on the bumpy tracks here in Spain it feels as if the whole suspension will fall apart any second. The ride and noises are terrible. On the motorway it is quiet enough but I'm no expert on the handling when taking any turning manoeuvres ! Doing the EAS is one of the few jobs I could do on the P38 and from my point of view I have no doubt which is best.