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Defender clearance issues and solutions


Bsevans5
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I have a 2019 HD8 max (xt?)...its the base model 2 row machine.

I had to put my leaf springs of my trailer on top of the axle to get enough clearance for it to back up my driveway...now I have clearance issues loading and unloading the machine. It scrapes on the back edge of the trailer. It is a used machine from a rental place and there is some plastic that's hanging down that has been mangled from previous users. Its from where the plastic wraps around the edges and goes underneath where people enter and exit. I will cut that and that should help, but I don't like being so close and scraping. I tried a suggestion of putting 2x6 pieces under the gate to slightly change the angle. It wasn't enough.

I was thinking of 2" lift brackets like the ones battle armor makes. I've read mixed statements about needs rear wheel spacers so the springs don't rub on the inside of the tires when compressed. I don't want to have to buy spacers too. I've read something today about just adjusting the shocks to raise it up slightly. I hadn't seen anyone say anything about that before. 

I'm looking for a general consensus on recommendations. I will use the machine mainly for hunting and family rides on mountain trails. My wife has taken it a couple times to pick up the kids from school (street riding, its street legal) just because its fun and new. I don't know there will be too much pavement riding overall though. 

 

So:

should I go 2" brackets? Will I be find without spacers? 

I have stock tires...should I just replace with slightly bigger tires when they wear out? will that require any other adjustments or mods?

Should I do something to the springs?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

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The easiest and cheapest option is to crank up your spring adjusters to maximum, it won't affect the ride much (slightly stiffer) and will increase your ride height which will help with your steep approach angle when loading. If a 2x6" under the loading gate isn't enough use a 4x4 or double up your 2x6". 

If you have damage along the sides of the bottom of the machine you can buy some rock sliders from Canam or aftermarket to help protect the bottom. I used the Canam ones and the picture will be in the builds section.

If you haven't checked out my step by step explanation for raising the defender in the builds section you may find some good info there.

The battle armour bracket lift will help increase your ride height but isn't necessary unless you go to bigger tires. I haven't used any rim spacers and have no rub anywhere.FYI🙂

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If you want to reduce your approach angle hangup you can place a couple of 2x6" boards on your deck of the trailer just after the ramp meets the flat trailer, have someone watch as you drive up to see if one board for each wheel is sufficient to reduce the belly drag of the machine. The length of the 2x6" boards must be long enough to raise the front end up enough until the rear wheels have climbed up the ramp high enough to raise the belly of the machine. You can add a 1x4" cross piece under the 2x6" if a bit more height is required for the front wheels. This is a trail and error fix for almost no cost.The deck lift can be screwed down if that is all you haul with the trailer or hauled loose for use only for loading or unloading the defender.😉

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1 hour ago, Andystoy19 said:

If you want to reduce your approach angle hangup you can place a couple of 2x6" boards on your deck of the trailer just after the ramp meets the flat trailer, have someone watch as you drive up to see if one board for each wheel is sufficient to reduce the belly drag of the machine. The length of the 2x6" boards must be long enough to raise the front end up enough until the rear wheels have climbed up the ramp high enough to raise the belly of the machine. You can add a 1x4" cross piece under the 2x6" if a bit more height is required for the front wheels. This is a trail and error fix for almost no cost.The deck lift can be screwed down if that is all you haul with the trailer or hauled loose for use only for loading or unloading the defender.😉

Thanks for the input. I just saw some discussion across the internet today about adjusting the stiffness of the springs. I may try that first. 2x6s under the ramp didn't help. I didn't think about putting them up on the deck. I did think about trying 2x4s under the ramp. I will hopefully have some time this evening to test a few things out. Rock sliders would be nice. I'm guessing they sit below the edge, which would require more clearance. The Battle armor bracket is on sale right now for 99.99. I wasn't sure if I should just jump on that or if I should mess with the springs first. 

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The springs can be adjusted anytime and they will give you lift in addition to the Battle armor bracket if you choose to go that route. If you look at my defender build lift you will see both together.

The 2x6 or 2x8 lift can and will work if you do the following, cut 1 x 36" long, one at 24" long and one at 12" long.

Align one end of the 2x6" above each other(vertically) and if you need extra lift add some material (1/2" TO 1")at this end between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and third board. Fasten the boards with a couple of nails or screws to hold them from sliding. You will need two of these; position the wooden (the highest part) lift under the metal ramp edge (to match the tire spread) and some distance forward  to prevent the wood from tipping up once the front tires go onto the metal ramplift.  Measure your wheel base (115.5") and if necessary add another section. ideally you want the metal ramp and this wooden ramp to be close to the length of your wheel base, as the front end goes onto the deck your wooden and metal ramp should start lifting the rear tires so you don't drag the body. Trial and error will make it work and it costs very little.

The canam rock sliders are made to fit the existing plastic on the underside and corner like a glove, they are L shaped to protect the side edge and bottom edge and are easy to rivet onto the body. They aren't needed for this project if you want to save money.🙂

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4 minutes ago, Andystoy19 said:

The springs can be adjusted anytime and they will give you lift in addition to the Battle armor bracket if you choose to go that route. If you look at my defender build lift you will see both together.

The 2x6 or 2x8 lift can and will work if you do the following, cut 1 x 36" long, one at 24" long and one at 12" long.

Align one end of the 2x6" above each other(vertically) and if you need extra lift add some material (1/2" TO 1")at this end between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and third board. Fasten the boards with a couple of nails or screws to hold them from sliding. You will need two of these; position the wooden (the highest part) lift under the metal ramp edge (to match the tire spread) and some distance forward  to prevent the wood from tipping up once the front tires go onto the metal ramplift.  Measure your wheel base (115.5") and if necessary add another section. ideally you want the metal ramp and this wooden ramp to be close to the length of your wheel base, as the front end goes onto the deck your wooden and metal ramp should start lifting the rear tires so you don't drag the body. Trial and error will make it work and it costs very little.

The canam rock sliders are made to fit the existing plastic on the underside and corner like a glove, they are L shaped to protect the side edge and bottom edge and are easy to rivet onto the body. They aren't needed for this project if you want to save money.🙂

thanks for the input. I might have to try that. I think I'll first make sure I trim any of the hanging plastic off. Then I'll adjust the springs (if they are already on their lowest point). If that's not enough, I may try just the one 2x6 I had before under the ramp where the tires drive up. If that doesn't work, I'll either bite the bullet on the battle armor or try the ramp you are talking about. I'll probably lean more towards the bracket lift as having higher clearance all the time can only help and then I won't have to carry around the wooden ramps. 

 

Do you have stock size tires? if not, does any calibration need to be done with the computer if someone were to go up slightly in size? For me that is a ways down the road, but thought I'd ask.

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I am running 30" Cryptid tires, similar to the XMR and I believe you can have the tire size changed by someone that has the BUDS system so that your speedo reads correctly. 

I have had my ECM reflashed by Monster FI for better performance with the heavy tires and am now working on getting my clutch kit correct.(EPI Performance Mudder kit). All of these mods are in the builds section with details on each. FYI🙂

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I have the exact same machine as you Bsevans5.  When I loaded and unloaded it the first time at the dealer and then at home the belly dragged a touch on my trailer too.  I cranked the preload on all the shocks to the highest setting and that solved my problem.  I got about 3/4” of lift from that.  I also spent the $99 for the battle armor and that gave about 1 1/2” of lift so I let my preloads down a click to soften the ride on the trails.  Still no belly rub.  

No need for wheel spacers on the battle armor lift in my opinion if you are running stock tires and wheels.  I also have a thread in the builds section you can look at.  Honestly, I’ve been stealing ideas from Andystoy19 so if you’ve seen his there might not be a whole lot of extra info there.

The boards on the deck thing is a pretty simple fix too, great idea btw.

Edited by JDK
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  • 10 months later...

A little used trick is to drive the back tires of your tow vehicle up onto blocks. This will make the back of your trailer kneel down a little or a lot depending on location of hitch, trailer axle, etc. A 4x4 under my tires makes the end of my trailer almost touch the ground.

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