Both the Spring Retainers and Lower Retainers' flat components are laser cut from steel sheeting using CNC machinery and semigloss black powdercoated for maximum corrosion resistance. All fasteners are Grade 10.9 for maximum strength. All Retainers come with a lifetime warranty, not only against defects in design and manufacturing, but also against wear and tear. We encourage you to give these Retainers all the abuse your vehicle can withstand. If you should ever break any component, simply return the broken piece to us for immediate replacement. However, we do not encourage you trash your vehicle as we are confident that you will break some component other than our Spring Retainers. Such breakages are obviously not covered by our warranty.
Many other retainer designs utilize the factory lower retainer to brace the spring against pulling away from the axle. This is a mistake because the factory retainer is designed to be used in conjunction only with an unretained spring and is not designed to withstand the pulling force of a retained spring. The result is that the factory retainer bends upward,
and eventually fails. Even vehicles that do not run long-travel suspensions often bend and break the factory lower retainers. The factory lower retainers are just not strong enough.
Compare the above two photographs with the Expeditionware Spring Retainers. The spring depicted here is a medium-duty spring from Old Man Emu (OME part no. 2764) at full stretch. Note that the Lower Retainers are not budging at all. The pulling force of the spring is distributed across a very wide area and the bolster is reinforcing the spring retaining plate against any deformation.
In addition to utilizing the factory lower spring retainer for a task for which it was not designed, many other spring retainer designs fit upper spring retainers that are not strong enough for the task at hand. When the axle articulates away from the frame and the spring stretches, these upper retainer designs fail, just like the factory lower spring retainer. This is not surprising because most upper retainer designs mimic the lower retainer designs that fail.
Compare our competitors' upper retainers with our Spring Retainers. The design of the upper components of the Spring Retainers mirrors those of the bottom pieces and is equally sound.
After installing aftermarket long-travel shocks, it is very common to find the springs unseating.
Many designs attempt to retain the spring by installing a cone above the rear spring and permitting the spring to fall away from the spring perch. The problems with this type of design are numerous. The springs on these systems often fall out of the cones and do not reseat. Even when they do operate as designed, the springs invariably clunk loudly upon reseating, making the suspension sound as if it were broken. And no matter what the sellers of these systems will tell you, the clunk does not disappear with use. Furthermore, the almost unrestricted downtravel of the axle combined with the sudden shock when the shock maxes out causes breakage of both the shocks and shock mounts. As much as we do not like the cone suspension design, we offer the Lower Retainers for those who wish to keep their cone suspensions but want a stronger method of holding their springs to the axle.
Here is a view of our spring retaining plate compared to the factory lower retainer. Note how our spring retaining plate contacts the spring over a much wider area than the narrow factory lower retainer, spreading the pulling force of a retained spring over a much wider area than the factory version. Competing designs invariably mimic the length and width dimensions of the factory lower retainer, but try to make the retainer stronger by making it thicker. This reflects one-dimensional thinking and doesn't actually resolve the spring retainer problem.
A thicker retainer is tall enough that it will interfere with proper compression of the spring. Many springs with progressive ratings such as the Old Man Emu heavy-duty springs (OME part no. 762) have very little space between the coils and mandate the fitment of a thin retainer between the coils. Otherwise, the spring's coils will be spread apart, even at the vehicle's static height. The thicker retainers also fail to solve the problem that the stretching spring can "lever" the retainer strap up and away from its mounting bolts because of the length of distance from the bolts to the end of the retainers.
Our spring retaining plate is thin enough to fit between the tightest coils and will not interfere with proper operation of any coil springs that are compatible with your Land Rover. To prevent our spring retaining plate from bending, we reinforce it with a bolster that is 3/8" thick. The diameter of this bolster is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the heaviest duty springs around such as the Old Man Emu very heavy-duty springs (OME part no. 763). The thinness of the spring retaining plates (which permits the spring retaining plates to be inserted between the coils without interfering with proper spring compression) combined with the thickness and dimensions of the bolsters (which are thick enough to prevent any deflection and are wide enough to prevent spring tension from exerting leverage upon and bending the spring retaining plates) mean that the Expeditionware Spring Retainers and Lower Retainers are fully compatible with any and all springs that are compatible with your Land Rover and will not fail under the strongest pulling forces your suspension can dish out.
Here is a view of the orientation of the upper Spring Retainer components. The nuts welded to the spring perch caps are positioned below the spring perch caps to permit installation on the Discovery and Range Rovers, which have do not have the necessary clearance to permit the nuts to ride on top of the spring perch cap. Defender 90 owners may, if so inclined, invert the spring perch caps so that the nuts ride on top if they fit longer bolts for the upper Spring Retainer Components. However, we recommend that even Defender 90 owners install the spring perch caps with the nuts facing downward, as the appearance of the spring perch caps in this orientation is very clean.
Lest you think that the nuts below the spring perch cap may pull away when their fasteners are tightened, the Grade 10.9 nuts are permanently affixed to the spring perch caps using a penetration weld for maximum strength. We are fully comfortable in assuring you that that the threads on the fasteners will fail long before the integrity of the penetration welds is compromised. Compare the strength of these two nuts to the single nut on the end of your shock that normally limits your axle's movement, and you will discern that this system is substantially stronger.
Expeditionware Spring Retainers and Lower Retainers are rock solid and will not bend under any conditions. Note that the spring in this photograph is stretched and yet the Spring Retainers are not budging at all after years of very hard use. The upper components of the Spring Retainers are of identical design and equally solid. You will not find a stronger or more elegant set of spring retainers.
While the Retainers are designed for use only on the rear axle, the Retainers are just as suitable for front-axle use when the vehicle is fitted with external shock mounts. The Range Rover Classics fitted with air suspension featured front external shock mounts. Many Land Rover owners also modify their vehicles to accept external front shock mounts. The front of Bill Ritchie's Defender is with external front shock mounts, Bilstein 7100 shocks, Safari Gard 3-Link, and Expeditionware Spring Retainers.