New Defender lift kit gives 329mm of ground clearance

ByDean MellorJuly 7, 2020
New Defender lift kit gives 329mm of ground clearance

Johnson Rods has developed a lift kit to suit the new Land Rover Defender that gives it a whopping 329mm of ground clearance!

The Johnson Rods lift kit will appeal to those who don’t want to roger their new Defender when driving it off-road… or who just want to fit bigger tyres.

Johnson Rods are lengthened height-sensor rods that give modern independent suspension Land Rovers with height adjustable suspension an additional lift. These longer stainless steel height-sensor rods replace the factory plastic items to provide Land Rovers with additional ground clearance throughout their adjustable height range. In the case of the new Defender lift kit, this essentially means that the air spring system will increase vehicle height by 1.5 inches (38mm) in all operating modes; in other words, on-road mode will be 1.5-inches higher and off-road mode will be 1.5-inches higher. As well as additional ground clearance, this also allows for fitment of larger diameter tyres. The vehicle pictured is fitted with 275/60R20 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 rubber.

The standard Defender offers a claimed 291mm of ground clearance in off-road mode so, with a set of Johnson Rods fitted that would result in an impressive 329mm of ground clearance, and a corresponding improvement in approach, ramp-over and departure angles.

Johnson Rods says fitment of the lift kit has no effect on operation of the vehicle’s Terrain Response system, and that standard vehicle ride comfort is maintained.

Johnson Rods Lift Kit 1

Originally developed in 2010 to suit the Discovery 3, and offering a 2.5-inch (50mm) lift on that model, the Johnson Rods to suit the new Defender are made from thick stainless steel that the company says will not bend or rust, while the grommets are claimed to be wide like the original parts to ensure a good fit.

Johnson Rods Lift Kit Compare

The Johnson Rod on the left and a cheap imitation part on the right.

“When I built these rods, dependability and quality were the primary drivers that when into the product,” said Greg Johnson from Johnson Rods. “I chose a fixed (non adjustable) stainless steel rod because this was the most reliable method to ensure an accurate and dependable lift similar to the fixed length OEM part from the factory. By fixing the length, it eliminated any risk of being improperly adjusted and made the installation very simple. Then, by producing the Johnson Rods on high-speed precision metal fabrication equipment, I was able to make a high quality product incredibly affordable.”

Johnson Rods to suit the new Defender are claimed to be easy to fit at home.

RRP: US $165
Website: Johnson Rods