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Bill Ritchie's Yellow D90

Thanks to Bill for his aid

Here are some picts (sorry, low light and dig. cameras don't work well) of my DRS equipped D90 using a forklift to check clearances of the tires, flairs, and fenders.

1997 NAS Spec. Defender 90 Soft-top AA Yellow #2078

Desert Rover Suspension
OME medium duty rear springs, light duty fronts
Rancho 9000 shocks (9012's and 9014's)
Ashcroft 4.1 gears
Detroit Locker (back) Detroit TrueTrak (front)
Goodyear Wrangler Mud-Terrain 35"x12.5"x15"
Desert Rover Sliders (sill protectors)
Offroad Shop Prerunner (desert racing) bumper
Fabitron oversized chromoly tierods
Flexilite Dual Electric Fans (model 210)
K&N filter
Removed Swaybars and step rear bumper
Military 15 ton pintle hitch

The tires are Goodyear Wrangler MT 35x12.5x15" on custom 15x8" rims with 5" backspacing.
Contact was most notable on the front and rear edge of the rear fender flairs at full stuff, but interestingly no contact with the rear quarter panel was seen. Front flairs were much the same with contact of the front or rear edge depending on which way they were turned. No contact with the middle of the flair was noted - as the tires at all four corners fit inside the edges. At the extreme upper limit of up travel the rear tire grazes the body of the shock and the upper spring perch.

We were able to lift the back wheel 32" before the front on the same side lifted, and the front 28" before the rear on the same side lifted.

Special thanks goes out to Alan Dobbs for the use of his expertise, great shop, and forklift.

Top:This is what it looks like when used off road

Right: It's a nutter's world, eh Bill?

Bottom: Bill to the right, Alan Dobbs to the left.


This is from an e-mail I got from Bill. We discussed about his suspension. He wrote:

The Desert Rover Suspension ( is made up of new rear
shock mounts (about 12 inches longer than stock), spring retaining cones
for the rear (the longer shocks allow the rear springs to fall out of their
perches about 6 inches - the cones guide them back in place), 4 inch
bumpstops for the rear, Shock eyelet adapters, and brake line relocators.

To take full advantage of the DR suspension you use the longest travel
shocks that Rancho makes. I believe they are the 9014's (or 9012's I
forget) in the rear, and any one of several combinations of OME and RR
springs (depend on how much weight you carry, winch and bull bar? etc). I
use OME's because I carry very little weight and no winch and bull bar.

>OME coils? Why not use RR coils? Soft and looong? Availability problem?

Answered partly above, also note that OME springs cost $50 US each here and
RR springs are about $125 US.

>Rancho's? Long enough? We broke many different shocks as they were too
>short- on a stock vehicle.

The Rancho 9014s are very long, you can see in some of the twisty picts of
my D90 just how much extra articulation you get in the back. I am still
trying to figure out how to get more travel from the front suspension.

Bill Ritchie
'97 D90 ST AA Yellow #2078 + DRS
'85 Jeep CJ-7
'97 Jeep Cherokee