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A little more running ground clearance would have been helpful. I was worried about thsoe little fin-like things in front of the front tires but they came through just fine. What I did manage to do is to partially tear off the plastic fairing underneath the engine/gearbox. Looks like a Rival 6mm engine skid plate is in my future. I'm not going to pay for a new plastic one. Who is the preferred Rival provider? I can't find one in the US.
I destroyed my stock sump guard too in basically the same way - definitely better with the Rival one. Those fin things are super easy to remove - I took mine off permanently - i was worried about them levering the whole wheel arch lining off.

S.B - it only takes a couple of tweaks and it becomes a super capable SUV :)
 
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I installed the Rival 4mm engine/gearbox skid plate about a month after the beach trip. I never found a US supplier so I ended up getting it from a German company. Probably added two weeks to the process. My local neighborhood service station installed it in 30 minutes or so. The mechanic, who drives a 4Runner, said, "Oh, that's going to be so much better than what you had."

I've been off road twice since the installation and the plate has picked up a couple of scuffs, so it's doing it's job. At this point I'm not afraid to say the DS is essentially as capable off road as my 2001 Jeep Cherokee (10.3" ground clearance, skid plates, rear receiver hitch, front tow hooks, AT tires). I'd like to have a couple more inches of ground clearance (and maybe some more aggressive tires) but lifting can be an expensive proposition with this kind of suspension. And keep in mind that the full-stock, off the dealer floor XJ Cherokee had the same ground clearance as the DS has (I had mine built with the factory 2" lift), and in today's Jeep marketing language all XJs were considered "trail ready."

I did get the factory receiver hitch package both for towing and to have a solid rear recovery point, and I carry a short-handle, broad blade screwdriver in the glove box to be used to remove that panel that hides the front tow point. Going off road? Take it off before you leave the driveway. What an unfortunate design decision! When going off road at the family farm I also generally toss a 4 ton come along in the back, just in case. And get yourself two ARB2012 3.25 ton shackles and a shackle for the receiver hitch (if you have one).

I think the DS is a very capable offroader. You might just have to pick your line with a little more thought than if you had a foot of ground clearance.
I ordered springs and got mine lifted - actually very reasonable, at a current exchange rate it cost me about US$760 fitted. Same Eibach springs everyone else mentions on here. Love it. It does make a difference, especially when combined with bigger tyres, my lift over stock setup is about 45-55mm (around 2") front to rear. The big difference is because it's now in the same clearance wheel-house as most other off-roaders so the DS doesn't scrape along anywhere near as much when driving along existing wheel ruts.

Having said that, I drove mine everywhere I wanted before the lift and it went just fine but it did destroy the stock sump guard. That super-flat belly finds every bump in the soft sand. Picking your line is the real key, as you said, I kind of enjoy that though!

I always whip that panel off at the front too. I agree, I wish they had found a neater way to leave the recovery point exposed. Matzker in Germany makes an awesome looking replacement piece which does just that (check it out) but i have no experience of the company and the website is in German so I doubt they ship internationally.
 

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Thanks for the link to Matzker. I love the concept and the look but at $742 USD I (cost + VAT) I didn't know they were making car parts out of gold.
Yeah, I can't work out why it's so expensive? Maybe they are hand-making them to order? 🤣

A cheap version of that would be awesome!
 

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Regarding your lift, what parts did you need to acquire other than the springs from Eibach and who did you find to do the installation? This looks like a good option for me on the installation: Range Rover Service Alexandria VA | Land Rover Service Alexandria | Jeep Service NOVA | Hummer Repair VA
Just the spring kit. I didn't even open the box actually, just dropped it off at a local Land Rover Off Road Specialist (not LR Dealer) here in QLD. I'm pretty sure any suspension fitters would be able to do it, apparently the rears are a pain, otherwise it would be very easy!
 
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