Today a leader in the field of preparations for the legendary Defender, Herero 4x4 was born from the passion and expertise of Davide Arezio and Tatiana Besana. Their mission has always been to create the definitive Defender. Thanks to the technological innovations designed, built and tested on the toughest racing fields, today Herero 4x4 can claim to have achieved its mission. The Defender 90 TD5 that I present to you in this article is the perfect example!
Photography and story by Paolo Baraldi
Herero 4x4, founded in 2006, is one of the most active and dynamic businesses in the Italian off-road sector. Since the beginning of its history it has been able to reinvent the world of preparations dedicated to Defenders and the progressive system with 3 rear springs TPS (Triple Progressive System), with which Herero 4x4 has made itself known, is a valid example.
Herero 4x4 mission: no compromise to have performance in all situations
Herero 4x4's mission has always been to make the Defender more performing not only for off-road but also for driving on asphalt. Compromise is not in the vocabulary of Davide Arezio and Tatiana Besana. For them, the Defender must perform in all conditions and situations: from offroad journey to extreme races and "last but not least" thinking about comfort and road safety.
Starting from this concept, the Herero 4x4 preparations do not only concern the suspension, transmission, reinforcements, protections, aesthetics and liveability of the inside compartment but also affect the performance of the engine with innovative and environmentally friendly solutions such as the Mixed Dual Fuel system (4x4 Fest Best Innovation Award 2018) which increases the power of the engine by over 30% with considerable fuel savings and a strong decrease in pollutants. In other words, the Mixed Dual Fuel system transforms the Defender into an eco-sustainable vehicle without sacrificing performance.
Herero 4x4, the ultimate choice
The Defender 90 TD5 protagonist of this article is the perfect example of the state of the art achieved today by Herero 4x4. It represents the culmination of 15 years of hard work, design and testing in the toughest racing fields that in one word identify with the word "experience".
Experience that for the customer translates into the certainty of buying high-performance and ultra-tested parts. To shop once and not have to think about it anymore (a good example of this is the reinforced drive shafts offered with a 7-year warranty) because, to paraphrase a well-known advertisement, a Herero 4x4 product is forever!
In this Defender we find all this: the Mud-Rock Extreme Competition suspension kit (5 times Italian champion), the external protections tested in 10 years of extreme racing, the ecological performance of the Mixed Dual Fuel system that gives new life to the engine and innovation with the new Extreme axles because reliability cannot be missing in a preparation of this level.
Defender 90 TD5 full Herero 4x4
Everything I have said so far is perfectly expressed and put into practice in this Defender 90 with TD5 engine that will represent Herero 4x4 at the Herero Point in Padua. Every aspect of the preparation has been taken care of with the maniacal attention that distinguishes the work of Davide Arezio and Tatiana Besana. From the choice of accessories to their installation, everything was done with the ultimate aim of creating a high-performance vehicle off and on road without limitations in either case.
I wouldn't hesitate any longer; at this point I just have to go into the details of the preparation of this TD5.
The Mixed Dual Fuel system by Herero 4x4 is the heart of the TD5 engine works
The preparation of the engine of this Defender embodies all the knowledge that Herero 4x4 has built and has made its own during its 15 years of activity. A journey that began far away, passed through the variable geometry turbine and the bi-turbo kit to arrive at today's Mixed Dual Fuel.
I can say, without fear of denial, that thanks to the Mixed Dual Fuel, Herero 4x4 has brought engine preparation into a new era. We are faced with a new philosophy based on the concept of not mechanically stressing the engine, as was the case before with exasperated modifications of the various components, without however losing sight of performance. The Mixed dual fuel Diesel-LPG system offers many advantages, all of which can be traced back to improved and refined fuel combustion in diesel fueled engines, whether they are with mechanical or common rail injections. The system control unit adjusts the gas injection according to the number of engine revolutions and this makes the delivery of power much more manageable and fluid. The 4 injectors used for the perfect nebulization of the gas upstream of the intercooler mix the LPG perfectly with the air coming from the turbo, cooling it and at the same time adding it. This effect is due to the fact that the LPG is very cold and even if it is heated by the radiator water, cooling it in turn and therefore improving the operating temperatures of the engine, the process produces immediate effects on the lowering of the temperature of the air breathed by the engine, also improving its detonating power, with a consequent increase in flow rate at the same number of revolutions and an increase in power and torque.
The green plus of fuel saving and the reduction of polluting emissions make the Mixed Dual Fuel system the most interesting innovation of recent years, perfectly suited to and respectful of the environmental issues of the 21st century.
The dual fuel kit consists of a 15 liter cylinder tank for LPG positioned under the passenger side sill, by a control unit for managing LPG injection with command from the passenger compartment, by a gas pressure reducer with relative valve and by the LPG injectors, in this case 4 for better nebulisation the gas, which intercept the air pipe that goes from the turbo to the intercooler. The advantages of this modification, in addition to the undisputed increase in power (the horses of this Defender are now 175), are all attributable to an improved and refined combustion of the fuel which results in a reduced consumption and a lower emission of pollutants. The optimization of this system for better engine performance also goes through a careful mapping of the control unit.
As a corollary to the engine preparation we find some leitmotifs, or if you prefer classic, of Herero 4x4: carbon air-box kit with washable filter, EGR elimination kit, silicone intercooler hoses kit, complete TD5 exhaust and 80mm diameter sports snorkel.
- Control unit re-mapping by Herero 4x4
- EGR Elimination Kit
- Silicone intercooler hoses kit
The sturdiness of the Extreme axles by Herero 4x4 is the characterizing element of the transmission preparation
We all know very well how important it is to have a robust and reliable kinematic chain; an even more important condition if the engine has been prepared and if the off-road use of the vehicle is heavy ... hard to understand better.
Innovation is the mantra of the Herero 4x4 Research and Development department that has come to design these new heay duty axles dedicated to the Defender to ensure that the powertrain is not interrupted due to breakages due to the undersizing of the various parts.
The Extreme axles are the result of over 10 years of Herero Racing Division racing. The experience in extreme competitions has allowed Herero 4x4 to get to market these axles that raise the bar of the Defender's reliability.
Extreme axles by Herero 4x4 are characterized by a housing case made up of a spheroidal cast iron pear and high-strength steel tubes with a diameter of 76 mm and 12 mm thick. The tubes are turned back to 10 mm where they engage with the pear and the wheel assemblies. The latter are also made of spheroidal cast iron.
Why the choice of cast iron? The parts turned from solid are certainly aesthetically beautiful, but the processing remains linked to the potential of the tools, not allowing great design freedom. With the fusion, studied in its modalities in the design phase, we obtain an object much more suited to the technical-functional needs of the project and with a higher cost-quality ratio.
Herero 4x4's Extreme axles are designed with high-strength steel attachments to connect to the suspension system in plug-in mode, i.e. without any modification.
Looking at the axle set-up in detail, we will find top solutions for a Top product. We start from the front axle and find a classic and performing solution at the same time, namely the double front joint, instead of the classic homokinetic joint, which guarantees higher reliability, given its better ability to transmit torque at any angle of rotation and with the steering angle is over 40°. The half shafts are full flotters with a diameter of 35 mm, there must be a reason if they are guaranteed for 7 years!
Let's go into the structure of the differential unit and bevel gears. The Axle Project wanted to offer something more in terms of smooth running and robustness without necessarily having to use too large diameters and weights, which would inevitably have increased the overall dimensions and therefore decreased ground clearance, partially nullifying the effort made to increase it with the adoption of higher tires. The choice therefore fell on the most performing of the Hypoid bevel gears whose particular accentuated helical shape of the tooth allows for a contact area between pinion and crown 25% higher than the classic bevel gears with Glison tooth (as for original axles) increasing the mechanical resistance and the transmissible torque at the same time. In addition, the hypoid cut of the tooth allows a considerable reduction in the clearance between crown and pinion with tangible advantages on the smooth running of the vehicle and the complete elimination of the famous "clonc-clonc" found on Defenders with original axles in the acceleration and deceleration phases.
The ratio chosen for this prearation is the classic 4.11 but there is also the 5.85 available for 38” tires or for a more off-road use of the vehicle.
The axle description is closed by the 4-satellite differential with a high-strength cemented steel case with a fork locking system that works directly on the axle shaft. Front braking unit is equipe with a slotted and perforated 325mm disc and 4-piston caliper. A the rear braking uniti there is a 254mm disc and 2-piston caliper.
The stock transfer case, at the request of the owner, has been modified with new reinforced gears and with a + 20% ratio on long gears for better driveability on asphalt. This modification is not absolutely necessary and related to the installation of Herero 4x4 Extreme axles.
- Extreme front and rear axle by Herero 4x4
- Double steering joint 40° steering angle
- Front braking unit 325mm disc caliper 4 pistons diam. 42
- Rear braking unit with 254mm disc caliper 2 pistons diam. 48
The detachable Herero 4x4 rim is the spearhead in the bead-lock rim sector
The changes to the transmission are completed by the separable rims with internal beadlock, another cult product from Herero 4x4. This dismountable rim is the spearhead in the bead-lock rim sector, thanks to its extreme strength and versatility it is the winning choice for any type of off-road vehicle, whether used for competitions or travel. The long racing career of the Herero 4x4 team, which began in 2008, guarantees its quality and places it among the best on the market. Appreciated for its extreme balance, it gives comfort unknown to rims with traditional bead-lock system.
Thanks to the characteristic decomposable structure, it is possible: to replace the tire in any place without the need for a bead breaker, to use operating pressures close to zero, to modify the central attachment if the vehicle is changed, to modify the width of the channel or the offset, set to meet new needs of use and to use an internal aluminum-steel bead-lock with micrometric adjustment able to mechanically bead the two beads of the tire providing double anti-beading guarantee compared to traditional systems. Finally, the last strong point of these rims is the low weight compared to the robustness.
Maximum mobility with the Mud-Rock Extreme Competition By Herero 4x4 suspension kit
The peculiar feature of the Mud Rock Extreme suspension kit, which raises the front by 7.5 cm and the rear 8.5 cm, is to offer maximum mobility in overcoming any type of obstacle with combined great driving precision. Both in fast off-road and asphalt journeys. Features that make the Defender particularly at ease in any type of use without those annoying limitations or compromises that we often find in other preparations.
Going into more detail in the description of the various parts installed, we start from the front end where we find the articulated link, which thanks to its particular design, the connecting rods and the silent-blocks allows an increase of 40%, compared to any other type of link, of the articulation of the front axle without compromising driving precision in the fast and on the road. As a crowning achievement we find the 2 springs fixed on its special plates and on the new turrets with combined HR20 monotube gas shock absorbers with external tank with 50mm body and 20mm stem and the new panhard bar.
At the rear all the links have been replaced and therefore we note the new Extreme lower adjustable link with uniball built with Aerotech derived materials for maximum wear resistance and rotation performance. Thus improving the mobility of the axle and the upper A Frame that allows to restore the correct working angles after the installation of the lift kit and to improve the rotation of the axle. The main element of this A Frame is the new adjustable heay duty head. The rear suspension system is composed of HR20 shock absorbers, fixed to the axle and to the frame by means of the new brackets included in the kit, and by the 3 springs, per side, of the system, patented by Herero, TPS (Triple Progressive Springs).
The interventions in this department are completed by the double joint reinforced front and rear drive shafts and reinforced steering bars.
- Front springs + 7.5 cm
- Progressive multi-spring rear TPS kit + 8,5cm
The Herero 4x4 protections have been personally tested by Davide Arezio in over 10 years of racing
Off-road racers know very well that safety is the main priority to be addressed when preparing a 4x4. All the external accessories installed on this Defender, but also all those in the Herero 4x4 catalog, were born, built and tested in the toughest extreme off-road racing fields. The first testimonial of these accessories is Davide Arezio who has used them for over 10 years in the competition fields, and if he entrusts his life to them ...
The Extreme external roll cage made with high-strength tubulars with a diameter of 50 mm and a thickness of 3 mm, joined by a sleeve tube, immediately catches the eye. This roll bar offers 6 frame attachment points for the maximum passenger compartment protection. To complete its safety equipment, there is the rear anti-intrusion bar to protect the tailgate and roof and the two handrails above the roof at the level of the co-pilote and driver's head.
The installation of the "Wings Bar" (tubular nose) solves the problem of the crushing of the Defender's aluminum fenders. These wings are made with high resistance tubes with a diameter of 50 mm and a thickness of 3 mm. The kit also includes the aluminum sheets to be painted in the same color as the Defender body, and the 2 mm upper almond plate. The “Wings Bars” represent the natural completion of the external protection of the vehicle, increasing the safety performance of the roll-cage thanks to the two extra points of attachment to the frame of the structure.
The reinforced modular Shift Bumper stands out at the front. Its innovative bolt-on structure allows to preserve the frame in cases of strong impacts, absorbing the impact energy through localized movements. It is extremely light and resistant, adapting perfectly to the shape of each Defender (both with and without air conditioning) by sliding the base plate on which the whole structure is bolted forward or backward.
In addition to these fundamental accessories for off-road safety and functionality, there are the Rock slider Extreme and the various protections found in the list of external accessories below.
- 9.500 LBS electromechanical winch with Dyneema sk78 tubular thimble and teflon thimble guard
- Plate for linkage by Herero 4x4
- Side and rear tank plate By Herero 4x4
- Recovery hook by Herero 4x4
- Led bar 10000 Lms
- Antenna holder plate
- Door strop plate by Herero 4x4
The experience of Herero 4x4 solves the defects in the Defender's interior
"In recent years, we are increasingly asked to solve the problem of the ergonomics of the seating in our Land. - comments Davide Arezio - In fact, the increasing demand for sports seats has encouraged us to find a solution to the driving position, while also solving the problem of removing the seat to access the compartments below ".
The seat brackets are the most important functional improvement of the inside compartment; thanks to these new slides, it is possible to adjust the inclination and height of the seat, obtaining the best position for each of us. They can be assembled easily and quickly while maintaining the original slide, without the need to raise it and considerably increasing the stroke of the seat.
The sports seats and the OMP steering wheel complete the interior set-up which also features a single-cylinder air compressor.
- OMP Raid 2 New sports seats
- OMP Sand steering wheel
- Herero 4x4 steering wheel hub
- 12 V single cylinder compressor
- Car radio
- CB appliance
Via Fernando Santi, 11
20056 Trezzo sull’Adda (MI) - Italy
Tel/Fax: (+39) 02 24164690