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Unread 05-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
metalry101
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Shock issues - Solutions?

What's the ticket for long travel shocks on a YJ?

I have a few problems with the shocks on my rig. First off, there are none on the rear anymore because whoever welded the mounts on my 8.8 did a really hack job. This is an easy fix...just buy some beefcake brackets and have one of my welder friends help me clean up the axle and weld them on. The only flaw with this is that the stock mounts hang way below the axle. They're not any lower than the leaf pack, but they're still vulnerable down there.

Seems like YJ's run super short shocks in the rear...is there an aftermarket setup that's better, or a custom setup that's fairly easy to fab, like angling them in like on the rear of XJ's? I've seen the M.O.R.E. rear upper mounts that allow longer travel shocks...they seem pricey for what they are, but they're a pretty simple install and allow more shock, so I can deal with it. Is anyone running them? I also like the idea of going with the M.O.R.E. front shock hoop to get rid of the vertical stud mount and to allow longer shocks up there as well. Any comments on that?

I've got RC 1.25" boomerang shackles going on soon, which I'm hoping will help the springs move a bit more, so I want to upgrade the shocks and their mounts to match the springs in terms of performance and travel.

Not only do I want to go longer, I want to go with quality stuff. I'm looking at maybe Bilstein 5150's. I know they're a very popular shock on XJ's, and at ~$100 each, they're still reasonably priced. Any other suggestions?

I'm certainly open to a little fabbing if necessary. I've got access to welders and grinders and such, and while I'm not going to fab an entire suspension, I believe shock mounts and such would be doable if there's a considerably better setup out there that needs to be fabbed rather than bolted on.

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Unread 05-01-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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the rear mounting has always been a limiting factor. there are a couple options. you can make a crossover from one rear upper mount to the other and then mount the shocks top towards eachother. this is effective as for every inch of suspension movement you use less shock stroke. the downside is your shock will be less effective at damping the springs. you will feel a bit more rear body roll. many will mention the kits that extend the upper mounts higher and more forward. i feel that although these are good they just dont do enough for the price and what most wheelers are looking for.
you can also do whats called, "outboarding" this is where you mount the shock on the outside of the framerail similar to the front mounting. most circumstances call for sinking the mounting bracket into the framrail.

i use the lightest valved 5150s and they work very well. whatever way you go make sure to mount the shocks in the proper orientation. this is where people seem to make the biggest mistake. make sure the lower eye of the shock is mounted perpendicular to the axle tube.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
metalry101
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Thanks for the reply. Outboarding won't work for me in the rear because I'm not running full-width. I checked and there are only a couple inches between the inside wall of the tire and outside of the frame rail.

I understand that laying the shocks down does reduce their effectiveness, which can be countered by running a stiffer shock, but it's not ideal. After looking under the rear some more, it doesn't seem like this would work anyways. There is a very limited amount of room under the rear of the thing, so the stock geometry seems like the best without modifying the tub or going full-width, neither of which is an option right now.

Any opinions on other shocks to consider? Or different brands of aftermarket upper mounts?
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Unread 05-04-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
Destr0
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I just made my own rear shock relocation bracket. It only gained me 1.5" of shock (enough to raise my shock mounts to be even with the axle tube, not hang below.
What I did was grind off the upper shock mount from the frame rail (mine was broken already, so I had to do something) and weld in a thick (3/8") piece of angle iron 2x2 at an angle away from the axle tube. I just drilled a hole and ran a spindle botl from Tractor Supply welded to the angle iron to mount the rear shock on.

At the moment only the drivers side is done, the passenger side was not broken so it will get done next weekend (after wheeling this weekend. I did not change my shock length (happy with my Trailmaster SS for now), I just figured while I was fixing it I could improve it a bit.

Cheers!
~K
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Unread 05-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalry101 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Outboarding won't work for me in the rear because I'm not running full-width. I checked and there are only a couple inches between the inside wall of the tire and outside of the frame rail.
This is where the custom comes in play. I have outboarded with a narrower axle, but you have to frame notch.


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Unread 05-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #6
Destr0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E_ROCK View Post
This is where the custom comes in play. I have outboarded with a narrower axle, but you have to frame notch.


That is slick. I like it! If I ever feel the need to go more advanced on my rear shocks I am stealing that. I am planning on some winter time frame work and I may just have to do mine like that with some Ford shock towers.
I would not have thought to go back with them (always see them to the front of the axle), but it makes more sense there- that is the direction the spring is moving so will make for more effective shocks.
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