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Unread 01-30-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
Stumpfarming
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Ford shock towers on 73' CJ5

I've read several threads regarding the Ford shock tower conversion on later model CJs. Has anyone done this on a 72-75' CJ? Given the narrow track of these models, is there much to be gained with this conversion (if it has or can be done as easily as the late models)?

I currently have my jeep torn down to the frame. I plan to rebuild with a 2.5" BDS suspension upgrade and a 1 inch body lift so as to accomodate 33's. My intention is to maintain near stock steering and drive shafts. Will longer shocks gain me any worthwhile wheel travel? Or does extended wheel travel with this set-up open the door to other modifications regarding driveline lengths, steering, etc.?

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Unread 01-30-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
skizriz
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The Ford towers will raise them up a good bit, allowing longer shocks that will allow for longer suspension travel.
They will push them outwards towards the tires at the top though. I have narrow track axles on my 78, with 1.5" spacers, and 35x12.5 tires. They don't rub the towers when flexed up into the wheel wheels, but it is close.
The tops of my Ford towers are actually through my inner fenders, and accessible from under my hood. I have them as high as possible to run as long of a shock as I could.

With a little modification, you could tilt the tops in so the don't stick out as far from the frame, or cut some off so they aren't as high. They are very easy to modify, and either bolt on to the frame or weld them on.

Here's a picture of mine on my bare frame. I raised them up higher on the frame, and welded them on since these pictures were taken.
0213031633b.jpg

0213031633.jpg

0213031633a.jpg

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Unread 01-30-2014, 02:17 PM   #3
Stumpfarming
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I don't know the actual specs, but the 73' shock mounts look to be even a bit shorter than the stock mounts on the 78'. From pictures I've seen, it appears that both top and bottom mounting brackets were relocated between the early 70's and late 70's models. Someone else might correct me on this. That's largely why I'm wondering if anyone has done this on an earlier CJ. If this application fits a 73' the same way it fits a later model, it's a no-brainer to me.

One concern I had was rubbing the shock at full compression. I think you answered that for me, thanks. I'm figuring that I will need to offset the wheels anyway to accomodate the 33's. With extra droop, does driveline length become a factor, or is that a nominal concern with this application?
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Unread 01-30-2014, 02:43 PM   #4
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As far as i know, the short vs higher front mounts were changed when they changed to Wide track axles.
My 78 originally had the very short shock mounts, maybe only 3" above the frame. the new frame was an early 80's and it had the taller mounts, 8" or so.

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Unread 01-30-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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on a similar build we simply cut the towers at the bend to avoid the canted out orientation. good luck. my main Cj uses these on all 4 corners permitting out boarding of the shocks.
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Unread 01-30-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RARECJ8 View Post
on a similar build we simply cut the towers at the bend to avoid the canted out orientation. good luck. my main Cj uses these on all 4 corners permitting out boarding of the shocks.

While on the topic of using these on the rear, what benefit does outboarding the shocks give as far as the ride goes? I would assume the damping effect is significantly increased now that the axle has a longer moment arm from its articulation point to the shock mount?
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Unread 01-30-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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Vast and substantial difference. Feels and drives better. Rancho 9000s. Am now in process of grafting in some air bags to help with rear sag when loaded up fir camping, towing the trailer and full tank of gas. Use that for the long sections of pavement, then deflate once on trail.
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Unread 01-30-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
Stumpfarming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizriz View Post
As far as i know, the short vs higher front mounts were changed when they changed to Wide track axles.
My 78 originally had the very short shock mounts, maybe only 3" above the frame.
So you have the narrow track axles? Were your old shock mounts similar to this?

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Unread 01-30-2014, 09:25 PM   #9
Stumpfarming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RARECJ8 View Post
on a similar build we simply cut the towers at the bend to avoid the canted out orientation. good luck. my main Cj uses these on all 4 corners permitting out boarding of the shocks.
Do you have any pictures of this? I assume that on the rear you relocated the upper shock mount to place the shock in a more vertical position? (BTW, what is "out boarding")

Here's a picture of my rear mount. Should I relocate the upper mount so that it is more or less directly above the lower mount, or configure it at an angle resembling this stock install?

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Unread 01-30-2014, 11:25 PM   #10
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have lots of front, but no rears. will try to get a pic. the rear uses a ford tower welded to outside of frame and the lower shack mount welded to top of axle tube.
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Unread 01-31-2014, 01:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpfarming View Post

So you have the narrow track axles? Were your old shock mounts similar to this?
Same size, just a little different in shape. They were welded to the top of the frame also.

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Unread 01-31-2014, 11:10 AM   #12
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Took some low light, grainy pix with ipad

Rear tower out boarded
image.jpg  
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Unread 01-31-2014, 11:12 AM   #13
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Gotta figure how to get more that one pic per post. Upload second and it just replaces the first.

Another showing lay out. Note the lower end was trimmed to eliminate the cant and fit inside wheel well.
image.jpg  
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Unread 01-31-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
Stumpfarming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RARECJ8 View Post
have lots of front, but no rears. will try to get a pic. the rear uses a ford tower welded to outside of frame and the lower shack mount welded to top of axle tube.
I'd really appreciate seeing the pics of the front and the modification you did to the shock tower. Thanks
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Unread 01-31-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RARECJ8 View Post
Gotta figure how to get more that one pic per post. Upload second and it just replaces the first.

Another showing lay out. Note the lower end was trimmed to eliminate the cant and fit inside wheel well.
I copy and paste the link from photobucket. I be sure to paste the next link on a separate line and it works for me.

I like seeing how you got it to fit inside the wheel well. Any chance of a close-up on the bottom bracket? It looks like this is mounted plumb with the axle? What size tires? lift? Thanks
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