Coilover Placement - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-25-2021, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
timatoe
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Coilover Placement

Ok, so it's happening.

I need some advice / pros & cons etc on how to actually mount the coilovers. I've got the Barne's frenched mounts, so that's how they're going, I'm looking for more practical which way they go.

I've done tons of reading and I see that people recommend between 15 and 20 degrees lean one way or the other forward or back. A lot of stuff I see says to lean them forward toward the center of the Jeep for "stability" but when I look at it, it seems to me you lose effectiveness of the spring/shock that way as the suspension compresses and it basically becomes a hinge.

I see with it tilted back toward the rear the shock and spring tend to stay at closer to 90* to the lower link. It would seem to me this would be the preferred way to mount them having the most effective use of the spring etc.

Just looking for input from you guys that have done it. I've seen tons of them done both ways just don't know the best way and cutting through the frame and welding in towers isn't something that can be ground off and re-done too easy.


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post #2 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 01:20 AM
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Not coilovers, but ORI recommends mounting the "shock" at 90* to the lower arm at full bump to maximize the effectiveness of the dampening throughout the range of travel. If your arms are long enough then it doesnt look much different at ride height.

Id say mount them about perpendicular at ride height, whatever fits your travel to keep out of the fenders. I had to keep my rear towers as high as possible and leaned back to maximize uptravel and keep from going up through the wheel wells. Even that didn't work out as well as id hoped with 14" travel shocks, but they ended up right about 90* at full bump.

Up front they are pretty much vertical because my arms are about flat in the mid-range of travel.

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post #3 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 05:50 AM
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I used the Genright mounts when I did the rear coilovers on my Jeepster. I mostly followed their directions, but ultimately just put them where they would fit best. I looked at the angles, and (after some trigonometry) my recollection is that I was 90-95% of the optimum. That was good enough for me to make packaging easier. You can see in the picture the backwards lean, which is not uncommon.

The inward lean is also a few degrees - again that is a compromise and also depends on your axle width (wider axles make things MUCH easier!). It also depends on your shock travel - longer shocks will be more difficult to package. And on your tire width and wheel backspacing.
You want enough angle, so the shock doesn't rotate and hit the shock tower on full droop. And so the tire doesn't hit the springs on full compression.

Everything is a compromise - if your angles are around 10-15 deg or so, you're probably in a good spot. (Check and double check!) clearances at full bump and full droop before final weld (without springs and with the shocks depressurized)

(to clarify, the picture is a Jeepster with a narrow frame, so I didn't have to french the mounts into the frame. There were other issues to deal with - like the wheel tub clearance. I'm just trying to show the angle of the coilover in this picture - that's the only part that will apply to your YJ)
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 10:05 AM
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I think 90* to the lower links like Randon said is the sweet spot but I don't think it matters much. If you look at JK's that have been converted to coil-overs at the rear axle they are setting inboard at 28-30* and do just fine. With Coil-overs you can match springs and valving to just about anything.
I know a lot of folks set up with a lean towards the rear and I think that might have started with the TJ guys not having the wheel well forward to allow for towers in front of the axle like I'm setting right now.
I didn't want to cut my tub so I had to compromise my placement in order to keep the up travel livable and the lift as low as I could. So in my case the deciding factor for keeping the shock in the front of the axle was simply that a 14" shock in front will have more wheel travel than one behind the axle. Im sure the difference isn't much if the axle side shock mount is at the center top of the axle but if its at the front or back as mine is and the photo above is then I would guess the difference could be 1-2 inches of wheel travel.
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 11:28 AM
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I think the effectiveness of the shock is going to be the most critical at high speed damping and rebound situations. Its probably not as important while crawling.

Regarding the inboard/outboard angle like Stan said, clearance with the frame and tire during articulation is going to dictate where they sit. I wanted mine as far in at the top and out at the bottom as I could to provide stability since I didnt want to run a sway bar. The rear was tough to do since my axles are only 65" WMS. Full bump the tire barely touches and full droop the shock body barely touches the inside of the tower. 14" is a lot of travel without going through the wheel well.


Tim, are you going to run towers up front? I tried to but just couldnt get them up high enough. I went with hoops but im glad I did because IMO you really need a brace in the engine bay. The frame can flex quite a bit with sideways pressure.

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post #6 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 12:09 PM
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You could also use something like Motobuilt's slick *** upper shock mount that mounts to the roll bars. I've been looking at this off and on thinking about getting my shock a little higher.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 12:12 PM
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That's what @87TPIYJ used ^^


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Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward,
whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both.
For a wounded man shall say to his assailant "If I live I will kill you, if I die you are forgiven". Such is the rule of honor - Omerta
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 12:59 PM
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That's what @87TPIYJ used ^^

Made my own that attach to my old shock hoops and tie into the cage






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post #9 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
...Tim, are you going to run towers up front? I tried to but just couldnt get them up high enough. I went with hoops but im glad I did because IMO you really need a brace in the engine bay. The frame can flex quite a bit with sideways pressure.

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Just doing the rear for now. I twisted the passenger side spring hanger bolt pretty good in the hanger this year in Moab, so.... you know "gotta fix it".

When I get to the front, I'll likely punch them through the inner fenders and use a cross brace, but that's a ways off yet. Probably after moving to a free state and doing an engine swap etc.

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Originally Posted by shaggyjim View Post
You could also use something like Motobuilt's slick *** upper shock mount that mounts to the roll bars. I've been looking at this off and on thinking about getting my shock a little higher.
Yeah, I've looked at those too. It's a slick set up for sure. I'm using the same Barnes towers you're using.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-26-2021, 06:22 PM
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I know I'm a little late to the party but forward/aft lean is fairly trivial IMO. Maybe an ultra 4 car or desert racers will have this factored in a bit more but rock crawlers...meh. There are a lot theoretical ways to get the most out of it but there are a few things in the real world that need more consideration. First is...will it fit and will it clear. If you can't get the full travel of your shock, you're going to notice the 2-3 inches of lost travel or a hacked up interior a lot more than you'll notice the damping effect that can be tuned to compensate with a few dollars in valving shims or a different viscosity of shock oil. One other thing I learned about angled shocks in the fore/aft direction.... If you break a link or link mount, the shock will push the whole axle out of position and into your fender and cut your tires. You'll then have to fight that when reconnecting everything. I had to remove the shock in order to accomplish this but ideally, this shouldn't happen.

Now you do want the shock to lean in at the top a little or you'll end up with significant body roll unless you're also planning to run a sway bar. If you're running a sway bar, who cares. When I first installed my front coilovers, I leaned them the wrong way because that's the only way it would fit. I don't run sway bars and run 4 link in the front and rear. The body roll was scary and was a bit out of control. I still don't run sway bars but I angled the front shocks more inboard at the top and it made a massive difference.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-27-2021, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Never too late.

I ordered a set of Kings from Poly Performance last night, today they called and said they MAY be able to get them to me by April!!! He's doing some research to get me an equivalent set of Fox in my price range. I would've thought King > Fox, but everything I'm reading online is actually the opposite, both are equal in performance but apparently several of the out of the box features of the Fox are better or a bit higher end so to say. Don't figure I can go wrong either way.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-27-2021, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by timatoe View Post
Just doing the rear for now. I twisted the passenger side spring hanger bolt pretty good in the hanger this year in Moab, so.... you know "gotta fix it".


.
Ya know, a new HD hanger would have been waaaaay cheaper! But we all saw you lusting over Jim's set up... so...

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post #13 of 20 Old 11-27-2021, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by shaggyjim View Post
I think 90* to the lower links like Randon said is the sweet spot but I don't think it matters much. If you look at JK's that have been converted to coil-overs at the rear axle they are setting inboard at 28-30* and do just fine. With Coil-overs you can match springs and valving to just about anything.
I know a lot of folks set up with a lean towards the rear and I think that might have started with the TJ guys not having the wheel well forward to allow for towers in front of the axle like I'm setting right now.
I didn't want to cut my tub so I had to compromise my placement in order to keep the up travel livable and the lift as low as I could. So in my case the deciding factor for keeping the shock in the front of the axle was simply that a 14" shock in front will have more wheel travel than one behind the axle. Im sure the difference isn't much if the axle side shock mount is at the center top of the axle but if its at the front or back as mine is and the photo above is then I would guess the difference could be 1-2 inches of wheel travel.
I know almost zero on these set ups... but in the pic, could you have not just canted the shock tower when cutting it into the frame in order to square it to the coil? Then trimmed a bit of the bottom if not flush? Just currious.

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post #14 of 20 Old 11-27-2021, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Ya know, a new HD hanger would have been waaaaay cheaper! But we all saw you lusting over Jim's set up... so...
Pshh! Gotta "fix" it. Next oil change may require an LSx swap

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I know almost zero on these set ups... but in the pic, could you have not just canted the shock tower when cutting it into the frame in order to square it to the coil? Then trimmed a bit of the bottom if not flush? Just currious.
It's offset forward from the droop, it's centered at ride height (at least that's what I remember).

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post #15 of 20 Old 11-27-2021, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timatoe View Post
Never too late.

I ordered a set of Kings from Poly Performance last night, today they called and said they MAY be able to get them to me by April!!! He's doing some research to get me an equivalent set of Fox in my price range. I would've thought King > Fox, but everything I'm reading online is actually the opposite, both are equal in performance but apparently several of the out of the box features of the Fox are better or a bit higher end so to say. Don't figure I can go wrong either way.
I read that as well after I bought mine. Regardless of which has the better feature for your circumstances, Fox is usually a little cheaper so make sure they don't substitute without compensation. I bought my last set of shocks from AJUSA. Their site sucks and nearly impossible to navigate so I use google to search for a part number and take me there (aka AJUSA Fox 980-02-011) but they definitely have the best prices I've ever seen. Here is what I bought from them and it's showing in stock. https://www.ajusa.com/shop-by-brand/...80-02-011.html

What shocks did you try to order?


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