Front shocks outside of coil springs? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 24th, 2004, 01:02 AM
castlerock4x4
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Leo Hardy
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Front shocks outside of coil springs?

Hi, can someone tell me how and what they used to convert to a front shock setup that resides outside of the stock coil spring configuration and how can you retain the springs from dropping out with maximum flex beyond the coils? I'd love to have a setup similar to the rear with rockware cones or something similar up front but haven't been able to find a vendor that makes an aftermarket setup like that. Your ideas please?.

thanks
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  #2  
Old March 24th, 2004, 03:12 AM
LiveAtTheEdge
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Jack Leitch
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i've seen dual shock kits. Always wondered what that would do to on/off road performance, anyone know?
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  #3  
Old March 24th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Leo, you can get the retainers from many vendors like www.Expeditionexchange.com and the shock mounts, Never Summer Offroad and I think Safari Gard might make some but the NSO stufff is better. YOu could even call www.rovertracks.com they might be able to make you up something.
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  #4  
Old March 24th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Many of those are good suggestions, Rockware has made a few sets of mounts in the past also. Depending on what shock you are currently running you will gain some additional flex, but because of the front radius arm design(binds as it twists) you will need to go to a 3-link design to get similar travel as the rear. Likewise, if you run a 3-link you really need to relocate the front shocks externally to maximize the potential of that system. As for retainers, go to Lowes and buy a 4' length of 1/4" bar and make your own for less than $10.

Tis
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Old March 24th, 2004, 10:27 AM
castlerock4x4
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Leo Hardy
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Thanks for the responses. Tis can you tell me a little more on your home brewed 1/4" rebar retainers? How exactly did you build them, three pieces forming a cone or what? I've got 2.5 inch spacers on the front also, how did you retain the springs, on the bottom or the top? I am currently in the process of installing SG's 3-link, extended brake lines, and while i'm at it, I'd really like to outsource my shocks to the frame and let the front coils come out on top or bottom for max flexion... Photos of your upgrades would be much appreciated... i"ve got a couple sets of Rancho 9012 and 9014 for adaptation... How about using the rear OEM rear shock frame top brackets for the front?

thanks

Leo
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  #6  
Old March 24th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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RockWare built mine for $350 I think, installed. I know Rover Tracks built few sets in the past and I'm sure he can build you one.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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If you are planning on using front cons, you need to make sure that springs, shocks match front and rear to create balanced and stable truck. I know some people will disagree about using cons but there is a guy here in town with this setup that he swears his truck in super stable. I think he is using OME 764 springs all the way around, 12" travel shocks!

Now there is a problem if you have a SW as those truck are top heavy and cons will create a problem IMO. Install the 3-link and the 9012 up front and retain both front and rear and lose the cons.

I wouldn't recommend using the rear OEM shock mounts as you have to drill holes in the frame which is not a good idea.
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  #8  
Old March 24th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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MJ Lee makes a kit as well although theirs is designed so you can run 2 shocks on the mount (I think Nick posted a picture of it on a Misc chat thread), one outside and one still inside if you wanted. The top bolts into place where the stock shock tower resides and you need to weld the lower mount in place.

Edit: Here is the thread with the picture of the MJ Lee unit:
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...&threadid=1482
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Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TwisteD90
If you are planning on using front cons,
...... people will disagree about using cons but there
....... as those truck are top heavy and cons will create
........both front and rear and lose the cons.
What are "cons"?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #10  
Old March 24th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Quote:
Originally posted by chrisvonc
What are "cons"?
Cmon Chris, everyone knows "cons" is engineering lingo for cones!
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  #11  
Old March 24th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Quote:
Originally posted by castlerock4x4
Thanks for the responses. Tis can you tell me a little more on your home brewed 1/4" rebar retainers? How exactly did you build them, three pieces forming a cone or what? I've got 2.5 inch spacers on the front also, how did you retain the springs, on the bottom or the top? I am currently in the process of installing SG's 3-link, extended brake lines, and while i'm at it, I'd really like to outsource my shocks to the frame and let the front coils come out on top or bottom for max flexion... Photos of your upgrades would be much appreciated... i"ve got a couple sets of Rancho 9012 and 9014 for adaptation... How about using the rear OEM rear shock frame top brackets for the front?

thanks

Leo
Leo-

In Lowes go to the section containing angle iron, look for ~4' strips of flat bar that are 1/4" thick and about 1.25" wide. Take off the stock bottom retainer, use it as a template and cut 6 pieces to match it(I getto fabbed mine with an angle grinder using a cutoff wheel). Next drill holes using the template. The bottoms are a direct(stronger) replacement for what is there, the stock ones will not hold up once you retain the upper spring. For the top, place one retainer on top of the spring perch and use the other retainer to sandwich the top coil to the top perch. You will need longer hardware in addition(this only works with relocated from shocks). You will need 3 retainers per corner.

I agree with Yousef, having run both cones and fully retained setups. You get lots of "sexy" flex in the rear with cones but for stability and balance I would say retain your springs as I've described on all four corners. This way when one axle articulates the other axle is forced to articulate as well creating balance rather than having the rear do all the work.

I'd take some pictures for you but my 90 is in New Mexico right now, when it gets back I'll be happy to send you some or post them.

The stock rear mounts are probably too short to incorporate with a 9012 or 9014 on the front, plus if you look on the frame rail at the leading edge of the front spring there are identical holes on both sides already there...use those and have upper mounts made to them. Articulate your rig without front shocks, on the compressed side take the 9012(compressed) and hold it about where you want it to mount to give yourself an idea of the minimal height your upper mount needs to be.

Tis
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  #12  
Old March 24th, 2004, 09:44 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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Chris, it's not my fault that your spell checker didn't catch that

.... and Tiz, bite me
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  #13  
Old March 24th, 2004, 10:00 PM
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Some day when KC gets me my front shock mounts, I will take pics of them for the site and do an install writeup for you boys. I just get so lazy and impatient some times, I rush to do things and forget the pics.

Jeeze, I hope I spelled everything otay

Randy
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  #14  
Old May 12th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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David Marchand
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What are the recommendations for long travel shocks for the 3-link? I need to make a call on some. I was thinking Rancho. But hear that Fox, Bilstein and Pro Comp could all work.
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Old May 12th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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I will b running rancho 9005's with exo mounts and the 3-link. in the rear I have 9012's
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  #16  
Old May 12th, 2004, 03:43 PM
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David Marchand
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Thanks Randy. It looks like from a price point, the Rancho's offer the most. And is what I'm steering towards.

I'm going to stick with the Bilsteins I'm running in the rear until I see what the flex is and balance is with the addition of the 3-link. I have lowered mounts so I can already drop out my springs.
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  #17  
Old May 12th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Yousef Hamzeh
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I'd go 14" travel for the front.

As for shocks I would go with Fox. I always ran Rancho but when I installed my fox I was simply amazed with the ride performance. You wanna do it, do it right and get Fox.
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  #18  
Old May 12th, 2004, 03:56 PM
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I have seen the fox and Bilsteins apart and the Fox is a FAR superior shock in design and production.
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  #19  
Old May 12th, 2004, 04:17 PM
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Hmm, where are the best places to compare prices and tech info on the Fox vs. Rancho?
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  #20  
Old May 12th, 2004, 04:23 PM
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Dave I have fox's up front on my 90 you can check them out Saturday. They are the standard 2.0s but they are still way beefier then the Ranchos. I also have Ranchos on the rear.
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