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shellback91

Shocks

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I have been researching replacement shocks for my rig. She's 10 years old, has 86,000 miles on her and has the originals so I think it's just about time. After hunting around and investigating various brands I have my eyes on the Fox 2.0's.  I have some questions that I'd like to run by some folks who are knowledgeable and know some of the mechanical  "gotchas" to watch out for. They are a little spendy so I am gathering as much information from everywhere before I purchase anything.

 

I will apologize for any stupid questions now. 😆

 

My Set Up:

I bought it used so I do know what brand of lift the PO set up. Based on what I can tell I have a 2" Body lift, there are pucks above the springs that point me that way. Secondly, on the front I can see I have the shock extenders on the stock Rubi shocks. I am running 33" tires.

 

My Questions/Concerns:

  1. I believe I would buy the shocks that are made for a Jeep with a 2" in lift and not reuse the shock extenders. Does that sound right? Or do I buy them for factory height and throw on the extenders?
  2. I have seen videos and diagrams showing stock Rubicon shocks and the Fox's for a 2" lift side by side. At full extension the front Fox shocks are about 1" longer and a little over a 1/2" longer on the rears. Because of this should I be concerned about over extending drive shafts,  brake lines or anything else on either axle? Or is this not a concern because I have stock shocks technically "extended" and they already travel further?  If I buy "Factory Height" shocks this may alleviate concerns, maybe?
  3. Steering stabilizer question. Should that be replaced at the same time or just leave it alone for now?

 

Edited by shellback91

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23 hours ago, shellback91 said:

I have been researching replacement shocks for my rig. She's 10 years old, has 86,000 miles on her and has the originals so I think it's just about time. After hunting around and investigating various brands I have my eyes on the Fox 2.0's.  I have some questions that I'd like to run by some folks who are knowledgeable and know some of the mechanical  "gotchas" to watch out for. They are a little spendy so I am gathering as much information from everywhere before I purchase anything.

 

I will apologize for any stupid questions now. 😆

 

My Set Up:

I bought it used so I do know what brand of lift the PO set up. Based on what I can tell I have a 2" Body lift, there are pucks above the springs that point me that way. Secondly, on the front I can see I have the shock extenders on the stock Rubi shocks. I am running 33" tires.

 

My Questions/Concerns:

  1. I believe I would buy the shocks that are made for a Jeep with a 2" in lift and not reuse the shock extenders. Does that sound right? Or do I buy them for factory height and throw on the extenders?
  2. I have seen videos and diagrams showing stock Rubicon shocks and the Fox's for a 2" lift side by side. At full extension the front Fox shocks are about 1" longer and a little over a 1/2" longer on the rears. Because of this should I be concerned about over extending drive shafts,  brake lines or anything else on either axle? Or is this not a concern because I have stock shocks technically "extended" and they already travel further?  If I buy "Factory Height" shocks this may alleviate concerns, maybe?
  3. Steering stabilizer question. Should that be replaced at the same time or just leave it alone for now?

 

Marty,

 

A "body lift", is when the body is spaced /raised in respect to the frame.    What you have described is a SUSPENSION SPACER lift, similar to a body lift, but with spacers inserted in-between the suspension and frame, rather than in-between the body-to-frame.

 

Without photos of the "lift parts" you have, it is difficult to deduce what was used to affect your "lift", thus for all intents impossible to assist with helping you decide how to proceed with any new suspension "matching" components..

As for the steering stabilizer, my recommendation is to leave it until it no longer functions properly.   FWIW: It's MAJOR responsibility is to control steering shimmy, that causes axle tramp.   In layman's terms these days, it controls the dreaded "death wobble"...

It will be more effective to ask for assistance from one of the experienced members (Kristopher, John Pa, etc.) who live close enough to look it over and help you determine what you actually have.


 

Edited by ob1jeeper
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Thanks     @ob1jeeper  I appreciate the advice.

@theksmith took a peek at our training class and saw the pucks which pointed me in the body lift direction. I'll post some pictures of the front  and rear springs and shocks.            

 

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@theksmith, @johnpa or @4x4tographer ,When you have some time can you guys take a look and tell me what you think about the type of lift I have?  Could you provide some advice about my concerns from my OP?  No rush guys, I am in no hurry.

 

 

Front Spring.

 

 

Shock:

 

 

Rear:

 

 

Edited by shellback91

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What up @shellback91!

 

OB1 is right, that’s definitely a puck lift, not a body lift.

 

I also totally agree about the steering stabilizer. The only reason I changed mine was due to a recall on the factory stabilizer. I ended up grabbing Metalcloak’s flip kit to get it above the tie rod and it came with their stabilizer. It’s “ok”, nothing fancy.

 

 

Take the following with a grain of salt. I’m absolutely NOT the most knowledgeable person in the room and I’m still learning a lot myself. 

I’d absolutely listen to OB1, KSmith and JohnPa.

 

Two options to consider:

 

1) Measure the puck, how thick is it?

That’s your lift height. Buy the shock appropriate for that lift. 

 

My lift height is 2.5” (so they say, its probably closer to 3”). 

My Fox 2.0’s are for a 2-3” lift. When flexing it out, there are still a few inches of “safety length” on the shock rod so I don’t need to worry about bottoming out and crushing the shock.

 

 

2) Flex it out.

Next trail ride, find a spot to really flex out the rig. Disconnect to make sure you get max articulation.

 

Measure the fully compressed shock length from the factory shock mount to where you end up. 

Measure the same shock at full droop from factory mount to max extension.

 

This will give you your absolute min length and your current max lengths. You’ll want to add an appropriate “safety buffer” of about 0.5-1” on the fully-compressed side of things. The max side (in my opinion) would ideally be longer on the new shock to give you better articulation.

 

Note that if the full droop length is longer than what you have today, you’ll actually get more compression on the opposite tire. It act sort of like a “lever” or “teeter totter”. At least that’s how BradyWagon explained it to me.

 

 

Post Install:

Once you install your new shocks, you should probably flex it out anyways. Take a friend to keep an eye on things as you flex to make sure you don’t crush your shock (if its too long when compressed). You can then adjust things by adding in a bump stop extension if you need to. 

 

 

If you need help flexing it, there’s a great spot up here near Lake Pleasant that KSmith showed me. Happy to go out there with you man.

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Waaazzzzzz up @4x4tographer!  Thanks for the information, I do appreciate it.  I may be over thinking this honestly so I thought to bounce this off a few people. Typing and talking it through is helping me answer some questions. 

 

I measured using this diagram as a reference. I had done this a while ago but wanted to verify because I am old and forgetful. I am at 20 1/2" when measuring the shock as shown. I also measured the puck for grins and it is 2".   So I think either shocks for a 2" lift or factory height should work if I reuse the extenders.

 

 

 

1475235133_JKStockShockDimensions.jpg.9bc693e4d0e518d95f5747c5c0fe6e33.jpg

 

 

Edited by shellback91

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What's throwing me off too is that the rear shocks have no extensions or anything else to indicate lift. I'm pretty certain there's a puck above the spring. If so why is no extension needed back there? It's confounding me. :confused:

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1 hour ago, shellback91 said:

What's throwing me off too is that the rear shocks have no extensions or anything else to indicate lift. I'm pretty certain there's a puck above the spring. If so why is no extension needed back there? It's confounding me. :confused:

What it appears from your pics, is exactly what Ryan suggested you have.   IE: a 2" spring spacer/puck "lift', essentially making the ride height 2" taller.

It also appears that whoever did this puck/spacer lift, used the OEM shocks on the front, by adding the shock extenders that are clearly visible.

I agree, it's difficult to tell from your pics, whether the rear shocks were changed to something more compatable with the puck lift, or whether they simpy retained the OEM rear shocks.

In order to ensure that you DO NOT "bottom" the shocks (in this case the rears, but also true for ALL 4 corners), you will want to make sure that the shocks are not too long for the amount of possible compression of the suspension.   Shocks which are too long, will bottom, and self-destruct.

 

The simple path to measuing the minimum length needed for EITHER front or rear, is to remove the spring, then allow the axle to  move to FULL compression against the bump-stop.   Then with full compression, measure the distance between the shock mounting holes, and purchase a shock which has a compressed length slightly shorter that that dimension.  Ryan's proposed "safet-clearance" measurement of approx 1/2-1 inch is a reasonable recommendation, to prevent damaging your new shocks.   ;)

Hope this helps... ;)

Edited by ob1jeeper
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19 hours ago, shellback91 said:

What's throwing me off too is that the rear shocks have no extensions or anything else to indicate lift. I'm pretty certain there's a puck above the spring. If so why is no extension needed back there? It's confounding me. :confused:

 

i don't see pictures of the top and bottom of your rear shocks?

 

if the extensions are on top, they might look like the diamond shaped blocks in the middle of this photo:

 

jk_2in_kit_656_-_basic_preview_1.jpg

...or like this:

J121904?wid=810&hei=608&op_usm=0.8,1,10,

...or maybe even a little metal bracket bolted to the bottom (off the axle brackets).

 

if they aren't there, then who knows why the previous owner left them out! you do appear to have spring spacer pucks in the rear. note that it's common for those to be slightly shorter than the front ones in order to level the rig (eliminate the factory "rake").

 

 

regardless though, i think you're pretty safe buying shocks meant for a 2" lift, removing the existing shock extensions, and then adjusting bump-stop spacers if needed. that isn't radically different than your existing stock shocks with ~2" spacers - though you may gain a little droop (and the ride shoud improve just because of the age of the existing ones).

 

various brand shocks may be a 1/2" longer or shorter than others for the same advertised lift height. as others mentioned, you can use a combination of measuring and real-world articulation test to ensure you have the correct bump-stopping to not over-compress ("bottom-out") the new shocks.

 

also verify you aren't over-extending the brake lines after the new shock install, since you may gain a bit of droop. again, a slow articulation test while having someone watch is the best check. you may be able to tell from just putting the rig on jack stands and fully drooping the axle (with the new shocks in place).

 

if the brake lines are too short, then the common fix for a small lift are inexpensive "brake line relocation brackets" that reposition where the soft-line attaches to the hard-line. you may already even have those, or have longer lines - or might not even need any of this; just double check.

 

your driveshafts should be fine on a 2" lift, even if you do gain a little droop with new shocks.

 

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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Thanks a ton @ob1jeeper, @theksmith and @4x4tographer I do appreciate the input and pointers.  I just needed to "talk" this through with folks that are more knowledgeable and experienced in this area.  I think I am going to go with the Fox 2.0's for a 2" lift sometime in the near future now that I am better prepared. My logic being that technically I am already accommodating for the 2" lift, testing will be part of the post install.

 

I will also take up @4x4tographer's offer to help flex after I swap the shocks when the time comes.

Edited by shellback91
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