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SOA on top of rusty offroad 6 inch springs.

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  • SOA on top of rusty offroad 6 inch springs.

    I have a 1983 W/T cherokee with 6 inch springs 35" BFGs. I just got a set of 40 inch swampers. I have always wanted to do a SOA. My question is would this set up be too much or would it work? I just run the jeep offroad and mostly in mud so handeling not the most important thing.
    1983 Cherokee Chief AMC 360, performer intake, RV cam, Holley avenger 680, Hooker headers, 727, 208, AMC 20 rear, D44 front, 35" BFG's, 6" spring lift, pro comp shocks.

  • #2
    it would be fine, i would think, but you'd prolly hafta notch your crossmember and get some new driveshafts made, and you'll need histeer or crossover, and probably a dropped pitman arm, too. personally, if you drive it on the street at all, i'd find a way to put a front trackbar on it to reduce the chances of death wobble. it'll look really cool, though
    i'd say with 40's you'd need some stronger axles than the stock ones, and they need to be geared pretty low. and by the time you get that big, you might see that you could go much bigger than 40's.
    buckle up, i wanna try somethin...


    • #3
      Driveshafts will be a nightmare. Unless you plan to move your axle forward that is. Steering can be done easy enough with highsteer and a 4" dpa
      Kaiser - 1981 J20 115" WB - 5.3l/4l60E/np241c/3-link hp60 spooled/Leafs 14-bolt detroit/5.13's/40's

      Build Thread

      Fight Crime...Shoot Back.



      • #4
        I have SOA and 4" springs with a high pinion D44. A front driveshaft and crossover steering will be your major concerns. Mine drove great with 40's.

        [quote] "How does someone from Iran have a BJ's Offroad sticker but I can't seem to get one sent to New Jersey???!!!"

        1980 Honcho Sportside w/37's, 351c, 14" lift, D44high pinion w/Aussie, crossover steering, 14b w/detroit, np435, 205, 5.13's, 4whl discs, hb brakes, OBAir, rusted out cab,
        1966 mustang fastback
        '07 Dodge Charger 3.5


        • #5
          I am running 4'' with SOA as well. I flipped my springs to move the axle forward,Dropped pitman and crossover. Even with the axle forward driveshafts are a big issue. I'm still 2WD right now because of that.
          God grant me the serenity to accept the impossible trails I cannot crawl,courage to crawl the twisted trails I can and the wisdom to keep tire side down.


          • #6
            I'm SOA with 1" lift shackle in front, springs reversed, 1.5" steel tube crossmember to lower t-case and front driveshaft is decent at best. A cut and turn on your front axle would probably be mandatory. I also have a 3" body lift(PO) and I run 42" iroks after significant trimming, so 40's should be no problem if you can get the front shaft to work.


            • #7
              p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } Hey there, I noticed this post earlier, but have held off until now. I can tell you have have completed the rustys off road 6" lift springs mounted SOA on my 89 grand wagoneer. When I was doing the project (took me about 3 months) I ran into a lot of problems. If you are still interested in doing it, I can tell you about them.

              Problem list:
              1 no soa spring perch on the stock waggy front axle.

              2 after market spring perches require custom grinding/shaping to fit stock front axle

              3 varying size unbolt patterns for the drivers side spring perch (due to diff location and style) also the spring hold down plates required custom cutting and welding.

              4. spring plates and sway bar mountings are in the way of the shocks

              5. shock mountings was too high and the wrong angle

              6 once the lift was installed, the car was very not level and sloped substantially to the rear with the included 3" lift blocks

              7 rustys 6 " lift rear ubolts were way too short to fit after the lift

              8 rustys 6" lift kit front brake lines were long enough, but the rear was a foot too short

              9 stock front drive shaft was almost a foot too short.

              10 rear drive shaft was 6 inches too short

              11 extreme drive line angles

              12 cross member was in the way of the front drive shaft

              13 transfer case yokes had to be changed

              14 transfer case seals needed replaced

              15 no manual locking hubs on the front

              16 stock steering will NOT work or be modified to work with this application

              17 ebrake does not work

              This was a BIG project, also there was nothing out there that is vehicle specific to base my work off of. but if I can do it, anyone can if they are patient.

              How I solved the problems to install the lift:
              1. I bought summit drag racing 2.5" spring perches for under 10 bucks to weld on the front diff.

              2. the spring perch on the driver side required a substantial amount of reshaping and grinding. i bought an extra perch in case I messed up and i ended up using the second one after I learned from my mistakes. the stock front diff has a lip in between the surface that the spring has to mount too. to overcome this i measured the distance of the lip and then measured the perch, marked it with a bright sharpie and grinded it down until it was level when sitting on the uneven surface. it took one whole day to get exactly level. make sure you grind a heavy bevel into the mount and clean the anodized finish off of the diff before welding, it must be bare metal and very CLEAN to get a strong full thickness weld. also make sure the two new spring platforms are the same height and also level with each other, if you do not you can get all kinds of issues and excess wear.

              3 the kit comes with different u bolts, make sure you use the right one for the diff side of the drivers side spring the first time or you will mess up the threads.

              4 I ended up being able to use the stock leaf spring plates to do the soa, to accomplish this, the unique design of the drivers side with the 2 different size ubolt patterns means it can only be mounted one way. the problem you run into is the sway bar mount is in the way of where the shock needed to be. to get around this and make enough room for the shock to flex and move and use my sway bar, i cut off the sway bar mounts off FLUSH from the back of the plate so that i could reuse them. I also cut a 45 degree notch in the back of the plate where the sway bar mount was to allow room to use the stock shock mounting points on the axle. (your able to do this because the axle has to be rotated up to achieve the correct pinion angle and it makes the mounts accessible) I ground the surface on the sway bar mounts where i cut them, cleaning them up to be welded onto the front outside part of the spring plate and welded them in place. this had to be done on both sides of the front.

              5 i unbolted the stock upper shock mounts, relocated them, drilled new holes and bolted them back on in a lower spot at the right angle. do this with the shocks mounted to the lower axle and the cut redone spring plates on to get it perfect so nothing binds up or gets destroyed.

              6 i got the lift on, but when it was complete, the 3" lift blocks were not near tall enough to level the car. this was because the grand waggy has soa stock and spring under on the front. the kit wasn't designed for soa so it makes sense that the rear was way short. i luckily had a pair of 3 degree angle 6 inch lift blocks i put in there, but to set the right pinion angle, it also needed 6 degree leaf spring shims. that raised the rear end to wear it is now 1 inch shorter than the front, but it still looks cool and i figure the front will settle a bit after some use.

              7. the stock spring plates in the rear work fine with the lift because they are made for 2.5? spring, the only thing was the ubolts that come with rustys kit are way too short. I had to have some custom ones made from a company online, just search custom leaf spring u-bolts. They were like 60 bucks, cheap in comparison to everything else I had to get to make this work. I used and they were great.

              8 the rear brake kit exstention did not work with my grand wagoneer, it was the wrong type, they said in their kit instructions that this might happen and they dont have a solution. So I went to my local tractor supply and I bought a foot long flanged brake line exstention tubing. I think mines copper. You have to be careful and secure it good, I hooked up a bracket that the exstention can travel up and down through with movement of the axle so it doesn't get pinched or damaged. It doesn't flex like a hose, but I attached the stock bracket that mounts to the rear axle up to it, and it looks to be functioning just fine. Another solution would be to have something custom made? that adds more cost though. I was going to do this, but my local tractor supply that makes hydraulic hoses refuses to do brake lines anymore.

              9-14 : the stock front drive shaft is double cardon, the rear is two joint. I was recommended to go with tom woods drive lines and did just that. ( I wont go into too much detail on how to do this because all of the instructions are on their site. I would just say that you should measure everything at least twice or more on a level surface and use a magnetic angle finder to get your angles, and call the shop and talk to them about everything you want to do. They can tell you if it will work or not. I ended up going spicer two joint in the front w with a superflex joint at the transfer case. This also required a new custom yoke that they provided and a seal. The rear now has a double cardon drive shaft that also required a new yoke on the rear of the t-case and a new seal. Make sure to refill the t-case fluid. When I went to bolt the front drive shaft in place, in my excitement I forgot to check the crossmember clearance. I bolted the t-case end up, and when I went to bolt it too the front diff, it hit the crossmember. I took it off and cut the cross member large enough for the new shaft to have adequate room, I next had to create a way to reinforce the cross member because it is weight bearing. I used 1/4? thick high strength steel bar to fabricate a little drop down bracket and go across the gap I cut in the cross member, I tach welded it into place, drilled bolt holes to mount it to the existing crossmember, then welded the rest of the overlap to the crossmember. Might be overkill, but I needed it to work.

              15. when talking to Tom Woods while ordering the drive line, he was concerned about the front drive line angle being over 20 degrees even with proper pinion angle at the diff. The problem lies that the front yoke on the diff had more than 6 degree positive angle, so its angled up instead of down creating a potential bind point. To eliminate excess wear, vibration on the highway and breakage. We agreed to use the sueprflex joint at the t-case end. This joint has a lot higher operating angles, but can create some vibration at high speeds, such as on the highway. To get around this I am using the Warn manual locking hubs so that the front drive line does not spin when the front wheel turn unless in 4x4. Just be sure to lock the hubs before you put it in 4x4 mode.

              16. the only way to get steering to work is to either change from the stock system to cross over steering or go to full high steering. I used Bj?s off road crossover steering kit for the narrow track axle and ried racing knuckle. It bolted right up no problem without any modifications. The only thing is that with a 6? soa the spring arch is so high on the front that even with crossover steering you may experience bump steer with a that crossover kit. I reccoment getting a very tall steering arm to bolt to the top of the flat top knuckle to eliminate it, the one it comes with looks nice, but its a tad too short. The best thing to do would be to go full high steer.

              17. I dont know their technical name, but in order to get the ebrake to work, I had to relocate the ebrake mounting rods that secure the ebrake and also engage the ebrake. I just drilled new holes through the crossmember and moved them back. I am going to take the whole system off and relocate everything back about a foot or so somehow to clean it up. It is pretty stretched as it is but it is still very functional. You have to drop the gas tank skid plates to do this.

              Well, that wraps it up. I took pics of everything I did, but I am too lazy and not savvy enough to post pics. If you have any questions please hit me up or if I can think of anything I missed ill post it in another reply.
              89 GW, amc 360, spring over axle, Rustys 6" lift springs, 6" heavy metal custom lift blocks, shims, Tom Woods custom front and rear drive line, summit racing blueprinted hei distributor, 35" muddin tires, 15.5" wheels, BJ's off road crossover steering, Cut and turned front narrow track dana 44 and a bunch of custom metal fab work.


              • #8
                forgot one thing, with this amount of lift, the front and rear stabilizer (track) bars no longer fit right.
                to save money and get around having to find a expensive solution i reused the stock ones.
                to accomplish this I started in the rear. I left the track bar mounted to the axle.
                I removed the track bar and the bracket from the frame side. it is only bolted in place.

                I used 1/4 inch steel plate to make an extension of the frame for the upper track bar mount to bolt to to drop it down I first welded on some 1 inch rolled steel tube to drop it down a bit, then I welded the 1/4" plate steel in place, drilled a new mounting hole and used the existing hardware to bolt the upper track bar mount in place to the plate steel. the old track bar mounted right up after that.

                the front was a bit easier. Instead of doing the frame side, I did the axle side. I cut the old bracket off, cleaned it up, and the axle housing up. bolted the bracket to the track bar put it in place and welded it on, job complete.
                89 GW, amc 360, spring over axle, Rustys 6" lift springs, 6" heavy metal custom lift blocks, shims, Tom Woods custom front and rear drive line, summit racing blueprinted hei distributor, 35" muddin tires, 15.5" wheels, BJ's off road crossover steering, Cut and turned front narrow track dana 44 and a bunch of custom metal fab work.


                • #9
                  caster fix

                  Lifting this high will drastically change your caster angle to a negative caster (top ball joint rotates too much to the front of the car) and cause a lot of steering issues. it makes the steering jumpy, not track, and is just dangerous to drive. in order to fix the negative caster there are a few things that can be done, but they depend on how much lift you have, pinion angle, and what degree of caster you are looking to accomplish. what I have had to do was cut the stock welds on the axle yokes (inner c's) with an angle grinder and cut off wheel, use a sledge to break the C's free, clean them up, turn them to the right caster angle (3- 6* towards the rear) and weld them back on. I accomplished this with a 220 welder using 7018 rod and doing 3 passes. i recommend changing the ball joints instead of re-using them too.

                  another way to fix, again depending on your angles is to use adjustable ball joint. from what i have read they tend to fail or loosen up and change your angle.

                  one more way is to install adjustable ball joint sleeve in place of the stock sleeve. ive never done this, but it has pretty decent reviews. If you are really planning on using large lift springs done spring over axle, this probably will not be enough angle to fix caster steering issues.
                  89 GW, amc 360, spring over axle, Rustys 6" lift springs, 6" heavy metal custom lift blocks, shims, Tom Woods custom front and rear drive line, summit racing blueprinted hei distributor, 35" muddin tires, 15.5" wheels, BJ's off road crossover steering, Cut and turned front narrow track dana 44 and a bunch of custom metal fab work.


                  • #10
                    Could also clock the transfer case down a little and/or use a high pinion front axle. If your planning to run 40's you should be seriously considering 8 lug axles and andana 60 up front if you use the truck for more than street stuff
                    1977 j20. Dana 60's, 4:10's Chrysler 360/np435/NWF blackbox/np203
                    Hummer military 24 bolt wheels and 37" mt/r's.