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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:28 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
The time has come to create a build thread here for my CJ. Many fresh upgrades are about to happen. A little history, I acquired this rig in the Fall of 2010. It had an AMC 304, T150 3 spd, D20 tcase, stock axles, 4" spring lift. I immediately ripped all that out and installed a Chevy TBI 5.7 liter, SM420 4 spd, D300, SOA Chev pass drop D44 front axle, SOA Ford 9" rear axle, 4.88 gears and lockers. That worked really well for a few years and if it weren't for having to restructure my vehicle situation I'd have stayed with it (I lost my tow rig). After this build my long term plans include driving this Jeep all over the Western States seeking out new wheeling adventures while towing my 3K lb travel trailer behind it (using WD hitch with built in sway control).

Anyhow this build thread will highlight a few different operations. 1st being a frame/tub stretch to CJ-6 specs (so I can use a CJ-6 soft top). 2nd will take us into the install of a Gen III LS 6.0 liter and 4L80E coupled to a NP241C (for now). Last will be the install, setup and tune of a Holley Terminator LS MPFI system.

1st up, cutting of the tub/frame. So far I've removed a couple of stiffeners and marked out my cut lines. This week sometime the actual cutting begins.

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Last edited by Tipped on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:37 am 
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Never go full Rich-ard
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Vehicle: V8 TJ
Thanks for posting, but moving to TECH.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:13 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Thank's John for getting this thread where it belongs.

Fresh update from this morning. It isn't much, but it did involve some cuttin' with the good ol' sawzall. Made good progress gaining access to slice the tub in half. I gotta go pick up a few pieces of angle iron tomorrow to brace the tub before I slice. Removed the existing roll bar setup. Those remnants will be dissected later and re-purposed in the new custom roll cage I'll build later in this thread. 4L80E is playing peek-a-boo from underneath.

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Last edited by Tipped on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:49 am 
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whew, finally

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Location: covington.... again
Vehicle: '09 2dr JK
Tipped wrote:
Last will be the install, setup and tune of a Holley Terminator LS MPFI system.

When you get to this step, let me know if you need help. :thumbsup: Sounds like a fun project.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:45 am 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 10:46 am
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Finally had a chance to work on the Jeep long enough to get something accomplished worth posting up. Cut the back half tub off and removed it. Was very easy. Next up is removal of the front half of the tub and then the cutting/lengthening of the frame.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:41 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Update time, body is now off frame. Now the real fun begins. Feels like I'm finally getting somewhere. I've already eyed my cut point on the frame, can't wait to slice it. I've decided to outboard all 4 leafs for stability towing. Or I might wait. I can do that later, if I need to. Eventually I'll link/coil the rear axle but staying springs for now. Pics.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:27 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Front driveshaft clearance concerns.

I'm currently pass drop SOA config. Gonna run a 4L80E/NP241C with JB conversions SYE. I will use AA motor mounts for the LS and shift the powertrain to the driver side as far as possible. Am I gonna have ds clearance issues? My gut tells me yes and I should start looking for a driver drop front axle right now. There's a guy on Pirate selling a bunch of mid to late 90's driver drop Ford Dana 60's. Maybe I should call him and get one here instead of dickin' around with this.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:46 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Anyhow, on with the build. There's no time like the present, so I cut the frame in half. Took a couple measurements between body mounts, so I have an idea of how far to space them apart upon reassembly. Had to temporarily cut off a parking brake cable support bracket.

As it sits in the pics with the frame spread apart 20" it has a wb of 116". I don't have a bus driver license, so that rear axle is moving fwd.

The frame extension I added to the rear is getting cut off, so the back of the frame will appear more like factory. I'll be moving the rear axle fwd to achieve 108" wheel base. I feel that's the longest wb I can afford with 37" MTR's and that's the biggest tire I ever want to use on this Jeep with these axles.

Next I'm off to Interwest Metals, Fife. Gotta build custom sleeves to fit inside the frame rails and then box the outside of the frame.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:43 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Some visual progress. Not really. Body is coming back off after I check fitment of soft top. Things are just tacked together and I haven't even made the pieces to box the frame. My plasma cutter made in 1988 finally died and then my welder decided to be a pussy and started cutting out on me. I think I need a new liner and ground cord. Anyhow, this is where I got this weekend.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:10 pm 
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whew, finally

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:34 am
Posts: 531
Location: fife
Vehicle: 88 yj HP 60 front, 60 rear, Detroits, AW4 auto, flipped 300, 37s, mild stretch, linked up
Looks like a cool project.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:48 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Forward progress. Been working hard on this for the last week. Don't really know what I'm doing, but don't care. It'll either work, or not. One way to find out.

After I finish final welding of the outer frame sleeves it's time to weld some 3/16th plate steel on the outside of the rear frame section to beef it up. Took a trip down to Interwest Metals in Fife today and got the steel I need to do that, plus make a trans xmber/with skid , and fix the sheetmetal gap in the tub. Might actually be wheeling this next spring/summer. I'll try hard to get it done.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:02 pm 
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Soy una gran cosa
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cool! Good to see some progress on this. :smokin:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:49 am 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 10:46 am
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Thanks JB! I got a new plasma cutter, so that has really helped. I borrowed a good welder from a friend. He want's it back soon, so I'm motivated to hit it hard.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:21 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
One side done, the other half finished. Next up: Rear springs are getting outboarded. Front too, later. But 1st gas tank install so I can locate the rear axle. Waiting for 4.5" outriggers from RuffStuff. They went backorder 2 weeks. I'll wait because they are very nice.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:20 am 
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whew, finally

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:34 am
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Location: fife
Vehicle: 88 yj HP 60 front, 60 rear, Detroits, AW4 auto, flipped 300, 37s, mild stretch, linked up
Are you using the outriggers to gain more stability or to match up the width for a different axle setup?
I would think about putting some coils on it since it will be seeing some more road time. I have some link material (some used arms) you can have if you wanted to go that route.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:49 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Hi Paul,

I know, I want to link the rear with coils. I want to link the whole thing with some pimp coil-overs, but overall cost has been and always will be a factor. I priced out the link material and Johnny Joints. The price was ridonkulous, so I'm staying leaf sprung for now. I blew my wad on the LQ9/4L80E and Holley computer system. I'm out-boarding the rear mainly to make room for a nice receiver hitch and dual exhaust tips. The added stability will be welcome. For the kind of wheeling/driving I do, it's gonna work great. Pics below. I finished the outer frame sleeves and installed the gas tank/skid complete with in tank pump cabable of feeding an LS moter. 108" WB will be no problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:30 pm 
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whew, finally

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:34 am
Posts: 531
Location: fife
Vehicle: 88 yj HP 60 front, 60 rear, Detroits, AW4 auto, flipped 300, 37s, mild stretch, linked up
Shaun,
You hooked me up with a good deal so if you really want to link the rear I will hook you up with some stuff I'm not going to use. All of this stuff in the picture is available for you if you want it. $50 and it's yours. It will at least get you half of what you need.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:58 pm 
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whew, finally
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Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Yes I want. I'll try to incorporate right now, but if not, I'll use in the next couple years. PM sent. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:18 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Update time. Lots of trimming to do but I love how the rear axle is starting to look.

Ok guys question time. 2 questions actually. I know there are some really talented suspension guys here and I hope they will chime in on this thread, help a brother out. You help me and I'll find a way to help you.

1st lets talk about double triangulated 4 link rear suspension. In the 50 or so Pirate threads I've read they focus on how great they can be offroad, which is kinda an already known fact. So how do they do on the street? If geometry is correct can dbl tri bomb down the freeway hauling ass? I mean I wanna fly 70 +. Thoughts?

2nd, Now this could be considered a stupid question, but I just have to ask it. Please bear with my ignorance. Lets talk coil-overs for a second. In this moment I'm set on TJ coils, but if I could be convinced to use coil-overs for my application I would.

Now if you choose to answer please understand I plan to tow a 3500 lb travel trailer behind this Jeep on the freeway doing 65 mph + at times. I know the right TJ coils and shocks will do this, but can I make a set of coil-overs do it as well, or better? I'd much rather use coil-overs to make this conversion that much easier (in some ways).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Tipped wrote:
1st lets talk about double triangulated 4 link rear suspension. In the 50 or so Pirate threads I've read they focus on how great they can be offroad, which is kinda an already known fact. So how do they do on the street? If geometry is correct can dbl tri bomb down the freeway hauling ass? I mean I wanna fly 70 +. Thoughts?

2nd, Now this could be considered a stupid question, but I just have to ask it. Please bear with my ignorance. Lets talk coil-overs for a second. In this moment I'm set on TJ coils, but if I could be convinced to use coil-overs for my application I would.

Now if you choose to answer please understand I plan to tow a 3500 lb travel trailer behind this Jeep on the freeway doing 65 mph + at times. I know the right TJ coils and shocks will do this, but can I make a set of coil-overs do it as well, or better? I'd much rather use coil-overs to make this conversion that much easier (in some ways).


Yes a properly designed double triangulated rear with sufficient triangulation is absolutely fine on the road. There's geometrically no better way to center an axle then a track bar (since the bar is in the axis being constrained), but a double triangulated suspension does a perfectly great job of it.

Sure, you can make coilovers do just about anything you want. Either solution is ultimately just a spring and damper combination. Coilovers are endlessly customizable to get what you want. If you matched the spring rate and damping, it'd handle just like your TJ coil springs (or more likely even better since you can outboard coilovers more, get the upper mounts higher for better stability, etc).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:02 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
You are about to cost me a lot more money. I’ll do some research but which coil over would u recommend? Bigger is better or what. I’m dumb as a post on this subject. Tongue weight on my travel trailer is 250 to 275. I have a weight distribution hitch to spread it evenly

EDIT: In the 5 minutes of reading I've just done on coil-overs I can see I've opened up a can of worms. Help me put them back in the can. So spring rates are all dependent on sprung weight of each corner. So in my case if I tune for towing it'll likely be way too stiff for off-road use, unless I load up about 350 lbs of rocks from the campfire fire ring before I hit the trail. Any ideas for me, or should I just go ahead and put the leaf springs back on? :bang:

Do they make long travel air bags? haha I could tune a set of coil overs like normal and install airbags where the tj coils were gonna go. Use the air bags to support the load for towing, dump the air for normal driving. The coil overs could be tuned per normal procedures. This is getting stupid.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:51 am 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Learning on the fly here. Apparently the airbag and coil-over idea has already been thought of and there are products out there already. Know anybody that uses these? I think that would load-level me in the rear when I'm towing. Looks like it just installs on a typical 2.5" coil-over. Cool. God help me if I pop one while I'm driving though.

EDIT: never mind. The longer I stare at that pic the more I realize it's not gonna do what I need. The bottom spring will just be smashed down unless I increase spring rate, which totally defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to do. :bang: It's only 250 lbs of tongue weight. Maybe the weight distribution hitch will be all that's required to handle the extra weight. I'll try it that way and go from there.

2nd EDIT: I went to BillaVista's coil-over page on Pirate. I have absolutely no clue about coilovers, nor do I have the time to learn. I'm sticking with TJ coils and some good shocks though a bit more of a pain to install.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:44 am 
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I think it will depend on how much you tow,, and if you want to adjust anything. How much travel are you aiming for?

Coilovers are dual rate with a crossover nut. For example, if you have a 150 over 150, your initial spring rate will be 75 until the crossover nut engages, locking out the upper and only running on the lower 150. Whereas on a single coil spring your entire rate would be 150. Nut is easily adjustable so you can dial in where in crosses over in the range of travel.

When you towed, you could turn the crossover nut so the upper spring is blocked out, towing with 150.

No matter which you go with, get some shocks that are revalvable.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:20 am 
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whew, finally
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If it's only 250lbs tongue weight, I think you're over thinking this. You don't really have to do anything about ride height especially if you have a weight distribution hitch. If it were distributed across all 4 corners, that's only 62.5 pounds per corner. We're talking about the equivalent difference of adding even a single passenger and a small bit of equipment to the Jeep. The ride height will change by less than an inch even if you have real low coilover spring rates.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:26 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
I think you are right. Overthinking the aspect of how much the 250 lb tongue weight will affect things. With the weight distro hitch it won't cause the ass to drop. It levers alot of that weight to the steer axle. Just doing a sanity check before dropping another $1400 on 2 coil overs with springs, plus going through all the effort to tune em'. Unfortunately, for now the front axle will remain leaf sprung. Can't do it all at once, but that's ok (I think, I hope). Yey! Coil-overs!

Paul, sorry I wasn't able to call you this morning. I think you have your hands full right now anyhow. I'll speak with you upon your return. Which brand do you prefer to tune? I will be seeking out your tuning business when the time comes, so I want to make sure to provide your favorite brand to work with.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:29 pm 
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No worries. Available most all day today, this is an off shift. Hanging in camp.


Whether you get coilovers or coils and shocks, the tune will be almost the same. Fox and Radflo are my favorites, Kings are good too, but the others are better value.


But given your wants (DD, some trails, towing) why not keep leaves? Or are you planning on linking the front too?

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Edit: and 2.0s c/os with springs would be around $1000. Springs and shocks would be around $700.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:59 pm 
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whew, finally
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Hi Paul, I do plan to look link the front as well when funds allow. Leafs would be easy to stay with but I want better performance than they can deliver. Tired of fighting axle wrap and would love to take advantage of some of that anti squat I hear so much about. I’ll set it up for adjustability from 60% to 80% anti squat based on what the internet said. Sound good? Since I won't know my exact cog it could end up higher than I think it will be. Probably should put in the extra work and weigh everything and do all the math, but I mostly likely won't.

Ok I’ll shop for fox w/remote res. I was looking at 2.5”. Too much? Go 2.0”? 2.5” seems more common but idk. Filthy Motorsports has a free spring exchange program. Seems like a good idea

EDIT: After a little searching/reading I guess 2.0" coil-overs are much more prevalent. Appears there's alot more spring rates available for them as well. If you think they'll hold up, I'll shop for that size. I'm planning on 14" travel in the rear. I could probably do 16", but I haven't completed link mock up yet, so I'm gonna hold off before I make a decision on that.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Tipped wrote:
Hi Paul, I do plan to look link the front as well when funds allow. Leafs would be easy to stay with but I want better performance than they can deliver. Tired of fighting axle wrap and would love to take advantage of some of that anti squat I hear so much about. I’ll set it up for adjustability from 60% to 80% anti squat based on what the internet said. Sound good? Since I won't know my exact cog it could end up higher than I think it will be. Probably should put in the extra work and weigh everything and do all the math, but I mostly likely won't.

Ok I’ll shop for fox w/remote res. I was looking at 2.5”. Too much? Go 2.0”? 2.5” seems more common but idk. Filthy Motorsports has a free spring exchange program. Seems like a good idea

EDIT: After a little searching/reading I guess 2.0" coil-overs are much more prevalent. Appears there's alot more spring rates available for them as well. If you think they'll hold up, I'll shop for that size. I'm planning on 14" travel in the rear. I could probably do 16", but I haven't completed link mock up yet, so I'm gonna hold off before I make a decision on that.
2.0s are plenty unless you want to drive hard. Tuning is included when we sell shocks. And we can help get your spring rates so you shouldn't have to exchange springs.



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Oh that’s right! I forgot you also sell the coil overs too. I’ll definitely buy them from you once I figure out my total travel. That will be a couple weeks from now. Cool I’ll contact you when I have that info thanks!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Location: Puyallup
Vehicle: 1978 CJ5 Getting stretched, rear linked and LS powered
Playing with my new MIG welder learning it's settings. Frame plates going on slowly. I weld a few 5" sections a day, let it cool. I'll be done tomorrow.

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Playing with torch manipulation..

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