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Opinions On Soa

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by Terry Rogers, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Nov 27, 2018
    Terry Rogers

    Terry Rogers New Member

    Deadwood, South...
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
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    6
    Ok, I am sure this is probably been beat to death but I am thinking of going back to spring under and possibly a 3 inch lift for 33's, just not sure what previous owner has or hasn't done as far as driveline ie: driveshafts axles and all, I know he jerry rigged some stuff. Right now it drives good but would like it a little lower for ease of entry and all. What is every ones opinion on topic?
     
  2. Nov 27, 2018
    heavychevy

    heavychevy Sponsor Sponsor

    Danielsville georgia
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    Sep 7, 2008
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    I like the springs under the axle. There are arched springs that you can purchase to get a higher lift if you want.
     
  3. Nov 27, 2018
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
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    1,678
    I really like my set-up with SUA on 2.5" lift springs with 33s. But of course, arched springs have their drawbacks - just like an SOA. I think the biggest advantage of SOA would be the increased articulation and off-road ride quality from running a flatter spring as the arch isn't needed for the lift. But the negative trade-offs and skill needed to 'get-it right' are maybe beyond my interests at the moment. With such a short wheelbase, I have never found an issue running 33s - it clears a lot of what modern jeeps do on 35-37s - although the short wheelbase sometimes has trouble keeping all 4 tires on the ground with traction. They extra flex of a SOA would help in that situation - or my plan is a locker. 33s with SUA 2.5" BDS kit (sometimes a little lift shackle as well - mine has 0.5" longer shackle) has been well tested and approved on this forum.
     
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  4. Nov 27, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    Aug 13, 2015
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    I'm a big fan of SOA if done right.
    But... I'll usually try to talk other people out of it. Its usually the "next step" when you've reached the limits of your SUA setup in the hard core off-road world and still want more, but you're on a budget. The quirks and instability is a lot to deal with for a majority street-use jeep.

    SUA is pretty foolproof and failsafe. Very few drawbacks with a minimal lift.

    If you have the chance, look into switching to wider Wrangler springs while you're at it. Major improvement over the skinny springs.
     
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  5. Nov 27, 2018
    Chilly

    Chilly Active Member

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    1,000
    I like SUA 2.5” lift with 1” longer shackles to give the longer springs some room to move. Longer arch needs longer shackles to achieve the extra articulation.
     
  6. Nov 27, 2018
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Oct 25, 2006
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    I am running 4" lift wrangler springs with 35's. They have a real high arch and are pretty stiff. Its a rougher jeep ride.
     
  7. Nov 27, 2018
    74CJ5 Renegade

    74CJ5 Renegade Member

    Houston, TX
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    Dec 1, 2002
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    250
    Why did Jeep go with a SUA as the origional design? Aren’t most trucks SOA?
     
  8. Nov 28, 2018
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
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    Oct 23, 2017
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    129
    What is your goal with the Jeep? Serious off road?...If not SPUA is fine...And still, a SPUA CJ can be very capable and is also easier to build as a safe, solid, well-balanced set-up.

    I guess there's really tons of ways to set up a custom suspension eh?... And its neat to experiment when your building stuff, and to see what other folks come up with. Although classic cars, these things are like functional art projects. It's a creative outlet...

    I built up a SPOA Jeep in the early 90's and it was a major improvement off road from my mild-lift SPU set-up. I ran custom rear 1ish" springs front and rear (they are longer than the stock early/intermediate fronts at 44" vs 38".) I just ran 33's and it flexed really well. Obstacles I had to go around before, I discovered I could drive straight over with the spring over. And with the 84:1 crawl gear and lockers I felt like I could take a more aggressive line with confidence.

    If I was to do SPOA again, and I've thought about it, I'd definitely invest in over-the-top steering knuckles. I never liked how my tie rod and drag link ran under the leaves.

    A well built and balanced SPUA CJ with low gearing, lockers and a quality suspension is very capable. And a custom SPUA with longer springs has proven to be an equally effective formula to SPOA. The Holbrook system is a good example of that. But I think if I was after a highly capable early CJ trail jeep, a well-engineered spring over suspension could boost it some. But I feel that to get that advantage you have to be willing to address many other variables to get it right: Steering, driveline length and angles, shock mounting, frame mods, fender trimming with 35"+ tires...etc, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  9. Nov 28, 2018
    Terry Rogers

    Terry Rogers New Member

    Deadwood, South...
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    Oct 8, 2018
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    Plans for the Jeep is just trail riding, not into the rock crawling or anything, just like to get off the beaten path. Living in the black hills of SD there is lots of trails to ride, looking at the suspension it looks like it is done right, has slip yoke eliminator, axles have good driveline angles, all steering is below springs, I would like to put sway bar on though. Only thing that is funny to me and some of you that have the SOA setup can chime in on this issue, they have a bump stop[ approx. 3/4 of the way from front of spring that is resting on the spring, to me that is weird. will post pic when I can
     
  10. Nov 28, 2018
    Terry Rogers

    Terry Rogers New Member

    Deadwood, South...
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    Oct 8, 2018
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    Herer is the bump stop I was referring to 72 Jeep.jpg
     
  11. Nov 28, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    The original springs did not rest on that bump stop. What year is this Jeep? This stop changes the trajectory of the front axle on hard landings and keeps the driveshaft from hitting the starter I believe. With the spring-over, the driveshaft is a lot further away from the starter, and the stop should be removed or reconfgured. If these are the original springs, they are fatigued and flat; they would not be resting on those stops.
     
  12. Nov 28, 2018
    Terry Rogers

    Terry Rogers New Member

    Deadwood, South...
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    Oct 8, 2018
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    no they did not, this is a '73 CJ5, both sides are sitting hard on these stops, I can see where there should be placed on frame, don't know why PO mounted these there. Yes springs might be worn, thinking of getting the YJ springs when my wallet says it can be done.....
     
  13. Nov 28, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    The stops are original, as I recall. It's not a matter of putting them there, as much as not changing them when the Jeep went SOA.
     
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  14. Nov 28, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    Those springs are toast. That must ride like a brick. As Tim stated, those stops are original. You can imagine if the axle was back in its original location, the axle tube would also be nearly resting on the main bumpstop.
     
  15. Nov 28, 2018
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
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    129
    Like others have said, riding on the stops is no bueno. You could remove both the stop and install a set of good condition springs and use it for a while....

    The YJ spring set-up is a great solution to save for. Nobody will poo-poo that idea. And personally, I'd then go back to Spring Under. It is a little bit of work but the Rocky Road kit would provide everything you need I think with minimal fabrication. There have been a report or two of folks having to be creative installing the front left spring hanger, working around the power steering box....every install is a little different. The Intermediate frame gives you a little more length to work with though, compared to an early frame.

    YJ spring advantages: Longer. Wider. Softer. Great articulation. Allows the suspension to do more of the flexing work. A large variety of springs to choose from.
     
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