I almost dropped the ball on these. I had finished the whole axle swap and hadn't even thought about shock mounts for the front. I had considered the weld on ones sold by All Pro Offroad, but I was in a hurry and did not feel like spending any more money than I already had.
My friend (& welder for this whole project) took a trip with me to the local steel shop for some other odds & ends to finish up my swap. We got to looking around their scrap section for something to use for hoops and saw a 15 ft length of 1" solid rod. We knew we didn't have a bender for bending tubing, so we got the rod instead. The best part is they only charged me $10 for the whole stick. Not bad for custom shock hoops :)
We got back and grabbed the torch & got to work. I had a general idea what I wanted, but we were really just shooting from the hip when we made these. With both of us, is was pretty easy to get the rod heated & bent like we wanted. We ended up with some nice hoops coming off of the side of the frame and a leg from the center back down to the top of the frame.
We originally used some brackets for the top of the shock mounts, but I quickly found that they were limiting travel on compression. A few weeks after the swap I went back in & welded some new mounts in a little higher up on the hoop and I am pretty pleased with the results. Right now I am using Rancho 9012 (13" travel) shocks on the front and I am using all of the travel they offer.
I did have to cut pretty far up into the fenders for these hoops, but it has not been a problem.
Some people may not agree, but I am not using bumpstops on the front at all. On full compression the shock will just bottom out, and the boggers will rub on the inner fender liner. I have run it this way on a total of 7 full days of trail rides since the swap (3 days of that on very "twisty" terrain) and have not found any real problems with this setup.
I do think that later this year I may cut these hoops out and switch over to a triple shock mount in the front for more travel. With my front suspension the way it is, I could easily use 15-16" of vertical shock travel. On the other hand, I may just leave it alone until I break it ;)
Here are a few pics of the original hoops before I relocated the top mount up about 2.5"
In a few days I should have some pics of the mounts as they are now.
|This page last modified 07/10/03||
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