For some people, fabricating shock or coilover hoops and installing them on their rig can be a daunting challenge. It becomes less intimidating, of course, if you have all the proper tools and math skills. But it's not as complicated as the average enthusiast might think. Some basic tools are required, and you need a tubing bender as well as a good welder for the job. Other than that, the rest is just knowing how to design the hoops and make the required measurements. As we continue our work on project Scrambled Adventurer, Scott Arentz of Extreme Gear Off Road in Orangevale, California, used his fabrication expertise and showed us step by step how to fabricate and install the shock hoops.
Other than the measurements, the basics are...well...basic and will not vary much among different-model Jeeps. Making sure the hoops are at the correct height to allow the shock to travel its full distance, the angle and distance of the hoops from the frame must be perfect to allow for clearance of the springs. One mustn't mount the shocks straight up and down on the axle. You want a little angle from side to side on them when mounted; it will allow the coilovers to damp the side-to-side travel when cornering or rockclimbing, and it smoothes the ride with normal up-and-down travel.
As you follow along with our fabrication and installation, you'll see it's not hard to build coilover hoops. If you are thinking about adding hoops to your Jeep, this tech may help get you moving in the right direction for longer-travel shocks and coilovers. Make sure the body fenders, grille, and frame are mounted perfectly in their proper positions. This will help you determine the proper measurements for installing the coilover hoops.