Suspension, Part 2: Shock Installation
In case you're reading about the Scratch-Built Scrambler for the first time, here's the lowdown. We wanted a rig that was reliable and extremely capable on the trail while comfortable on the highway for traveling long distances. In Part 1 of the suspension build (Nov. '09) a TJ or JK Tera Flex Pro LCG long-arm system was installed on our Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler. The installation was relatively easy (not a bolt-on) and we really like the geometry of the system. Through forced articulation testing (with the help of a forklift) in the shop, we found that the system will perform nicely off-road without binding.
Since traveling thousands of miles on long adventures can sometimes require stowing lots of gear, another goal of the build was to keep all the interior space for camp junk, tools, and spare parts. The front suspension already had coilovers with custom hoop mounts. Mounting long-travel shocks in the rear of the Jeep without cutting into the tub or fenderwells could have been tricky, but we used an outboard shock mount kit from GenRight Off Road. The kit mounts the shock on the outside of the framerail and allows the use of many different damper setups. Moving the shocks outboard also gives the vehicle more stability by widening the placement of the shocks on the axle and frame. Since many fabrication tools are needed and instillation takes a bit of knowhow, we looked to the suspension experts at Off Road Evolution to install our new shock kit.