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SUA OR SOA

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by sambudo, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. sambudo

    sambudo

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    What can you you tell me about the pros & cons? I was considering the SOA, but lately have been considering the 4" leaf springs. What kind of expirence's have you had with both? Please let me know! Thanks, Scott
     
  2. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    I've got 4" lift springs. I like them, much easier and about a 1/3 the cost of a properly done SOA. Granted its not as much lift, and not as much flex, but it was perfect for me, since I can't weld, don't have that much money, and don't have much of a shop yet. Took me and a greenhorn buddy about 12 hours to do the install. (my buddy didn't even know what a lockwasher was.) If I had to do it over, It would probably take me 10 or less.
     
  3. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    What types of trails to you do?

    I regret not doing the SOA up front...I did 4" springs and they worked well, but for the rock gardens I wanted to play in, they didn't cut it for clearance and flex.

    You can do a "real" cheap SOA for $500 or less, but IMO doing it correctly is a $1500-2000 investment by the time you add an axle turn, proper driveshafts, shocks, spring changes, steering, etc.
     
  4. sambudo

    sambudo

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    I live in the Pacific NW and we play on rocks and yes rock gardens we have many man made ones and our natural ones also! I thought the cost factor would be the best reason for not doing SOA. But for the flex, I think I will need to do it! I just don't want to pay the $2k to have it down, I would like to do it myself, then find some one to cutand turn and weld on the axle wrap bars.

    I wanted to do the p/s at the same time.
     
  5. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    I studied up on doing SOA forever before I finally decided to do it. I am a welder/fabricator and did all my own work. I used stock springs for their softness. I love the articulation. In the rocks it is incredible. I did get a pretty serious wrap problem in the lose stuff but with some advice acquired here at ih8mud I am curing that problem. A traction bar like Woody shows in the tech section will be the fix. I recommend SOA. As for the cost, it depends on how much you can do yourself. I did mine for about $100.
     
  6. 73fj

    73fj Tho at sumbitch in ayer!

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    i did a soa on mine and have no regrets.i am also a welder fabricator and i left my front axle stock angles,and everything worked the way i wanted it to.i used some tacoma driveshafts on the transfer case end and mated them to my lc shafts on the diff side of things.the tacoma shafts will handle way more angle and are almost as big as lc.i would never do a sua,the soa provided more than enough room for 38's,and the springs flex awsome!i mostly run in mud.
     
  7. sambudo

    sambudo

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    hammerhead, and 73fj40 could you guys tell me what you did? kiss this is my thinking, as I am not a welder nor a great mechanic. But I am learning a lot from everyone on this forum. 73fj40 said you didn't cut and rotate front axle, but you did hammerhead. I want to do the soa and p/s at the same time. i agree that soa is the only way to go if you want the flex, and i do want the flex! so if you guys could lay out your process on the swith over this would greatly be appeciated. Thank you,
     
  8. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    I've done a cut and turn but mine isn't. I stayed with stock springs in the stock location. I decided against shackle reversal for many reasons but the best explanation I've seen was from Jim Chenoweth(I think). You'll find it in the tech links. Anyway, once I made that decision, the next was rather or not to cut and turn. I opted to be lazy and try one without. I have a lathe so driveshaft length is not an issue. The stock U-joints are not capable of achieving the angles required at full droop so I tried something I learned from other forms of offroad racing. I "clearanced" my yokes. I half did it as a test and half in spite (a local 4x4 "hotshot" said it wouldn't work). I was also in a major hurry because we were going to Moab five days after I got my '74fj but thats another story. I slammed it together and ran off to Moab fully expecting to break something. That was over two years ago. Not only did it survive that trip, it has done two more to Moab, many local events, and thousands of miles both offroad and highway. I have blown-up and replaced an engine, worn-out a set of 35s, replaced them, and am about ready to replace them again. Burned-up a clutch, replaced it. Even thrashed a tie-rod end. Still haven't had to touch those U-joints :eek: (I do grease them regularly).
     
  9. axlechassis

    axlechassis

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    $100.00 for a soa is pretty cheap! I doubt you had to buy any shocks for that. The shocks were the most expensive part of my soa.
    I did mine for under $1000.00 and it works very well. Here are my tips for a poor man's soa:
    dodge spring perches part # p4120074
    ford truck shock towers part # e5tz-18183-a
    a set of the longest rancho 9000X's available
    spring bushings from JC Whitney
    Spring shackles either make them yourself or downey seems to have the best prices for these.
    I highly recomend flipping the springs around. This will give you an additional 6 or 7 inches of wheelbase. Advantages of flipping the springs are:
    easier driveline angles
    better approach and departure angles
    a much more stable ride on the highway
    the only disadvantages of flipping the springs around seem to be the cost of lengthening the driveshafts(about $80.00 each) and a slightly reduced turning circle. If you put in power steering at the same time you will hardly notice this.
    I used an extra set of stock front springs in the rear. These have an extra leaf. So far I have'nt had any axle wrap problem. When I get around to putting a V8 in her I'll probably have to address the axle wrap problem.
    Brakes lines can be dealt with as follows:
    remove the front line and add it to the rear line. Find a donor rear line and use it up front.
    I know of about a dozen cruisers done this way with satisfactory results
     
  10. wheelie

    wheelie

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    just another fan of the soa, keep front axel in stock location, turn rear 4 0r 5 degrees. that will still allow ujoint clearance, use spring plates of of a 75 or newer on rear and you won't neet to weld shock mounts. also have been to moab a couple of times 250 mi drive for me and have never had a problem. knock on wood.
    pardon the pun woody 8)
    wheelie
     
  11. 73fj

    73fj Tho at sumbitch in ayer!

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    ok heres what i did.i made my own perches out of 2x2x1/4
    square tubing,turned both sets of springs around,rotated my rear axle to match my angles,picked up some used tacoma axles at the junkyard,swapped the high angle u-jts for the lc ones,lowered my motor transmission(somebody elses work),joined 2 sets of stock lc brake lines f&r,had some new flanges made at the machine shop to match the flanges on my 3 spd tc,welded them to the tacoma ends,had my driveshafts cut,i didnt clearance my u jts yet cause i dont need to,slapped the whole thing together in a wrenching frenzy,every thing worked excellent except my birfields(doh!)my perches are about 8 inches long and i have had no problem with bumpsteer.just lucky you say? :D