shock hits drag link after soa

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Feb 10, 2009
Foothills of Northern California
hey i need some advice,
I'm finishing up an soa on my 79 fj40 and when I started to address the shock issue (lack of) I noticed when the drivers side is fully extended the shock hits the drag link for the steering. I heard about f-250 towers, that they stick out far enough to take care of the problem. Wondering what others have done. Thanks! :)
Switch out the shocks

Some shocks have a larger diameter tube than others. i had the same problem with a HFS 4" lift i was going to use SUA. I could have solved it just by purchasing 4 new OME shocks....the tube diameter is smaller...Insted I bought the entire 2 1/2" OME setup and EVERYTHING went in easily and works great....

Dont know if that will solve it on your particular setup, but measure and get some specs from other shock suppliers :banana:
Sounds like you have the OEM steering still?
one way of the pther, shifting yout shock outwrd is the answer. the ford towers are an effective and inexpensive approach.... you can also fab us shock mounts pretty easy.

You will find that if you push the shock out to clear the drag link, you may rub the shock with the tire under articulation... depends on the width of the tire of course.

sounds like an opportunity for adding PS :D
I currently have the stock power steering and it still uses the same drag link as non power steering (I believe) that runs on the outside of the drivers inner fender. I would also like to keep this setup and not convert to GM style.
I was also thinking that it might rub when fully stuffed. I have 35x12.5 tires that I am going to put on it, but I have not yet figured out the backspacing I am going to use.

Thanks for the link. That was my first solution too to move the lowers out, but its still not enough. My lower mounts are as far out as I can get them. The edge is going to be on top of the weld for the knuckles on the outside of the axle housings. When the wheel is straight or stuffed the clearence is fine, its only when extended.

My 79 has the stock power steering and I think that the drag links are the same as the non ps. The plan is to keep the stock ps and not have to convert to another style.

Thanks for the all inputs:cheers:
I had the same problem with my '67 and Safari 4" lift. Loosen the steering box and slide it towards the engine a bit. I'll try to find the link and post it.
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Loosen the 2 bolts that hold the steering box to the mount and slide it over till you get 1/4" of clearance. I assume that you have the same steering box?

PS I have OME shocks.

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Stock PS used a 4 bolt box mount. You can't just move the box over...

Bend the DL slightly.

Or, switch to a different PS system.
Stock PS used a 4 bolt box mount. You can't just move the box over...

Bend the DL slightly.

Or, switch to a different PS system.

I sit corrected.
I had a 4" lift on 35s with the ford towers and it cleared the drag-link. Unfortunately, the stock PS doesn't really cut the mustard when wheeling on 35s, so it's all coming out for Saginaw steering.
The easiest way is to mount the fat end of the shock toward the top and dent the shock body to clear the drag link. Hey, it's redneck but it works! :D
Were'd you buy the shock towers?
Well I bought the ford shock towers. They will be on with the shocks next week so I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for the help.:beer:

Do yourself a BIG favor and do a good mock up before you weld those in. And when I say a 'full mock up' I mean use a shock application chart to figure out what the maximum length shock is you can use with that shock tower in the position you intend to use it. You will be surprised to see that you cannot get a shock into that space that will let you flex your suspension to the point you are even concerned about. You will probably end up having to use a limiter strap to keep from using your shock as your limiter.

I used the Downey shock mount because it allows you to continue up inside the engine bay whereas the Ford tower limits you to fender height.

And, my lower pin anchors are rotated to the point the shock pin sits over the knuckle weld. No tire rubbing issue.

AND, FWIW, I did all of this at a point in time where I was running a stock drag link, so I KNOW it clears the drag link handily and let me run a shock with 13" of travel.


Mark A.
It works:clap:. i mounted the bottom of the shock tower flush with the bottom of the frame, and I had to do a little fender trimming to make the top fit. I also had to mount the lower mount onto the weld for the cut and turn of the knuckles, but it clears! I'm leaving in about an hour to take my dirtbike down to Pismo Beach in San Lusi Obispo for the weekend but i'll try to put up some pictures when I get back.:cheers::beer:

I went with Rancho rs5286 shock and it gives me 10.75" of travel and a compressed length of 16.5". Its perfect to stop my 35's when tucked from hitting the fenders.

I bought the shock towers from Parts Mike out of Auburn, Ca for around $18.

here its almost fully compressed with plenty of room


almost fully extended, a lot less room but it still doesnt hit


with the bottom of the tower flush with the bottom of the frame you have to trim a little off the top
You have your lower shock mount turned the wrong way. They way you have it will eat the bushing in short order. If you turn it 90 degrees, it lets the lower eye rotated with suspension movement.

A 10 inch travel front shock on an SOA suspension??? You have given away one of the major advantages of an SOA and that;s the ability to droop the suspension and keep the tires on the ground. I think I have 14 inch travel shocks up front. You probably know this, but it's a big no no to use your shocks to limit up travel, it damages them. Instead, extend your bumpstops-very easy to do.

I also think you'd be better off with high steer and conventional cross over steering. There is much less slop and more power available from a Saginaw box. Since you have a 79, you have the large pattern knuckles for which lots of high steer options are available.

I think the Ford towers are great, and notched mine up into the fender just like yours. In fact, my cut even looks the same!

Is this going to be a wheeler or a road warrior?

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