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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applicatio

Hey everyone. After months of changing my mind going back and forth between lift kits, both height and brand. Ive seen many of you more knowledgable folks mention a SOA and how its the best for the buck. I was not wanting to do the customization of my own system, as i have no experience doing anything like that. so i went looking for a bolt on kit. I looked at rubicon express kits but they were not inclusive enough, then i looked at the full traction all incusive kit but it was way too expensive. Then i found the Rocky-Road bolt on SOA kit. I read their site and they sold me, and their prices were amazing.

OK to the question, would i be OK with just a drop pitman arm. Or should i shell out the extra bucks for the high steer system? Also has anyone heard or even personally tried this kit? Does it seem quality? i thought so but then again what do i know. Also, how about those revolver shackles? are they really worth their weight in gold lol?

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 10:06 PM
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Re: Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applicatio

Umm if your making this post a spring under kit was probably the way you should have gone. I don't think anyone really sells a kit to do it 100% right though it can be done cheap. I'm guessing this is going on your yj so i'll post up what we've done before. There are ways to do it as a cheap bastard and do it right even if some of the "big money bling wheelers" give you some crap, they are probably jellous because it will work as good as their big money wheelers.

My buddy had a yj that had 1-2" springs/ shocks and an sye kit/ cv drive shaft on it when we started. We did a spring over "right" for less then $100. What we did was made spring perches out of 2.5"x4" rectangular tubing, new u-bolts, bent the front brake lines for extra length though they may have been extended lines, new rear brake hard lines with a "lift" bracket, built shock mounts to use the shocks he had, and we made a cross over steering bracket for the drag link. We have a welder, torches, drill press, grinders, and a good selection of other tools and preatty much know how to use em/ have fabbed other things before. The jeep worked pretty decent with my old bald 35's and the stock axles welded in the rear. Right now it's getting 1/2 ton ford axles and coils front and rear.

The bracket we made for steering was similar to the bracket avilable from mountain off road. It's pretty easy to make, pretty much have it tie into 2 of the hub bolts and the tie rod end. You can use the stock drag link, make sure you get the mounting hole for it drilled and reamed. I think we had to extend the drag link, we cut it, sleved it with thicker material, welded it and plug welded the sleve on. I like using tie rod ends instead of rod ends but that's up to you.

A couple other things with a spring over to remember are

-Your either going to need an sye and cv driveshaft or to drop your t-case, you can make a t-case drop out of rectangualr or square tubing and bolts from the hardware store
-Plan on new u-bolts if you have factory u-bolts
-You might be able to get away with a drop pitman arm but we've never kept it, you can also build a z-drag link but i'm not a fan of them, you could build a bracket to also move the tie rod up
-You'll want new shocks, if you spend some time at the parts store going through the book you can find some longer shocks that will bolt up for pretty cheap

Some one will pipe in that the stock axles arn't up to tires that will fit with the spring over and that you will need new gears. This is half ture, you don't have to re-gear or swap axles but you have to be prepared for the performance loss and remember you have stock axles. There's several of my buddies and my self that have run 35's on the stock small u-joint d30/ d35's (a couple of them welded/ locked in the rear) with pretty good luck, now we wheel in the UP with mainly mud and trails in the woods. I've seen 1 d35 broken and my buddy was horsing around beating on his rig with a small block. After a season of wheeling in my yj with kinda bald 35's, 3.08 gears, and a tired 258 I didn't break my axles at all but the u-joints were tired and the bearings were shot. I say lift it, put the bigger tires on and then start saving for axle/ gear upgrades, pick up a set of spare axles for cheap incase yours decide they don't don't like life. I know we could have stayed at home making excuses about our whimpy axles and lack of gears but we had a ton of fun wheeling our little axled and under geared rigs.

Wow I typed for ever, do it, feel free to ask more questions if you have em.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 10:53 PM
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Re: Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applic

I just had a look at the rocky road 'bolt on' kit.....I'm not really that impressed....and I have a hard time with "bolt on". There is a lot of force on the axles and I don't see bolt on as being a good long term solution.

As for cost...excluding labor, doing the SOA is a lot cheaper than the price they listed.

Lets get some basics out of the way first....

If you going over 3", then driveline vibrations are going to be an issue. I find a xfer drop to be counter productive...raise the jeep..lower the xfer case? I thought the idea was more ground clearance? I spend 2 years trying to 'tweak' my axle angle to get rid of the vibrations....and I only had 3 1/2" before I did the SOA...could never get it right for all driving conditions.....the moment I drove the jeep after installing my CV ds, I said to myself..."why did I waste my time with shims?"

So...no mater how you lift it...CV DS, longer shocks and brakelines....

Now...the SOA....

You already have the wider springs in the front so you don't have to move the front spring hanger like I did...and you already have the springs....

You will need spring perches...I used stock...don't do that...you want longer ones to prevent spring wrap...try these Thor used them and he is happy...I'm going to order some soon to replace my stock perches...

You will need new shock mounts...these also have to be welded in....

For spring plates, I used the spring plate off a Cherokee...go to the junk yard...find a Cherokee with the rear end pulled out...the plates will most likely be laying on the ground.

When I set up my axles, I had the axles on jack stands with the jeep on top...set the angles and then bolted it down....I then carefully drove it to the alignment shop where they set the front caster...then I welded it. The back was easy...point the pumpkin at the xfer case.

The only complaint I have now is that I had to use a dropped pitman arm (the basis of your question). I drive fine...but I lost some steering radius....I'm looking for a high steer front D44...for now it's ok...for what it's worth, I don't even have my steering stab shock on...and I have no problems....

Excluding the CV ds, shocks and brakelines, I doubt my SOA cost me more than $200.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 06:03 PM
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Re: Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applic

I'll chime in:

1. YES high-steer is the way to go, unless you have Popeye arms and straighten tie rods for fun [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

2. Revolver shackles solve a problem, with a good SOA, you should not need them. When/if you need them, you will have enough experience to rate them yourself. The long and short: Save your money.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applic

Thanks guys ill keep looking into my options and when im 100% ready to do the work financially and free time wise then ill make my final decision.

On another note, Does anyone have experience with Tom Woods Driveshafts and SYE? Are they dependable? And is it that much better to get the new, 35 spline i think as opposed to 28 stock, output shaft? Its hard to know what you need and dont need without personal experience, since the company will obviously always tell you you need the more expensive option. But in my experience you get what you pay for. i guess thats why you guys are here lol. thanks
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 03:34 PM
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Re: Drop pitman arm vs. high steer with SOA applic

Tom Woods used to be a part of 6 States Dist...I have a 6 states CV ds for my CJ....I have had 0 problems with it...in fact, when I was planning the 4.5" lift for the wife's Cherokee, I automatically made the CV DS a part of the retrofit....I didn't even bother waiting to see if I was going to have problems.....

Tom Woods is now his own business....while I have not bought one directly from him...considering that he 'was' a part of 6 states, I think I would buy from him next time....

So...to answer your question...yea, he is good...
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