I Might Just Know What I'm Talking About
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S. CA
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Well....unless those lifted springs are of good quality (National or Old Man EMU), I think you would be better off with SOA. 3-4" of lift is boder line for 33" tires. SOA will give you 5 1/2".
Additionally...while those lifted springs might get you up 3-4", they really don't have any better articulation. One of the keys to easy rock crawling is having ALL 4 tires on the ground providing traction. My experience with cheap springs is that they have poor travel. Whereas SOA has great travel. When I did my SOA, I was able to go up a range in shocks.....so instead of having the usual shock with only about 7" of travel, I now have shocks with a little over 10" of travel.
Another benifit of SOA is that when you use stock springs, your springs will be flat under normal conditions....in this mode, you basically have the same axle movement as if you had a shackle reversal....in other words...when you hit a bump, the axle will move back ever so slightly instead of forward as a lifted spring would.
The only improvement over this is to go coil over. THAT is the best potential articulation....but it's not a project for the novice. There is a good reason they charge about $5K for a coil over kit.
Personally....if you want coil suspension...buy a TJ and start from there....otherswise, do SOA.
84 CJ7, SOA, 5.7LTBI, 4L60E, 35"x12.5, 4.10 gears, F/Det, R/ARB, Full Roll Cage,
D44 Flat top in progress...
Link to my Frame up Restore