SOA conversion

City
Raleigh
State
Nc
#1
Hello,

I am trying to put together the lift for my 84', and I need help. Mainly with deciding if going SOA would be the best for my jeep. It will be mostly street driven, no hard off road planned.

Present/future mods:
It sits on 33's right now, but 35's are next. I plan on a full roll cage, with spare tire all the way in the back. I already have an LQ9 engine/ 4l80 trans combo that will go in this jeep, hopefully by the end of next year.

Thanks
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#2
With a 4.5" lift you should be able to fit 35s under there (SUA). Depending on your current suspension it may make more sense to go straight SOA. In either case, pay attention to your castor.
 

Cmath

Scrambler Enthusiast
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Woodstock
State
Ga
#3
SOA is more complicated than SUA and a can cost more to do correctly. SOA is followed by new steering system. It's usually done to gain more clearance from below for offroad use. If you are just looking for clearance for tires SUA is the most simple and cost effective way to get there. If you have the time and enjoy wrenching SOA maybe. Some would argue that the effort and expense would be better thrown at a 4 link. Safe steering is the first thing I would consider with each kind of lift.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#4
I love the idea of 4 link.....but the budget numbers I've see make me cry.....I saw a kit of parts for $7500.....
 

CJ8Rockcrawler

The FABLD 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
#5
My 8 is SOA. I ran a superlift 4 inch SUA lift before. I think a well thought out and setup SOA lift is better overall for maximum flex and smooth ride, but for street use I don't think it is worth the effort. I would stick with a good quality SUA kit like the RE 4.5.
 
City
Raleigh
State
Nc
#6
I appreciate all the replies. I was almost settled on the BDS 4.5 lift kit, until I looked at the rocky road SOA kit, then it made me question my choice.
 

Cmath

Scrambler Enthusiast
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Woodstock
State
Ga
#7
I will tell you from experience that Rocky Road Outfitters is a BAD business to deal with and you may never receive a complete order. I ordered the SOA kit and OTT steering kit as well and never received the complete order. The parts that I did get looked hand cut and poorly assembled. Not what you would expect. Most if not all reputable fab companies are using CNC to cut parts . This was not the case with items that I received. I will add that I was never rude or angry during the process. I spent 8 months trying to get the order correct with no success . Eventually they do not return calls or emails. At one point they told me that I could purchase the missing parts from other fabricators on line to complete the kit at my own cost. Let me be clear that even if I had gotten all of the parts I would NOT have used them because of low quality . Not safe! Do the research and you will find many many stories just like mine posted online. Do yourself a favor and stay clear! There is no such thing as a truly bolt on safe SOA kit in my opinion.
 

Cmath

Scrambler Enthusiast
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Woodstock
State
Ga
#8
You can put together all of the parts for an SOA yourself. There are companies out there that supply what they call builder parts. I have used DavesCustomUnlimited and DavesOffroad with success. You WILL have to do some welding and cutting though. Or have a buddy that can help you out. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do. Nothing wrong with SUA. You can finish up over a weekend.
 
City
White Rock
State
NM
#9
Given your intended focus on the street why bother with a SOA? DOne right it will cost you more that a set of quality springs under IMHO Ive seen a bunch of SOAs done with a ton of issues, Id stay under if it were me especially with the engine youre planning to use, SOA takes extra effort to control spring wrap that wont be as big an issue with quality springs under your axel.
 
City
Willis
State
Tx
#10
Other than knowing or hiring someone to set you pinion and castor angles a SOA is very simple. I did mine on a Sunday with locally sourced parts and towed it to a chassis shop to have the angles set prior to welding the spring perches. Factory springs and it would clear 35’s with a soft ride and good road manners.
 
City
Raleigh
State
Nc
#11
I talked to BDS about my project, but I'm still undecided. Mainly I am torn between going YJ conversion or staying with cj springs. The yj conversion is 3.5" plus an extra 1/2" on shackles vs 4" springs on cj leaf springs.

Is the yj conversion the way to go? I'm scared of going with YJ springs and then have to run longer shackles to compensate for the extra weight I'll be adding to the jeep (heavier engine, transmission, roll cage, full size spare, etc).

I decided to stay SUA for now.

Thank you all
 

SCRAMBLER 401

Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Marshfield
State
Ma
#12
I talked to BDS about my project, but I'm still undecided. Mainly I am torn between going YJ conversion or staying with cj springs. The yj conversion is 3.5" plus an extra 1/2" on shackles vs 4" springs on cj leaf springs.

Is the yj conversion the way to go? I'm scared of going with YJ springs and then have to run longer shackles to compensate for the extra weight I'll be adding to the jeep (heavier engine, transmission, roll cage, full size spare, etc).

I decided to stay SUA for now.

Thank you all
Soa with rubicon express re1444 rear re1445 front Crabtree cj shackles bilstien 5160 all around rides awesome Shackle reversal can’t even compare to sua
 

Attachments

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#13
Other than knowing or hiring someone to set you pinion and castor angles a SOA is very simple. I did mine on a Sunday with locally sourced parts and towed it to a chassis shop to have the angles set prior to welding the spring perches. Factory springs and it would clear 35’s with a soft ride and good road manners.
When you say something like that you need to explain what you did for anti-wrap and steering that is "very simple."

Getting the axles under the springs is very simple and you can make it go down the road, but correcting everything else in a way that many/most would consider necessary for offroading and/or daily driving is what people are talking about when they say that an SOA isn't simple.
 

SCRAMBLER 401

Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Marshfield
State
Ma
#14
When you say something like that you need to explain what you did for anti-wrap and steering that is "very simple."

Getting the axles under the springs is very simple and you can make it go down the road, but correcting everything else in a way that many/most would consider necessary for offroading and/or daily driving is what people are talking about when they say that an SOA isn't simple.
Agree if the person isn’t capable of doing the homework and fabrication then it should be sourced out nobody showed me how to do mine I spent hrs investigating & practice welding I have no anti wrap device & have no issues even with a t-18 & a mildly built 401 i agree any modifications need to be well planned out there’s tons of info out there
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#15
Agree if the person isn’t capable of doing the homework and fabrication then it should be sourced out nobody showed me how to do mine I spent hrs investigating & practice welding I have no anti wrap device & have no issues even with a t-18 & a mildly built 401 i agree any modifications need to be well planned out there’s tons of info out there
No question the info is out there and there are very well-done SOA setups.
 
City
White Rock
State
NM
#16
I have stayed SUA but went with Alcan springs, shackle reversal and bilstein 5100 and the highway ride is outstanding, it flexes very well and is totally controllable even without the sway bar. A friend has soaked alcan etc but with a v8 and nv4500 vice my hybrid 4.0/4.2 auto and hes broken a couple springs in the rear due to wrap. He does wheel his scrambler much harder than I wheel mine though.

If I were starting over I would duplicate what I have now exactly
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#17
I went alcan SUA also.... I love the springs. My limitations have to do with shock mounts and shock lengths.... And that now my unsprung weight is much higher than when I had them built....
 

Boswellcj8

Basic User
City
Willis
State
Tx
#18
When you say something like that you need to explain what you did for anti-wrap and steering that is "very simple."

Getting the axles under the springs is very simple and you can make it go down the road, but correcting everything else in a way that many/most would consider necessary for offroading and/or daily driving is what people are talking about when they say that an SOA isn't simple.
https://mountainoffroad.com/collections/cj/products/traction-bar-for-rear-axle-cj7-yj

This or a homemade version will take care of the spring wrap issues. I had no difficulties with steering, just added a drop pitman arm and adjusted the drag link to re-center the steering wheel.

Again, the only thing I found complicated what knowing how to properly set drive line angles
 
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