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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an 86 Samurai that is lifted 4" and has worn out shocks. I plan to use it off road on small mountain trails that I would consider moderate offroad use. What inexpensive shocks would you recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I don't know what lift kit he used. (Looks like a metal block welded to the top of the axle housing with the leaf springs bolted to the block with a couple u-bolts.) Shocks and mounts all look stock. I think the guy I bought it from lifted it and used the stock shocks. It rocks easily from side to side. Driving on the highway with some wind and it started to rock and felt like it was about to fishtail. :eek:
 

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I don't know what lift kit he used. (Looks like a metal block welded to the top of the axle housing with the leaf springs bolted to the block with a couple u-bolts.) Shocks and mounts all look stock. I think the guy I bought it from lifted it and used the stock shocks. It rocks easily from side to side. Driving on the highway with some wind and it started to rock and felt like it was about to fishtail. :eek:
Are the springs above the axles or below them? If they're above them, then it's a SPOA lift (Spring Perch Over Axle).
 

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wow that's a lot of lift with not much support. You should look into getting a panhard or something to keep the axel stable under the vehicle so it doesn't start doing that harmonic vibration thing at speed. Mine used to do that, it would get started with a little wobble and then would get progressively worse and worse untill it was pitching like it was going to flip itself. The only way to get it to stop was to bring the speed down below 45mph.

A panhard bar will stabalize the axel, so will a swaybar. Some people have been able to make it stable enough just by going under there and tightening down the eyes and shackles so there isn't any play in them.

I think the 6" SPOA kit comes with extended shocks and extended uper shock towers. You can see how much travel you need in your shock by suspending the vehicle by it's frame and removing the shocks from both sides of the axel. Let one side droop as low as it will go while stuffing the other side up as high as you can into the wheelwell. The suffed side will tell you how high the bottom of the shock needs to be when fully compressed. The distance between the stuffed side and the dropped side will tell you how much travel you need in your shock. If the travel distance is longer than the distance from the high side of the axel to the upper shock mount, then you need to locat the shock mount higher so you can fit a shock with more travel to it.

A Samurai is about the lightest 4x4 truck you can buy. That's why they're so capapble offroad. For a shock, you don't need an expensive multivavled shock with a bunch of stages and large load capacity. You need the lightest duty shock you can find in the right length.
 

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Petroworks sells the soft, inexpensive Gabriels. I've got 'em (on a small lift, SPUA). Before ordering, talk to PW about the suitability of those shocks for your SPOA setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
wow that's a lot of lift with not much support. You should look into getting a panhard or something to keep the axel stable under the vehicle so it doesn't start doing that harmonic vibration thing at speed. Mine used to do that, it would get started with a little wobble and then would get progressively worse and worse untill it was pitching like it was going to flip itself. The only way to get it to stop was to bring the speed down below 45mph.
Yikes, that is very good to know! When I bought it I drove it home about 50 miles on the highway. Going 65-70 most of the time. Didn't have any problems but steering felt a bit loose. However, a couple days ago my son took it out and he had 2 passengers with him and their camping gear. He said at one point on the highway it started to sway back and forth and felt like it was going to fishtail. Freaked him out. Sounds exactly like what you describe. I thought it was due to worn out shocks. Sounds like we need to do some work on it to make it safer! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wow that's a lot of lift with not much support. You should look into getting a panhard or something to keep the axel stable under the vehicle so it doesn't start doing that harmonic vibration thing at speed. Mine used to do that, it would get started with a little wobble and then would get progressively worse and worse untill it was pitching like it was going to flip itself. The only way to get it to stop was to bring the speed down below 45mph.
Yikes, that is very good to know! When I bought it I drove it home about 50 miles on the highway. Going 65-70 most of the time. I didn't have any problems but steering felt a bit loose. However, a couple days ago my son took it out and he had 2 passengers with him and their camping gear. He said at one point on the highway it started to sway back and forth and felt like it was going to fishtail. Freaked him out. Thought maybe strong gusts was blowing it around. Sounds exactly like what you describe. I thought it was due to worn out shocks. Sounds like we need to do some work on it to make it safer! :eek:
 

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there was some tough dog shockies to fit suzuki sierras not long ago, was still about $249 a shock though, (Aussie Dollah) ive got a set of rancho 5000s under mine, they were just a couple of dodgie shocks i scored of a f150 i found in the bush, and they fitted perfectly :p
 

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I got the skyjacker shocks for mine with the spoa lift from spidertrax. They work great, and also they have about 18" of travel to them. I also found out that if your rear shock are toasted it WILL do very funny things at speeds when you hit any kind of bump. I felt like i was driving a death trap.
 
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