Jeep Cherokee XJ Rear Shock Towers

WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Rear shock tower build.

Main points I focused on while designing the shock towers:

1) Keep it simple.

2) I wanted to retain as much cargo room as possible.

3) I still wanted the ability to lay down the seat and carry longer items.

Here is the before:



Carpet and padding removed:



I cleaned off a section of the rear frame:



I then added an 18"x4.5"x.125" steel plate to the frame:



Plate and shock hoop welded:



Shock hoop inside (top of hoop is at 14.5"):



Upper shock mount tabs added:



Lower shock mount stud added to spring plate:



12" Bilstein shock mocked up:



Shock hoop painted:



Both hoops completed:







I have put almost 1k miles since the install and have done a couple offroad trips. The shocks work very well. There is a little flex in the hoops, so I will eventually just add a trigulation brace to the wheelwell.

The shocks have about a 5 degree angle inwards and have very little side to side movement between full extension and compression. I have about 1/2" clearance around the shocks and have not found any contact.

Total cost for materials:
1) Rusty's universal shock hoops - $80 shipped
2) 18"x9"x.125 steel plate - $6 local metal supply scrap pile
3) (2) Jeep CJ T-176 shift boots - $16 shipped.
4) (2) Shock studs - already had on hand (included with Rancho shocks I was running)

Total: $104
 

s14unimog

New member
I'm curious, you say these are 12" shock bodies. What are the extension/compressed lengths? I have 12.03"/18.5" 5150's in my rear and their at the stock location with bar pin eliminators at the body and raised tabs on the axle tube. Seems like you didn't gain anything?

Here is my rear bumped out. I could have gone with longer bodies even.


I will say though, you do clean work and I admire your organized cargo area.
 

WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Sorry, the shocks are 12" travel (18" compressed, 30" extended). I have them mounted at 24" for 6" up and 6" down.

Thanks, mtbxk87, ehall, and s14 unimog.
 
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WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Here is a shot of the shocks compressed with about 1.5" left before tire contacts the wheelwell.





This is the shock extended.



 

WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
On the driver side I opened up one big hole to determine the mounting. I later welded back in most of the sheet metal. On the passenger side I only cut where needed.



I do plan to glue down some rubber matt aroung the shocks. The rubber will seal right up against the shock, but still allow it some movement. I will post some pics once installed.
 
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WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
The ride is rediculously soft! Once I had it finished and hit a few speed bumps in my neighborhood, I could not stop grinning. The difference is night and day.

I also have HD Offroad no lift shackle relocation boxes.
 

anthrax323

New member
I'm curious how much of the improvement in ride quality is attributable to the new shock angle, vs. upgrading from Ranchos to Bilsteins.

Super clean though. I really need to order more dies for my bender and start getting some real work done now that I have a local DOM supplier that'll deliver full sticks directly to my driveway.

Oh yeah - and what radius die did you use?
 
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WAZZUXJ

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I can definitely say the Bilstien's improved the ride over the Rancho's. I can feel the difference in how the front rides with no changes but the shocks.

The biggest effect on the rear though I would have to say is the HD Offroad No-lift Shackle Relocation Brackets. Shackle angle was non existent prior to install.
 

barillms

New member
Man.. You gotta ditch that gas tank, and put a cell up inside the cab.. I hated banging my tank after every drop off. Gets old fast
 

mccawley

New member
This has been on my do-do list for some time now. But I keep getting side-tracked doing a custom dash and barn door conversion. Maybe this coming summer.

Nice work :)
 
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