Lifted Suspension Question

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by Rollercam, Apr 7, 2018.


  1. Rollercam

    Rollercam Farmall Cub

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    First off, I am by no means a 4 wheel drive expert. I have some basic knowledge of things and I am trying to learn more all of the time. A couple of years ago I purchased a 78 scout II that had a newly installed rough country 4” lift kit on it. It was a pretty rough ride, especially the rear. I replaced the shocks with some skyjacker M95 monotubes that I was able to get at a good price. It was better, but still not great. I am not expecting a smooth caddy ride, but I think I can do better without starting completely over.

    So, as the scout sits today, it has 4” rough country lift springs and skyjacker M95 monotube shocks. Everything else is factory or stock replacement.

    The scout is currently in a local shop getting some electrical work and general tuning ironed out. The guy working on it said with the 4” lift he is concerned about the pinion angle of the front driveshaft. He wants to add some shims to try and straighten it out a bit. My concern is that if he tries to alter the pinion angle with shims then it will give me more negative caster. Am I thinking correctly? He does not seem that concerned about the caster, but I want drivability and safety.

    I would really like to keep my 4” lift. Even though they are notoriously stiff, I would also like to just go ahead and keep my rough country springs to avoid having to buy new springs. Could I possibly get some bilstein or fox shocks to dampen the ride better? They could always be revalved later if something changes.

    So, here is what I am thinking right now:

    4” rough country springs (I already have them on the scout and they have very few miles on them)
    Bilstein or Fox 2.0 shocks
    Reverse shackle kit for front end
    5” shackle for the back (I am hoping this will level out the truck after adding some height with the reverse shackle)
    Cut and Turn in front (I don’t see anyway around doing this and it just seem like a good thing to do)
    Longer front driveshaft

    Anything else? How does that sound? Is there a more cost effective way to maintain a 4”-5” lift and have a secure and stable ride? If so, please let me know. I am not against going SOA, but I am not sure if that is cost effective. This truck will spend 90% of its life on the road.


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  2. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Yep. fixing one will screw up the other. How much fourwheeling do you think you'll be doing with this truck? For mostly pavement, fix the caster, for a trail rig, improve the pinion angle. This is assuming we are just talking about fixing a problem with shims of course.

    And that seems like a good plan you outlined. If you go to different shocks, might as well hack off the factory frame-mounts and go for taller ones that'll accept "eye" type tops. This way you have a better selection of Fox and Bilsteins, and can get longer-travel versions.

    For the front driveshaft, you will want a long-slide type if you reverse the shackles. In addition to maybe being longer.

    Maybe add improved bumstops to the suspension, while you're doing the other things? engineering wise, it's pretty straight forward and doesn't add too much to the cost.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  3. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Addressing this question, yes you can revalve them---if you buy the right kind of shocks. Bilstein 7100s and Fox 2.0 "emulsion" types are easily revalved by the owner. You just need buy/borrow an N2 tank setup to repressurize them once they are reinstalled. Note that you could repressurize them while they are off the vehicle, which might be logistically easier in some ways. But believe me, it's a serious PITA trying to re-mount pressurized shocks. Better to bolt them back in just after reassembly, and then add the 180-200 PSI.

    And yes, I'll bet you can improve the ride noticeably with either of these shocks, selectively valved. Soft compression combined with very firm rebound is a good combo for alleviating the harshness of stiff springs. It's great for pavement driving. OTOH, for optimized off-road driving, you might want to go a different way with the valving. A friend of mine 'reversed' the valving in his Fox 2.0s, giving them stiff compression and softer rebound. He claims the improvement was amazing; this is in a Scout II, BTW. Older Rancho-springs 4" lift. No RS either, I might add. Lately he's developed the habit of breaking things because this new setup allows him to drove so much faster off-road than before! But I can't how it rides on pavement. He admits that there is a lot more body roll with his current valving.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  4. Akremtukian

    Akremtukian Farmall Cub

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    I have a rough country 4 inch on my scout 2 with their N2.0 shocks, the ride was very stiff until the springs got some miles on them. It doesn't ride as good as my stock Cherokee or 800 but its not too bad considering what it is. You might consider putting some miles on the springs to break them in and go from there.
     
  5. rustfreeTX

    rustfreeTX Binder Driver

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    I'm curious to know what helps as I have the same lift and a rough ride. I did go with some el cheapo shocks so I'd like to see how much good shocks would help with stiff springs.
     
  6. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I don't think there's any suspension that can't be improved upon by better shocks and valving. I have the Bilstein 7100s and I've gotten them set up as a huge improvement over the RS9000s I ran for years. It's not even a close comparison. But my vote goes to Fox 2.0s, just because their valving/plate configurations are a little easier to understand. And their pistons are slightly larger than Bilstein's. And I think that the parts for them---valving plates, seals, rods, etc.---are a little easier to source.
     
  7. Darrel

    Darrel Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    There's only so much you can do with stiff springs. Springs sag over time, but the spring rate doesn't change. You can smooth them out some with Teflon pads and/or graphite paint. You can also pull out the shortest leaf, but you'll lose a little height. The other thing to check is that your bushings aren't over compressed due to the sleeves being too short. If that's the case the shackles will barely move and the ride will be absolutely terrible. Loosen up the nuts for a trip and around the block and see if it rides any better. Definitely get high quality shocks like Patrick suggests.
     
  8. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I'm sure you are right. If they are truly insanely stiff. I don't have any experience with RC springs so I can only guess. But I would assume if you need to ease the ride, then go really soft on compression damping. I think it will allow the springs to give a little more when you hammer a bump. And firmer rebound will inhibit/slow the spring's snapping back into their normal arch after their sudden flattening.

    I have Skyjackers (the rears are stiffened with an extra leaf). My Scout friend with the Fox shocks is running very old Rancho 4" springs. And another friend with a Toyota pickup and National Spring 10-leaf packs all around and swapped to Fox 2.0s... we all saw huge gains with better shocks, different vehicles with very different leaf spring and weight setups. But I admit, that's all the personal experience I have. I don't know what RC springs are actually like.
     

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