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74 Scout II lift

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Perdido

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Since I’m doing a body off I’m thinking of doing a 1 or 2” body lift and a 1 or 2” suspension lift. Is there any reason to avoid one or the other? I’m building this for my son and his family and want it to be a good driver for town and highway with a little bit of off road/hunting camp use.
Thanks, Perdido
 

mporter52

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Body lifts in my opinion throw off the alignment with the engine, trans, radiator shroud etc. A spring lift of 1-2 inches wouldnt effect much.
 
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dwengi

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Body lifts in my opinion throw off the alignment with the engine, trans, radiator shroud etc. A spring lift of 1-2 inches would effect much.
Yup. If you are going with, say, 32" or smaller tires and don't need additional tire to body clearance I think I would skip the body lift.
 

Darrel

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2" suspension and 1" body lift is a nice setup for mild off roading. 2" alone doesn't give you much tire up travel. 1" body lift you may need to redrill/move your fan shroud. Throttle cable, wiring, steering column shaft, shifters, brake, gas lines shouldn't be an issue but check them.
 

Perdido

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Thanks for the info on lift ideas. As I said, the main reason is drivability on surface streets and the highway...I want this thing to be safe!
Thanks again, Perdido
 

Perdido

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2" suspension and 1" body lift is a nice setup for mild off roading. 2" alone doesn't give you much tire up travel. 1" body lift you may need to redrill/move your fan shroud. Throttle cable, wiring, steering column shaft, shifters, brake, gas lines shouldn't be an issue but check them.
Since I’m installing (hopefully) a Vintage Air A/C and using an electric fan do I need to be concerned about the fan shroud? A/C and electrickery are not my strong suits and I’m planning on a thermo switch for the fan with a timer to keep it going after shut off. I still have the original fan, but would love to deep six it.
Thanks, Perdido
 

Darrel

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With the electric fan you won't have the fan blade to shroud clearance problem. Get a good e-fan. Many of the aftermarket ones are weak.
 

Patrick Morris

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As I said, the main reason is drivability on surface streets and the highway...I want this thing to be safe!
Keep the front sway bar on then. Just FYI. It'll reduce lean of course and also induce a bit of understeer. Don't neglect brake maintenance/improvements, and three-point seat-belts all around if you can rig them. To that end, installing a sturdy cage is kind of a must, for mounting said shoulder points plus the obvious other reason.
 

Perdido

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Keep the front sway bar on then. Just FYI. It'll reduce lean of course and also induce a bit of understeer. Don't neglect brake maintenance/improvements, and three-point seat-belts all around if you can rig them. To that end, installing a sturdy cage is kind of a must, for mounting said shoulder points plus the obvious other reason.
Patrick,
We must think alike...the brakes will have a new MC, hard lines, soft lines, calipers, wheel cylinders, pads and shoes along with hardware. I started using Dot 5 about 5 or 6 years ago in the Austin Healey and MGB and can’t say enough good things about it. Performance is excellent, but it’s not as good of a paint remover. We will keep the sway bar and add anything the helps stability on the road. Needless to say we will replace the shocks and bushings, shackles and hardware. I’ve had great experience with Bilstein shocks on cars and a Jeep. A roll bar/cage will be necessary for seat belt anchors and I’m thinking about something similar to a Jeep Wrangler ‘family’ roll bar with threaded bolt in anchors. I’ve not found exactly what I want on the web and we may have to fabricate one.
Thanks again, Perdido
 

Patrick Morris

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We will keep the sway bar and add anything the helps stability on the road. Needless to say we will replace the shocks and bushings, shackles and hardware.
You should decide early if you want to go with longer shackles. They will affect your steering castor in a negative way to some small degree. (Puns intended.) Honestly, you want the max available stability you should look into doing a Cut and Turn. Has this come up in any of your other threads yet? It's a labor intensive process, but driving a Scout with 5 degrees of caster is well worth the effort. It'll track on the highway more like a modern vehicle.

If you're going to go with longer shackles, look into Back Country Binder's shackles. And also Anything Scout's. They position the sway bar better than some other mfrs. IMO.

As for shocks, I was holding off on mentioned them. Some people here probably think I've said too much on that subject. LOL If you search for "bilstein" on this board and posts created by me, you'll get an earful. I'm a big believer in "you get what you pay for" with shocks. I'm running Bilstein 7100 shocks on my Scout. Had to modify my shock mounts, front and rear, top and bottom, to work well with them but it was worth it. I can't speak on the 5100 series since I've never run them. But the 7100s are a little different internally. Plus, I can (and have) take them apart to revalve, change oil, replace seals, etc. If you want even better shocks IMHO, get Fox 2.0 Emulsion shocks.
 

Patrick Morris

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A roll bar/cage will be necessary for seat belt anchors and I’m thinking about something similar to a Jeep Wrangler ‘family’ roll bar with threaded bolt in anchors. I’ve not found exactly what I want on the web and we may have to fabricate one.
You could do what I did. To give my anchors good positioning on the bar I cut some 'universal' shock mounts to the desired shape and had a friend weld them onto my stock-type roll bar. Puts the anchors a little more outboard and a little forward of the bars. Ergonomics are better. Meaning that the belt drapes across the shoulder (more like what we're used to) and doesn't rub on the neck.

IMG_2183.JPG
 

Peter Albert

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I'm pretty happy with my 2" spring lift + 1" body lift. The 1" body lift from anything scout comes with fan shroud relocation brackets, but easy enough to fabricate or re-drill. No matter what, you will need longer brake lines and also longer bump stops. If you do not go with a cut and turn, then you can consider 2 degree wedges. That's what im running, and it tracks great. That said, many would say that you dont need them on a 2" lift. Many people also recommend replacing the rag joint with a modern knuckle. I have one, but have not installed it yet. Anything scout also stocks 3 point seat belts that bolt through the roll bar. They are made by corbeau. That's all I know so far. I may do something similar to what Patrick did if im not happy.

If you want to see what a 2" skyjacker lift + 1" body looks like, you can search my build thread. I just finished my lift.
 
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TravelerMan79

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Don't forget that a body lift keeps your centre of gravity lower than a suspension lift. I think in the end I'll do a 1" body lift with a 2.5" suspension lift to fit 33". Hope that is good enough as I won't be doing serious off-roading.
 

J.J.

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I did 4 inch Skyjacker springs with a cut and turn on my '76 that I just put together. Also used the IH Parts America brake line kit and Biltsteins. It rides and drives like a caddy. Our old '79 had a body lift, I didn't care for the fan shroud bottom cut out and the steering liked to bind.

JJ in TN
 

Patrick Morris

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If you do not go with a cut and turn, then you can consider 2 degree wedges. That's what im running, and it tracks great. That said, many would say that you dont need them on a 2" lift.
It would be nice to use shims avoid the cut and turn, since turning the steering yokes involves a great deal of work. I was not able to though. I had been using 3° shims for a number of years, and that was not near enough in my case. Front end was still squirrely on the highway. My Scout has the SJ 2-inch springs, plus I am running 5" shackles on the front and those contribute a bit to reducing caster. By my math the shackles only reduced the caster by 2-2.5° or so. So even with my shims in there it was still slightly negative. I had to knock my knuckles back 9° in order to get to the ~5° target.

FYI, here's my caster measurement. I don't think I made any mistakes in measuring: -4°. This is after I'd removed the shims so as to get a true measurement before pulling it all apart. (Pic taken before I ditched the so-so Rancho shocks).

caster-measured-finally.JPG
 

Peter Albert

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Just FYI. Cutting the bottom of the shroud out is not necessary. It's preference of course, but relocating it down with small brackets is what most body lift kits come with, and can be done easily with a home depot run if they didnt come with them. Mine did. Not beautiful, but not terrible.

For reference:
relocation.jpg

I did 4 inch Skyjacker springs with a cut and turn on my '76 that I just put together. Also used the IH Parts America brake line kit and Biltsteins. It rides and drives like a caddy. Our old '79 had a body lift, I didn't care for the fan shroud bottom cut out and the steering liked to bind.

JJ in TN
 

Peter Albert

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It must just be your shackles. mine rides like a dream at 65-70 with basically the same lift. Your not talking about running with hubs locked are you? I'd be scared to death to run locked right now with the crappy pinion angle. Yet another reason to cut and turn.

It would be nice to use shims avoid the cut and turn, since turning the steering yokes involves a great deal of work. I was not able to though. I had been using 3° shims for a number of years, and that was not near enough in my case. Front end was still squirrely on the highway. My Scout has the SJ 2-inch springs, plus I am running 5" shackles on the front and those contribute a bit to reducing caster. By my math the shackles only reduced the caster by 2-2.5° or so. So even with my shims in there it was still slightly negative. I had to knock my knuckles back 9° in order to get to the ~5° target.

FYI, here's my caster measurement. I don't think I made any mistakes in measuring: -4°. This is after I'd removed the shims so as to get a true measurement before pulling it all apart. (Pic taken before I ditched the so-so Rancho shocks).

View attachment 180333
 

Peter Albert

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Another thing to consider on a body lift. You will have a little bit of void space in the back of your truck by the bumper. It bothered me when I first did it, but knowing that I will either fabricate a spare tire bracket above my bumper or have a bumper with spare tire spring arm, the void will be covered. So it wont matter.
bumper_void.jpg
 

Patrick Morris

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Your not talking about running with hubs locked are you?
Of course. How else am I supposed to drive on the freeway? ;)

No, quite certain that all those times the hubs weren't locked. And that wouldn't affect caster anyway of course. As said, I know that the shackles dropped the caster by some amount. But certainly not 4°. To figure it again since it's been a while, if the distance between the spring eyes forms a chord 42.5" long (it does) and the drop at the forward end is 2"... let's call this shape a right triangle to calculate it simply. The angular difference created is just 2.7°. So if I'm looking at this correctly, my caster w/o the longer shims still would have been -1.3°. (I believe the springs alone do have an effect on caster.)

If your angles are similar, then your shims would have brought things back to about just over 1°. So that's obviously way better than a negative number anyway. Tips things over onto the "stable" side of the equation. Probably quite livable if not excellent.

Caster_shackls_difference.png
 
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