Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Norcal69, Jul 25, 2016.
I like that set up, what are you doing for shock mounts?
The shackle angles on this jeep have been terrible from day one that the Rocky Road suspension kit was installed. Every jeep that I have seen with a Rocky Road YJ spring kit on it has terrible shackle angles.
If I were the original purchaser of this kit I would take Rocky Road to task on the issue, but since I am not I will just be fixing their poor R&D.
This kit was installed by Steve and I in his professional heavy duty truck shop. It is installed 100% to Rocky Roads instructions and after 5 or 6 years of use the shackle angles have not improved.
Front shackle angle.
This is how the shackle angles have been since day 1. This jeep has been on a couple long road trips, around town, camping trips and 3 Rubicon trips.
The shackle bolts are not too tight..... the springs are not backwards.......
The Rocky Road brackets do not have the fixed spring eye in the correct location. The brackets supplied by Rocky Road are of good quality and plenty strong, they just aren't rite.
Shackle angles like this completely unload the spring when body roll or off camber situations are introduced, leaving you with only unsprung weight on the tire. On the Rubicon trips, any off camber situation left Steve with no traction on one side or the other.
While the spring might have good articulation; that articulation is worthless without load weight on the tire to provide traction. In a healthy shackle situation, one where the shackles lean out at the bottom, vehicle pressure stays on the spring as the shackle swings through it's arc until it is backwards. In Steve's situation the shackle is already backwards and the slightest lift on one side lets the shackles swing further backwards unloading all vehicle pressure on the spring: leading to a zero traction situation on that corresponding tire. I watched him struggle with this situation on all 3 Rubicon trips. To make things worse Steve had tru trac type differentials in the front and rear, with vehicle weight easily lifted from the tires his traction situation was often similar to open diffs. It is not always practical to tap the brake pedal when tru trac's aren't delivering power.
Starting off with the front.
The tire location in relationship to the fender opening is pretty good.
Since the tire location is good I am going to leave the fixed eye spring bracket alone and focus on moving the front shackle hanger.
The picture below shows the front shackle is roughly 1/4" negatively angled or roughly 8 degrees.
Now there is a proper formula to figure out where to mount the shackle hanger. It involves measuring the leaf spring eye to eye length when free arched and when compressed completely flat, then using that difference to calculate the proper shackle length. The shackle hanger is then mounted at the location that places the shackle perpendicular to the datum line between the spring eyes. It does not have to be an exact science to get a good result, lots of people use longer length shackles to get a lil' extra lift all the time..... but this setup is just unacceptable.
This is really simple to get rite..... I guess Rocky Road doesn't have an angle finder, tape measure and straight edge. Yes there is going to be variations from jeep to jeep and spring to spring.... but this is embarrassing IMO.
My rough guess calculations are that the front shackle hangers need to go backwards about 3/4" to get us near the 90 degrees to the datum line between the spring eyes.
This should be a simple one evening fix!
Rear shackle angle........ this is worse than the Rocky Mountain Horror Picture show......
For starters the rear tire location in relationship to the fender opening is deplorable.
The shackle angle is a whole other level of WTF.......
The plan for the rear will be to first move the fixed eye spring hangers back about 2" to get the rear tire slightly forward of the center line of the wheel opening, allowing space for the tire to move rearward as the spring flattens out under articulation loading.
Once that is completed I will take a look at the shackle angle and formulate a plan. It may be just fine..... or good enough.... once the front mounts are moved.
I realize that this is a really scathing review of Rocky Roads product.
I also realize that there are a bunch of customers who are happy with their kit because it does ride better than stock springs and don't bounce yall's boobies near as bad......
I don't recommend this product as a straight bolt on kit without modifications to the mounting positions. Steve and I followed the instructions to the letter and the was installed exactly as intended by Rocky Road. If a guy really wants a bolt on suspension kit, get the BDS. If you really want YJ springs, buy the brackets from Rough Stuff and save yourself $500.
I'm not that far along yet.
When I do the axle swap I'll be installing these plates. I am planning to move the shocks to the rear of the front axle at the same time.
I will either be attaching the shock mount to the plate or using shock brackets from Ruff Stuff and welding them to the axle tube.
that's why my buddy . won't let me paint anything
I'm actually a decent painter.
Paint time comes at the end of the day......
I clean the item to be painted with laquer thinner or acceptable de-greasing solution.
While I'm waiting for the cleaning solution to evaporate from all the nooks and crannies I walk up to the house and grab a beer to cap off/reward myself for the days work.....
Beer in one hand and paint in the other......
QC goes out the window!
when your shackle angle is straight upon and down, ride quality is very stiff. the rear shakles are asking for a spring inversion. I have seen other people install these kits on this site and I always shake my head about how this is better than the old setup in any way. If I am going to buy a product, I expect it to be correct and the R&D done. If its not, why not just do it yourself? Cut off the old spring and shackle mounts and weld in new ones.
https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/3-HANG.html 40 bucks a pair
https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/R1253.html 56 bucks a pair and comes with bushings
https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/D3035-PERCH.html 40 bucks /pair
https://www.quadratec.com/products/16090_5059.htm 145 bucks each for YJ springs
you need shackles, bushings and shocks, then you're done but the base price for all that is 760.00
rickety road conversion is like 1800 bucks for something that isnt right.
We have seen several companies selling "products" here and there that are not what they are advertised to be. These spring conversions, brake brakes that ignore bolts, FI systems that flat arent right.
Those are the exact Ruff Stuff parts that I used on my rig and coupled them with OME springs.
At one time I was going to pull the Rocky Road brackets off Steve's jeep and replace them with Ruff Stuff brackets in the proper locations. Even got them sitting here in a box on the bench......
Given the time constraints for this years Rubicon run I am just going to slide these RR brackets to the proper location on the frame and run em. The brackets themselves are of good build quality and have about 1" of lift built into them. If only RR had you mount them in the correct location.
It amazes me how poorly the Rocky Road kit is designed.
On rocky road yj kit - I tend to agree with above. I had to re-do the shock mounts in front, the rear shocks were too long (same bolt falling out issue others on here had), and my shackle angles aren't great (better than Steve's) and it took reading on here to figure out the bushings were wrong if you pick the OME (which explained some things).
I agree with everything you said about the RR kit....I will be changing a lot of things, but just trying to get my 6 on the road first. It has been in project mode too long.
yes - I like that - pretty ideal D27 build.....I am still debating a a bit as to whether I want to go lockrite auto or the use the powrlok limited slip on the shelf....guess I have been hoping I could run manual steering with the PL.
They certainly don't help with clearance - maybe just slide over stuff a bit better? I almost bought a set for mine, then decided it wasn't worth it given the minimal (if any) benefit.
I tried discussing with them making some for 1.75" wide springs - I know I'd buy them and maybe a few on here, but guess its just not worth it for such a limited market. Heck - I'd buy a set of 4 for both the cj and the wagon. Tomtom has some similar ones as well....not sure I trust my welding enough for making them, but at least with thick stuff, I can just turn it to max and go slow - maybe.....
I looked at making them for mine. The rear isn't an issue but the front became a cluster ###
The big u-bolt on the front diff would get spaced into the casting by the thickness of the material used and the socket needed to tighten the u-bolt nuts. Then the stock forward shock location became an issue.
Seems like plenty of room to me...easy to move the sides up 3/4" or so to clear the ubolt nut....the shock mount is a bit more troublesome....and moving it up higher just gives you that much less travel unless you raise the top mount.
Ya'll realize that I'm about to demonstrate how to do this with a D27 and 2.5" wide springs?
I expect that I will be grinding on the RF of the diff just a little bit for the U bolt.
The wheel has been built, no need to reinvent it.
Very nice, that's a lot of work. I ran the under the spring style for years, they were beat when I finally retired them!
From my half asleep research last night, the YJ spring perches are 43"....the RR brackets increase that distance, about 1-1.5".
Tackled the front suspension last night.
The Rocky Road front shackle hangers were removed first.
These look a little different than others because the top of the bracket was cut off to install winch brackets. I can assure you that the bracket was in the position that Rocky Road designed the bracket to be in..... it wasn't the correct location..... but it was their location. 3 of the intended bolts from Road were retained, 2 though the stock shackle hanger and one up through the frame.
Swift work with a cut off wheel..... reveals the continued haunting of Steve's beach adventures......
After careful measuring I settled on moving the shackle hangers back 1-1/16".
Something still wasn't rite..... WTF????...... then it dawned on me. The shackles supplied by Rocky Road are 3-1/2" long. YJ's came from the factory with 4" long shackles..... and these are YJ springs.
Digging in the leftover drawer I dug out a set of shackles I ran on my jeep before going to boomerang's. Slapped the 4" long shackles on and was happy with the result.
Prior to welding the shackle hanger on for the final time I fought with them quite a bit.
I just couldn't get the shackle hanger bracket square and straight with the frame rail. I tacked the shackle bracket on multiple times without success.... it was always crooked!!!!!
Finally I removed it and well crap.......
This trash isn't even remotely square!
Where the shackle hanger is supposed to mount to the bottom of the frame you can see there is about 3/16" of gap!
The other side is almost as bad!
I'll have to revoke my previous statement about the Rocky Road brackets being of good quality....... They aren't...... They are garbage.
These brackets bust have been made on either a "hung over from the weekend Monday" or a "f-it lets start drinking at noon Friday."
The upper shackle bolt is not parallel with the frame...... 3/16" is a an unacceptable amount of crooked over a 2" distance!
Workmanship on these brackets is worse than shade tree......
I ended up tacking them on and tapping them into a square position before tack welding them on in multiple areas to hold em while big welds were made.
At some point, if I keep this jeep long term, these brackets will find their way into the bargain bin and a set of Ruff Stuff brackets will get hung on this frame.
Don't hold back Kyle. Let us know how you really feel about RR.
Those RR conversion brackets slide over the front spring hangers? The OEM 1.75 spring hangers are 'under' the frame (no overhang/stickout under the sides) and with the RR brackets, they come up along the sides of the framerail (at least in OEM configuration)?
Rocky Road brackets utilize the factory shackle bolt hole in the CJ frame. That is why the shackle angles are so poor with the RR kit.
You cannot get the front shackle bolt in the correct location without cutting the old CJ bracket off.
Yesterday was pretty busy after work, but I still managed to get a couple things done.
The left front shackle hanger needed finish welding behind the steering box.... so off with the box!
Since the steering box and linkage were out of the way it seemed high time to remove this useless appendage from the frame!
With the steering box removed...... project creep set in pretty hard. I mean.... this is getting out of hand.
I'm not sure where Steve got this steering box, all I remember is telling him to get a rebuilt YJ box.
This is a good "76" box from a reputable builder.
The steering box had a little too much fluid while partying with the Toyota boys from Trail Gear......
This steering box knows how to party!
After drilling, tapping and flushing out the box I wire wheeled the the rust off and gave it a good sloppy paint job.
With that complete this box is refreshed and ready to party in the rocks!
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