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Old October 4th, 2013, 07:58 AM   #1
crunchedtj99
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Default effective travel

okay so coilovers and air shocks range anywhere from 12-20" of travel. wondering waht is anyone who knows actual effective travel on their rig? doesnt matter what type of setup you are running im just wondering. Was quoted by a friend that his xj buggy had 21" actual with an 16" coilover. just traying to guge what i actually need for both my xj and my buggy build.

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johnny
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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14s seem to be the norm. you need to build the rig and see what travel it will allow with clearances. buy shocks last.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #3
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that is the plan just tyring to get a basic idea. see where it binds, limit strap it just before it binds and then buy shocks.... then the great debate of air, ori, coils begins
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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not a debate. it comes down to what you can afford and what amount of time you want to put into them for tuning.

cheapest and easiest = air shocks
bling and easy to tune= ori
most tunable if you have the knowledge, time and coin = coilovers
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Effective travel depends on A) how and where you mount the shocks and B) What you define wheel travel as...

A single wheel can more more up and down in articulation, than the complete axle can move up and down. This depends a lot of the width of the axle/tire/wheel combo

Axle travel (both wheels moving up/down the same amount, like in a jump), for a vertically mounted shock would be: Inches of shock travel * (distance from LCA frame pivot to axle centerline / distance from LCA frame pivot to lower shock mount).

The shock spring rates and damping ratios will be reduced by the same factor that shock travel is increase by, if the above ratio is not 1:1
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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i was looking more at articulation travel. lets say for an example what the 8.5" of travel a 6" lift shock on an xj would give me. i can do the math but more looking at what real world people have and actually think they use is
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Old October 4th, 2013, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
Effective travel depends on A) how and where you mount the shocks

pretty much that.

here is my $.02. Also, when I say "shock", I mean air shock or coilover or whatever your spring/damper system is.

It all comes down to how close the shock mounts to the wheel, and the shock angle in relationship to the "swing arc" of the axle.
General rules-
The more upright and close you can package the shock to the wheel, the easier it is to tune the shock consistantly.
The more you "lean" a shock over, the harder it will be to tune the shock, unless you really oversize the shock body to compensate for higher heat, load changes in relation to swing arc, etc.

IMO, the ideal mounting angle for the shock is perfectly perpendicular in relationship to the swing/arc of the axle. A good and easy example is almost every trailing arm setup ever. The constant arc angle makes the shock more repeatable and easier to tune through the entire swing of the axle.

As far as location of the shock in relation to the wheel, the closer you get it to the wheel, the less load the shock will see (to keep it simple). That means you can get away with a smaller shock body and the loads are again, more predicable and stable, especially with side-hill type vehicle loads. This is somewhat contracticory to the trailing arm example, but you have to remember that trailing arms setups are
1)designed for max travel and fast moving components (shock mounted on the axle in go fast trucks just wont survive the heat)
2) designed for people who can throw serious coin at big body shocks.
3) not designed for side hill stability


But, of course you can go too far. You want to use every single inch of the shock body because of the way it is valved. You need to used the fully compressed oil/air at full bump, and you want to have it less compressed at full droop. If you are only using 2/3 of the travel of your shock, it will be extremely frustrating to tune because you don't get to the use the "extremes" of the valving.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchedtj99 View Post
i was looking more at articulation travel. lets say for an example what the 8.5" of travel a 6" lift shock on an xj would give me. i can do the math but more looking at what real world people have and actually think they use is
If you are looking at articulation, then the very rough rule is similar to the one above.

Articulation travel of the tire = Shock Travel * (Distance from tire to axle midpoint / distance from lower shock mount to axle midpoint).

But that assumes you have good shock geometry, suspension geometry, no tire interference, etc. Can be hard to actually achieve that. And thats assuming the axle pivots around its center, which it doesn't always. Depends how its loaded, and the links used.


For example, if a shock is mounted 24" out from the center of the vehicle, and the outside edge of the tire is 40" out from the center of the vehicle, then if you had a total of 14" of travel, then your tire could in theory move in an arc of about 23". But that depends on so many factors of the suspension design, how much up and down travel you have in the shock, binding in the steering, suspension joints, driveshaft, brake lines, yadda yadda..

Your bigger concerns will be how to fit the shocks and not have them hit anything at full stuff and droop. Especially on an XJ. Coilivers are wider than air shocks, getting them spaced out to not pull into the frame, or have the tire come up and hit them can be a challenge in an existing vehicle. Wider axles makes a big difference.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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I run 14" front and 16" rear
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #10
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thanks for all the input that math makes sense and makes working with rather easy. i did a little research and based n my math my 3" lift shocks are capable of approximately 11.6" of travel in prefect conditions. granted the leave and other factors are limiting me. but by my calculations if i swith to a 4 link i can run a 9" coilover and still have more flex than i currently have. it should in theory give me closer to 13" of travel. as far as limitations my leaf springs are all that limit me right now. im not shy with the sawzall lol
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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now on the front end i have a lot to work out. im limitted by my inner fenders as well as the short arms hitting hte spring bucket (due to this bind i literally have no droop) and my up travel i know is only 6" before im stuffed to the point that i cant move. so that needs to be modified this winter. thinking the 9" coilover should make my front end more versitile as well. not looking for this to be a bounty hill rig or anything insane just would like to flex smoother and be able to run big ugly and hump and have fun with her

thanks again.

bigb do u ever get limitted by the 14's??
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Old October 4th, 2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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and don't forget about turning the front wheels full lock at full stuff. Things get real close real fast.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 01:33 PM   #13
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ugh tell me about it... the xj wheel wells are not friends. im thinking chopping shock towers forward and moving the axle a little to help remedy that issue
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Old October 4th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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I am running 16" coilovers....that's what i got a deal on.....it was a nightmare getting everything packaged under my truck but they are under there and i am using all the shock (6 up 10 down).
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Old October 4th, 2013, 07:08 PM   #15
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is that new since we wheeled together?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #16
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Yes, since we wheeled together i swapped in 1 tons and coilovers
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Old October 5th, 2013, 06:59 AM   #17
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okay well then we need to go out and see how this works ;) lol. i need to swap in my 3/4 tons
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Old October 19th, 2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Im using qua1 7.5 inch race car coilovers tuned for dunes, terrible herbst and got shit on me in the sand

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Old October 22nd, 2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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im looking at the qa1 9" coilovers right now. mounted on the trailing arms they shoould give me decent wheel travel
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 10:31 AM   #20
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I'm running 12" air shocks front and rear. I don't know that I have been limited very much and I don't need tons of up travel for high speed stuff. I'm set up for 4" up travel & 8" down travel. I bump it up to about 5" up travel for the dunes.
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