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Old 04-16-2012, 07:35 PM   #1
samsamurai
 
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School me on the SPOA please.

I just bought this samurai, came with predone SPOA swap with 31's. I am replacing the whole front axle, and redoing some things. First of all, it has longer shackles than stock, why? I have been reading about SPOA swaps, and I haven't read anything about making longer shackles. Also, the steering link is the stock link, just bent to make it clear the springs. It's pretty sketchy feeling to drive. The steering is really floaty, like it could go off the road at any second. I think the slop in the extended shackles adds to this. What is better to improve this, the drop pitman arm, or the Z-link? Is it acceptable to just cut the stock spring perches off the axle tube and weld on the opposite side, or is it worth buying the premade perches?
thanks
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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Pictures would help us better but here is what I got to say

SPOA is ok is done right. But highly recommend 1/2 high steer, minimal is z link for spoa. With what you described in the steering would definitely cause twitchy steering. The shackle are OK to be longer as long as they are not majorly long. loose bushing can cause some issues too. you can cut the lower ones off but usually you butcher them on removal. I like to leave them till I get the new ones welded on to help set your caster angle. If this was done wrong can cause issues too.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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Some good tech in this thread
http://www.zukikrawlers.com/showthread.php?t=174
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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We may be able to provide you with a few pointers, but to be schooled will require a lot of work/reading on your part. My suggestion is to do a search on the Forum for each area of concern. Not only will you find answers to many of your questions, but it will help you to frame your questions better so they can be understood. Photos really help also.

Now, to try answering you current post/questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
I just bought this samurai, came with predone SPOA swap with 31's.
Was it a homemade SPOA, and what kind of springs? If you are not sure, a couple of photos would help us help you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
I am replacing the whole front axle, and redoing some things.
Why are you replacing the front axle? What things are you redoing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
First of all, it has longer shackles than stock, why?
In all probability, the PO used longer shackles to increase the lift. Typically, each inch added to the shackle length increases the lift at the axle about 1/2-inch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
I have been reading about SPOA swaps, and I haven't read anything about making longer shackles.
It is there, in several Threads. Have you used the search feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
Also, the steering link is the stock link, just bent to make it clear the springs.
I am not sure I understand what you are referring to as the "steering link". It could be the Pitman Arm, or Drag Link. There are Pitman Arms that are Drop Pitman Arms. If you are unfamiliar with them, you may think they are bent. You are probably the Drag Link, which is commonly use instead of a Drop Pitman Arm. I don't think you can bend a "stock Link" to suit a lift, simply because it would be too short. You can add tubing different ways but the end product would be commonly referred to as a "Z" Link. A photo of what you have would help. Offroad only, they may be OK, but for street use they are questionable, and more often than not cause steering problems. A half over steering (or Over Knuckle) or full over is by far the better choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
It's pretty sketchy feeling to drive. The steering is really floaty, like it could go off the road at any second.
There is a list of things that could be the cause of this. From what you have described so far, I think the steering and shackles are the most likely issues. There are more posibilities, but those two sound the most obvious on your Zuki.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
I think the slop in the extended shackles adds to this.
Although I think the steering is the most likely, I do believe the extended shackles add do add to the problem. Not simply because they are extended shackles, but due to the quality of their fabrication and/or bushings. Need photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
What is better to improve this, the drop pitman arm, or the Z-link?
More info is needed. How much lift do you have? I think a 1/2 over (knuckle over) is the best choice, but with just a little lift you might (I doubt) get buy with a Drop Pitman Arm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsamurai View Post
Is it acceptable to just cut the stock spring perches off the axle tube and weld on the opposite side, or is it worth buying the premade perches?
I prefer to buy new perches, for several reasons. I question the value in removing the stock perches, for several reasons, and cannot see any real advantages in doing so.

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Alright thanks, that clarifies things for me. I read that thread and learned a lot from it. I'll try to upload some pictures. I am referring to the drag link, that was just bent rather than getting a new drag link or drop pitman arm. I am replacing the front axle because my front knuckle broke the other day. I think it was the result of a lack of grease in the hub? The hub was squealing and really hot. The wheel just about fell off at about 40 MPH, almost put her in the cabbage. I plan to remove the extended shackles, I just don't think they are necessary. I also will be replacing all the bushings, they are really sloppy. If I can find a Mercedes steering arm at my local junkyard, I'll go with that route.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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Here is what is referred to as a 1/2 over high steer



Those are the basic components of a high steer (to do a complete high steer you would need another steering knuckle). They are not to difficult to put on if you have a little automotive knowledge. I've never dealt with a "Z" link, but they look sketchy to me to begin with.
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