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Old 11-04-2018, 10:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Going from spoa to spua

Guys,
Looking for your input please regarding two topics......

1] Will going from yj spoa to yj spua improve the road handling of my zuk, a little? somewhat? or by large margin?

2] IF, I do this mod, I'll need to mod the vw diesel oil pan for the necessary clearance between the oil pan and the oem zuk axle housing under full suspension compression.

Now, I just completed my zuk build this summer, and I'm finding the handling less spectacular than I'd hoped it would be. Am I expecting too much from my spoa suspension, I dunno.

Here is a link with my posts about the handling and such on the zuwharrie site;
https://bbs.zuwharrie.com/content?topic=136092.0

Maybe some of you never go to the zuwharrie site, so I'm hoping to get your input here.

Currently......spoa on yj's. Front yj's are custom packs that give 2" lift over stock flat sitting yj's. ML on front. FJ 80 steering box. Yes, the pitman arm points forward with this box. Sky OTT steering but using the oem zuk tie rod. Trail Tough yj mounts, front and back.

IF the yj's were placed under the axle, and all current components are used...will there be room for 31's? Wheels are 15 x 8 with 2.5" back-set.
Typically, how much up-travel can one get going spua with yj's?

I know shuduc has done extensive mods to get his 33's to fit. Anyone else spua with yj's?
My goal is improved stability and road handling characteristics for DD use.




Last edited by Spokerider; 11-04-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Before you go through all that work, why not go with flat springs?

It will not be as stiff...and drop you about 2" vs about 5-6"
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well......

I don't *think* I can get the road handling characteristics I seek with just the flat springs......vs spua. But then again, I've never driven any other zuk with spoa or spua for that matter, so no real experience comparisons can be made by me. Just going on what other have to say about it.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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all this and you are running thunderchickens........I vote flat leaves and a swaybar.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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all this and you are running thunderchickens........I vote flat leaves and a swaybar.
Ha ha. Thunderchickens. No way heís worried about off-road prowess.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ha ha. Thunderchickens. No way heís worried about off-road prowess.
Now that was a helpful post. thank you.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Samuria equals not great street handling.. first off. Lifting ride height makes it worse bigger tires makes it worse. Bastardized springs with unmatched shocks again worse not to mention all the added weight on your rig. Try a set of ome springs and shocks lower it, spring under will help but again make it lower.. Doing one thing for better street handling will usually make it worse off road.. Also go with different tires might help.

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Old 11-06-2018, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ditch the mudders and drop to a 31" tire if you want comfort on the way to the mall.
33's and stock Zuk axles no bueno, spend your money on Toy axles.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I ran 34" TSL's with stock YJ springs SPUA for years. I thought it drove great and rode great.


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Old 11-06-2018, 01:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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jesus, not a single person actually helped the OP

spokerider - yes, going SUA will help you considerably. honestly, SUA is the only way i'd set up a set of leaf springs now-a-days. unfortunately, I have never been around the diesel motor so I do not know if your oil pan will have to be modified.

another option is to add an aftermarket panhard bar that goes from your leaf spring perch to your frame and controls side to side movement. or buy an anti-rock sway bar and fab it to your application. My first zuk had a spidertrax panhard bar with YJ springs SOA and it handled pretty well actually - but spidertrax no longer makes that panhard kit.

if it was me - I'd go SUA, make the necessary mods to your oil pan, and change out those gosh darn shitty bias ply tires! going to a new radial tire will be night and day improvement!!!!

good luck, and feel free to search my posts to see my old SUA zook for motivation

EDIT: just looked at your pics again, you already have the panhard bar. Go SUA and ditch that fucker along with the bias tires, you will be happy!!
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Too bad we lost all that good build info on both your zuks back on Zukikrawlers...RIP.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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jesus, not a single person actually helped the OP

spokerider - yes, going SUA will help you considerably. honestly, SUA is the only way i'd set up a set of leaf springs now-a-days. unfortunately, I have never been around the diesel motor so I do not know if your oil pan will have to be modified.

another option is to add an aftermarket panhard bar that goes from your leaf spring perch to your frame and controls side to side movement. or buy an anti-rock sway bar and fab it to your application. My first zuk had a spidertrax panhard bar with YJ springs SOA and it handled pretty well actually - but spidertrax no longer makes that panhard kit.

if it was me - I'd go SUA, make the necessary mods to your oil pan, and change out those gosh darn shitty bias ply tires! going to a new radial tire will be night and day improvement!!!!

good luck, and feel free to search my posts to see my old SUA zook for motivation

EDIT: just looked at your pics again, you already have the panhard bar. Go SUA and ditch that fucker along with the bias tires, you will be happy!!


To be fair, I did say I would go flat leaves, and if needed add a swaybar. This will lower his COG and give a better ride and improved flex, over a high arch leaf.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Too bad we lost all that good build info on both your zuks back on Zukikrawlers...RIP.
is zukikrawlers no more???? I haven't been on that site in so long, forgot about it actually
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My question is this: specifically what is the problem with your road handling? Body roll, steering feel, ride quality etc.

I'm thinking you could probably get where you want to go with a panhard bar, good shocks, and swaybars, especially since I don't get the impression that you are wheeling it very hard. SUA will undoubtedly help, but there might be an easier way to go about it considering it will require a custom oil pan etc.

I'm SOA on yjs with 32s/spool/crappy shocks and really don't mind the handling much at all.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sua and yjs will not require any extensive mods just a decent amount of fender trimming and 4lb beater work.

I've had a ton of samurais in all different configurations and I think the sweet spot is yjs, sua, and 31s. 33s just put to much strain on everything and there is no reason to be lifted so tall with a short wheel base. If you are actually out wheeling a locked up samurai with tcase gears and power steering you need to really step up your game to the next level.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sua and yjs will not require any extensive mods just a decent amount of fender trimming and 4lb beater work.

I've had a ton of samurais in all different configurations and I think the sweet spot is yjs, sua, and 31s. 33s just put to much strain on everything and there is no reason to be lifted so tall with a short wheel base. If you are actually out wheeling a locked up samurai with tcase gears and power steering you need to really step up your game to the next level.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree, the issue is the VW motor, axle truss and 80 series steering box are all going to be competing for real estate once the car goes back to a sensible height. The OP has posted this on Auszookers, and weíre working through it on there too.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sua and yjs will not require any extensive mods just a decent amount of fender trimming and 4lb beater work.

I've had a ton of samurais in all different configurations and I think the sweet spot is yjs, sua, and 31s. 33s just put to much strain on everything and there is no reason to be lifted so tall with a short wheel base. If you are actually out wheeling a locked up samurai with tcase gears and power steering you need to really step up your game to the next level.
What does "the next level" mean to you?

My Sami is locked f/r, has case gears, power steering, spoa yj's and 33's. I want to lower it, but am concerned about the long length of the yj spring and smallish tires. Going smaller than 33's has never crossed my mind.

I've thought about staying spring over on Sami rear springs (loosing the bracketry for wider springs and the missing links) or swapping toy rears or aftermarket toy fronts and going spua. @86chevyjoe?
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What does "the next level" mean to you?

My Sami is locked f/r, has case gears, power steering, spoa yj's and 33's. I want to lower it, but am concerned about the long length of the yj spring and smallish tires. Going smaller than 33's has never crossed my mind.

I've thought about staying spring over on Sami rear springs (loosing the bracketry for wider springs and the missing links) or swapping toy rears or aftermarket toy fronts and going spua. @86chevyjoe?
I've had great luck with my 5" trail-gear Toyota front springs SUA on all 4 corners. they have the best approach/departure angle based on the high offset spring pin. they do require custom mounts as there is no "bolt-in" kit for these springs. if I still had my star id post pics but I'm not paying for that crap
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thank you for your input guys, it's all good. It is giving me some ideas and direction that I can move towards with this swap.

Yes, Steve has been giving me lots of advice, in depth, over on the Auszookers site. Thank you Steve. Of course, I still welcome others advice and experienced opinions [ and pics! ] of others spua mods, likes and dislikes with it.

I had removed the 33" bias ply tires right away, after the 1st drive since the zuk hit the pavement. It now has 31" ProComp Extreme radials.

So, one issue I've been trying to come to terms with, is......how much am I willing to remove from this spoa build to "start over" with spua. I want it done right, once and for all, don't want to have to redo it a year later cause I'm still not happy [ coulda, shoulda, woulda syndrome ] with it.

The vw diesel is staying, the Acme rad is staying, and the zuk axles are staying.
I would "like" the fj 80 box to stay.....but would go with an Astro box, Tracker box, Toy IFS box, if it is a " must" to make the steering work.
I would also like the vw power steer pump to stay....it's currently low down on the drivers side, in the oem vw location......as the engine bay is to full and tight, changing the PS pump to another location means moving other shyte on the driver side engine bay too.

I'm willing to mod the yj spring packs to different leafs / ride height, or even go to BonzEye springs if needed. The missing links could go......but I'm not sure what to replace them with at this point. I know spring choice, spring height, leaf spring eye locations [ in relation to the frame or oem zuk mounts ] and shackle length all contribute to the caster angle, good or poor. I'm currently at 7 degrees.
Not willing to change the height of the engine mounts at this point, to gain clearance under the 1.9TD oil pan [ yes, it sits lower than the zuk 1.3 oil pan ].

I'm willing to make new steering components, tie rod and drag link, remove and replace shock mounts on the frame, remove the Sky steering arms, move the zuk axle forward or rearward as needed to make steering tie rod, DL and pitman arm all work with no interference.

Willing to relocate the front springs, rear eye mounts on the frame [ I currently have the Trail Tough YJ rear spring mounts ] to get correct axle location.

Willing to change out the Bilstien shocks with ??, if they're not working for the swap.

Willing to do a 1" body lift for 31" clearance in the wheel wells.
Willing to mod the vw oil pan to gain 1.5" of extra clearance between it, and the zuk axle / diff housing on suspension compression.

Now for the IF's....

So.......IF i keep the yj's, and keep the FJ80 box, how do I make the oem zuk tie rod and drag link work? I'll need a Toy end to connect to the FJ pitman arm. It will need to pass a VI if I get one....and thus there ought to be no suspect bubba mods done to the steering components.
Do I.....make a new drag link, fj pitman end and somehow mate it to the zuk tie rod?
Do I..... weld up the hole in the pitman arm, and have a new zuk-sized taper hole machined in?

What about keeping the Sky arm [ pass side ] and filling in the DL hole with weld and machining a new FJ taper hole to allow the DL joint to attach from below? I read somewhere that Sky would do this at the factory for you, if you asked for it to be done at time of purchase.
Yes, with the current DL and Sky arm, there WILL be frame interference upon suspension compression........dunno how much compression it would allow, but prolly not much. Not wanting to "notch the frame" on a DD for possible VI reasons.
If the Sky arm were modded as mentioned, would there still be room for the zuk tie rod to attach to the oem zuk knuckle arm?



More on the FJ80 box / pitman arm / drag link, and the clearance relationship with the vw diesel.....
As is now, when steering straight ahead, the DL passes just at the leading edge of the vw power steering pump pulley. There is no interference with the DL hitting the pulley with the 2.5" compression that I currently have.
Now, I do have a shorter, flatter Toy truck 2wd pitman that I could put on. Thinking that this would help with DL angle when going to spua. Being shorter....the DL is going to pass further back on the engine, closer to the oil pan, and being flatter, the DL will have that much less clearance with the oil pan / vw PS pulley upon suspension compression. Hummm....... have not checked it for this yet.......


So for questions guys.......

How much suspension compression are you getting from your spua [ with zuk engine ]? What steering components are you using?
What did you have to mod to get those components to "work"?


Here is a pic of the two Toy pitman arms that I have, the shorter one being on the left in the pic;





And a pic of when I was trying flat yj spring packs. You can see the fj box, pitman arm, and not much clearance between the DL and the vw power steering pump pulley.


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Old 11-12-2018, 01:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Iíll copy this across to AZ later and reply in more detail when Iím not at work on my phone, but I think youíre coming at this back to front. You canít lower the car or resolve your problems by making small changes to the steering linkages or changing to some other spring. You have all the leaves you need to get the ride and ride height.

You canít lower the car by not moving anything. The configuration of the parts youíre using has forced you into this height, the only way to fix it is to reconfigure the parts. Saying ďIím not moving this or thatĒ is going to leave you only ever making incremental adjustments, which youíre claiming you donít want to do. Do you want it fixed, or do you want more compromises stacked on top t
Of what you have now?

Pull the power steering pump out and mock the front end back up SPUA. Youíll never get the car low enough with the PS pump where it is. Youíve previously mentioned it being the crank pulley that was the problem which obviously canít be worked around, but a PS pump is easy.

The flat pitman arm is sitting fairly low, but with SPUA and the drag link reconnected with the tie rod as per stock it should be just fine.

You keep harping on the steering and springs as where you need to do the work- hats not the case- theyíre easy and you pretty much have everything you need, you just need to give the steering room to work. Follow my guide on AZ with the PS pump removed, youíll get the car plenty low and your problems will pretty much dissapear.



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Old 11-12-2018, 01:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I should have mentioned that this pic [ with flat yj's ] was from a year ago.....when I was originally trying to determine the spring height and leafs to use.

Steve,
I'll keep our conversations to the AZ site......may as well rather than jump back and forth.

Last edited by Spokerider; 11-12-2018 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Yes, I understand thatís not how the car is sitting now, but I can see that with that pitman arm, SPUA, and with the drag link back onto the tie rod, the steering should be pretty good. Get the PS pump out of the way and youíll be most of the way there.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:26 AM   #24 (permalink)
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So for questions guys.......

How much suspension compression are you getting from your spua [ with zuk engine ]? What steering components are you using?
What did you have to mod to get those components to "work"?
I only had about 2-3" of up travel in the white Samurai that I posted the picture of. Stock YJ springs run SPUA with home made but typical drop brackets and shackles.

It has a 1.6 16v Zuk motor.

It has the standard Kick/Track power steering box mounted with Petroworks wedge bracket.

I ran the stock tie rod, and stock drag link in the stock location, but double sleeved the drag link because of bending.

Everything worked great, but it could have used a little more steering power to turn those 34" TSL's.
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