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Rebuild my current shocks or get new ones?

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Back when I was building my TJ the first time I bought Walker Evans shocks with the Off Road Only AiRock system. I had the option to get the shocks with a reservoir that was adjustable. But they were on back order at the time so I went with the no reservoir shocks. They need to be rebuilt at this point and I have contacted Walker Evans about rebuilding them. The cost to rebuild them is $75 + $10-20 for revalving for each shock and $150 if I want to add the reservoirs. So I am looking at $225-245 per shock. And Walker Evans has gotten away from their Jeep line of shocks and is now mainly UTV & snowmobile.

My current shocks:
IMG00479.jpg


I know that there are a lot of newer shocks on the market now that were not available 12 years ago when I bought these shocks.
So I would like to here what people are currently running now and your impression of how they work. My current shocks are a 12" travel shock.
I'm looking at Fox or Radflo or King or Bilstein are the 4 I can think of.

If Paul from Fullstack Motorsports sees this I am curious to hear what you have to say.

Thanks to everyone.
 

pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
Hey Rick, Kevin will be replying tonight about your email.

Those Walker Evans are high quality shocks. We charge about the same for the rebuild and valving. They use their own shim post size, and we would need to get shims from them after we open them up. Likely have to buy whole stacks to get the valving we want. Also need to look at the piston to determine valving.

My only concern about bolting in Fox/Radflo ect is I think the WE have a shorter compressed length. You will not want to bolt in a 12 inch shock to the stock positions. Can you measure the extended length, and double check they have 12 inches of shaft showing?


edit: And to get a pin top mount at the top we will have to have Radflo build us some. They run 260ish each for those, they will have remote reservoirs.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Paul,
Once the weather warms up I can pull one front and rear shocks and get your the exact measurements. At their compressed length they are 18 1/2" long.
Off-Road Only stopped using them in their kits becasue of some warranty issues.

I'm just thinking at this point since it is about $200 to rebuild them that I should just get new shocks but if you feel these can be made to work then I'll keep them.
 

pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
At $200, since you want to add reservoirs, I would change them to a brand that has better parts availability for $50 more a shock. And if you go with us, we can spec the valving when they are being built.


Standard build Fox and Radflo 12s are 19 inch collapsed, 31 extended. We can order shorter eyes to make them 18 inch I believe.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
That is what I was thinking and when we had talked before you had said the Walker Evans were hard to get parts for. Since I am going to be redoing my suspension I can make the new mounts to fit the 19" collapsed length. We will talk and I think having you valve them to my Jeep might be the better way to go.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Paul,
Yes those are the same towers I have now. I hope to be able to do most of the work myself. I'm still trying to figure out just what I am going to do with my stretch and how much I want of a WB stretch I want to go to.

I don't want to go too long but at the same time I want to go ENOUGH. I'm thinking 102-104" WB with little to no overhang in the rear and push the front as far forward as I can while keeping the stock steering box.

So I am going to have to redo my front lower mounts and the rear upper mounts. With the air bags being my limiting factor is there any reason to try to go to a longer travel shock?
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Barring other restrictions, how much travel do the bags allow?
If I remember correctly between 10-12" which is why the kit came with 12" travel shocks but I can verify that with ORO and check on my Jeep itself soon.
 
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pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
Paul,
Yes those are the same towers I have now. I hope to be able to do most of the work myself. I'm still trying to figure out just what I am going to do with my stretch and how much I want of a WB stretch I want to go to.

I don't want to go too long but at the same time I want to go ENOUGH. I'm thinking 102-104" WB with little to no overhang in the rear and push the front as far forward as I can while keeping the stock steering box.

So I am going to have to redo my front lower mounts and the rear upper mounts. With the air bags being my limiting factor is there any reason to try to go to a longer travel shock?
No, I would stick with 12s. The rear driveshaft (depending on how much you stretch) starts to become an issue with too much droop. ANd without frame work you won't be able to get more than 5 to 6 uptravel at ride height, without frame work. I think 12s would be perfect.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Okay. So which do you recommend? Radflo? Fox? King? is that pretty much it for good rebuildable shock brands?
 

pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
If you're going to convert to the towers any of those will work, I prefer Fox and Radflo. King are great shocks, too, but I find service is better with the other brands. If you need pin top in the front then you'll have to get Radflo.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
I don't need pin top for the front. Right now I have the JKS adapters but I could gain about an inch if I did go to pin type in the front by removing the adapters.

IMGP1747.jpg


And the bar adapters also I think is what they were called?

IMGP0872.jpg
 

pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
If you have 12 inch shocks bolted in to the stock location with bar pin eliminators, your uptravel must be terrible. Definitely try to fix that with the new towers.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
The pictures are how it is setup right now. I plan to cut the stock towers off and put some new ones in. And the spring pads and lower shock mounts are going to get changed.
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
I'm thinking something like this for the upper mounts. Looks like they maybe took a Synergy or similar rear shock bracket and cut it to fit?

82529
 
OP
Wildman

Wildman

Over Analizer Extraordinaire...............
Supporting Member
Dec 12, 2015
670
In the hills of WA
Pcoplin can you explain a little bit about how this process works for getting shocks tuned/setup for something like this?
Do I wait until I have the Jeep drivable again and then bring it down to your shop and then you do your magic with a set of shocks? Or do you send me shocks and then I tell you if I feel they are too stiff or soft? Never done this before.
 

pcoplin

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
275
Santiam, OR
We've developed a few tunes, mostly depends on the weight of the rig, and how you want the small bumps to feel. No need to do it live, just box up the shocks and we change the valving. We include one free revalve if we get it wrong for you. Have only had to do that once on the front of a light 4cyl 4Runner. Well, twice, but that was a different owner.