Front Shock Extension for your CJ
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Mount longer shocks on your CJ with this low buck extension.

By: Rick Boiros - 9/2000

The new shock mounts allow CJ owners to use longer travel shocks.
The new shock mounts allow CJ owners to use longer travel shocks.

To go along with my previous article on longer brake hoses, long travel front shocks are often necessary to take advantage of the full wheel travel your suspension will allow. To gain travel in a shock absorber, they must be longer overall. The stock CJ shock arrangement does not allow a very long shock, thus available travel is limited.

A cheap modification for CJs is to replace the shock towers with Ford F350 towers. '86-88 F250 and F350 shock towers will work for this application, although these towers were probably used other years. The Ford part number is E5TZ-18183-A, and amazingly, these towers cost only $12 each at the dealer!



Installation of these towers was relatively simple, but does require drilling and welding.

The stock towers unbolt. The new ones have only 2 bolt holes. One lines up with a stock hole, one hole must be drilled. The existing hole will dictate the location.

On my CJ with narrow track axles I found it best to weld tabs onto the top of the axle housing directly under the shocks. This was for best tire clearance (they still rub) and to maximize shock travel in both directions. This setup achieves the full 10" travel of my new shocks (thanks Scott C.).

For a wide track CJ, it would be best to bolt a stud to the side of the Ford tower, similar to the stock tower. You end up gaining about 3" in shock length and subsequent travel. Another cheap trick here is to cut up and old pair of shackles and use the ends with the bolt holes for shock mounting tabs!

For an idea on what lengths of shocks are available, page covers current Rancho RS9000 Shock Specifications.

The inexpensive replacement towers come from a Ford F-series pickup. Compare the old and new tower and shock assembly.
The inexpensive replacement towers come from a Ford F-series pickup. Compare the old and new shock tower assemblies.
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