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Thread: 85 CJ7 front shock towers

  1. #1

    Default 85 CJ7 front shock towers

    On an 85 CJ7, how tall should the front frame shock towers be???? 2" identical to the rear mounts, or 6"?

    I have been cleaning up a replacement frame for my CJ, and I noticed that on my old frame the shock towers are about 6" tall. On the replacement frame, they are only 2" tall (they look like the rear shock mounts).

    On the old frame diagram that I found on the web, it shows them being 2". The diagram does not tell me what year it is for.

    A freind of mine, thinks that it might have something to do with a narrow track or wide track frame.

    Thanks Rob
    06 Wrangler Unlimited Khaki, Congo Cage, D30 & D44 with 3.73 gears, 231HD transfer case with 2LOW and JB Conversions SYE with a Tom Woods DS. LIFT: Full Traction 4" Ultimate lift and JKS BL, Brown Dog MML. SKIDS: Jeep Medic TT and Oil Pan, Warn Gas Tank, and Rusty's Steering Box & Radiator. STEERING: ORO U-Turn steering, and PCS Steering Box. Running on 35" BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. And to ruin the look, I added Warn 6" flares to keep it legal.

    99 Wrangler, 4.0L, 5-speed, 31's. Daily driver

  2. #2
    Registered CJeep's Avatar
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    How old is the donor frame? I think (but am not sure) that the short mounts were for narrow track, and the bottom of the shocks mounted to the spring plate. On you 85, the towers are tall and the shock mounts to the axle tube, not the spring plate.
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  3. #3

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    I do not know the year of the frame. The previous owner thought it was an 82 or 83. I was just happy to find a solid frame in New England so I could rebuild my Jeep. If my donor frame is setup for a narrow track, I will just cut off the shock towers and weld the taller ones on.
    06 Wrangler Unlimited Khaki, Congo Cage, D30 & D44 with 3.73 gears, 231HD transfer case with 2LOW and JB Conversions SYE with a Tom Woods DS. LIFT: Full Traction 4" Ultimate lift and JKS BL, Brown Dog MML. SKIDS: Jeep Medic TT and Oil Pan, Warn Gas Tank, and Rusty's Steering Box & Radiator. STEERING: ORO U-Turn steering, and PCS Steering Box. Running on 35" BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. And to ruin the look, I added Warn 6" flares to keep it legal.

    99 Wrangler, 4.0L, 5-speed, 31's. Daily driver

  4. #4
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    Correct, NT frames had the shorter shock towers, WT had the taller towers as mentioned.
    .



    84 CJ


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    I think it was 82 when they went to the tall shock mount,82 and 83 CJ-5's with narrow track rears,also had the tall shock mounts.I hope the frame you have is a 80 or 81,if it's a 79 or back,your transmission mount/skid plate won't fit.

  6. #6
    Registered walldo's Avatar
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    The shock towers should be bolted on, no need for cutting them off; unless someone in its past has welded them on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by walldo View Post
    The shock towers should be bolted on, no need for cutting them off; unless someone in its past has welded them on.
    I believe the shorter shock towers (narrow track) are welded on from the factory. The taller ones (wide track) are bolted on.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tydp View Post
    I believe the shorter shock towers (narrow track) are welded on from the factory. The taller ones (wide track) are bolted on.....
    Correct. The shorter ones are riveted and welded. Nothing an angle grinder can't correct in about five minutes though.

  9. #9

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    Thank you. I will have to look at the old frame and see if they are bolted. With all of the rust on the old frame, the bolt heads are probably gone.
    06 Wrangler Unlimited Khaki, Congo Cage, D30 & D44 with 3.73 gears, 231HD transfer case with 2LOW and JB Conversions SYE with a Tom Woods DS. LIFT: Full Traction 4" Ultimate lift and JKS BL, Brown Dog MML. SKIDS: Jeep Medic TT and Oil Pan, Warn Gas Tank, and Rusty's Steering Box & Radiator. STEERING: ORO U-Turn steering, and PCS Steering Box. Running on 35" BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. And to ruin the look, I added Warn 6" flares to keep it legal.

    99 Wrangler, 4.0L, 5-speed, 31's. Daily driver

  10. #10
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    I believe thay are actually rivets. If you've got that much rust chances are the channel behind them is full of garbage and the bottoms are rusting away too. As an alternative source for these towers, full size Jeeps also used them. At installation on your new frame, drill a hole in the bottom of each so water and crud can drain.

  11. #11

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    I think they are right with the 82 year as the change over.
    I have had 76's that had narrow track setups and they had the short guys.
    The frame I am working on now has the bolt in style, taller mounts, but it was either and 82/83.
    The 85 definitely had the bolt in taller style.
    HEre is a pic of the 85...

    http://www.certifiablejeep.com/image...t/122_2229.jpg

    cb

    PS> Sorry to see someone else in NH having issues with finding a good frame... I just hacked off the rear of the one I am working on and it was in "good" condition according to the previous owner.

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  12. #12
    Registered keith460's Avatar
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    All 83-86 CJ's had the same length Frt Shock Tower.
    Bolted to frame with 3ea of 3/8-16 Hex Head Bolts that are 2.5" in length.


  13. #13
    Registered Jay5.9L's Avatar
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    You can always upgrade and use some Ford F250 towers to gain a little more shock height/travel
    1986 CJ-7, SOA, '97 4.0L, tera 4:1, 4.56, lockers, 10" stretch, etc......

  14. #14
    Registered mblackmarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay5.9L View Post
    You can always upgrade and use some Ford F250 towers to gain a little more shock height/travel
    If you go with the F250 towers how do you know what length shocks to get? I think I am gonna do it but would like to know which shock I would need to run. How much longer is the 250 tower than stock, and do the F250 towers bolt on?

  15. #15
    Registered Jay5.9L's Avatar
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    Well you can always compare the old and new tower to see how much longer the new ones are and add that to your current shocks. Of course the best way would be to flex out your suspension and take measurements at full compression and extension.

    I think 2 of the 3 holes bolt up and the third one needs to be drilled. There are a few write ups floating around.
    1986 CJ-7, SOA, '97 4.0L, tera 4:1, 4.56, lockers, 10" stretch, etc......

  16. #16
    Registered wearethebucs's Avatar
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    These 88' F-250 towers have bolt holes, but can be welded on. They cost me $23 out the door at my local ford dealership. The part number is E5TZ 18183 A. Below is a picture of them.

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  17. #17

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    Thank you, great info.
    06 Wrangler Unlimited Khaki, Congo Cage, D30 & D44 with 3.73 gears, 231HD transfer case with 2LOW and JB Conversions SYE with a Tom Woods DS. LIFT: Full Traction 4" Ultimate lift and JKS BL, Brown Dog MML. SKIDS: Jeep Medic TT and Oil Pan, Warn Gas Tank, and Rusty's Steering Box & Radiator. STEERING: ORO U-Turn steering, and PCS Steering Box. Running on 35" BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. And to ruin the look, I added Warn 6" flares to keep it legal.

    99 Wrangler, 4.0L, 5-speed, 31's. Daily driver

  18. #18
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    NOT TO BUTT IN HERE..... Im also thinking of the ford idea... Looking at the above picture... Does the top shock just mount with a new bolt through the center rather than slipping it on like the oem perch? I dont have to weld anything onto the ford upgrade to make it work... Is there any clearance issues?
    :jammin: :jammin: :jammin: :jammin:

  19. #19
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    Here's a pretty good writeup with the Ford Shock Towers. Worth taking a look at.

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