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Discussion Starter #1
My ARB Old Man Emu shocks (model N183S) made it to my local 4 Wheel Parts last night. Unfortunately Colorado got hit with a blizzard this morning. No one in their right mind would head out just to pick up shocks considering it will be Monday before temperatures warm enough to work on an install. Fortunately I waved goodbye to my sanity long ago. :cyclopsani:

The shocks are bright yellow which should look good behind a black ShrockWorks bumper and the black AC coils. Here is what they look like with the coils over them.


I do have a couple of concerns however. These shocks were reported to have 30mm more travel than stock. In a previous post Syndicate provided a picture with some measurements of the stock shocks.


Now look at the EMUs


I couldn't get a picture of the EMUs retracted, but the stroke that I measured is right around 4-1/4 inches so they are either the same or slighly less stroke than stock. Since the shocks don't seem to have a longer stroke than stock it looks like I'll have to follow the advice of those who came before to have the springs installed professionally.

My question now is: are these longer overall?

Extended the EMUs measure about 18-3/4 inches from the center of the lower mount hole to the tip of the rod. Can anyone provide this measurement for the stock shocks? TIA.
 

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Ask and you shall recieve.


I know the tape measure looks off in the photo but it's a distance issue with the photo. The center of the eye is lined up perfectly. Plus I measured it like 10 times, 10 different ways, just to be certain. The overall length for the stock shocks is 18.5".

So, your OMEs are slightly longer. I can't see any reason why there'd be a problem. Man, now I wish I would have waited one more week for you to throw that Old Man Emu part # at me before commiting to my Rancho 9000s...

Congrats bro, OMEs are badass.
 

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MAN IF I KNEW THE COILS LOOKED THAT GOOD WITH THAT SET UP I WOULD HAVE KEEPT THEM..... WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE REAR?
 

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I hunted ARB/OME site for the shocks and couldn't find an application for the X. Is this new or did you cross reference applications from other manufacturers? How much for the OME's? How do they compare w/ the Bilsteins on the OR's? We have the OME's on all four corners of the jeep plus steering dampener, good stuff from down under.
 

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Those would look sweet on my truck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ask and you shall recieve.


I know the tape measure looks off in the photo but it's a distance issue with the photo. The center of the eye is lined up perfectly. Plus I measured it like 10 times, 10 different ways, just to be certain. The overall length for the stock shocks is 18.5".
Thanks Syndicate. It looks like these are very close so far.

Now mwasure from the spring seat to the end of the shaft. That is where the difference may come from.
In looking at Syndicate's photos and mine there does appear to be a difference here, but it looks like the spring sits further down on the EMUs which would reduce the lift. Since the seat is angled, I picked the point adjacent to the dip for the end of the spring (you can see it at the top left on the photo with the spring) and get about 14-3/4.

MAN IF I KNEW THE COILS LOOKED THAT GOOD WITH THAT SET UP I WOULD HAVE KEEPT THEM..... WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE REAR?
I picked up a set of Rancho 9000's off ebay to go with the AAL that I got from you. Brake lines were supposed to be delivered yesterday but the blizzard nixed that.

I hunted ARB/OME site for the shocks and couldn't find an application for the X. Is this new or did you cross reference applications from other manufacturers? How much for the OME's? How do they compare w/ the Bilsteins on the OR's? We have the OME's on all four corners of the jeep plus steering dampener, good stuff from down under.
The shocks are listed for a Pathfinder (and Frontier?). Since these use the same front suspension as the X I figured it was a safe bet. I'd found a post on a Frontier/Navara forum where someone from Australia had put them on his Navara. Unfortunatley he hadn't made any measurements to compare to stock. 4 Wheel Parts originally quoted $189 but I got them down to $139.99 each. I then got an additional 10% for mentioning the TV show Extreme 4x4.
 

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so.... is there something that im missing here about these shocks? I mean, they are less travel, shorter displacement, and about the same length over all, AND they drop your lift. Is that what you were looking to do? is this just stock replacement shock? or were you expecting alot more travel?
 

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Originally I think he was told that it would give 30mm more travel.

I bet if the stock spring seat is about the same height from the bottom eye. I think it just looks lower because of the tube. The eye on the OME has that little neck on it, unlike the stock shock.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Catalyst said:
so.... is there something that im missing here about these shocks? I mean, they are less travel, shorter displacement, and about the same length over all, AND they drop your lift. Is that what you were looking to do? is this just stock replacement shock? or were you expecting alot more travel?
They were billed on another discussion site as being either longer or having longer travel. It appears that the actual extension of the piston rod is roughly the same as stock and that the shock may be ever so slightly longer overall.

Earlier I said that I thought that the spring mount being closer to the bottom eyelet would reduce travel, but I'm not so sure. Since the the AC coils have to be compressed so much during install they effectively limit the suspension travel under all but the most extreme loads. Having them compressed less might actually increase useable travel under normal loads.

Regardless, they are so close to stock dimension, and the OME shocks in general are so highly regarded, I'm going to move forward with the install. Now I just need to figure out the best way to measure suspension travel before and after. Extension is easy. Does anyone have any good, preferably simple, ideas for measuring full compression?
 

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Jack up the front end and with the wheels off the ground, measure the amount of space between the bump stops. That is your total travel.
 

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Actual wheel travel will be greater(than measuring at the bump) and needs to be measured at the hub, extension is easy, just let it droop all the way. The compression will be more difficult, especially with the AC coils... you gotta try to compress it all the way to the bumpstop.
Since the compression is going to be the same point at the factory bump with either set-up you could just measure the droop (from fender to center of hub) with each shock and the difference will be the increase/decrease.
 

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I didn't think he cared about the actual number, just how much different the OME w/ AC coils would be over the stock setup.

I know that with the stock bilsteins and the AC coils, I am still hitting the bump stops while wheeling, so that is the total amount of travel.
 

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Measure from the center of the lower pivot, to the shoulder on the rod where the threads end. Looking at the various pictures you took, the OMEs look to be 15-3/8". The stock ones look to be 15.25". That shoulder is where you tighten the upper spring retainer down to.
 

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Crap, you're totally right. This whole time we've been measuring to the end of the piston... but it's the piston shoulder that matters...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got the OMEs installed yesterday and today (along with brake lines, AAL, rear shocks, AC coils). I'll get pictures up in the next day or so but here are the more important observations.

The geometry of these shocks is definitely different than stock. With the stock coil resting uncompressed on the stock shock the end of the piston rod is about even with the end of the spring. With the stock coil and the EMUs the rod sticks about 1" past the spring. The stock spring would have very little preload on this shock. The AC coils sat about 1" longer than the rod on the stock shock but about even with the rod on the EMUs.

A bit of this apparent difference in shock length is in the overall length, but most is due to the lower spring seat being closer to the lower mounting eye on the EMUs.

The net result of this is that I had to compress the AC coils about an inch less than I would have with a stock configuration shock. That made the install much easier and I suspect will give a less harsh ride. It felt pretty nice on the short drive I took tonight. I used two sets of coil compressors from Harbor Freight Tools ($12.99 per set) and a 1/2 drive socket wrench and was competely comfortable doing the install. I tip my hat to those of you who installed the AC coils on stock shocks yourselves.

The downside of the lower spring seat being closer to the lower mounting eye is that some lift is lost. I got a bit under 2" (my notes are in the garage) and suspect it would have been more with a stock shock. I believe that my spring/shock combination compressed more under the load of the front end than it would have with the stock shocks since I had less preload on the springs. In return I'll gain some downtravel.

Being a scientist my nature drove me to try the AC coil on stock shock and stock coil on EMU shock combinations. Fortunately sense and impatience overrode this impulse.

The EMUs require you to reuse the dust shields from the stock shocks. These are black on my 2005 S. They therefore don't look quite as cool as if they were yellow to match the shock. I debated heading out to buy a set of yellow dust boots, or a can of yellow paint, but wanted to continue with the install instead. If you pursue the EMUs then I'd recommend getting a pair of yellow boots to complete the look.

I'm sure that there is more but that should be enough for now.
 

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Congrats on the clean install. I should add that it's impossible to install AC coils on Rancho 9000s because you have to compress the coil so much so that it pinches the compressor's hooks, making them stuck to the set-up. So, that being said, I'm happy you didn't run into the same problem.

Please keep us updated on how these work out off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So far I'm reall happy with the way the modded X rides. I've not taken it off-road yet (I am heading to Moab next weekend) but the Denver area roads are crap right now due to all the ice and snow buildup.

I promised some pics so here are a couple. This one shows the AC coil on EMU shock installed on the right side. As i mentioned, a yellow boot would have been nice but I was too impatient to go out and get some.



This was the setup that I used to compress the springs. It really wasn't too bad with 2 sets of compressors, though as I mentioned, I'd hate to try this with stock shocks.


This next shot shows the difference in setup of the EMU shock relative to stock. Notice that that the coil seat is closer to the lower eyelet on the EMU, though overall the shock is longer.


Finally, you can see the difference in the AC coil with EMU shock relative to stock.


I have other shots, including some of the rear AAL and extended brake lines, but those are for a different topic. I do have others showing some of the front suspension if anyone is interested.

As for measurements, the AC spring was 1" longer than stock (14-7/8" vs. 13-7/8"). Droop increased from 22" with the stock setup to 22-1/2" with the AC coil and EMU shock. I can only assume that it would have been less than 22" with the AC coil on a stock shock. My final lift was 1-5/8" in the front (33-5/8 to 35-1/4) and 2-1/2" in the rear (33-7/8 to 36-3/8). I'd repeat these measurements in a couple of weeks but I went and threw on some 285/75R16 Revos yesterday and I should have my Shrock bumper in a week or two.

Here is a quick shot of the truck as it is today. This was taken after I unsucsessfuly tried to drive through about 18" of snow.
 

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I see the hooks on the Harbor Freight compressors are thinner than the ones by Craftsman and OEM. Explains why you were able to remove them after securing the shock within the coil. I bought those too but were afraid they were too cheap. Just goes to show ya...

Btw, looks like you forgot to use the old plastic coil wrap for the bottom of the new coil. Doesn't matter much but you might get some squeekage.
 
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