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Tire clearance and adjustable shocks
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Fun 181
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Joined: October 20, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Tire clearance and adjustable shocks Reply with quote

More help please...

I just did a search of the Thing forums regarding adjustable shocks, but didn't really get the answer I need.

I just installed new tires on 15 x8 rims. The tires are just over 27" high and I'm having clearance issues. The clearance is O.K. with just a driver, but as soon as I take on passengers I can hear and feel the wheels rubbing when I turn. Not good.

All I need is about an inch or 2 for clearance. I'm hoping there are some sort of adjustable shock I can use to get that clearance instead of going to the effort and expense of installing a new adjustable front beam and reindexing the torsion bars.

Wider fiberglass fenders are not an option.

What would be the best adjustable shock/coilover to use to get that extra inch or two? Any other easy solutions to this situation?

Thanks for your help,
Slim
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Ferretkona
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would steer away from shocks to raise the Thing. You are adding more stress to the shock mounts.

I would re index the rear a couple of notches and use a weld in adjustable beam for the front.

25 inch tires are pretty much the max we can go without modifying or raising the Thing.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Tire clearance and adjustable shocks Reply with quote

Fun 181 wrote:
I just installed new tires on 15 x8 rims. The tires are just over 27" high and I'm having clearance issues. The clearance is O.K. with just a driver, but as soon as I take on passengers I can hear and feel the wheels rubbing when I turn . . . . I'm hoping there are some sort of adjustable shock I can use to get that clearance instead of going to the effort and expense of installing a new adjustable front beam and reindexing the torsion bars. . . .What would be the best adjustable shock/coilover to use to get that extra inch or two?

Hi Slim,

Those coilover shocks you mentioned are typically used if the spring plates/torsion bars are a little tired, or when extra load carrying capacity is needed, or if some other heavy duty use is anticipated. They're not normally deemed appropriate to lift the vehicle. I'm not saying it can't be done, but those who know better will point and giggle. It won't be pretty.

Tell us more about your tires. You mentioned that they were 27" tall, but said nothing about the width. The reason I ask is that I am running 27 x 8.5" tires on stock rims with no lift and no rubbing. This suggests to me that yours is a wheel/backspacing issue. For reference, stock Thing rims are 14 x 5 with a whopping 4 3/8" backspace. My bet is that your wheels are too wide and the backspacing too small. Given your stated constraints (leaving the beam unmodified - sticking with stock fenders) I think your easiest solution will be to find some more appropriate wheels.

If you are really in love with those wheels and end up lifting your Thing, do it right. Smile

Fun 181 wrote:
All I need is about an inch or 2 for clearance.

You say that so cavalierly, as though lifting a vehicle two inches was without consequences . . .

Ferretkona wrote:
25 inch tires are pretty much the max we can go without modifying or raising the Thing.

Not in my world. Wink
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Fun 181
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rims are American Racing Mojave Black Teflon Coated 3981 Series 15" x 8" with 3-3/4" backspacing.

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_10002_772099_-1_36656

and yeah, I really do want to keep these wheels.

The tires are Yokohama Geolander ATS 225/70R15

These are the second set of tires that I've tried. I'll check again, but don't think I can go any smaller than what I have. The problem is that I need 28" tall tires (or as close to 28" as possible) because that is what my new Rancho transaxle has been geared for.

So it looks like if I want to buy an inch, and do it the right way, it's going to cost a lot more than a new set of shocks. Bummer.

Thanks for the feedback.
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mattt
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting a little lift is not a tough job at all. You can either cut and turn the front beam, or have adjusters installed in the beam. Either option can run between $0-$150 depending on if you do it yourself. To raise the rear is even easier. All you have to do is re-index the rear torsion bars. If you are mechanically inclined, its a simple procedure that should only take a few hours. I think there is a "sticky" in the off road forum that details front and rear lift.

Also, I'd say your rubbing issues are due to the offset of your rims. I'd imagine you had to add an adapter to use those rims since they probably dont come in a VW pattern. You can run a 27"X 8.5" -14 tire on a stock Thing with stock rims. So, if your 225's are 27" tall, the height is not your problem. It's more likely the offset of the rim and where it's placing the tire.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
. . . So, if your 225's are 27" tall, the height is not your problem. It's more likely the offset of the rim and where it's placing the tire.

Exactly. The tires are 27.4" tall and 8.85" wide. With the backspacing of his wheels, they sit .8 inches further outboard than if he had 27x8.5R14's on stock rims, plus the thickness of an adapter plate, if there is one.
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