Calculating Suspension Travel - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 11-20-2007
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Calculating Suspension Travel

Hey, everyone. I'm (hopefully) picking up a shock sponsorship from a well known shock company (company to be named after sponsorship is confirmed). What's the easiest way to accurately calculate my suspension travel so I know what size shocks to ask for?
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Old 11-20-2007
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Two very different things suspension travel and shock length. Very very different.

Anyway, to answer your question the most accurate way to measure suspension travel is to...

Front - Remove springs (be it coils or t-bars or coilovers) droop out the suspension fully then measuring at the hub (bearing cap, whatever) raise the suspension to its fully bumped position. The distance traveled from bump to droop as measured at the hub will be your suspension travel.

Rear - With leaves, jack your truck up so the tires are off the ground, measure from the top of the axle tube to the frame. That is the amount of possible travel you have.

Measureing for shock lengths, thats another conversation.
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Old 11-20-2007
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Guess I'd better ask how to measure for shock length then.
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Old 11-20-2007
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Just for no other reason than to bust your ***** a little bit... but how is it that you have a vehicle, I'm going to assume desert in nation by your avatar, that is 'worthy' of a shock 'sponsorship' yet you don't know how to measure these simple things?

Riddle me this and I'll tell you how to do it.
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Old 11-20-2007
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it's a boy scout project. we're building a ranger to race in score and bitd.
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Old 11-20-2007
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Damn, wish we had a project like that when I was a boy scout... sure beats building fences... lol

Alrighty, so measuring for shock length. This is a little trickier. Assuming you building like a Stock Mini or some class that has to use the stock mounting points to figure out the shock length you will need to again cycle the suspension. This time though measure (front) from the upper shock mount to the lower shock mount with it both drooped and bumped, at this point you will know the collapsed and extended length of the shock that you will need, you can then look at the specs that the given shock manufacturer has and try to find one that will fit the needs. For the rear do the same, or if you can rework the mounts fit the longest shock you can get in there.

What suspension are you going with? Most manufacturers will tell you what size shock to run. If it is the stock suspension you will be very limited in the type, size, and brand shock will work anyway.

So what kind of truck are you guys planning anyway?
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Old 11-20-2007
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it is a stock mini, as you guessed. according to rule book we don't need to use stock shock mounts though. we are limited with the rest of the suspension though. to quote:
"suspension must be of the same manufacture, shape, size and configuration as original....all suspension parts must remain stock shape, size and configuration. stock pivot points must be maintained. springs must remain in stock location and retain original stock concept. rates and capacities are open."

as for shocks, the rules say two max, location optional. no remote mounted shocks, no air shocks.
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Old 11-20-2007
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In that case you are pretty much open to build whatever shock mounts you want so really the shock size is open too. What year Ranger? On a 98+ 8" stroke will be about as big as you can go.

On a side note, I rode in a stock mini last week in the Baja 1000. I did a few hundred miles with Dan Fresh in the DXR Racing Mitsubishi Raider. Fun little truck I must say. The truck won last year by 33 seconds and we had the lead this year for a while but ended up third (about an hour out) behind Rod Hall's Hummer and the FJ.
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