I recently picked up a Pro-Line Toyota SR5 for a project that I’m working on for my dad. It will be a scale version of his 1:1 SR5 and the body is done and ready to be mounted. I bought a new Gen8 PACK to use for the project as it allowed the most room for the interior and the price is hard to beat. It showed up today and, while it looks good, I am very disappointed. I didn’t realize from the photos how tall the shock towers were and they won’t allow the body to sit anywhere close to the frame. The bottom of the tailgate is roughly 2″ above the bumper mount. I don’t want to cut the body to clear the tower as dad’s truck didn’t have the shock towers poking through the bed (his was lifted 6″ and ran on 33’s but it was still IFS and leaf sprung).
When mounting a pickup style body to a Gen8, you have several options. First, you could just raise the front and go for the massive-body-lift-look with a fairly large gap between the lower portion of the body and the frame rails. This wouldn’t work for me as that’s not how dad’s truck looked. I remember an S10 at a car show back in ’08 that was on stock suspension and had a body lift of about 15″. The bumpers were still attached to the frame and you could see a good amount of daylight between the body and frame. It was one way of putting 35’s on an S10 but just isn’t my taste.
Option #2, cut holes in the bed and allow the shocks and shock towers to poke through. This would be fine for a trail truck or a prerunner type build but again it just isn’t for me. I’ve seen a few guys go this route and it looks good for a hardcore off-roader but I was after a more OEM look.
Which brings us to Option #3: modifying the shock tower and shocks to keep the ride height and suspension travel the same while lowering the height of the rear shock tower. Here’s how I did it.
First I checked to see if a Traxxas Stampede rod end would fit the
spring cup as well as the shock shaft and they do. This allowed me to
convert the lower shock mount to a hollow ball and screw instead of the
ball stud that the Gen8 comes with.
Stock shock tower:
The cuts I made to trim the top of the tower:
After the cuts:
For the lower mount I used a longer M3 screw along with an extra M3
locknut as a spacer. This allows the shock to clear the frame rail as
well as the shock tower. The whole assembly is finished off with a
second M3 locknut.
And finally the upper mount. I used a longer screw along with an M3
locknut as another spacer. This gives just enough room for the
suspension to cycle without the shock or spring hitting the shock tower
or frame rail.
Up next is to figure out how I want to mount the body and tuck the bumpers in. Right now they sit way too far outside the body and look toy-ish.