How To Build A U-bolt Flip
THE RIGHT WAY!
*Disclaimer* This is provided as a free service and for information purposes only. There is no warranty, promise or responsibility given by us to you that if you try this all will go perfectly. It all has to be EXACT!!! Not close, not pretty good. EXACT! Also, I didn’t go into cleaning the metal before welding, grinding down edges for full penetration, stepping up hole sizes in the drill press or the like. If you need us to tell you that stuff DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! Best to take the drawings to a welder and have them make these for you. Now that you are thoroughly paranoid about screwing it up lets proceed.
The stock dodge U bolts are really a bad design. They hang too low, are easily damaged and the lower shock mounts tend to bend. Shaggy’s had a U bolt flip package design to address this short coming and now we’re making the plan available here, for free! It’s about as easy to make as you can get with only some welding required. If you want to make your own U bolt flip here what you need to do.
Here’s what it takes to do this job.
What materials you’ll need
- 2 – 6×6″ 3/8″ or 1/2″ steel plates
- Angle Iron for the shock mounts
- 1/2″ Bolts, Nuts, Fender Washers for the shock mounts
The steel we got from IMS in Irvine, CA. All our bolts and such came from McMaster-Carr Supply in Sante Fe Springs, CA.
What tools you’ll need
Drill press and at least a 1/2″ drill bit, 9/16″ and a 3/4″ drill bit.
130 amp mig welder.
Big disk sander or bench grinder
Additional Parts Needed
4 U Bolts:
These need to be at least 9/16″ dia. U-bolts and they will need to be 12″ long if you are using aftermarket springs and the stock block. If you are not using a block get U-bolts that are 9″ long. If you are going to go with more than a 3.5″ block you should step up to 5/8″ U-bolts. Adjust your holes accordingly
The plates are pretty straight forward. You can leave them 6″ x 6″ or cut them down to 6″ x 4 1/2″ like Shaggy’s did. 3/8″ plate is a good thickness for these but you can step it up to 1/2″ if you like. If you are using 5/8″ U bolts you MUST use 1/2″ plate for this.
Layout your holes and drill them out to their appropriate sizes. This should be fairly exact but a little off is not super critical here. The center hole has to be 3/4″ dia. to fit over the center pin nut and leave enough room to wiggle things in place.
Shock mounts can be of several designs. Shaggy’s use 1/4″ thick 1 1/2″ angle iron cut into 2″ piece with a 9/1/6″ hole drill in it. A 1/2″ nut was then welded to the front of the angle iron over the hole. A 2 1/4″ grade 8 bolt and 2 1 1/2″ fender washers were used to bolt the shock to the new mount. the mount was then welded to the axle tube just inside of the U bolts. A variation of this would be to weld the bolt head to the angle iron instead of the nut. This makes putting the shocks on a bit easier. Just make sure you weld it up really good. It’s amazing how much force these things take.
If you want to get really tricky you can try this with your shock mounts. It’s the Shaggy’s mount detailed about with an added feature. Take a 6″ long, 1 1/2″ wide piece of hot rolled 1/4″ steel plate. Drill a 1/4″ hole smack dab in the center and a 1/2″ hole in each end, 3/4″ from all sides. Bend the piece of steel into a U so that the inside dimension is 1 1/2″ and then drill that 1/4″ hole out to 3/4″. Take some 3/4″ .120 wall tube and cut off a 3/4″ long piece. Weld that into the center hole of the U shaped piece and slide a bolt through the center and into the nut welded to the shock tab. This is a Shock joint and it’s the next great thing in off-roading. Shocks need to twist and rotate but all shock mounts keep this from happening. With these mounts the shock can twist and rotate as much as it likes with no binding. A note, this was a heck of an engineering exercise and there may still be a bug or two in the plan. Use the highest strength and quality bolts you can get! Hardware store Grade 8 AIN’T going to cut it here!!! We broke a few of those before we found out all Grade 8s are not created equal. If you can find Grade 10 use it!
Then you just need to run a 2 1/2″ long bolt through the bracket and shock and tighten it up. They are a pain to make, require a lot of maintenance and can break if you don’t have everything setup just right but they are awesome and allow a lot more flex. Our testing showed 2″-3″ more articulation with these installed.