When we contacted Off Road Unlimited, we were hoping to bag their high quality dual shock hoop conversion kit. Well, we lucked out. The folks at ORU were absolutely fantastic. They had a great deal of enthusiasm for our project and agreed to supply us with the kit. Needless to say, we were very pleased.
At first, when we received the kit, we thought "this can't be the right part" when we first examined the components. One of the hoops had an irregular shaped mounting plate in the center instead of the symmetrical plate found on the other unit. It turns out the designers at ORU sure have their act together. Because of the way Ford manufactured the frame, right where the center mounting plate goes, the frame twists and bends for the steering box mounts. The ORU components matched up perfectly.
The shock hoops have the same height as the factory shock mounts. So we knew where the center was by the holes left behind when we unbolted the factory mounts. After grinding away the rust and covering the bare metal with primer, we put the hoops up to the chassis and drilled the first mounting hole. After attaching the hoop with a single bolt, we then drilled the remaining center mounting holes. We attached bolts in the remaining three holes and then were able to drill the outer support holes. Once all of the holes were drilled, we cleaned and de-burred them, applied a coat of primer and a coat of gloss black. The next day, with the paint dry, we simply attached the shock hoops to the frame rails using the supplied grade 8 nuts and bolts. After everything was secure, we applied a coat of gloss black over the fasteners to give the installation a seamless appearance.
Now our attention turned to the leaf springs. We removed and discarded the original single shock mounting plates and replaced them with the dual shock mounting plates. These are held in place by the 'u-bolts' which also secure the axle to the springs. Lastly, we installed the heckethorn shocks one at a time by bolting the base of the shock first and then applying pressure to collapse the pressurized shock absorber far enough to slip in the top mounting bolt.
That's it. Simple, elegant and a wonderful engineering addition to our truck. Be sure to check out the installation of the reverse shackle kit while you're here.