Advantages, Disadvantages, and Overview of the SOA
Advantages and Disadvantages:
The largest disadvantage is also the increased height of your vehicle. It makes it tippier and because of the nature of physics, unless built intellengently it will require more thought when driving both on the street and off road.
For vehicles that see mostly mild trail driving and are daily drivers, we would recommend sticking with the simple 2.5" or 4" lift for your cruiser, they are more than adaquate to get your cruiser going up and down most obstacles and provide the best on-road handling and characteristics.
Safety: Because of these factors, there is always “that guy” who who we are worried about. It’s probably the guy who says “this thing is only going to be a trail rig,” but fails to remember the truck will need be driven, even if occasionally, at 60 MPH to the trailhead, and will see some street time regardless of what he says to himself. Because it will “be a trail rig” some corners are cut, the rig handles awfully, the springs are too soft without other compensations for them, and the truck is dangerous. Time and time again, other than power steering conversions, the most commonly botched modification is a SOA conversion.
Therefore: USE COMMON SENSE
- take measurements, remeasure, and re-measure again. Do not be in
a hurry to do things, and make sure you do it right, because it’s your
life, and your 5,000+ lb missile riding on your axles and on your welds.
Make every SOA conversion something that you can do 75 MPH with and have
no fear or concerns about. The SOA is a serious modification that
should not be taken lightly.
Drivability and the
General Nature of the SOA
Someone once upon a time started messing around with Toyota axles and leaf springs and discovered a few good basic techniques for the SOA. These have been widely discussed on the internet, on the LCML, and other various online forums to the point where just about everyone knows where to get certain parts, what to do, and how to do it right.
If your SOA is done right, you should have no problems driving your rig on the street at 75 mph, or as fast as your truck will let you. A SOA that is done right can actually make your truck handle better than it did before.