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From this...

Having strengthened the rear suspension on my Baja I also wanted to improve my front suspension too. I started to take measurements and design some templates for longer shock towers, but a friend told me that Kingfisher Kustoms made a kit. They had one left so I bought it. The kit is just a set of pre-cut steel plates, and some shock bolt bosses, which you weld together.

...to this!

1. To start with you need a good solid beam. This how-to is aimed at balljoint beams, but you could do the same to a linkpin beam. The photo on the far right is the beam I replaced - you can see where has been repaired in the past. This wouldn't be as good a starting point.

2. Because I was modifying the beam I welded in some adjusters while I was at it. Cut out a tube, and weld in a adjuster, one at a time. This way the beam stays straight. Sway-a-way adjusters are quicker and easier to fit, but use whichever one you prefer.

3. I forgot to take photos of all the pieces you need so I made diagrams of them instead. The first one shows all the pieces you need, and the second one shows all the approximate dimensions you would need to make your own set. (Click on each one to view them full size.)

4. The first job is to chop off the existing shock towers. Cut them off level with the top tube, and then weld a small plate over the hole.

Note: You could also chop off all traces of the old towers, but make sure you weld in a temporary brace between the tubes first to keep them aligned.

5. Now you can tack weld on the new shock towers. Check that the towers are aligned correctly with each other before you fully weld them on. I found that a long straight rod sat between the shock mounts really helped to ensure everything was correctly aligned.

6. Welding so close to the roller bearings will distort them and the bearing seat within the tube. This isn't a problem though because you can remove the stock bearings and replace them with urethane bushings. The urethane bushings are more durable in off-road conditions, so it is worth changing them anyway. Buy the full length bushings because they support the whole length of the arm within the beam.
7. To match the longer and stronger shock towers I welded on stronger lower shock mounts. These allow you to fit a strong shock bolt, and also move the shock backward a little. This gives you better clearance and allows you to run a longer shock.

8. Once the arms are at this stage you can trial fit everything together including a pair of spindles. This will help you to work out where to put the upper bump stops.

This is also the time to weld on the upper shock mounts, because you can ensure they line up with the bottom mounts.

9. Here you can see the finished tower, with the bump stop mount welded on. I run type 2 rear shocks, which have 8" of travel. You can see one in the photo next to the shorter type 1 rear shock.
10. This is the finished beam ready for fitting. The rubber domes are type 2 bump stops that I found to be a good size.
11. A couple more photos of the beam looking cleaner than it ever will! You can clearly see the urethane bushings and the rubber bump stops.
12. Because the shock towers are so much taller I had to reshape my inner wings. Here are the resulting bulges as seen from under the bonnet. They took a little while, but were quite easy to do.
13. The beam in place. To hold the beam at firmly as possible I have also added upper and lower beam supports. I may add photos of these at a later date.
Click an image to view a larger version.

I have had this beam on since 2003 and it is still going strong. When combined with the 2.5" raised disc spindles I made at a later date, and my stiffer Sway-a-way torsion leaves, this is the ultimate balljoint front end. But that hasn't stopped me planning the next stage...

Any questions feel free to e-mail. :-)

Beam fitted: August 2003
Lower beam supports fitted: August 2004
Upper beam supports fitted: February 2006
Re-located the bump stops to give 15-25mm more travel: September 2007