Hmm that sucks. What about making a guard to protect the back side of the shock? I have RJ60 rear axle so I could get like 1/2" shorter shocks in the rear and make a guard to bolt on and protect the bottom half of the shock.
Are coilovers worth the extra time/money? especially on a 3" lift? Whats the 'best' way to set up coilovers as far as mounting is concerned?
I've considered coilovers but I'm thinking its going to cost me even more time and money than I'm ready for right now. Plus I just got coils with the Synergy lift I just bought lol. Not that i couldn't change directions. I haven't bought shocks yet, hence the reason I'm asking. I'd just rather not spend more $$ than is necessary.
I'm not sure what kind of wheeling you do or plan to do... so I'll just write whatever comes to mind.
If you do not plan on doing hard rock crawling like Hammers or the tough trails in Moab, you'll be fine. I'm pretty sure that you won't even hurt your rear shocks on the Rubicon trail.
There are several companies that make a bolt on kit that will raise your rear shock 1-2 inches including Offroad Evolution and Poly Performance. You can create a plate to protect another inch or two of the bottom of the shock. This may save you on medium trails. However, if you start doing hard trails on rocks, when you will be comming down from a small waterfall or large rock, the uppermost portion of the shock will get damaged. So none of the protection will save you.
I have cheap TeraFlex shocks that probably don't even work in the rear. I gave up fixing them. But I know that it's not too expensive to fix a shock... (under $40 for my shocks). For me, there is no point to fix them because I will break em the next time I go wheeling. But that's why I would never put on expensive shocks until I get coilovers.
ALL OF THE ABOVE only applies for like 10% of the offroading community. Most Jeepers don't do trails that will damage shocks. However since your on 60's, I'm assuming this will eventually apply for you.
Coilovers aren't too pricy if you do it right. Probably the cheapest way to set up coilovers would be to get the Poly Performance rear coilover mounts and RadFlo coilovers (local Socal company). This is the way I am going when I have some $. The deciding factor in coilovers shouldn't be lift hight (that's almost irrelevant), it's more about what kind of wheeling you plan to do. Coilovers will give you a great ride and more flex. The downside is it takes time and patience to adjust them properly.
If you don't plan to do hard to extreme trails, I think you'll be fine without coilovers. Just if you plan to buy expensive shocks, make sure you buy from a company with great customer service and a company that won't charge you an arm and a leg to repair the shock. Since your in Socal, I would recommend looking into local companies since they will probably be easier to deal with if you break the shock.