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Long Arm vs Short Arm

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  • Long Arm vs Short Arm

    Looks like I might be coming into some unexpected money soon (keep the fingures crossed) and the wife is letting me get whatever lift I want to for the Jeep

    I have narrowed it down to a Full Traction and want to go 4". But what is the difference (except a lot of money) between a Long Arm and Short Arm suspension?

    Thanks,

    Michael
    Michael

    [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

  • #2
    A long arm supspension will cut the angle way down on your arms if your lifted with a short arm suspension. Say with short arms and 4-5" of lift, the increased angle of the arms, will make your jeep handle like crap and steering will become more of a challenge. With long arms, the arm itself will be more parrellel to the ground and you are able retain a stock type ride. Very smooth and steerable. i would also check into the currie J arm system.
    ASM REAPER BUGGY ON 40'S SOLD
    00 TJ ON 37'S SOLD
    97zj ON 36'S SOLD

    04 CUMMINS CRAWLER HAULER

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    • #3
      The Johnny Join systems sound good. Hard time find any reviews on them. Anyone know anyone that runs them?
      Michael

      [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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      • #4
        Full traction is pretty good from what I hear tell. They do hang a mite low though. Heck, even the RE LA kit has a low crossmember.

        Having said that, I drive the RE SF2 arms on OME 4" springs. It is a bit squirrely at speed (don't try to put on a jacket or take off a sweater or reach down to the passenger footspace with this lift) and you do need to pay attention while on "cruise control" (AKA "barely drivin" mode in the Subaru). I would not say that the ride handles like crap though. The OME 4" springs are very soft, the Bilstein 5150 and Nth Degree Mobility shock shifters minimize bounce, and the Anti-Rock handles the turns very well. There is more to a suspension than just the control arms.

        I have noticed that when I come up to a wall that is taller than my hubs, though, and I really step on the gas that the suspension will "jack" the front end. This occurs when the front control arms drop under the torque and raise the front end. This is easily remedied by applying the gas gently and using the 4:1 t-case. I understand this occurs less often with long-arms.

        Re: the JJ arms: there was a set on sale for a song on recycler. I called the guy 30" late as he had sold them. He told me it was a very flexy lift, but too flexy. Apparently, with hard gas, the driver side wheel would lift and it was hard to predict when and where it would come down. He sold it with the hopes of going to a long arm rear and a SF2 (or similarly rubber/heim jointed) front. Plus, Currie is $$$.
        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
        2003 TJ Rubicon: 4.5" OME coils; RE SF2; NthDegree TT/oilpan skid/shock shifters; FXD rock rails; Anti-Rock; 5150'

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        • #5
          The biggest problem I have with my short arm kit (RE superflex with 3.5" springs) is the jacking problem jmb mentioned. It has actually became a problem on the trail several times. Usually when a front tire drops into a hole, and up against a good sized step.....it gets kinda ugly. Long arms will help that, but they hang pretty low up front, so you will drag them over the rocks alot more. I also don't have a issue with the ride quality with my short arms, but the handling has gotton worse...still acceptable, but worse than it was.
          olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

          Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

          KG6OWO

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nagal
            The Johnny Join systems sound good. Hard time find any reviews on them. Anyone know anyone that runs them?
            All or most of my friends that run Johnson vallley on 35's use the currie J arm system. They all have had other set ups and switched to the currie set up and swear by them.
            ASM REAPER BUGGY ON 40'S SOLD
            00 TJ ON 37'S SOLD
            97zj ON 36'S SOLD

            04 CUMMINS CRAWLER HAULER

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            • #7
              Seeing as how JV is just down the stret from me (well about 45 minutes) I will look into the J arm system.
              Michael

              [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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              • #8
                I love the ride and handling of my Full Traction 6" Long Arms ... it rides fricking great. You don't even realize you're riding a lifted jeep on 35's until it's time to hit the breaks!!!!

                I drove it out from LA to Moab last May and then back to northern cali and I easily pushed it to close to 100MPH and it still felt very solid. I wouldn't do that around other cars as a sudden move would mean very horrible things at those hights but the suspension is definitely well engineered.

                As far as offroad, it definitely did great ... except a slight flopping incident but it was more my carelessness than the lift's fault! (we have to learn the limits of the vehicle somehow )

                I had posted pics of mine here.
                Last edited by seapahn; 08-04-04, 07:41 PM.
                03 Rubicon, 6" FT long arms, 35x12.5 MTRs
                "Jeep is a kind of vehicle for which you have to buy a $250 security console in order to install and store a $40 CB radio. " --Me.

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                • #9
                  for a short arm lift, my RE 4.5 SF isnt a bad kit. There are some quirks that long arms will fix, but that will come later. I enjoy it, for the time being. Some day I'll build some long arms or longish J arms, with JJ's at both ends.
                  [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
                  SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
                  Ya Savvy?

                  Motech Performance

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                  • #10
                    This is my friend Blaines set up. Medium length custom made J arms. Notice all the custom work to the bottom of the jeep. Nothing hangs below the frame rails. Not even the gas tank.

                    What no gas tank?



                    Oh damn, how did my picture get in there?
                    ASM REAPER BUGGY ON 40'S SOLD
                    00 TJ ON 37'S SOLD
                    97zj ON 36'S SOLD

                    04 CUMMINS CRAWLER HAULER

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris_L
                      Oh damn, how did my picture get in there?
                      all I can say is, whoever took that pic is damn talented.

                      Oh, and just for the record... here's a plain old RE short arm kit out there at JV. :yay:
                      myJeeprocks.com

                      "in the end... the rocks always win."

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                      • #12
                        I think I am going to go with the Johnny Joint Suspension. I just need to get some more info on it and what it takes to install. Nice thing about the FT LA is it is fully bolt on. No access to a welder

                        Thanks everyone for there input and keep it coming

                        nagal

                        One day my Jeep will rock
                        Michael

                        [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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                        • #13

                          just for the record... you could switch the whole mess over to leaf springs. :yay:
                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                          ERIK


                          95 yj, locked lifted, and ready to rock!

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                          • #14
                            True, just sell my TJ and get a YJ. My wife would love that one
                            Michael

                            [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by goodtimes
                              The biggest problem I have with my short arm kit (RE superflex with 3.5" springs) is the jacking problem jmb mentioned. It has actually became a problem on the trail several times. Usually when a front tire drops into a hole, and up against a good sized step.....it gets kinda ugly. Long arms will help that, but they hang pretty low up front, so you will drag them over the rocks alot more. I also don't have a issue with the ride quality with my short arms, but the handling has gotton worse...still acceptable, but worse than it was.

                              Look to outboard your rear shocks and make sure there is little to no bind in the rear trackbar. If you don't want to nothc the frame and fabricate in an outboarded mount, look at the Nth Degree shock shifter kit which will do the same thing. A nice side benefit is that it gets rid of the low hanging shock mount in the middle of each axle tube.

                              I'm running a modified RE rear trackbar that is heim jointed at both ends along with outboarded shocks and I don't have to much of a jacking problem with the short arms. Frankly, after watching long arm lifts enough at JV and the fact that they hang up on the rocks, I've come to the conclusion that I won't be going that route while I am on 35's.

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