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Old 11-26-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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long arm suspension vs normal suspension lift

what the difference between the two advantages and disadvantages. also can you convert a normal suspension lift to a long arm suspension lift?

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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As you lift the Jeep, the control arms start to get a steeper angle. Switching to long arms reduces the angle on the arms to better the ride quality and suspension cycling.

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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Long are advantages:

- more flex
- much better geometry (on TJ's anyway)

Long are disadvantages:

- more expensive
- not generally as street worthy
- give you a higher center of gravity
- usually requires a SYE

Short arm advantages:

- cheaper lift
- better street manners
- usually easier to install and maintain

Short arm disadvantages:

- less flex
- usually can't get high enough for 35" + tires w/o body lifts and/or cutting to clear tires.

Converting a "normal" suspension to a long arm is typical. Essentially, you do a lift for bigger tires and what type of wheeling you want to do.

Doing the lift twice is not good on the wallet, so get what you need to wheel where you want. Avoid a 4" short arm if you need the 6" and want bigger tires to rock crawl.

Get the 4" short arm if that fulfills what you want to do with the jeep.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevens243 View Post
Long are advantages:

- more flex
- much better geometry (on TJ's anyway)

Long are disadvantages:

- more expensive
- not generally as street worthy
- give you a higher center of gravity
- usually requires a SYE

Short arm advantages:

- cheaper lift
- better street manners
- usually easier to install and maintain

Short arm disadvantages:

- less flex
- usually can't get high enough for 35" + tires w/o body lifts and/or cutting to clear tires.

Converting a "normal" suspension to a long arm is typical. Essentially, you do a lift for bigger tires and what type of wheeling you want to do.

Doing the lift twice is not good on the wallet, so get what you need to wheel where you want. Avoid a 4" short arm if you need the 6" and want bigger tires to rock crawl.

Get the 4" short arm if that fulfills what you want to do with the jeep.


Mine rode much better after the conversion to long arms than when stock on the road and naturally off road as well.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevens243 View Post
Long are disadvantages:

- more expensive
- not generally as street worthy
- give you a higher center of gravity
- usually requires a SYE
No of these are generally true. The street manners are usually improved due to the arms being at a lesser angle and being more parallel to the ground. The higher center of gravity is only determined by the height of the lift. There are a number of LCG(low center of gravity) kits out there that run long arms on 4" or less of lift. And the need for an SYE is again, only determined by the height of the lift.
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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x2. My 6" long arm is really good on the street. But, I have a Rubi with the stock SYE setup and a Fabtech lift.

Generally, the rule I mentioned stands. Of course, I'm comparing that to a 3-4" short arm lift vs. a long arm...
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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With everythiing else being equal, a long-arm rides better on the street when compared to a short-arm at steeper angles. COG wise, they give the same COG as a short-arm does when everything else is the same, no difference. And a long-arm doesn't require a SYE any more than a short-arm lift does either, everything else including the lift height being equal.

For most wheeling, my long arm suspension from RE performs exceptionally well. Its only real issue is that the added control arm length & exposure means the control arms can get hung up on some trails more easily. If I'm on an extremely difficult rock crawling trail like out in Johnson Valley, my long arms give me fits as I get hung up more than I like... much to the enjoyment of my buddies who aren't all that impressed with long arm suspensions.

The two below pics show two of the several locations my long arms got hung up on that day on Sunbonnet in Johnson Valley. That second pic/poster was done by a buddy who loves to give me crap over my long arms.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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One other important thing.. with long arms you will need to cut off the some of the stock arm brackets, and in some cases you need to weld certian parts of the kit.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
The street manners are usually improved
My Jeep tends to wander a bit, following ruts and uneven pavement. Never happened with the stock suspension. However, I love the Teraflex suspension.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:26 AM   #10
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its interesting reading the thoughts on suspension from 5 years ago.

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Originally Posted by MikeSD View Post
My Jeep tends to wander a bit, following ruts and uneven pavement. Never happened with the stock suspension. However, I love the Teraflex suspension.
i'd imagine you need to do some fine tuning
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:08 AM   #11
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Very interesting, since Jerry ended up losing that Jeep. On his new one, he now uses and prefers short arms, correct?
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:18 AM   #12
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he switched to short arms before he lost that jeep, IIRC
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:50 AM   #13
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My previous TJ with the RE longarm suspension was stolen with that suspension still in place. And yep I'm back with short arms (Currie) in my replacement TJ... there's nothing the RE suspension did that my current Currie suspension doesn't do a lot better.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:51 PM   #14
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I have no personal experience with a LA kit other than seeing them dragging a lot on the Rubicon. And a Jerry stated above I also run a 4" SA Currie kit and it rides and performs GREAT.

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