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Old 07-15-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
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Not the normal lift kit question

Okay, I've been looking at the differnt lift kits for a while now and I've gotten it down to two. What I need is anyone with opions on them.

The lift kits are the Clayton 4" long arm
Clayton Off Road - TJ 4.0 Inch Long Arm Lift Kit

and the Currie 4"
Currie Enterprises CJ Axle Parts

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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well those appear to be 2 pretty different kits. the currie kits is just a short arm, where the clayton is a long arm, with a 4 link rear. the clayton might technically be better, but its also about $1000 more expensive.
this kit is more like the currie you have posted: Clayton Off Road - TJ 4.0 Inch Short Arm Lift Kit

basically, the 2 kits you have posted are very different, you should go with which ever one is better for the kind of trails you want to run, and fits the budget you have.

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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Me personally, I like the Clayton kit, minus the fact it has radius arms in the front. If you are going to go long arm, get something with separate upper and lower arms in the front. The radius arms cause binding in the suspension travel.

The Currie kit is very nice, especially for a short arm.

In all honesty though, you can't go wrong with either. Both are very reputable companies and both kits work very well. Just one thing to consider, the Clayton requires a bit of welding.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:30 AM   #4
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well first, you need to decide if you want a short or long arm application.

long arm lifts basically replace the stock control arms on the axle. the advantage of this is it yields much better axle articulation than a short arm kit. if you're crawling around on rocks, I'd advise the long arm kit. another advantage is the ride quality will be much smoother. normally we say things like "get better shocks for ride quality" and that is indeed true, but with 4" of lift and higher, other things become a factor. with long arms, more bump and shock is transferred to the frame, thus giving a better ride.

disadvantage of long arm kits however are they are more expensive as you can see, and installation is much more involved. if you're new to installing lifts, I wouldn't recommend a long arm kit be your first. it adds another area for messing something up that can give DW, and if using a shop it'll be more labor charges.

with TJ's I like long arm kits for 4" and higher. it is expensive though. not sure what tire size you're after, but it looks like 35's. basically the entire suspension needs addressed and possibly axles with 35's on a TJ, and 4" of lift you might need a BL too, and the driveline is going to be all f'ed up. 33's 4" will be plenty.

it's all stuff to consider. the $1000 buck difference can go toward new driveshafts if you get the shorties, or spend the loot on ride quality and axle movement with the long arms. if it's a DD or rock crawler, get long arms. trail riding and muddin' you'll get by just fine with a short arm kit. ride quality will take a hit, but some folks dont mind that.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:39 AM   #5
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Schnutzy,

I know it seems weird picking two completely different kits as my final two. LOL if you got to know me you would see that is a completely normal outcome for me... As for the type of wheeling I'll be doing I live right in the middle of the mojave desert, Death Valley is just on the other side of the valley to me so I'm doing a lot of rock crawling. I working to build my rig to run the Rubicon, right now that trail is just screwing with me by being only 6 hours away and it knows I'm not geared to run it...YET!! Apples to apples your correct the Clayton short arm is a better match and if I decide to go with the short arm I will add that one to compaire to the Currie.

AzTJ,

I still class myself as a newbie to mod'n my jeep. Your speaking greek to me about the front arms being radius arms? I don't know what that is or even how to tell. But that is just the thing I'm wanting to know about! I did know that the Clayton kit requires a lot of welding and the one thing that I have going for me is I know what a good weld looks like... and when I see one I will know for certain that I didn't weld it I'm hoping to bribe someone with some BBQ and beer (after the welding) to weld it for me.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauka View Post
AzTJ,

I still class myself as a newbie to mod'n my jeep. Your speaking greek to me about the front arms being radius arms? I don't know what that is or even how to tell. But that is just the thing I'm wanting to know about! I did know that the Clayton kit requires a lot of welding and the one thing that I have going for me is I know what a good weld looks like... and when I see one I will know for certain that I didn't weld it I'm hoping to bribe someone with some BBQ and beer (after the welding) to weld it for me.
The radius arm on the front of the Clayton is like so, the lower control arms go from the skid plate to the axle, and the "upper" control arms come off the lower arm and attach to the upper mount on the axle. It's a cheap way to get around a real long arm set up. So because the "upper" arms are attached to the lowers, when the axle articulates it wants to pull/rotate back which causes binding. By no means is it a terrible suspension, it just has it's flaws.

Personaly IMO - If you are even considering long arms, go for it... but go for a good one, meaning not Skyjacker or Fabtech.

If you want a super strong kit, look into Rock Krawler. Their control arms are made from 2" solid rod, not tube. They may way a ton, but they can take all the abuse. There are a number of guys on here than run RK kits, and I plan on running one in the future.

So I have a couple of questions:
What size tire are you wanting to run?
What's your budget?
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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Having gotten hung up on the rocks too many times with my previous long-arm suspension, see below, I'm happy to now be running a Currie suspension. Long arm suspensions are great on the highway and on some trails but they tend to get hung up on the reall tough stretches of rock crawling trails.

The below is just one of many times I got stuck on the long arms, a friend found the pic (taken on Sunbonnet in Johnson Valley) & had a little fun with it. Another time I got hung up on the front longarm during a run on Pumpkin eater two years go which made it into 4WD & Sport Utility magazine.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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AzTJ,

Right now I have the stock 31" on, but I"m looking to get new shoes for it soon. I'm looking at the KM2 305x70x16 (33"s). I can put those on with no lift. After the lift I was thinking of running 35". That is the max I was wanting to go.

As far as my budget...LOL I"m married with two kids. I'm having to save my military retirement checks for each upgrade I want, provided the house doesn't take it like it did last time..LOL. The day I was going to get my tires, my son comes into my bedroom and tells me there is water all over the garage floor...water heater decided to play old faithful..LOL..

I'll take a look at the RK lift.

Jerry,

I know you run the trails around where I live. So you saying go with a short arm?
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #9
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If you are looking at a long arm kit, look at Rock Krawler. They will take any punishment you can dish out. As for hanging on rocks, I used to run a Rubicon Express kit(like the one in Jerry's photo). The issue is the jam nuts on the arms. They are a rock anchor. The RK kit uses high clearance arms(bent upwards from the factory) and the udjustment is at a joint, not in the arm itself. Mine slide over rocks great, and I mean BIG rocks.

Here is a photo of my RK kit(albeit a custom 17" stretch kit). You can see the arms are high clearance. This is about a total of 6" lift over stock with 39s and 111" WB.


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