|11-21-2012 10:47 PM|
I have a Tomken 4" short arm lift on mine. They are a Colorado owned and operated company in Buena Vista. I do get tons of flex out of mine too. With a 4" lift I am tucking 35" tires with stock fender flares. It does rub the fenders but tis is at full flex. As for other upgrades I would suggest getting a slip yoke eliminator kit and a CV rear drive shaft. This gets your belly pan back up where it belongs. Of course I like Tomken because it is a local company, but I have been out with many of these lifts before and they do seem to work very well. They also do installations at their shop. Look them up for a comparison. TOMKEN MACHINE - The Jeep Specialists If you have any technical questions about their lifts or any of the others, give Jeff a call. They install other lifts too.
|11-21-2012 02:22 PM|
There are a lot of balancing factors in suspension geometry, and i think for anybody modifying a vehicle it makes a lot of sense for you to have at least a general working knowledge of these things.
things like roll-center, anti dive, anti squat, bump steer, flex steer, triangulation, etc etc etc and how these things are effected by different geometries and how those things effect handling traits.
then you have to understand that there is absolutely no such thing as a perfect setup and compromises will have to be made to best tune a suspension for a particular application.
some very exaggerated examples:
trophy trucks need high speed performance and craploads of travel, the lower links (trailing arms) generally have little or no triangulation. given how much travel they have, this would results in craploads of flexsteer and it would be entirely inappropriate for a crawler.
comp buggies never go very fast, and pretty much always use full hydro steering, and need to flex a ton in a very consistent manner. so they have tons of triangulation on four links or extremely exaggerated panhard setups on three links that would results in tons bump steer (because of axle walk) and never ever work with a conventional steering box and the usually have almost no anti-squat so they can front dig and drag the rear end off of ledges.
installation of any custom suspension system in a jeep will result in its own compromises mostly because of interference between components and getting the drivelines to work. this is why guys building more "hardcore" jeeps frequently have to cut off the front and rear of the frame (nick did cut off the front and back of the frame on his rig pictured above, by choice to keep it low, not as a requirement of TNT's kit) or go with carrier bearing driveshaft setups in the front.
now when we start talking about an off the shelf kit, you have to keep in mind that #1 in order to make it marketable it has to be install-able on almost all jeeps regardless of other modifications, so the bracket locations are now mostly dictated by simplicity and packaging and then they have to do everything can to get it to drive down the road as close to a stock jeep as possible since market research tells us that guy who do "a lot" of off roading a jeep this means about 10% on average.
personally, i think that is why rokmens short arm kit is brilliant. for not a whole lot of money you get something really durable, really simple, and very suitable to what is going to drive the primary design factors of any bolt on suspension setup. since we are talking about the compromises, yeah that system is going to have a fair bit of flex steer, you can tell in that photo that it does. but the roll center, anti dive and anti squat numbers are great. if your driving mostly on the street, i think those properties are worth preserving and compromising the flex steer... well, is it really that big of a deal as far as most front range wheeling is concerned??
i can't link it to this forum, but do some googling around and find yourself a copy of the (free) four-link suspension calculator and do some reading on some of the more tech oriented forums. this stuff isn't rocket science, and its really intresting.
the biggest problems i've seen with even some of the nicer kits (tnt, tereflex) is that do not have much vert separation on the frame end links resulting in low anti-squat numbers and then if the vehicle is lifted much you get really close to the roll center height. that no fun.... because when you get yourself trying to climb a ledge and punch it the front end will come up in the air and its flop time if you off balance at all.
|11-21-2012 01:43 PM|
|jasongind||Belly hang is why I went with The belly up kit The Rokman style lift is The way to go I think as well. I mentioned in my fist post if I had too do it over id go that route. Next summer I plan on swapping my 4" springs for 3" springs and running highline fenders, with possibly 37's.|
|11-21-2012 01:21 PM|
I think the biggest compromise is the hanging belly (more so on some skids than others) and price for what you get (average arm geometry).
When I was decideng on lifts I realized I could do a low build (rokmen style) and take it pretty much wherever I want to. I never plan on running BV Carnage or the like. Personally I think long arms are badass, just not for me. Now I'm on 3' of total lift and 35's, when I get true highlines this winter I'll be dropping to 2" of toal lift.
My two best wheeling buddies are on 5.5" long arm lifts and I roll with them everywhere.
|11-21-2012 12:32 PM|
Euroford, what are the compromises for the long arm lifts?
Just as a note I should have added to my first post, my lift is not a kit, it was pieced together. It did also require welding of the lower control arm brackets to the frame.
|11-21-2012 12:06 PM|
I like my leaf springs
Looking objectively at the geometry of most of the 'bolt on' long arm kits, I could not imagine spending good money on that stuff. there are just to many compromises in the bracket locations to create proper geometry. I know a lot of people are happy with some of these kits, but i think for what you get, for what you spend and the compromises required to make it a nicely package consumer 'kit' i'm just not buying it.
I think TNT's complete kit with the belly skids and crossmembers is pretty close, the antisquat is a little off but doable though. the kit does require some welding though and is expensive, but you get the whole shebang, belly skid, axle trusses and all.
my buddy nick used the LJ package on his TJ (comp cut rear, LJ package for more stretch) and i he was pretty happy with it though did aknowedge some compromises. though in the future between him and i, i think our fab ability has gotten much better and we would just do it custom if it was to all get done over again (he's sold the TJ, looking for a sami now).
FYI: its the one the right!
personally i know i could build a full custom three link front and four link rear for under a thousand, and it would be a crapload of fun. but... it would mean entrance into the jackstand club for a good bit of the winter. which is probably not an option on a daily driver that these kits are meant for.
so if i did have a daily driver tj... obviously i wouldn't build a full custom link setup. i would go with Rokmens short arm setup. i think the bang/buck ratio for that kit is just off the charts, and the quality is fantastic, not to mention made here in the front range by some really great guys. you maintain all of your stock driving traits, you can get a little bit of stretch and if combined with only a very modest lift it works very very well.
i can't really argue with this:
so there you go. tims 'lift kit' rant. let me condense this:
mild DD: rokmen short arm
i wanna go nuts, but not custom: tnt
i want something truly awesome: get a welder, some heim joints, some dom and a bunch of 3/16" plate, then drink a bunch of beer in the garage for the winter.
|11-20-2012 12:32 PM|
|jasongind||As Chad mentioned I do have the Teraflex 4" long arm kit, & I do really like it. I seem too get better flex and traction than those with 3-4" short arm kits and have not had a problem getting The lower control arms snagged on rocks like people say happens. It is pricey but The quality is second too none. I got mine from HCP. They well price match if you find it online cheaper. I would definitely go Teraflex over RE. If you want too go a whole other rout (2-3" light & highlights fenders), talk too Jeff at Rockman, if I did it over again thats what I would do. Keeping CG low is nice.|
|11-20-2012 07:36 AM|
|wanderlust||out of those 2 i would say teraflex|
|11-20-2012 01:32 AM|
|Colo-TJ||I know Jason runs the Tereflex Long Arm. He seems to like it a lot. Ive seen it work at it gets plenty of flex.|
|11-20-2012 12:29 AM|
|firefighterwhiskey||I was thinking of going to the teraflex long arm on mine. But haven't herd any thing on them yet. Where are you located at. We have a good shop in monument that does great work and prices are great!|
|11-20-2012 12:15 AM|
Was thinking after this weekend on the T33 trail of getting a new lift mine is over 8 years old. I was thinking of a 3.5 Rubicon Express or Teraflex long arm. Anyone have any experience with these lifts. If so you know a shop to get it done at? Also if not these two brands then what would you suggest?