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-   -   Control Arms, whats good vs bad (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/control-arms-whats-good-vs-bad-72572.html)

3025826 12-18-2010 01:40 PM

Control Arms, whats good vs bad
 
Hey everybody I have a Tom woods driveshaft and sye sitting around in my garage waiting for me to install on my jeep. Basically I want to know what you all think about adjustable rear upper control arms, and if it is worth investing in a high dollar $250+ set or if a $160 pair will do the same job.

Will certain brands make a big difference offroading, highway, etc? Or does it just hold the angle in place and not make a difference which set i go with?

MR.CLIFFORD 12-18-2010 02:36 PM

I believe that JKS control arms are better than most because of their durability. You can get control arms that will adjust your pinion angle but will crap out over time. Then you buy another set or replacement bushings to get you by. I prefer to buy the products that have the reputation so I limit my chances of problems down the road. That's why I always buy JKS control arms. Or make them. :D

jeepinmichguy 12-18-2010 05:33 PM

Get the Currie arms with JJ's on both ends. JJ's cause the control arms to put less stress on the mounts while flexing.

inglisleslie 12-18-2010 10:13 PM

your all wrong. Rokmen with johnny joints are the best. if you call them up they will even build to a custom length(i.e. trying to do a 1-3 inch short arm stretch in the rear)

MR.CLIFFORD 12-18-2010 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inglisleslie (Post 932356)
your all wrong. Rokmen with johnny joints are the best. if you call them up they will even build to a custom length(i.e. trying to do a 1-3 inch short arm stretch in the rear)

My control arms are best. Cause they are mine! :flipoff:

distortedtj 12-18-2010 10:34 PM

*cough*

compare the JKS to Currie arms....or their adjustable track bars.

You'll find them very simular....almost like they are the same product. ;)

Splnkr 12-19-2010 07:53 AM

I, too, am researching for a set of rear adjustable control arms. My first conclusion is to make sure whatever I buy has Johnny Joints on both ends.....

jeepinmichguy 12-19-2010 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inglisleslie (Post 932356)
your all wrong. Rokmen with johnny joints are the best. if you call them up they will even build to a custom length(i.e. trying to do a 1-3 inch short arm stretch in the rear)

:rolleyes: I'm sure you didt come from JF over to here a magically figure out how to build a Jeep without 1,000 questions....

jeepinmichguy 12-19-2010 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by distortedtj (Post 932390)
*cough*

compare the JKS to Currie arms....or their adjustable track bars.

You'll find them very simular....almost like they are the same product. ;)

J Joints vs. rubber. J Joints will win all day long. Just because the JKS arms pivot around themselves doesn't mean the rubber won't bind. I dont see the point if you are going to spend the money on not getting a superior joint, especially when the curries can be had for cheaper.

Also the JJ will last longer, anyone who has had after market arms should be able to attest to this.

Jerry Bransford 12-19-2010 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inglisleslie (Post 932356)
your all wrong. Rokmen with johnny joints are the best. if you call them up they will even build to a custom length(i.e. trying to do a 1-3 inch short arm stretch in the rear)

Rokmen arms made with Currie's Johnnie Joints, developed by Currie and named after John (Johnnie) Currie, are better than Currie arms with Currie's Johnnie Joints?

I don't think so.:p

UnlimitedLJ04 12-19-2010 08:23 AM

go Rokmen :)

Rubicon2 12-19-2010 08:24 PM

Jks

moneypit-TJ 12-19-2010 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 932870)
Rokmen arms made with Currie's Johnnie Joints, developed by Currie and named after John (Johnnie) Currie, are better than Currie arms with Currie's Johnnie Joints?

I don't think so.:p

surprisingly this is true. Currie is cheaping out...Or you can argue that Rokmen CA's are overkill compaired to every other short arm CA. the jonnie joints that come on the currie CA's are smaller than the ones that come on the Rokmen arms, espcially for the lowers, the lowers are huge. i spend 20 min on the phone with both companys before i bought the Rokmens. Yes, they are the currie JJ's but Rokmen also double welded and uses heavier DOM tubing. Not to mention they adjust out further than stock arms, currie's dont :rofl:

UnlimitedLJ04 12-19-2010 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moneypit-TJ (Post 934406)
surprisingly this is true. Currie is cheaping out...Or you can argue that Rokmen CA's are overkill compaired to every other short arm CA. the jonnie joints that come on the currie CA's are smaller than the ones that come on the Rokmen arms, espcially for the lowers, the lowers are huge. i spend 20 min on the phone with both companys before i bought the Rokmens. Yes, they are the currie JJ's but Rokmen also double welded and uses heavier DOM tubing. Not to mention they adjust out further than stock arms, currie's dont :rofl:

and Rokmen is smart enough to eliminate the stupid grease bolts that don't work well, and put a grease fitting directly on the JJ.

distortedtj 12-19-2010 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy (Post 932866)
J Joints vs. rubber. J Joints will win all day long. Just because the JKS arms pivot around themselves doesn't mean the rubber won't bind. I dont see the point if you are going to spend the money on not getting a superior joint, especially when the curries can be had for cheaper.

Also the JJ will last longer, anyone who has had after market arms should be able to attest to this.

:doh: I'm not arguing that JJ are better. My comment is simply that the JKS and Currie track bars ARE the SAME product. As are the JKS control arms the same as the Currie counter part. That is all.

As for owning product X or Y. I didn't state my opinion on what the OP should use. I'd build the arms and add Currie joint. :)

jeepinmichguy 12-19-2010 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moneypit-TJ (Post 934406)
surprisingly this is true. Currie is cheaping out...Or you can argue that Rokmen CA's are overkill compaired to every other short arm CA. the jonnie joints that come on the currie CA's are smaller than the ones that come on the Rokmen arms, espcially for the lowers, the lowers are huge. i spend 20 min on the phone with both companys before i bought the Rokmens. Yes, they are the currie JJ's but Rokmen also double welded and uses heavier DOM tubing. Not to mention they adjust out further than stock arms, currie's dont :rofl:

Curries definantly adjust further than stock arms. When is the last time you heard of a currie arm failure anyway? I never have.:rofl:

jeepinmichguy 12-19-2010 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by distortedtj (Post 934605)
:doh: I'm not arguing that JJ are better. My comment is simply that the JKS and Currie track bars ARE the SAME product. As are the JKS control arms the same as the Currie counter part. That is all.

As for owning product X or Y. I didn't state my opinion on what the OP should use. I'd build the arms and add Currie joint. :)

Gotcha.

UnlimitedLJ04 12-20-2010 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy (Post 934677)
Curries definantly adjust further than stock arms. When is the last time you heard of a currie arm failure anyway? I never have.:rofl:

I've counted two folks over on JF that bent Currie arms. One was for the better, one for the worse. Also, if you follow the Currie instructions, the upper rears don't adjust longer than stock. You can get maybe 13.75" max out of them, 13.5" is stock. I tried to use Currie upper rears, and I didn't feel comfortable with the lack of thread engagement when extending them. I ended up selling them and buying Rokmen's...which have over 1" more thread.

On the downside of Rokmen, their lowers don't adjust shorter than stock. That may or may not be a big deal for you, depending if you want to cut the rear fenderwell to fit 35s at full stuff. You may also run into issues with the gas tank rubbing an aftermarket diff cover at stock length, or when extending wheelbase. Thats why Currie's upper rears don't adjust much longer than stock...they want you to adjust the lowers shorter more to change pinion angle.

UnlimitedLJ04 12-20-2010 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by distortedtj (Post 934605)
:doh: I'm not arguing that JJ are better. My comment is simply that the JKS and Currie track bars ARE the SAME product. As are the JKS control arms the same as the Currie counter part. That is all.

No, not for the front. Currie makes, and sells their own front track bar. The TJS and TJJ models are made my Currie, not JKS. The old Currie was made by JKS.

and No, not for the rear either. Currie makes, and sells their own rear track bar that uses a JJ + special bracket on the axle side. JKS uses a poly bushing.

Btw, both front track bars hit the stock diff cover without bumpstop extensions. Currie TJS/TJJ model requires 2". JKS requires a bit more. Any aftermarket diff cover besides the Barnett requires even more bumpstop extension.

TheTJRod 12-20-2010 08:39 AM

You guys should check out Ironman

You can get Rear Upper control arms with 4" of adjustment for $195. They use Currie JJ's on one side and tampered rubber bushings on the other. Oh and they use 1.25" solid steel.

jeepinmichguy 12-20-2010 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 (Post 934982)
I've counted two folks over on JF that bent Currie arms. One was for the better, one for the worse. Also, if you follow the Currie instructions, the upper rears don't adjust longer than stock. You can get maybe 13.75" max out of them, 13.5" is stock. I tried to use Currie upper rears, and I didn't feel comfortable with the lack of thread engagement when extending them. I ended up selling them and buying Rokmen's...which have over 1" more thread.

I never encountered someone that bent them on there, ill go search and see what I can find. You may be right, I have just never seen it.

That would be longer than stock though right? Ill measure the wifes for you tonight, I dont remember what they are set at. We will be ordering a set of lowers soon as well, I'll get pics and measurements for you when we do. I know how to find you:D

07XMan2Door 12-20-2010 12:07 PM

I'm confused. Some say you need to replace just the rear lowers. When you lift the Jeep with the stock control arms on, the axles move towards the center of the Jeep. I would think that shortening the rear lowers to line up your pinion would move the axle even further towards the center of the jeep.

Those Ironman's look nice. Never heard of them or Rokman's. I'll check both out.

I think to get proper pinion angle & recenter your rear axle you would need to get both upper & lower rear C Arms. Yes? No? Thanks

TheTJRod 12-20-2010 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 07XMan2Door (Post 935413)
I'm confused. Some say you need to replace just the rear lowers. When you lift the Jeep with the stock control arms on, the axles move towards the center of the Jeep. I would think that shortening the rear lowers to line up your pinion would move the axle even further towards the center of the jeep.

Those Ironman's look nice. Never heard of them or Rokman's. I'll check both out.

I think to get proper pinion angle & recenter your rear axle you would need to get both upper & lower rear C Arms. Yes? No? Thanks

Rokmen has been around awhile and and are well trusted. Ironman I just found out about them through my Local Jeep Club from the guys who have been around a lot longer than me. Also "C" arms? I'm not understanding.

I would definitely replace both upper and lower when doing a lift. Kits that only come with lower arms normally means that they are shorter than stock to keep the pinion angle at an acceptable level. With getting upper and lower you can keep your wheelbase and adjust your pinion angle and maybe even lengthen your wheelbase.

jeepjones 12-20-2010 12:51 PM

How about BDS with JJ's, only BDS has a no fine print warranty. This argument could go on forever. To the OP, you get what you pay for, if you never wheel the jeep get the cheap ones, if you wheel it get the good ones.

UnlimitedLJ04 12-20-2010 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy (Post 935390)
I never encountered someone that bent them on there, ill go search and see what I can find. You may be right, I have just never seen it.

That would be longer than stock though right? Ill measure the wifes for you tonight, I dont remember what they are set at. We will be ordering a set of lowers soon as well, I'll get pics and measurements for you when we do. I know how to find you:D

yea, one was a post from Gerald @ Savvy. guy bent a Currie upper in an accident, but luckily the UCA mount didn't rip off. that would be the "for the better" one.

the other guy (i'll never find the post again.:flipoff:) bent a lower a few times and tried to straighten it out in a press or something. it just kept bending...obviously because the steel was stressed well past the yield point. mrblaine had posted on that one. thats the "for the worst" one.

With the Currie uppers I had, you could get them out to 14". It just had about 3 threads catching inside the tube. Three or four full turns and the joint would fall out. I'd say the safe Currie upper rear adjustment safe area was 13.25" to 13.75". The Rokmen rear uppers are 13.5" to ~14.5", and they make CV versions that go 14.5" to 15.5". Theres just more length selection, and the threaded stud is longer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 07XMan2Door (Post 935413)
I'm confused. Some say you need to replace just the rear lowers. When you lift the Jeep with the stock control arms on, the axles move towards the center of the Jeep. I would think that shortening the rear lowers to line up your pinion would move the axle even further towards the center of the jeep.

Ok - to do it RIGHT, you need rear lowers that can adjust about .25-.5" SHORTER than stock, and uppers that can go 0-1"+ LONGER than stock.

Most will tell you lowers effects wheelbase, while uppers effects pinion angle. Well the reality is both effect both properties. To fit 35s without trimming the body, you need to center the tire in the wheelwell - AT FULL BUMP. So remove the springs, remove the jounce bumper and set the Jeep on the bump extensions needed for the shock travel. You end up rotating the pinion about the wheel center. Adjusting the uppers out only will extend your wheelbase and adjust pinion angle at the same time.

Running too long of rear uppers (and/or rear lowers) can push your diff cover into the gas tank skid, and cause track bar interference issues. You CAN run just rear uppers to adjust for pinion angle...but you may have issues, depending on your uptravel requirements.

I have my Rokmen lowers sucked in to the max - 15.75", stock length. The rear uppers (non-CV version), with a CV shaft, are about ~13.75" or so now...with a good 1" of thread left inside, plenty of thread engagement for me.

One place you do NOT want to lengthen the uppers is in the front. You want to keep them stock length unless you've done major steering and track bar modifications, or properly checked the clearances at full bump. The stock track bar mount will NOT clear aftermarket track bars without bumpstop extension...its too close to the axle. The track bar ends up hitting the diff cover. So you lengthen the front lowers to gain caster back with a lift...but you don't change the upper length without checking clearance issues. You will gain wheelbase with the lowers being pushed out.

For the LCG, that presents a problem both front and rear. Fender clearance, and suspension clearance becomes an issue...unless you don't mind not gaining uptravel with a lift, and bumpstopping the crap outta your suspension.

TheTJRod 12-20-2010 02:35 PM

You just made me even more happy about what I am doing. I am linking the rear with a tri 4-link that removes need for the track bar. And I am getting a OTK crossover steering using a HP D30 from an XJ and using WJ outers and 3-link+trackbar. I have to relocate my trackbar (axle side) anyway due to the OTK crossover steering, relocating it over the axle and not infront of it. As well I need to fab a new frame mount for it to. As I am trying to keep a minimal lift and go to 35's soon then 37's later without getting more lift.

07XMan2Door 12-20-2010 04:02 PM

Thanks Unlimited & tjrod,

I thought that the only way to lengthen wheelbase was to replace BOTH the upper & lower control arms on each end. I thought replacing just uppers or lowers would simply rotate, not move the axle.

So all I need is a new Tom Woods drive shaft & rear uppers (longer)& front lowers (shorter) right???

Thanks

UnlimitedLJ04 12-20-2010 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTJRod (Post 935636)
You just made me even more happy about what I am doing. I am linking the rear with a tri 4-link that removes need for the track bar. And I am getting a OTK crossover steering using a HP D30 from an XJ and using WJ outers and 3-link+trackbar. I have to relocate my trackbar (axle side) anyway due to the OTK crossover steering, relocating it over the axle and not infront of it. As well I need to fab a new frame mount for it to. As I am trying to keep a minimal lift and go to 35's soon then 37's later without getting more lift.

Do you understand all thats involved with an OTK conversion, if you intend to eliminate bumpsteer and keep the track bar the same length, parallel and in the same plane as the drag link? With minimal lift and good uptravel thats going to mean notching the frame to clear the relocated track bar at full stuff. :banghead: Alternatively, you can bumpstop it...IIRC its like 2-3" or so...mrblaine over on JF knows all with regard to that. Most people just shorten the track bar and tolerate the larger axle shift with droop.

07XMan2Door 12-20-2010 11:28 PM

If I just lengthen my upper rear control arms enough to tilt my pinion up for the new drive shaft & leave my lowers stock, will my rear tires move away from my pinch seams at all? If so, how much?
I have 3.5 inches of lift.

Thanks

Jerry Bransford 12-20-2010 11:42 PM

The rear tires and axle will move back half of the distance you lengthen the upper control arm. If you make the upper arms 2" longer to raise the pinion angle and leave the lower control arm length the same, the axle will move back 1". :)


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