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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a write up and review of the Rancho RS62103 Control Arm Bracket Kit. These are a geometry correction bracket and a new design from their previous bracket which had a fixed caster location.

Here is the Rancho sales flyer:



There are a few things that Geometry correction brackets do for you.

1. Correct caster on a lifted Jeep.

2. Reduced control arm angle of attack which:
a. Reduces brake dive under rapid deceleration.
b. Reduces energy transfer through the control arms to the frame which results in a smoother ride.

3. Improve the operating angle of the front drive shaft.

And specifically, the Rancho brackets are a 1 piece welded design which is much beefier than others on the market. They also offer a wider range of caster correction with their new 4 hole adjustment design.

So let's begin... Packaging.





Unboxing:



In the box, instructions, high strength bolts with stover nuts and some decals.









The first thing I noticed was how heavy they felt compared to others I have handled. Maybe it's the one piece design, but they are not in any way light duty...



I was also impressed with the finish quality and the welds look great.






Installation was pretty straightforward, but it's important to note that I was removing a set of Synergy front lower control arms and going back to the stock lower control arms.

The reason for this, the Jeep is my wifes DD and she has commented a number of times about how the Jeep follows all road imperfections and she doesn't care for that trait. Her drive to work is on some not so good roads with lots of higher manhole covers and asphalt transitions from old to new and side to side. This and the freeway will be our main basis of comparison.

One significant negative is the lower mounting position of the control arm which definitely loses ground clearance. Our rig is an overland style Jeep so ground clearance isn't as important to us. If it was a rock crawler, this would not be the preferred build. Also, my daughter just picked up a 2dr that I will be setting up with high ground clearance. :happyyes: She'll get the Synergy arms.

The instructions give a guideline on which holes to use. There are 2 specific areas with information. The front is a general guideline of 2" - 3" - 4" etc. In the manual, there is also a more detailed caster forecast based on lift height and upper control arm position.


Based on the information provided, I chose the second hole. My 2.5 lift measures a little more than that and since it isn't a BIG lift, a little extra caster won't hurt anything. Based on the above, I should be just above 5.5deg. In a week or 2, I will get it on the rack to adjust toe (probably not needed) and to verify my new baseline of caster.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here's an installed look from both sides. For the most part, this installation is pretty easy. The 2 challenges are getting the 125 lbft of torque back on the control arm bolts and putting the flag nuts back in behind the upper frame mount. It really helps if you have smaller fingers/hands, which I don't... And yes, even after only 6 bolts at 125, my shoulder is hurting today.





Overall early impression is that these Rancho's should be the go-to geometry brackets. Best one piece design and more adjustment than any other control arm brackets.

So I got in a shakedown drive last night just to make sure the wheel was straight and nothing felt out of place. I purposely tried not to evaluate it since I wanted my wife to give her unbiased opinion first. I'll get the "drive report" written later today after we get a few miles on it and the alignment in a week or 2.

Our annual Back Way to Crown King event is coming up in a few weeks and I hope to get it on the trail a little too to see if I have an issue with the ground clearance.
 

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This will be a big hit I'm sure. Good job Racho
 

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I have a 5.5 inch mid arm kit with adjustable arms that netted about 6 inches of lift. It rides nicely but I'm curious if these would improve control arm and pinion operating angles. I don't know of anyone running both but it seems to make sense.
 

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How much lower than stock in hole two?I have the first generation Rancho drop bracket with three inches of lift.I am curious where the hole on my bracket is located in relation to the holes on the new bracket.Is mine equal to hole two or three on the new bracket?
 

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Why not get adjustable control arms instead? Purely cost?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why not get adjustable control arms instead? Purely cost?
Cost is one thing, but control arms really only correct caster... At higher lift heights, you have a bad control arm "angle of attack" and "instant center". These are negative geometry characteristics that contribute to a poor ride and unwanted brake dive. It comes down to how you use your Jeep. As a DD with an emphasis on road manners over rock climbing capability, on paper the geometry brackets are much better.

As a rock crawler, the opposite would be true. More ground clearance, better joints and additional articulation.

With the brackets, your control arms are much flatter so when hitting a bump or pot hole, the energy forces the wheel straight up and allows the springs and shock to handle all of the energy. When you increase the angle of your control arms, the impact point is now closer to being inline with the control arms which allows the energy to transmit through the arm to the frame. The result is you feel the bump much more in the seat of your pants.


How much lower than stock in hole two?I have the first generation Rancho drop bracket with three inches of lift.I am curious where the hole on my bracket is located in relation to the holes on the new bracket.Is mine equal to hole two or three on the new bracket?
I'll slide under and get a measurement in a bit for you.
 

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Cost is one thing, but control arms really only correct caster... At higher lift heights, you have a bad control arm "angle of attack" and "instant center". These are negative geometry characteristics that contribute to a poor ride and unwanted brake dive. It comes down to how you use your Jeep. As a DD with an emphasis on road manners over rock climbing capability, on paper the geometry brackets are much better.

As a rock crawler, the opposite would be true. More ground clearance, better joints and additional articulation.

With the brackets, your control arms are much flatter so when hitting a bump or pot hole, the energy forces the wheel straight up and allows the springs and shock to handle all of the energy. When you increase the angle of your control arms, the impact point is now closer to being inline with the control arms which allows the energy to transmit through the arm to the frame. The result is you feel the bump much more in the seat of your pants.
Makes sense, thank you. At what height do you feel that vibration transmission to frame becomes a nuisance to warrant these brackets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Makes sense, thank you. At what height do you feel that vibration transmission to frame becomes a nuisance to warrant these brackets?
I didn't have much of an opinion on your question at the beginning of the day...

So I sent my wife off on her daily drive route by herself and just told her to see how it felt. Then when she got back, I took the trip with her and we talked through what she was feeling.

She is taking a strong opinion that the Jeep tracks much straighter on uneven surfaces and the impact from the manhole covers is noticeably reduced. We came back on the freeway and she said it was a definite improvement.

For the record, I changed nothing else...

Then I got in and went for a ride. I suspect caster is higher which accounts for the better feeling on the freeway. To be fair, you could achieve the higher caster with adjustable control arms. I didn't notice much difference under heavy braking. It wasn't an issue before, so no reason for it to be now.

But, like my wife, I feel there is a noticeable improvement in ride quality. It wasn't bad before, but the load E tires are pretty firm. It feels like less impact on potholes and less coming through the steering wheel. We live on a dirt road and the washboard seemed to be less too.

I need more time on the brackets and get the alignment done. But for now, the brackets are winning for what we want out of this Jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a 5.5 inch mid arm kit with adjustable arms that netted about 6 inches of lift. It rides nicely but I'm curious if these would improve control arm and pinion operating angles. I don't know of anyone running both but it seems to make sense.
I definitely think that over 4.5" of lift could benefit from both. I don't see any additional negative other than the ground clearance. But the benefit of flattening out the LCA a little would be a big plus. The brackets also help the front driveshaft a little.

How much lower than stock in hole two?I have the first generation Rancho drop bracket with three inches of lift.I am curious where the hole on my bracket is located in relation to the holes on the new bracket.Is mine equal to hole two or three on the new bracket?
Ok, I measured hole 2 at 3-3/4" below the factory mount and hole 3 is 4-1/2" below the factory mount. What we cannot be sure of is if they changed the fore/aft measurement at all. Hope that helps!

:beerdrinking:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Pressurized great review. Thanks for taking the time to do this!!!
Matt
Matt, the thanks really go to YOU!!! :beerdrinking:
@Rancho Nicely done! I have a custom build shop that is looking at putting the Rancho brackets in to his big Jeep builds. Right now he is using adjustable lowers, but acknowledges that 8 out of 10 of his builds are street Jeeps and the better they drive, the more he sells. I'll let you know how it plays out, but he has committed to using the brackets on his next build.

Here is one that he has at about 75% completion:

 

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I definitely think that over 4.5" of lift could benefit from both. I don't see any additional negative other than the ground clearance. But the benefit of flattening out the LCA a little would be a big plus. The brackets also help the front driveshaft a little.



Ok, I measured hole 2 at 3-3/4" below the factory mount and hole 3 is 4-1/2" below the factory mount. What we cannot be sure of is if they changed the fore/aft measurement at all. Hope that helps!

:beerdrinking:
Ya, my upper control arm hole is 3 inches directly below the hole that bolts to the frame.The new bracket looks like the first hole is slightly behind the top mounting bolt.Thanx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a little update after a month plus. Pinion is at 1deg, so I ballpark caster at 5deg. I still need to do an alignment, but it's driving so good that I'm less motivated than I should be. :blackeye

We took a ride up to Scottsdale last week and at 75 she was just a breeze to drive. Went up over 80 just for the hell of it and it was a 1 finger treat...

At this point, we are extremely pleased with the Rancho geometry brackets. My Jeep wasn't bad at all, but now it's better.
 
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Great to hear!!!

Just a little update after a month plus. Pinion is at 1deg, so I ballpark caster at 5deg. I still need to do an alignment, but it's driving so good that I'm less motivated than I should be. :blackeye

We took a ride up to Scottsdale last week and at 75 she was just a breeze to drive. Went up over 80 just for the hell of it and it was a 1 finger treat...

At this point, we are extremely pleased with the Rancho geometry brackets. My Jeep wasn't bad at all, but now it's better.
 

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Great review, thank you for having the time to share your experience.

I've OME 2" lift with Rancho shocks, and I have difficulties with handling, I've checked AEV's bracket but the measurement they advice to have I was below it.

I'm really glad that Rancho have revised their bracket to accommodate more lifts (ways) unlike the first one, now at least i can install this bracket on my 2".

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Had it on the alignment rack earlier this week and while their printer was broken, I did see it... Should have snapped a pic with my phone. Oh well, the caster was 5.9 drivers and 5.7 passenger. Higher than I predicted by almost a full degree, but still in the OK range at 2.5".

Still driving quite nice. I did have the tires re-balanced and they found one that was quite a ways out. One comment to make is that with most aftermarket wheels, we are getting a standard rotational balance and not a dynamic balance like you get on factory wheels with a normal lip. The difference is the weights stuck in the middle of the rim versus being attached to the lip on both the inside and outside of the wheel.
 

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Awesome review!

I just installed these with my 2.5" lift. The ride is better than stock, imho. So glad I got them.

 
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