So, currently my rig is sitting on a Rough Country 3" lift. While this lift makes it look pretty in the mall parking lot, when it comes to actual usability, it ranks right up there with poop. So...
I have two 2003 Cobra IRS systems sitting in storage, and I started wondering about designing a full independent suspension system. After some thought, though, I'm wondering if this would be a wise way to go. While all the flexiness would be nice, would it even be worth it with a rigidly mounted diff? I'm not sure I could get the diff high enough to make it so ground clearance would not suffer, tremendously.
Has anyone ever seen full independent suspension, other than gee-wow, on a JK, and if so, have you seen it work/how well does it work?
Yeah, I've seen the gocms.com trucks. They are definitely nice setups, but, as best as I can tell, absolutely useless anywhere other than the street/parking lot. I'm more interested in LCG setups, like on an H1. I just don't know if it would be truly applicable to a rock crawler setup, or even possible for a JK.
H1's have portals to keep everything tucked up and keep the cv's at decent angles. A 4 wheel independent setup would be much better suited to desert racing then it would be to rock crawling. Even then though a cobra irs has very short arms and offers very little travel causing it to very likely perform worse then stock even in the desert.
now just kicking it as a civilian
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Back to your original post. You have 2 Mustang IRS rear ends laying around. And the simple answer is; hell no fawking way will those effectively work in your JK.
So, with that in mind, are you still interested in engineering an IS JK, or were you just looking for something to do with the Stang assemblies you have laying around?
If you are still interested in engineering an IS JK... I would look for Military H1's at auctions to yoink the suspension and portal boxes from...
Coming from a road racing background, of course I love IS. Drawing from that love, I was more interested in whether or not it would function well. From all that I've read, both here and elsewhere, it's pretty much a non-starter for anything other than racing or gee-wow. (Gee-wow would be the gocms.com trucks.) While I am all about re-inventing the wheel if it will produce a much better result, I'm certainly not about doing 10-times the work at 5-times the cost for half the results!
That being said, if I come across an HMMWV for the right price, maybe I'll revisit the IS thing... Or, maybe I'll just get teh HMMWV and and pimp it out! For now, though, looks like I'm just going to go with a 5.5" RK coilover kit... That should placate me for a while!
It's an interesting idea but probably not very practical. Certainly would be pressed to even match the wheel travel & durability of a good coil lift & the stock live axles. We'll have to face the inevitability that one day the SWB Jeep will be fully, or partially independent. We dodged the Daimler Benz bullet re: the JK, they wanted a front independent. Fortunately they bailed on the business. These were the same dimwits that bought you the "Trail Rated" red herring to cover the Compass/Patriot shit boxes. Whatever, either some marketing asshole or NHTSA will get their way someday and our beloved Jeep will be just another poser. I know race trucks have used fully independent for years, but we've yet to see a single setup that really works on the rocks.
Seems to me there are three ways of going about a fully independent suspended JK that won't cost as much as a house (like a full on KOH setup would):
The first two I have seen on the web/in magazines, the second just seems logical to me though, I have yet to see one. All three would need some SERIOUS fab work, mods, and $$$ to work but, they are do-able! Mustang IRS though= fail!!! Might as well start from scratch!!!
I'd say that if your JK currently rides or performs like crap, then it isn't set-up well. Keep in mind that solid axles are dirt-simple, especially compared to independent suspensions. Independent suspensions were developed for their ride and handling characteristics. Yes, they can be made to function well off road, but generally for a lot more money, and you will sacrifice strength. A well built, well tuned solid axle vehicle will ride almost as well (I say almost 'cause a Jeep ain't supposed to ride like a car) and will amaze you on the trail or in the rocks.