Long arm Kit or not - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Long arm Kit or not

Big question, I know it's been asked. Getting ready to buy a 3.5" lift, looking at both Mid arm and long arm. I had a Full Traction LA Kit on my 2006 Rubicon and I had no real issues with the lift (just needed to keep it greased). The FT lift was great on the trail on on the road. I'm concidering buying a LA kit for my JKUR and I'm stuck between a LA lift or a Mid arm lift. Was woundering what the pros and cons are too both lifts.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 04:12 PM
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Are you installing the kit? Install is the biggest determining factor for people; usually involves heavy welding, cutting off brackets/mounts, etc. The biggest difference will be in the handling of the rig and the ability to use quite a bit of shock travel.

If you're looking for just a double-duty rig with some reasonable wheelin'; a JK short arm will get you very far. JK arms are quite a bit longer than the TJ you had and will handle/ride pretty well.

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
Are you installing the kit? Install is the biggest determining factor for people; usually involves heavy welding, cutting off brackets/mounts, etc. The biggest difference will be in the handling of the rig and the ability to use quite a bit of shock travel.

If you're looking for just a double-duty rig with some reasonable wheelin'; a JK short arm will get you very far. JK arms are quite a bit longer than the TJ you had and will handle/ride pretty well.
No, i do not have the time or the equipment to do the job.
I guess what I'm asking, if you were going to put a lift under your new Jeep; what would install, LA or a Mid arm kit?
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nardo View Post
No, i do not have the time or the equipment to do the job.
I guess what I'm asking, if you were going to put a lift under your new Jeep; what would install, LA or a Mid arm kit?
My answer might not be what's right for you. I'd put a long arm under my rig, money permitting. But I'd like mine built for big rocks, and do/would use it for what it's built for. What kinda wheeling are you planning to do?
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 09:44 PM
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you dont have to wheel big rocks to get a long arm there are other +'s that come with a long arm kit
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-04-2013, 09:57 PM
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I was steered away from the long arm and was confused initially. Ive decided to go short arm for sure. seems like much less hassle although they say the long arm gives a much better ride. Seems like the install will cost much more and the lift will as well.

I too can't do the install so don't feel bad.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpocket View Post
you dont have to wheel big rocks to get a long arm there are other +'s that come with a long arm kit
Sure, but that's like buying a Corvette because it gets 30mpg. There are some pluses, but not the ones the majority buy a long arm for.

JK "short arms" are pretty decent, throw some front drop brackets on there and you're going to be doing pretty well for much less.

If you need a long arm, then you need it. But don't buy it for a JK because it's the most expensive and you want the most expensive. IMO.


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post #8 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 04:39 AM
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IMO, Shock travel over 12" and/or 4" or more lift, go long arm. Under 12" shock travel or under 4" lift, keep mid arm. You won't see the benefits as greatly.

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKred07 View Post
IMO, Shock travel over 12" and/or 4" or more lift, go long arm. Under 12" shock travel or under 4" lift, keep mid arm. You won't see the benefits as greatly.
^^^This


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post #10 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKred07 View Post
IMO, Shock travel over 12" and/or 4" or more lift, go long arm. Under 12" shock travel or under 4" lift, keep mid arm. You won't see the benefits as greatly.
^^ agreed


Take some time and look at the rigs built with Metal Cloak and Rock Krawler mid-arm lifts. And then look at what they are capable of doing. With the right setup, a 3.5" mid-arm kit can take you pretty far.

Will I eventually go to a long arm kit - probably. But more because I want to build it myself, not because I need it. My Metal Cloak lift and 37s will sustain my needs for a long time.

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Last edited by k1973; 11-06-2013 at 07:43 AM.
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 10:42 AM
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If you can afford it, by all means it will be a good suspension if done right.

Some build info here:
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-07-2013, 08:11 AM
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I started out with the RK mid arm kit, and it was great. Added coilovers to smooth out the bumpy ride on dirt roads and discovered my rig didn't handle better than a buddy running long arms and standard springs. After 6 months of running coilovers with the mid arms, my bushings were completely shot. Made the switch to long arms, and wish I had done them in the first place.
Long arms, flex aside, provide a much smoother driving experience and are definitely worth doing.

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2012 JKU Rubicon- bored sold
2015 JKU Rubicon- 3rd times a charm?
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-07-2013, 11:41 AM
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I am running a longarm kit myself. Like it. Had it on my TJ. It is probably what I will always have. I have always the ride to be better on the road. Although on a 4 door I don't think the length of the control arms is nearly as retinal as the TJ.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-13-2013, 06:41 AM
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There is some really good info in this thread and the best way to compile it is as follows…

Mid Arm systems do very well at 3.5" of lift and under 12" travel shocks. Of course they can all ride smooth and handle well on the highway, but it is the wheeling aspect that will get you. If you go outside of the above parameters, the axle steer effect of having the long travel shocks are on mid arm or short arm system becomes really obvious. Also, with the more travel you demand, the more bushing distortion that is required out of the mid arms or short arms since they are 5 link systems front and rear. With good long arm systems, all of those things go away and you can then let the vehicle stretch it's legs even further, be more durable and have a better on highway ride.

It really comes down to budget. A good long arm system will always ride better, should handle better, and certainly do better off-road. The real issue becomes, does it fit in your budget?

RK
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