Clayton Long Arm vs Short Arm - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-21-2015, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Clayton Long Arm vs Short Arm

OK, here is the deal, I am getting ready to upgrade and looking for feedback.

I have narrowed down to Clayton and am just torn on going long arm or staying short. 95% of the jeeps' use will be street and the 5% it is offroad will be the beaches, most likely the sway bars will never even get disconnected. Looking at a 3.5" kit and will be running 35's with stock fenders.

I don't mind spending the extra $ for the long arms but want the best street ride possible as my current lift SUCKS, hate it and want to fix it right this time.

Has anyone gone the LA upgrade route and did you see enough onroad performance gain to warrant the added work and modification?

2012 JKU Sahara, basically stock
1989 4Runner, SAS, ARBs, 35's, yada yada yada
1998 Tj 1ton build in progress, stretch to LJ dimensions, chevy v8 (350+hp), auto, duals, 1tons, 40's, coilovers, the usual family wheeler

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-21-2015, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holiday13 View Post
OK, here is the deal, I am getting ready to upgrade and looking for feedback.

I have narrowed down to Clayton and am just torn on going long arm or staying short. 95% of the jeeps' use will be street and the 5% it is offroad will be the beaches, most likely the sway bars will never even get disconnected. Looking at a 3.5" kit and will be running 35's with stock fenders.

I don't mind spending the extra $ for the long arms but want the best street ride possible as my current lift SUCKS, hate it and want to fix it right this time.

Has anyone gone the LA upgrade route and did you see enough onroad performance gain to warrant the added work and modification?
why go 3.5
why go arms at all, if so why consider long arms

long arms are overkill and over budget for a rig that is never going to disconnect

Go with a good 2.5 kit like RK and good shocks and you will be happy with the ride on 35's

add arms later if you feel you need them

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-22-2015, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Asmmns View Post
why go 3.5
why go arms at all, if so why consider long arms

long arms are overkill and over budget for a rig that is never going to disconnect

Go with a good 2.5 kit like RK and good shocks and you will be happy with the ride on 35's

add arms later if you feel you need them
1. 3.5 as I have 2.5 lift now and want a hair more height

2. I want to go arm as I have done the "nonarm" thing already and am not at all happy with it ride wise + my joints are starting to wear out

3. I come from the old school TJ mentality of add long arms whenever possible

4. Basic arm kit $2100 Long arm kit $3100 upgrade from short to long is $2200 so if it makes sense better to do it up front

2012 JKU Sahara, basically stock
1989 4Runner, SAS, ARBs, 35's, yada yada yada
1998 Tj 1ton build in progress, stretch to LJ dimensions, chevy v8 (350+hp), auto, duals, 1tons, 40's, coilovers, the usual family wheeler

Former Team Quadratec driver #831
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-22-2015, 11:41 AM
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Technically the RK kit is considered a mid arm kit. The amount of offroad you are doing I would do the 2.5 Max travel kit with some of RK shocks. This kit only has the lower control arms and in my opinion is crucial to dial back in some caster. Or explore Poly Performance for a similar kit. I cannot speak to the others since I have not run the other brands. However I heard good things (BUT NOT USED) Tereflex MetalCloak and always heard great things about Clayton especially for the XJ.

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-22-2015, 12:30 PM
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Fair enough, I think you already have your mind made up and want some justification via positive responses.

Anyway - take a look at the RK high clearance mid arms and the Clayton straight arms and tell me which appears to be the better choice the first time... for a lot less than $ 2200

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-22-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmmns View Post
Fair enough, I think you already have your mind made up and want some justification via positive responses.

Anyway - take a look at the RK high clearance mid arms and the Clayton straight arms and tell me which appears to be the better choice the first time... for a lot less than $ 2200
Only thing my mind is made up on is wanting to do it right this time and looking for real world experience on the differences. Right now I have a jeep my wife won't drive because it handles so horribly (and I don't blame her for that), I am trying to rectify that this time around. If there is a noticeable ride improvement going long arm (in that height range) I don't mind ponying up the money, if there on road difference is minimal at most and the gains are really only offroad then I will stay short arm.

2012 JKU Sahara, basically stock
1989 4Runner, SAS, ARBs, 35's, yada yada yada
1998 Tj 1ton build in progress, stretch to LJ dimensions, chevy v8 (350+hp), auto, duals, 1tons, 40's, coilovers, the usual family wheeler

Former Team Quadratec driver #831
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-22-2015, 07:08 PM
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I've had both the Clayton Long and Short Arm kits.

I have absolutely enjoyed both and the availability of Adam and Clayton to have answered my questions has been tremendous. I have nothing but great things to say about them.. When you call, they answer. When you order something, they fill your order and send it off.

I take the jeep off road quite a bit and I'm pretty hard on it. Thats why I chose clayton, I was familiar with XJ's running their kits and I was impressed.
And on the other hand, the Jeep was my daily driver and it handled great on the streets and highways.

Upgrading from the short arm to long arm was a huge difference. I really notice it at speed on and off-road. It is quicker to articulate an really absorbs the bumps with the long arms. Some people say its little gain to constitute the high cost and I disagree.

I advise you find someone capable and will pay attention to the details so you will get the most out of your lift. Mine was not just bolt-on and go. I had to play with bump stops, get wheel spacers to clear the rear upper long-arm, have a custom track bar made (by Clayton) to clear my ProRock 44, and a few other little things. That's expected with many lifts though.

Will other lifts on the market work for your use? Of course, but if you have the dough for the Clayton Long Arm, go for it.

Last edited by TJT; 09-22-2015 at 07:10 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-23-2015, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJT View Post
I've had both the Clayton Long and Short Arm kits.

I have absolutely enjoyed both and the availability of Adam and Clayton to have answered my questions has been tremendous. I have nothing but great things to say about them.. When you call, they answer. When you order something, they fill your order and send it off.

I take the jeep off road quite a bit and I'm pretty hard on it. Thats why I chose clayton, I was familiar with XJ's running their kits and I was impressed.
And on the other hand, the Jeep was my daily driver and it handled great on the streets and highways.

Upgrading from the short arm to long arm was a huge difference. I really notice it at speed on and off-road. It is quicker to articulate an really absorbs the bumps with the long arms. Some people say its little gain to constitute the high cost and I disagree.

I advise you find someone capable and will pay attention to the details so you will get the most out of your lift. Mine was not just bolt-on and go. I had to play with bump stops, get wheel spacers to clear the rear upper long-arm, have a custom track bar made (by Clayton) to clear my ProRock 44, and a few other little things. That's expected with many lifts though.

Will other lifts on the market work for your use? Of course, but if you have the dough for the Clayton Long Arm, go for it.
Thank you, that was the feedback I was looking for, real world experience with both.

2012 JKU Sahara, basically stock
1989 4Runner, SAS, ARBs, 35's, yada yada yada
1998 Tj 1ton build in progress, stretch to LJ dimensions, chevy v8 (350+hp), auto, duals, 1tons, 40's, coilovers, the usual family wheeler

Former Team Quadratec driver #831
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-23-2015, 07:34 PM
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Like TJT above, I started with the Clayton short arm and moved to the long arm (about to go to the 3-link). Truthfully, if it's never going to get disconnected, the juice isn't worth the squeeze on the long arm. It'll drive better than stock with the short arm and you'll be very happy. I'm on 40's, tons, blower, etc. and love the long arm, but it's just not necessary for street. I see you're in NJ. Same here. Globex Performance in Toms River did all my work.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-24-2015, 07:06 PM
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Properly set up, a long arm is going to ride and perform better then a short arm at any height. If the price difference is not an issue to you go for the long arm. At 3.5" I would also look into a drag link flip to improve steering performance and reduce bump steer.

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post #11 of 12 Old 09-25-2015, 12:36 PM
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Ron,

I have the 3.5" Clayton's kit with the adjustable upper front arms, and have been very happy with it all around. I commute 80 miles a day and have about 25k miles on my lift.

I have quadratec moabs and 35" Stt's under it with plenty of room. I'm not sure how much height your looking for.

The nice thing about Claytons stuff is it's easily upgradable, if you decide you want to go long arm, he sells those separately if need be.

I'm assuming your callind Clayton or Adam directly? I got mine through Zach.

(I'm the former spotter for 043, in case your wondering)
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-27-2015, 10:02 PM
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Get some good shocks and springs first then you can decide if you want to change to long arm. I do like the RK and Clayton long arm kits but we never have seen the need for them on a JK.

Short arm is a TJ/LJ term as JKs actually are mid arm in comparison. We choose to spend our money on the best shocks we can get and get the best ride you can get.

Recently the shock manufacturers have come out with bolt in bypass shocks that really allow you to dial in your ride.

Radflo
Swayaway
Bilstein
Fox
King

The main difference is either a 2" or 2.5" shock body. The larger shaft and body allow you to control the dampening better. We recommend good springs that set the ride height you like. We also install air bumps to make the best ride possible.

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