OK, I think we are in agreement, or at least sort of. I'm just not understanding some things. I still don't understand how you can say that coil spring compression is the limitation when you are never going to totally compress your springs.
It is the ultimate, theoretical limit. Do you see what I preach? I preach understanding the fundamentals. If you don't understand the very basic limits of travel and can recognize the boundaries, you cannot gain a full understanding of how a suspension system works. Again, A-B-C. And yes, it is possible to reach full coil bind and that's why one needs to understand the intricacies of setting up bump stops--so that the upper constraint is placed there.
I understand that they can be the limitation for droop. As for articulation or misalignment I think we are kind of saying the same thing, just because the parts allow for the most articulation or misalignment it doesn't mean it's going to perform the best offroad.
Once you reach the point of coils unseating (distance between coil buckets = free standing coil length), further travel is rendered useless. The shocks need to reach full extension at that point.
I don't think I need to point out specifics, for the offroad/street comparison, because you already know, but I can pose a few extreme examples a few questions.
If you were to purpose build a JK for the street and one for offroad, they certainly would not look alike or handle the same even if you were only using bolt on suspension parts.
I'm not a fan of 'purpose-built' Jeeps but that's just me. I didn't build mine to sit in my garage and get trailered to the park. I didn't build mine to break and require a trailer to get home. But I also didn't build it to be a street queen with clearance and durability compromises. It may seem unrealistic but I've built mine to have as few compromises as possible--good at it all. It doesn't look like any other TJ you'll see on the road, that's for sure. But it drives as well as my friend's mint, bone-stock 09 JK with a little extra road and wind noise.
My point: A 'hardcore' wheeler can drive very, very well. A street queen can drive like crap. It's all about the implemented methodology, quality of the parts, and quality of the setup (knowledge of the installer). Don't discount the idea until you actually see it in use. Your idea of mutual exclusivity is not correct in all cases.
I'm still waiting on specific, technical reasons as to WHY a purpose-built offroad-only JK will drive worse than a street queen. I don't think you'll find this easy to answer because the majority of the disparity between the two ideas is just in your head.
For your JK if you decided it was going to be used only offroad, would you change anything or is it the best it could be, now the same question for the street?
I wouldn't build a JK if you paid me....well, maybe.
In terms of my TJ, yes I would. I'm building those axles right now. It will gain even better brakes, better steering, more backspacing and more Ackermann angle, which will only benefit the on-road driving experience. But the axles are ultimately being built to provide more strength off the road. Hmmm......
I bet if you were to add drop brackets and able to add stock bushing to your control arms your JK would handle and ride better on the street, but certainly not do as well offroad.
In that particular situation, I'll give you the nod. But I'm certainly not one to buy into those silly things. There are more (and better) ways to skin that cat and there are no compromises involved.
Whether you want to believe it or not there are compromises made to get the best of both worlds.
But there don't have to be. I've been proving that for a few years now and others have been doing it for longer.
Now to make this even longer. What is it about the MetalCloak kit that makes it ride so much better than the RK kit. I find it hard to believe that the bushings make that big of a difference, so is it springs, shocks a combination of both or is it just hype?
I don't have experience with their shocks or springs. But I have a good amount of experience with their bushings and I can tell you that they are not hype....and that's compared to the best standard 'spherical' joint on the market, the Currie JJ. I also have experience with RK's poly bushings they use at the end of some of their arms, along with their older joints. They were junk.
What joints do articulate the most? I know it doesn't matter and that was the point I was making for cjcraig7, but now I want to know, because I was obviously under the misconception that JJs do.
No idea and it doesn't matter. After dealing with most of the joints on the market, there are two that matter. The JJ and the Duroflex bushing. I don't give a crap about the rest and I've fixed enough rigs to be able to have that opinion.
Why doesn't it matter? Unless you're using a Clevite bushing at one end with the joint of your choice on the other end and are using 14"+ coilovers, you'll never approach the limits anyway. And if you're combining Clevite bushings with that much travel, you're doing it all wrong anyway. The last thing I care about when I look at joints is the misalignment amount. I didn't make the switch from JJ's to Duroflex bushings because of the little bit of extra misalignment they are capable of. I don't even remotely approach that difference being realized.
Lets talk arms.... They both offer thier own unique flex design...., I do like that the MetalCloak Ones are rebuildable.... but again no warranty listed.
I call this a draw.....
If all you want to look at is the 'rebuildability', then they are a wash. Both of them can be easily rebuilt. What you are failing to look at are the compounds, durability (how often will they need to be rebuilt?) and how they function. If you would do that, you would almost undoubtedly choose the MC bushing.
As for the warranty, I assure you....it's a non-issue. MC is one of the most stand-up companies I've ever seen in terms of their CS and responsiveness. I had to use RK's CS years ago and while it wasn't bad, it wasn't close to the level of MC's. You're missing out on the criteria that will make the decision clear.