3link vs 4link long arm (front) - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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3link vs 4link long arm (front)

Ok been kicking this around a bit and looking at different setups. I'm not going into the debate of If I need it or not thank you Dirtman .
I was looking at the Artec set up and how it comes of the crossmember for the 3 link set up.
I know most of the 4link setups have some kind of bracket setup that can hang rather low.
I am just looking fore some kind of input from the guys that have been using them .
I also know about the 3 vs 4 arms and if one breaks you are screwed. But in all my time wheeling I have yet to see that happen .
Thank you In advance!

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post #2 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 09:43 AM
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I have been running a 3 link front off the passenger side for years. The frame brackets are tucked up inside the frame and do not hang low. Axle lowers hang down just a bit below the tube for seperation. I used an upper tower from either Ballistic or Ruff Stuff. You really don't need anything special to run a 3 just remove on of the arms and you have a 3 link front. There is no gain except for loosing the weight of that one arm as you should not ever get the front into a bind at the joints before you bind the driveshaft.

I do worry about loosing the upper and things going bad fast. I have never seen it happen either but the thought of the horror is still there. I am planning on adding a 4th up front and already have the brackets in place and just need to build the arm.
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
I have been running a 3 link front off the passenger side for years. The frame brackets are tucked up inside the frame and do not hang low. Axle lowers hang down just a bit below the tube for seperation. I used an upper tower from either Ballistic or Ruff Stuff. You really don't need anything special to run a 3 just remove on of the arms and you have a 3 link front. There is no gain except for loosing the weight of that one arm as you should not ever get the front into a bind at the joints before you bind the driveshaft.

I do worry about loosing the upper and things going bad fast. I have never seen it happen either but the thought of the horror is still there. I am planning on adding a 4th up front and already have the brackets in place and just need to build the arm.
Any reason why you are going to 4?

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post #4 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 10:25 AM
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Just for the extra strength. With my new set up it likes to go fast and to jump so it is just peace of mind for me. For most people not jumping their jeep at 60 mph a three link should be fine.

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post #5 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Just for the extra strength. With my new set up it likes to go fast and to jump so it is just peace of mind for me. For most people not jumping their jeep at 60 mph a three link should be fine.
What are you doing for the rear ?

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post #6 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 10:42 AM
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Double triangulated 4 link with 18"x3" triple bypass and 2.5" coil over. 7" up travel with down travel limited to 10"
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post #7 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Double triangulated 4 link with 18"x3" triple bypass and 2.5" coil over. 7" up travel with down travel limited to 10"
You got a build page going on?

Tapcola If losing an upper arm on your 3 link concerns you just carry a spare. I know of two guys that I wheel with that does just that. I have also never seen an upper break. I have seen a lower break at the weld though. The whole 3 link thing front or rear never appealed to me personaly
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 11:00 AM
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I need to do some updates as I just got done building a new front axle. You can find my build here The time has come.....TheDirtmans level 4 build...Ha!...ha!....ha!...cough!...cough! - Page 58 This will take you to the current build but it has gone thru several changes over the years.

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post #9 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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I was just looking at the Artec set up and wondered why you couldn't make it a 4 link .
I have a few friends run ing the RK setup and was just looking at options .

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post #10 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 01:36 PM
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No reason you cant make it a 4 link as all you need is another upper frame link mount and an upper arm that can be used with the mount that is intergrated into the differential. Only real differences on different companies is where they put the mounts on the frame. I do like the RK frame mounts somewhat and where they place them up inside the frame with both the upper and lower. The seperation is not great but you get better ground clearance over the artec easy 3-link kit

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post #11 of 31 Old 02-07-2018, 07:01 PM
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There's also some non-trivial exhaust work to do a good 4-link long-arm front on a JK, at least on the 3.6L. To get good geometry you'd have to do more than just eliminate the trumpet loop. This is why it's much easier to do a 3-link on the passenger side than driver.
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-14-2018, 07:49 PM
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I am wrapping up a 4 link setup both front and rear for a '12 JKU.

For the rear I used the Artec adjustable inner frame brackets. But didn't like how they fit together.
Artec Industries Adjustable Inner Frame Bracket

So for the front switched to the TMR universal upper link frame mount. I really like the extra metal that runs horizontal. This allows you to cut it to fit for whatever angle you need from the frame.
https://www.tmrcustoms.com/universal...nk-frame-mount
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-15-2018, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfsponsoredJK View Post
I am wrapping up a 4 link setup both front and rear for a '12 JKU.

For the rear I used the Artec adjustable inner frame brackets. But didn't like how they fit together.
Artec Industries Adjustable Inner Frame Bracket

So for the front switched to the TMR universal upper link frame mount. I really like the extra metal that runs horizontal. This allows you to cut it to fit for whatever angle you need from the frame.
https://www.tmrcustoms.com/universal...nk-frame-mount
Pics please .

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post #14 of 31 Old 02-15-2018, 07:58 AM
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I'm running the Artec front 3-link and have also installed a few Rock Krawler systems. Personally I am a huge fan of the Artec system. I prefer the upper link on the passenger side. This gives more room for the driveshaft and exhaust. I do not have any heavy brake dive and full control down the freeway at 85 mph. Off-road she is super smooth as well with tons of flex. I have dragged the lower links once or twice coming off a rock ledge just behind the wheels but it only too the paint off a 10" strip.

With the Rock Krawler X-factor you could run 4 links all the time for the security and remove one upper if you need more flex. But like Dirtman said, there isn't as must seperation on the links and I didn't like the feeling on the freeway as much as I did with the Artec. Off-road it worked very well and I liked the clearance of the bent lowers.
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-15-2018, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfsponsoredJK View Post
I am wrapping up a 4 link setup both front and rear for a '12 JKU.

For the rear I used the Artec adjustable inner frame brackets. But didn't like how they fit together.
Artec Industries Adjustable Inner Frame Bracket

So for the front switched to the TMR universal upper link frame mount. I really like the extra metal that runs horizontal. This allows you to cut it to fit for whatever angle you need from the frame.
https://www.tmrcustoms.com/universal...nk-frame-mount
X2 on pics please.

I have been looking at these. Adjustable Inner Frame Link Mount Bracket
just a bit cheaper too.
Anyone used the Barnes?

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post #16 of 31 Old 02-15-2018, 11:09 AM
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Barnes is a find company and offers high strength brackets in 3/16" for weight savings. Ruff stuff, WFO, Ballistic, Genright, Chassis Unlimited, Blue torch Fab also have great brackets. I have used them all.

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post #17 of 31 Old 03-24-2018, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi-8 View Post
With the Rock Krawler X-factor you could run 4 links all the time for the security and remove one upper if you need more flex. But like Dirtman said, there isn't as must seperation on the links and I didn't like the feeling on the freeway as much as I did with the Artec. Off-road it worked very well and I liked the clearance of the bent lowers.
@Rubi-8 are you saying you can run the x-factor as a 4 link in the front? Is that a double triangulated setup? I have been looking at trading out my teraflex short arm lift and looking at either 3 or 4 linking the front.

Correct me if I'm wrong, (I'm somewhat of a newb, and definitely not a mechanic) but isn't another benefit of the double triangulated 4 link the ability to eliminate the trackbar from the equation as well?
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-24-2018, 10:02 AM
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You can run the x-factor front suspension as a 4 link not the rear and no it is not a double triangulated set up. You would have to add of course a second upper link and a bushing on the axle. The RK frame brackets included in their kits have mounting locations for both the upper and lowers on both sides. RK uses a kinda cheesy axle side mount that looks suspect in terms of longevity of life. I would use a Johnny joint replacement on the axle and you can find brackets and build arms for much cheaper then buying from RK which are overly heavy and have joints that are hard to get to the grease points when using their brackets.

You are correct that a double triangulated set up will eliminate the track bar and will also require a change in the fuel tank location unless you do a rear double triangulated set up that has been done with less then stellar results. A front double triangulation would need full hydraulic steering as well to eliminate the track bar and drag link.

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Last edited by thedirtman; 03-24-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-26-2018, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
RK uses a kinda cheesy axle side mount that looks suspect in terms of longevity of life. I would use a Johnny joint replacement on the axle and you can find brackets and build arms for much cheaper then buying from RK which are overly heavy and have joints that are hard to get to the grease points when using their brackets.
Are you referring to the passenger side upper tombstone? If yes, nothing suspect about it. Beat the snot out of it on the 44 without issue and same on my 60 now. Just need a competent welder to install it.

As for the grease points, the old joints were very hard to grease but the new ones have 90 degree zerk fittings which make it much easier. I was able to get to all of them easily this past weekend.


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post #20 of 31 Old 03-26-2018, 09:32 AM
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Do they have another new joint out. The kit we installed in January did not have grease points that were accessible. I am talking long arm kit are you talking about a long arm? Not sure what the "tombstone" is but I was referring to the joint on cast section above the differential.

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post #21 of 31 Old 03-26-2018, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Do they have another new joint out. The kit we installed in January did not have grease points that were accessible. I am talking long arm kit are you talking about a long arm? Not sure what the "tombstone" is but I was referring to the joint on cast section above the differential.
Mine are at least 2 years old so not "new" and have 90 degree fittings. Yes it is a long arm. The tombstone is the passenger side upper. You are talking about the driver side upper. Again I havent had issues there.


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post #22 of 31 Old 03-27-2018, 07:56 AM
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I stand corrected. I checked with the shop and we added the 90 degree fittings.

Should RK include them yes? Yes
Is it a quick and simple thing to do yourself? Also yes


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post #23 of 31 Old 03-27-2018, 09:09 AM
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@ALASHA , @thedirtman , i thought that RK had a heim joint option for their long-arm kit now. Wouldn't that eliminate the need for the grease points? Is the heim joint worse performance-wise? Sorry for all the annoying questions. Just trying to decide if its worth investing in the RK kit or if I should take it down to our local fab shop here in PHX and have him put his on. Only downside is he wont put the aluminum CA's on.
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-27-2018, 09:23 AM
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I don't know if RK is offering a Heim joint or not. They change their joints all the time and its hard to keep up. You always have the ability to simply buy heim joints and install them, or just get some custom arms built with heim joints as their arms are nothing special. I personally would not buy anything RK has to offer. Their is a lot of hype and deceptive social media marketing behind the company that puts out a so so product and they don't pay a lot of attention to the small details. There are so many better companies out there and the people that run them are much nicer as well. RK thinks I have an ax to grind with them but I point out negatives I see by any company it is just that they have been so bad and have so many issues. Joints being a big issues, bracket fitment, coil sagging, leaky shocks, poor instructions. They usually fix or replace but after a lot of back and forth on the phone. Best results is to post up whats wrong with photos on a forum and they will respond faster. I have had countless people contact me about how bad an experience they have had with RK and would never use them again.

There are those out there that use RK with no issues and think they are the greatest thing out there. IF they are happy thats great. I think its more about justifying their purchase then knowing about suspensions. On the forums they are getting fewer and fewer and only see a couple that will defend them no matter what issue is brought up.

OK here is where one of the RK minions comes in to call me names.

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post #25 of 31 Old 03-27-2018, 09:31 AM
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Heim joints will give you way more then enough misalignment then you need or can even use if your brackets are set up right. They will also give you a good firm ride and will transfer vibrations vs ones that have some kind of synthetic bearing race. Heim joints can also become noisy over time since they are basically metal on metal even though some will have a coating on the bearing surface. Any arm that has a threaded joint should be able to take a heim joint as they are offered in a bunch of sizes and threads.
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