When to do long arm? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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When to do long arm?

So my jeeps sitting on full width one tons front and rear, 3,5" RK and 37's. next up I was planning to do coil overs front/rear and move up to about 4.5" and shove 40's under there. At which point I started wondering when it becomes "necessary" to do a long arm upgrade. Am I better off doing that before coil overs? When do y'all think it becomes a priority to do a long arm kit? I'm curious to see what everyone thinks.

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post #2 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 06:58 AM
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No hard & fast rule, but developing JK wisdom seems to be that when you reach 4" you're at the point where a long arm starts to become a benefit. At 5 - 6" you get the payoff. I'd say with your setup and future plan a long arms becomes very desireable. Some good choices out there, varying between conventional 8 arm to the Rubicon Express / Clayton radius arm style. In every case a lot of cutting & grinding required to get the old brackets off.

I just had my TF 4" upgraded to long arms. Farmed it out to High Country in Denver, just wasn't something I felt confident in doing myself. Haven't had a chance to get it on the rocks to compare. However, what I can tell from just flexing it out on some local "test rocks" is that it hooks up faster and with less drama. Street ride quality and stability are noticeably improved. Moab this week, so I'll be better able to judge.

'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.

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post #3 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 07:03 AM
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When to do long arm?

I would base this on amount of suspension travel, not amount of lift. I would say that once you are over 12" of travel is where a LA will start to benefit the most. Just my $.02.
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post #4 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 09:06 AM
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I started with a short arm on my TJ and it rode like shit on short arms and 4". I got long arms and the ride improved immensely. So for me when I bought my 2009 Jk with a teraflex short arm and 3" lift(3" I am assuming) I knew a long arm was going on immediately because of the experience I had had with the long arm ride previously. Within a month and a half of the purchase of my JK i installed a Teraflex 6" longarm. Overall I believe 4" + warrants a longarm setup. Immediate improvements in ride quality and flexibility will be noticed.
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post #5 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 09:49 AM
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do it now. Then maybe you will finally be able to keep up with me.. BOOM!
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post #6 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by spookylynx View Post
do it now. Then maybe you will finally be able to keep up with me.. BOOM!

MISHIMOTO IS JUNK
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post #7 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 09:55 AM
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I would agree with ringer. The amount of droop you have in your suspension will make a difference in short arm vs the long arm. The geometry of the arms has a lot to do with it also, mounts, lengths of the arms.

At 4.5" of lift I would think you would be a great candidate for a long arm. If doing coil overs and a long arm I would do them both at the same time so you are not spending the time setting it up twice.

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post #8 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by spookylynx View Post
do it now. Then maybe you will finally be able to keep up with me.. BOOM!
Ouch! Well I guess we'll be testing that out next weekend! Ill be there till Sunday so just give me a shout when you get in town.

Appreciate the input everyone. So basically most people seem to feel around 4 inches+ and with good suspension travel.

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post #9 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 11:24 AM
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I am going to upgrade to a long arm soon. I am sitting around 5" of lift and with the new shock setup I am binding all the arms at full flex. I knew when I changed around my shocks and bump stops I would be doing a long arm soon after. Question is which long arm to go with. Wish Metalcloak would do a long arm. I installed a Metalcloak short arm on a buddys JK and when checking it at full flex it was awesome. Both ends spread the twisting equally and the arms aren't binding on the arm mounts. I am really impressed with their joints. Even thinking of getting some long arm mounts(Teraflex-Poly not sure) with all the Metalcloak ends and building my own arms. Those Duraflex joints are really impressive.
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 12:05 PM
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Good point re: droop. Because of storage issues and a short garage door I can't go higher, so my plan is to go to more shock travel (droop) and in that case a long arm makes a lot of geometric sense.

One thing I have noticed, with the long vs short arms it feels like it needs a bit more roll stiffness in back. Lots of choices, I'm tempted with the Full Traction 19mm bar, which just mounts up like the stock bar.

'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.

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post #11 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 12:24 PM
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I am running the metal cloak joints at the frame end on my set up. All mine is custom built from dom tubing. Running johnny joints on the axle side.

as a note if you are running johnny joints, metal cloak has a rebuild kit to use in the currie ends. Just swap out the inners and you have the strength of a forged end with the dura joint inners.

metal cloak welds a section of all thread to a piece of dom tubing to make their ends.

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post #12 of 34 Old 03-24-2013, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by eizenjin91 View Post
Ouch! Well I guess we'll be testing that out next weekend! Ill be there till Sunday so just give me a shout when you get in town.

Appreciate the input everyone. So basically most people seem to feel around 4 inches+ and with good suspension travel.
Just my0.02... I tried the 3.5" LCG thing and just wasnt happy. Bumped up to 5" and love it. from my experience, I would just go straight to 5". I'm using RockKrawlers kit (if that matters at all). 5" & 40's is the perfect 4dr JK combo.

May have to bail on EJS, but I'll be down there from Apr. 19th - May1 I'll see what happens here in the next few days.
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post #13 of 34 Old 04-03-2013, 05:03 PM
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Just my0.02... I tried the 3.5" LCG thing and just wasnt happy.
I was looking at that kit. What didn't you like about it?
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post #14 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 01:13 PM
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I was looking at that kit. What didn't you like about it?
The kit is sweet, I have nothing but good things to say about it or Rock Krawler. What I meant was, the 3" lift was still a little low in the belly clearance area for my liking. I put in the 5" springs and life is good. So, from my experience, I would just recommend going straight to a 5" kit. But in the end, height is justified by the type of terrain you are driving.
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post #15 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 01:18 PM
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Longer control arms have multiple benifits over short, but as Ringer pointed out, without at least 11-12" minimum of shock travel you just arent going to see the benefits for the difference in cost.

-Mike
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post #16 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Following up on what I posted earlier, I got some rock time in Moab last week with the TF long arm upgrade. Most notable benefit is an increase in overall stability. I noticed the suspension doesn't "jack" when going over obstacles and there's virtually no axle steering. A couple ledges & obstacles I knew well from before where I'd get some hook-up issues, etc., with the long arm upgrade the JK just walked over them.

My plan is to go to longer shocks, maybe 1 - 2" more travel to take advantage of the better geometry. Not clear on what brand, etc., need to talk to Joe about it some.

'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.
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post #17 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 05:44 PM
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I have a quick tech question

If shock length determines the amount of "flex/droop" one has, then the major benefit of a long arm system (lift height dependent) is the added droop one receives by increasing arm length?

So a long arm system, accompanied with the same length shocks had with a short arm (lets say 10 inch travel shocks seen with most mid arm systems) would not notice these inherent benefits? I just want to make sure my thought process is correct.

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post #18 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 07:32 PM
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The long arm allows you to run better geometry to the suspension. Flatter lowers compared to a short arm, less axle steer during articulation. short arms get pretty steep quick when lifting causing loss of wheel base as you droop.

You will have some benefit from a long arm on a small lift but they really shine as you get higher.

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post #19 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
The long arm allows you to run better geometry to the suspension. Flatter lowers compared to a short arm, less axle steer during articulation. short arms get pretty steep quick when lifting causing loss of wheel base as you droop.

You will have some benefit from a long arm on a small lift but they really shine as you get higher.
BUt it does not allow for more flex, as some would have you think?

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post #20 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 07:52 PM
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Nope, shock length and room in the fender will determine "flex" or articulation.
Short arm or long arm the flex will be the same with the same shocks. Your axles will however move towards the center of the jeep more with short arms vs long arms.

Most people think that adding a lift somehow increases their articulation. If they don't include longer travel shocks or flat fenders they will not.

Many people will add a lift and bump stops and will actually loose articulation since they don't install new shocks or move the shock mounts. Its funny when they do that then post up a poser shot bragging on how well their new lift "flexes"

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Last edited by thedirtman; 04-04-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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post #21 of 34 Old 04-04-2013, 08:02 PM
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^ this.

'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.
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post #22 of 34 Old 04-05-2013, 04:09 AM
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Cost vs gain. Coilovers hands down over long arm. 12" + of travel, go long arm.
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post #23 of 34 Old 04-05-2013, 04:46 AM
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Ok, so here comes the next question. Flex=shock length, then why the 3 or 4
link debates if one is not gaining anymore articulation by losing a link or trackbar?

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post #24 of 34 Old 04-05-2013, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Many people will add a lift and bump stops and will actually loose articulation since they don't install new shocks or move the shock mounts. Its funny when they do that then post up a poser shot bragging on how well their new lift "flexes"
Yup!

My El-Crappy suspension breaks a few hearts on the RTI ramp. Though I get quite a bit of axle shift when things droop out, longer arms would be very nice.

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post #25 of 34 Old 04-05-2013, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlynch2 View Post
Ok, so here comes the next question. Flex=shock length, then why the 3 or 4
link debates if one is not gaining anymore articulation by losing a link or trackbar?
Binding, a more free traveling suspension will let the body/frame remain more level throughout travel/lead. This increases predictability of the rig off road and allows the suspension to more freely work without outside resistance/bind.

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