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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aluminum VS Steel.....
I have always used the traditional steel lift, bumpers, wheels, etc. , but this time I am thinking about going all aluminum to save weight, since this is my DD and I'm trying to not effect the power. Is the aluminum as strong as the steel? Any negatives to going all aluminum? Anyone that has tried this please post your feedback.
Thanks,
Chris
 

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Alloy front bars fold up when you hit a Roo, the steel holds up much better, is the difference in weight really going to make much difference in performance, at a guess you would only be saving around 40-50ibs max an end


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I was at Poison Spyder Customs in Banning, CA recently and asked them the exact same question. Steel is stronger. They recommended going to aluminum only if you intend on racing or are not going to be rock crawling. The aluminum is softer and can be easily scratched and gouged. I went with all steel except for a few aluminum overlays. You can see my build thread under the TJ's here on JKO. The new PSC tubeless fenders are awesome!

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does anyone have specific experience with RK aluminum lift and River Raider's armor, bumpers etc? It sounds like I should just go steel, but I am curious as to how the strength of the specific aluminum they use would compare to steel. It would be nice to
Have the lighter weight for a DD, but not worth sacrificing strength and protection in the case of a accident etc.
 

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On a DD that isn't continually babied and garage kept corrosion will be an issue unless you know the alloy is realitivly corrosion resistant. 7075 is not one of the good alloys.
 

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No only safety in an accident.. but one thing I have learned in my short wheeling experience, you just never know where you are going to end up or the condition of a trail. Best to have the steel IMO.
 

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Go AL and go home.... it is not worthy of a trail rig, PERIOD! Refreshing to hear many of the vendors finally starting to be honest about the drawbacks of AL.... and aside from weight savings, it is ALL a drawback.

Use AL on any armor piece and over at JKF... they will all see you for what you really are, a poser! :stirthepot:
 

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Aluminum has a lower shear modulus than steel. I'm also pretty sure it has a lower elastic modulus. It is less resilient to shear stress and tensile stress.

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I guess it depends as well on who is making the aluminum products on durability. Yes I agree that aluminum does not have the strength characteristics of steel, but GenRight is making some very beefy aluminum products with their aluminum bumpers and fenders....and yes I have seen their products first hand. I do not have offroad experience with the parts but having checked them out, unless you are planning on rolling your Jeep at MOAB, I think they will stand up to most of what everyone on here is doing as far as offroading. especially if you are offroading in Hawaii, Texas or Florida! :beer:
 

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Here is a good thread to get a better picture of the strength differences between aluminum and steel:
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21896


I have the Rock Krawler Pro Aluminum Long Arm so I guess I can provide a little bit of first person feedback. The kit saved me 120 pounds over their steel version which in my opinion is significant savings.

Aluminum gouges easier than steel so it will get scrapped up quicker but thats about it. Rock Krawler offers the same life time warranty on the aluminum arms as they do on the steel because they have tested the crap out of them.

As for body protection, the product needs to be designed from the beginning with aluminum in mind. Nemesis for example builds all of their stuff to be abused and they want you to go out and beat on it.

As the OP mentioned, this is for his DD so aluminum is perfect.

Just my opinion...
 

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Aluminum has a lower shear modulus than steel. I'm also pretty sure it has a lower elastic modulus. It is less resilient to shear stress and tensile stress.

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Something that cannot be said off hand, there are many different steel and aluminum alloys out there both of which overlap each other " strength property " wise, for example 7075-T6 Aluminum will outperform a 1018 cold drawn carbon steel ( something you should be grateful for when you sit in a plane :) )
 

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Stuff you regularly drop the Jeep onto or drag across granite - steel

Everything else - aluminum

Don't underestimate the advantages of keeping a lightweight rig both on and off the trail.
 

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Like the guys mentioned, there are many pros and cons to think about.

If you go with Aluminum suspension components like we offer in our PRO line, we use 7075 AL which is very strong. It is used by many Rock Racers in their Ultra 4 Buggies.

The two draw backs to aluminum that we see are:

1) You need to make sure the Jam nuts are tight and stay tight which they need to be in steel arms, but it is more critical in Aluminum.

2) The biggest is, as someone prior mentioned, field fixes. If there is ever a problem in the field, fixing an aluminum arm, even for a field fix is tricky!

Other than that, the other big negative is simply price.

Aluminum is great if you understand all of the above draw bracks and make sure they never become a negative to you.

RK
 

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Aluminum works great when properly designed.

Please see this thread: http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64113

In fact our products work so well, that a few of our competitors have tried to copy our designs...

We designed our armor to be made from aluminum...which means it has to be a different thickness than a steel version, with different structural gusseting, and different mounting provisions. Our Billy Rockers for example are comprised of three layers that work together as a system to protect your rig. And have been proven on the most difficult trails in this great country.

We'll continue to prove our solutions and the value of designing for aluminum but for now here are two videos of us beating the life out of them. (Re-posted from the above linked thread)...

Trail Abuse 2 - YouTube

Nemesis Billy Rocker Abuse 1 - YouTube


Please note: If you goal is to protect your thirty thousand dollar rig from rocks than please choose a modern solution that has been designed from the ground up to do exactly that.

:)
 
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