Hey guys, I know there are a lot of you out there wanting to build your own long arm suspension. I was one of them. It is a pretty scary undertaking. How long to make the arms? Will I get the angles right? Lengthen the wheel base? Make brackets or buy them? To triangulate or not to triangulate?
Well being bored I started to look into it. I have a welder, plasma cutter and some duct tape………I CAN BUILD ANYTHING! So on one of the jeep forums I found a guy named Tommy R who built one I think in 08’. Did a great job and was good at helping with questions. I, on the other hand, am not really into social media so I thought I would do the build then write a little about it to give some help to anyone who wants to grab this project by the cajoanez and give it hell. I have lots-o-pics and here is the rundown. Just found out my pics are too big.
Tools: 175 Miller welder, Miller Plasma cutter, Portaband, Sawsall, Angle grinder, Impact gun, Tons-o-sockets, The Persuader (a 3lb sledge) and a 2 celled brain. And those 2 cells fight a lot.
Long arm. Radius up FT. Triangulated out back (no rear track bar).
Ingredients: FT and RR d44s with arb lockers, JJ’s, wheel spacers, spring spacers (1 1/2ft and ¾ RR) cheaper than replacing good springs and some miscellaneous non-sense.
The Arms: 2” with ¼ wall for the lowers and 1 ½ .120 wall for the uppers. FT lower I went with JJ at the frame and rubicon bushing at the axle. Uppers, JJ at lower arm. RR lowers are the same as the FT. RR uppers JJ on both ends. Measurements (eye to eye): FT lower 36 ½”, Upper. RR lower 35”, upper 38”.
Brackets: FT I made with ¼” angle and some plate and mounted about ¼” in front of the factory skid. RR I bought from Arctech (they had to be modified for the upper because I use a smaller joint than what it was made for). They mounted just forward of the RR skid bolt hole, about middle between the two holes. RR truss from Barnes 4WD. I will warn you about the truss. It said D44 but I had to cut the legs off it and spread them. It is stout but you may have to tweak it.
Some important things to keep in mind during the build. All measurements must be made at normal ride height conditions. Skid plate in place or trans in normal position. Axles set with jack stands to right distance from the frame and centered. Helps with driveshaft length, setting caster and giving you an accurate pic as you lay things out. When you mount the arms do three things….cycle, cycle, cycle. I wish I did more. Made me do more work with the steering stabilizer bracket (huge pain, had to build twice). These things you get to benefit from because I thought I was……SUPER SMART. “If its sorta, somewhat, kinda close, it’ll be just fine. It ended up being sorta, somewhat, kinda fine.
To Start: Do some forum hunts and figure out how long you might want your arms to be. Tommy R. set his lowers at 34 ¾ FT and 33 RR I think. It looked good and flexed great. I just thought, a little longer would be a little better. I don’t know if it helped much and may have cause me steering linkage clearance issue. I’ll find out soon. Then your ends. JJ’s with bungs can run about $65. Do you have a lift? Wanna add to it? I used spacers. $40 for a pair and it gives me the option to lower a little for tweaking (not twerking). Radius up FT? There is some debate about it. One frame contact point Better make it strong. I’ve heard there is binding. I can say, arms connected no springs it will flex to the bumps beautifully. When I put it on the RTI ramp you’ll see I didn’t push the tire into the fender. Now it could be because I needed more traction (arb’s not hooked up yet) and I couldn’t move any higher. Vee shall see on the trails.
You can ask questions and I’ll get back to you. Please keep in mind as I said I’m not really into social media. (I don’t care if you know what I just ate and that I’m going to work). The only reason I’m doing this is that it looked like Tommy R’s really got the thoughts going with guys that love their JEEPS. Just like me. I love my JEEP more than I love my two boys. Being in it is my woosa. Remember boys…love your JEEP just don’t LUUUVE your JEEP.
Last edited by jeepnjay69; 10-19-2013 at 11:05 AM..
Reason: add pics