Have you been to Attica with them yet? Front CA's and new steering and I'll be ready to hit up Badlands again.
Yep, pulled an all nighter getting them installed before the trip back in February. I'd like to get something setup soon, late June or July so let's talk. I'll go ahead and start a thread in the Indiana section, make sure to join in. But anyway, I beat on them the whole day and they were great....I was able to go faster through the whoops than I ever have.
I couldn't tell a difference between the stock rubber bushings and the JJs in my rokmens other than the handling was sharper. I have not ridden in a DF bushinged JK yet that is setup identical to mine.
Granted, I don't know of my inability to tell the difference is based on the fact that the JKs control arms are half again as long as the TJs in stock form.
My only claim based on that is simply what I said. Using the ride as a variable is something that is so minuscule it shouldn't be reasoned. At least in my opinion.
I don't know what to tell you. If the difference was minuscule, I wouldn't be all about them.
I was hoping that you might show up for this, because I've been thinking on a simple way to ask my question and I think I have it, now: What is the source of the actual change in ride quality, and what exactly are the differences that you've experienced? You said that it's "very noticeable and positive"...so does that mean that it's softer or more comfortable, or that it's less noisy, or that it feels more precise or responsive, or what? I'm looking for a quantified explanation of a qualitative analysis, and also the source of the qualitative differences, themselves; that would be of much help, and it would make for an interesting read.
I've speculated on the 'whys' in my review, have you checked that out?
Here are a couple thoughts:
The DF bushings require less breakaway torque than JJ's. In other words, it takes a lot more force to turn the JJ center ball around its center axis than it takes to turn the DF bushing around the same axis. Remember, the JJ center ball moves around inside the two stationary bushing halves. The DF bushing actually rotates inside the barrel. The less breakaway torque required, the less resistance to rotational movement, which is the exact movement needed to allow the suspension to compress and expand while you're driving. That "micromotion" control relates directly to that and isn't wishy washy BS like it looks initially.
Also, to address some of your points earlier:
Wear--while the 'bearing surface area' is a lot larger for the DF bushing on paper, I don't think it matters in regards to real world wear and durability. We all know how durable the JJ is and I couldn't even wear one single bushing out all while running dry for three years. It's just a non-issue. But, when it comes to contaminant resistance, I think it needs to be noted that I was able to get some sand and grit inside the JJ's....and it was all between the center ball and bushing (bearing surface), not between the barrel and outer bushing bore. The DF bushing is a sealed, one piece unit where all of the contaminants were able to get in on the JJ's. The only place for any junk to go is the bearing surface and I'll do a check of that this week and report back.
As for noise, I never had any noise out of the JJ's, even when dry. I've never had any noise out of the DF bushings and I don't expect it. Another non-issue.
In terms of throttle response, I haven't noticed any real-world difference but on paper, the JJ should win. The DF bushings allow a little deflection and the JJ's don't allow squat. This does not
translate to a sloppy feel for the DF bushings--the steering and ride control are still very precise and tight.
The better ride quality comes from the softer material, which absorbs quite a bit more. I not only noticed an improvement over road imperfections but also noticed a decrease in drivetrain noise transmitted through to the frame and then to the cab. When I installed them all in February I still had the bad pinion bearing whine going on....the sound through to the cab was quite reduced and I had two witnesses with me who noticed it without me mentioning anything.....one, a Jeep buddy and another my girlfriend. I think the other factor is the required breakaway torque and, given that, it could also be hypothesized that these will provide a better-than-factory-bushing ride since they don't move at all in that manner. Essentially, the axles are able to move in the up-and-down manner very easily and smoothly, where the stock bushings don't like to move that way and JJ's resist the movement due to the preload on the center ball.