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Unread 03-24-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
bhicks
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Control Arm drop brackets on a WJ?

Any reason why nobody makes control arm drop brackets for a WJ? I have seen them on XJ's, TJ's, and even a ZJ once, but no WJ. I understand that the way the mounts are boxed in would make it more complicated and the fact that there are curved surfaces to deal with, but definately not impossible. My guess is that there is some structural, safety, or interferance issue that I'm just not seeing. If someone has ever fabbed some up I would love to see pics. I helped a buddy install some drop brackets on his XJ a couple years back when he added the RE superflex 4.5" lift. The Jeep was getting pretty bad DW at highway speeds so he added those. It was night and day in regards to vibes, dw, and ride quality. It felt like he had gone to long arms. In fact his XJ rode a little smoother then my long armed XJ. The reason for the question is that I have realized that I will not be able to go to long arms for quite some time. This economy is killing me. So I thought about going with drop brackets to bring back the factory control arm angles and bring back some of the droop in my flexing. I know the XJ we did got a LOT more flex when we added the brackets.

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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
ezflip
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Im not sure how the mounts are attached to XJ's, but on our WJs, they are all welded on. So you would have to cut them off and figure out a way to reattach with a bracket of some sort. Also, Im sure the fact we have unibodies as something to do with it. XJ's I believe are frame and body. Just seems like there would have to be quite a lot of costly fabrication to make it work. Might not be worth it by the time all is said and done when you can get long arms upgrades for about $600
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Unread 03-24-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
bhicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezflip View Post
Im not sure how the mounts are attached to XJ's, but on our WJs, they are all welded on. So you would have to cut them off and figure out a way to reattach with a bracket of some sort. Also, Im sure the fact we have unibodies as something to do with it. XJ's I believe are frame and body. Just seems like there would have to be quite a lot of costly fabrication to make it work. Might not be worth it by the time all is said and done when you can get long arms upgrades for about $600
XJ's are unibodys as well. The drop brackets bolted right up against the factory control arm mounts. It was a very easy install. The TJ ones I have seen do the same thing. I can't remember how the ZJ ones attached, but none of the ones I have seen needed to cut off the original mount. The original mount holes are used for the drop bracket. There is usually a 3rd hole/bolt added for strength, kinda like how you see the drop brackets for the track bar. Most control arm drop brackets also come with a brace that triangulates from the drop bracket up to the frame rail behind it.
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
ezflip
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Clearly I dont know much about XJ's Sounds pretty interesting. Have any pics of said XJ or anything else with this drop bracket? Id like to see exactly how it is set up.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
bhicks
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Here's pics of the 3 co.'s I have seen. As you can see, a 4-5" lift has the control arms back to the factory angles. This is the next best thing if you can't afford long arms. (like myself).

Here's the Rough Country ones:


Here's the Rubicon Express ones:


Here's the Rocky Road ones:
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
ezflip
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Those are pretty interesting. I can definitely see advantages there. Hopefully someone chimes in as to why no one makes these for a WJ. I am totally interested now too!
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Unread 03-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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I would absolutely not use control arm drop brackets. It is a nice concept, but in reality, it is a band-aid type fix similar to a transfer case drop. Bite the bullet and correctly fix the control arm angle issue with long arms, or just run short arms. Good-bye ground clearance, and would you really trust a bolt-on bracket that is holding your axle in place?
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Unread 03-24-2012, 09:22 PM   #8
bhicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skain8 View Post
I would absolutely not use control arm drop brackets. It is a nice concept, but in reality, it is a band-aid type fix similar to a transfer case drop. Bite the bullet and correctly fix the control arm angle issue with long arms, or just run short arms. Good-bye ground clearance, and would you really trust a bolt-on bracket that is holding your axle in place?
I wouldn't call these a "band-aid" fix. If welded on and used with 3/16-1/4" plating these would be plenty strong for the worst abuse. I know they reduce your ground clearance a tad just behind the wheel but so what. Build them out of thick plate, box them in and then beat the hell out of them. If your rig slams down onto them; who cares. We use the same logic with our rock sliders and bumpers(which are definately not 1/4" wall), no reason to not use that logic with beefy drop brackets. The drop brackets also bring back the factory angles (also factory ride) AND increase flex. I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of these. My last 3 rigs all had long arms, but the days of having money for a crazy built Jeep are gone. I have adjustable JKS short arms now, but the ride on 5" of lift kinda sucks and long arms are not an option right now. In reality short arms on drop brackets give you an improvement in your ride and increased flex 100% of the time. The down side is that 1% of the time your on the trail and drop off on obstacle at JUST the right angle and slam down on them. I'd rather have a comfy ride and increased flex then worry about the occasional jolt of hitting them on a rock. My hope is that someone has made some for a WJ and I can get some pics so I can fab up my own. This is common practice in the TJ, XJ, and ZJ world, I'm just confused on why it's not in the WJ world.

Edit: I forgot to add. Drop brackets dont only allow me to improve my ride and flex, for those with stock arms it allows you to run stock arms on 4" of lift with a nice ride and a much lower risk of death wobble. If you want to run 6" of lift your arms will be at the angle of a Budget Boost lift. You can run stock arms have a decent ride and run 35's. I have been running with XJ and TJ guys for the last 5 years and MANY run drop brackets to improve their ride and I have never seen one fail.
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #9
bhicks
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Here's a couple pics of XJs on 4.5" and drop brackets. You can see that this is close to long arm type flex.



Here's a pic of the RE drop bracket from the backside


This pic also shows the upper arm drop brackets. I'm still trying to get a pic of the upper arm drop brackets installed, but I can't find a good one. I will keep looking.



My buddy Max owns Dirt Bound Offroad out here in SoCal. I'm gonna have him take a look at my WJ and see if he thinks he could fab some up. If he feels he can fab some up that will be beefy and safe then I will see if he will add them to his catelogue so anyone can buy them. My guess is that we will come across some major issue which will be the reason this product doesn't already exist.
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skain8 View Post
I would absolutely not use control arm drop brackets. It is a nice concept, but in reality, it is a band-aid type fix similar to a transfer case drop. Bite the bullet and correctly fix the control arm angle issue with long arms, or just run short arms. Good-bye ground clearance, and would you really trust a bolt-on bracket that is holding your axle in place?
I'm not saying drop brackets are good or bad, but both IRO and Rusty's longarm kits both bolt-on without welding and hold the axle in place
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
the88thpianoman
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Pending any serious issues or safety concerns, if these can be done right, I think I'd be interested. Depending on pricing of course. I think these would be a great alternative to long arms at $600 if they can sit in the sub $200 price range for a pair of front brackets.

I honestly don't see why these wouldn't be fine with proper bracing and installation, namely welding to the unibody. Granted I'm no expert, but I would love to see how this thread turns out.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
bhicks
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The Rough Country XJ ones are $189 so I don't see why it would be too difficult to keep the WJ ones under $200. I just emailed Iron Rock, Rubicon Express, Rocky Road, and Rough Country with the same question as this thread. If someone has looked seriously into the logistics of this aftermarket product, it will be one of them. If I run into a dead end with that approach then I will get Dirt Bound Offroad to figure it out. Once I have answers or a prototype I will report back.
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:24 PM   #13
the88thpianoman
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Originally Posted by bhicks View Post
The Rough Country XJ ones are $189 so I don't see why it would be too difficult to keep the WJ ones under $200. I just emailed Iron Rock, Rubicon Express, Rocky Road, and Rough Country with the same question as this thread. If someone has looked seriously into the logistics of this aftermarket product, it will be one of them. If I run into a dead end with that approach then I will get Dirt Bound Offroad to figure it out. Once I have answers or a prototype I will report back.
That's some great initiative, thanks for sending out those emails!

If you do by chance get a reply back from rocky road, be sure to mark it as spam and disregard whatever they say
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2003 WJ in Jeep Green Metallic, 4.0/242/4.10's. 4" Teraflex springs w/ RE monotube shocks and IRO short arms, cheap intake w/ amsoil filter, 2.5" hi flow cat and back exhaust, lots of lights and other misc crap.

Check out my build thread here: Life lessons and budget build
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
bhicks
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Originally Posted by the88thpianoman View Post
If you do by chance get a reply back from rocky road, be sure to mark it as spam and disregard whatever they say
Funny. I have heard that numerous times about them. I even hesitated to send them an email but then decided to sent one out anyways. It can't hurt to ask questions and gather as much info as possible before I move forward with this.
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Past-SOLD2000 TJ, 4.0, 231HD,4.5" long armed lift, 4.56's, detroits, 35" KM1's
Past-SOLD 2000 XJ auto 242 4.0 6" Full traction long arm, Dana 44's, MTR Kevlar 35's, 4.88s, Detroits
Present- 2002 WJ Overland, 242HD(going in soon) 4.5" Teraflex/JKS lift, JCR Sliders, TAG bumpers, 33" Muds, 17" JK Moabs ( Future- 2012 JK Rubicon)
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:45 PM   #15
the88thpianoman
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Originally Posted by bhicks View Post
Funny. I have heard that numerous times about them. I even hesitated to send them an email but then decided to sent one out anyways. It can't hurt to ask questions and gather as much info as possible before I move forward with this.
Certainly can't hurt to ask them, I'll agree. But if they're the only company on board for making them, you can pretty much guarantee that no one here will buy them.
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2003 WJ in Jeep Green Metallic, 4.0/242/4.10's. 4" Teraflex springs w/ RE monotube shocks and IRO short arms, cheap intake w/ amsoil filter, 2.5" hi flow cat and back exhaust, lots of lights and other misc crap.

Check out my build thread here: Life lessons and budget build
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