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Unread 10-05-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
79jeepincj7
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full linked setup? hmm what to do!?

So I am in a bind on what to do with the CJ. After rolling it over I've already acquired a waggy Dana 44 for the front and a 1 piece AMC 20 rear. I also have an extra MINT frame and pretty rough spare body that I wouldn't mind practicing my body work on. I also am about to order a cage kit and the tube fender kit this time around as well. The thing is, my old man has helped me through the CJ since the beginning and he really doesn't want me to do all of this to the 79 because its so beautiful lol. I also have an extra AMC 304 and a 3 and 4spd trany laying around. So a buddy and I have been throwing the idea around of 4 linking the rear and 3 linking the front of the spare frame I have with my new axles and leaving my 79 alone. I would use my T18 and the 360 I'm rebuilding in this new rig as well and throw the extra 304 and 4 spd in the 79 so its still a nice jeep. The only issue is that Bens doing a project with his truck this winter and I live in an hour away from the shop now so I only have 1 day each weekend back home in Royalton work on stuff so I don't know which to do. Maybe just throw the locker in the rear of the 79 and keep wheeling it how it is and go for the build? Or do the 79 all up staying leaf sprung and put the new axles, cage, fenders, etc. under it?

So the real issue is I haven't seen or know nearly enough about the links to do it alone. I've been researching it online but everything is easier said than done. Have any of you done it before? Is something like this doable by the summer with only 1 day a week working on it? I have a little shop up here in Burlington that I can do the body in, the motor and everything as well (until I get caught and shut down by the landlord ). So pretty much it would just be the frame and linked setup that is the hard part. What are some opinions?

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Unread 10-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #2
CjAl
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I'm doing it now. Still collecing parts and cleaning up the frame. If you plan to buy the mounts and parts and build it yourself you're looking at probably $6k just for the suspension unless you cut and build every bracket yourself. even then coilovers will run nearly $3k
this is not a fast, throw together type thing. there is tons of variables and lots of math involved with designing your own suspension. And even guys with lots of experience don't always get it right

I'm home one week a month so I do't have the time I would need to design, cut and weld every bracket so I'm buying the brackets, joints and tube from poly performance. I'll weld in their brackets and cut and build the arms myself. The kits are like $1100 per axle then you need to add axle trusses, springs etc. I plan to use coilovers in the rear and for now coil springs in the front just because I have them and I'm hoping it will keep the better road manners that way
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Unread 10-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
gojeepin
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Rather than three link the front, have you thought about using radius arms?
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Unread 10-05-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
Strings72
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Thats what I would recommend and I am going to do so on my next CJ. I have many early Ford Broncos laying around so im using their coils and radius arms
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Unread 10-05-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
79jeepincj7
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Sorry, waay out of my realm here. How about a radius arms for dummies? Whats the difference of them from the 3 link set up?
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Unread 10-05-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
CjAl
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three link only has one upper arm from the axle to the frame. It's GREAT off road and rides fine on the road. The issue is you only have ONE. And if it were to fail it's gonna get ugly FAST
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Unread 10-05-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
79jeepincj7
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So the radious arm is 2 arms? or like a V from the axle up to the frame?
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Unread 10-05-2010, 09:01 PM   #8
gojeepin
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I have some of illustrations of various link setups in my article...

Effect of lifts on your steering, drivetrain, etc.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gojeepin View Post
Rather than three link the front, have you thought about using radius arms?
I'm not against 4 linking a front, either. The stock suspensions on the TJs and JKs are pretty phenomenal. You can still get some plenty rediculous flex out of a 4 link if it's set up correctly.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 06:48 AM   #10
79jeepincj7
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Wow, awesome gojeepin! Now the question is this. Are gains ridiculously better than my 4" leaf setup? Or will that work just as well?
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Unread 10-06-2010, 07:50 AM   #11
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If you're rock crawling, then yes a link suspension is the way to go. You had better know what you're doing to make it work correctly and have a big bulge in your wallet to make it happen.

A four link front end in a CJ is pretty difficult due to a lack of room and a very narrow frame.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 08:08 AM   #12
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I would not waste the money and effort to 4&3 link an amc 20 and Dana 44 axles. If you want to use those axles just soa it and be done. Also I would use the 304 motor in the mutt rig as it will be geared so low you would not need the extra power of the 360.

I think the 360 would be more fun in the daily driver 79. My 2 cents.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
gojeepin
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My son and I put long arms on (radius arms on the front) his TJ this summer. It gives a lot more flex without binding. However, this setup still requires a track bar.

Like CjAl posted earlier, there is a lot of design involved to get the proper behavior from a coil/link suspension... for instance, do you want the rear suspension to squat, lift, or stay neutral during hard acceleration? You'll have to set the arms in the right place (length, angle, position) to make it do what you want.

There are some calculators online... try them out.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 09:18 AM   #14
79jeepincj7
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Well why would a SOA be any different than my 4" leaf springs? Besides having to redo all the steering linkages it wont flex any better. and it would be waay to tall. When I got the jeep it was SOA with the 4" springs and we put it back to SUA. And it really flexes pretty well. I havent really had any issues so I might just go ahead and put the new axles under the 79 and do the tube fenders and cage kit and call it good.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #15
CjAl
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SOA will flex better. First off it changes the leverage points to under he spring so it causes the sring to flex more. Second you use stock or very low lift springs VS an extreamy stiff lift spring which doesn't flex very easy.

SOA and throw on a set of teraflex revolvers on the rear and you will flex abut as well as a TJ
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