Ditching my ****** RC long arm with? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
johnvirgil
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Ditching my ****** RC long arm with?

Ok so for the last year I have been running a Rough County long arm kit on my 2002 TJ. It has probably around 10k miles on the kit and I have had to replace several X-flex joints. I do wheel it fairly hard and often and I am running 37" tires.

So I don't have a whole lot of money to spend on a new kit since I am also swapping in a Wagoneer Dana 44 right now that is fairly well built. I have been looking at the UCF RC long arm kit to replace my RC x-joints and frame brackets. I would like to improve the anti-squat and this kit fixes the RC long arm problems with different frame mounts and Johnny joints.

Do you guys think going with the UCF RC long arm upgrade would be a good swap or do you recommend I ditch the entire set up for something else? I have good fab skills and most tools needed for custom work including welders and plasma cutter.

I'm looking for something around $1000 or less, preferably less. I wish I had the coin for Clayton long arm upgrade but its out of my budget right now. I am looking for ideas that I have not though of. I just really hate the RC long arm kit. The control arms themselves have not been an issue the parts I don't like are the frame brackets that go between the skid/frame and the joints.

Oh ya I also daily drive this rig so I'm looking for something that works well on the street. Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 07:53 PM
aparke4
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JJ and the UCF brackets- done.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 07:59 PM
TroubleNEO
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I'm in the same boat as you, I started with the RC long arm and I went with the UCF brackets and JJ's. No complains thus far, just keep in mind the shanks on the JJ's are a lot shorter than the RC ones. Double check your measurements before burning in the brackets.

If I could go back and do it all again I for sure would have started with a Clayton long arm. I may need to beg Matt for a deal on the front two brackets, I'm nearly positive I am not going to have enough thread engagement on the joints to run them comfortably. This is admittedly my fault as I followed the directions for where to weld them on the frame instead of doing my own measurement and mock up.

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post #4 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroubleNEO View Post
I'm in the same boat as you, I started with the RC long arm and I went with the UCF brackets and JJ's. No complains thus far, just keep in mind the shanks on the JJ's are a lot shorter than the RC ones. Double check your measurements before burning in the brackets.

If I could go back and do it all again I for sure would have started with a Clayton long arm. I may need to beg Matt for a deal on the front two brackets, I'm nearly positive I am not going to have enough thread engagement on the joints to run them comfortably. This is admittedly my fault as I followed the directions for where to weld them on the frame instead of doing my own measurement and mock up.
Why don't you just make longer links?

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 08:49 PM
TroubleNEO
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Why don't you just make longer links?
The RC arms in the front are a radius style with a funky bend in them. It's not as easy as just blasting some bungs into a stick of DOM. I'm not sure I could duplicate them easily, I guess I could give it a shot at my friends shop.

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post #6 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TroubleNEO View Post
The RC arms in the front are a radius style with a funky bend in them. It's not as easy as just blasting some bungs into a stick of DOM. I'm not sure I could duplicate them easily, I guess I could give it a shot at my friends shop.
My front J arms have been extended 10". You don't have to remake the whole arm.

Get some of the same material, pick a spot after the bend, cut and splice with an inner piece, either slip fit tube with plug welds or if it is heavy enough wall, thread both the new extension, the existing arm, and screw them together with some allthread. Leave an eighth inch gap, weld it up and weld up the holes you drilled for plug welds.

Don't add a small piece in between the two existing pieces, just make a new extension that you can weld up. It just isn't that hard to do and it's certainly easier than making a whole new arm.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 09:04 PM
TroubleNEO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
My front J arms have been extended 10". You don't have to remake the whole arm.

Get some of the same material, pick a spot after the bend, cut and splice with an inner piece, either slip fit tube with plug welds or if it is heavy enough wall, thread both the new extension, the existing arm, and screw them together with some allthread. Leave an eighth inch gap, weld it up and weld up the holes you drilled for plug welds.

Don't add a small piece in between the two existing pieces, just make a new extension that you can weld up. It just isn't that hard to do and it's certainly easier than making a whole new arm.
So you're saying get another piece of DOM with an OD that will fit inside the ID of my current arms. Chop the arm, add a new piece of DOM matching the J arm as long as I need to extend them by and then link them all together with the smaller DOM on the inside, then plug and seam weld all three pieces to the inner sleeve?

That actually sounds a lot better than redoing brackets, thanks blaine.

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post #8 of 16 Old 01-11-2013, 09:07 PM
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This is what I'm currently dealing with, I'm sure you can see why I'm not comfortable with it. Don't mind the remnants of the factory brackets, the suspension is still a work in progress.

Christ now I'm embarrassed of my Booty Fab picture. Remnants of a plasma cut bracket? Check. Porous weld that got squirrely towards the end because all I had on hand was flux core? Check.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 02:46 AM
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How much lift do you run?

Looks like you only need 2-3 inches or so extension for proper thread engagement... Just cut and splice- if you do not feel comfortable have one of your good friends do it with a mig-

The arms are 2 inch 1/4 wall btw... Finding tubing should be easy for extending those arms.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TroubleNEO View Post
This is what I'm currently dealing with, I'm sure you can see why I'm not comfortable with it. Don't mind the remnants of the factory brackets, the suspension is still a work in progress.

Christ now I'm embarrassed of my Booty Fab picture. Remnants of a plasma cut bracket? Check. Porous weld that got squirrely towards the end because all I had on hand was flux core? Check.
If it is 2" x .250 wall and that's all the extension you need, I would have extended tube adapters made by a machine shop.

But, looking at it again, it may be as simple as just switching to one of Poly's or Ruff Stuff tube adapters. Carefully cut that weld on one of what you have and post up a pic of it. The Poly adapters are at least an inch longer that what I see in the pic sticking past the weld.

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 06:50 AM
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http://www.polyperformance.com/shop/...ter-p-349.html

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post #12 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 09:37 AM
TroubleNEO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post

If it is 2" x .250 wall and that's all the extension you need, I would have extended tube adapters made by a machine shop.

But, looking at it again, it may be as simple as just switching to one of Poly's or Ruff Stuff tube adapters. Carefully cut that weld on one of what you have and post up a pic of it. The Poly adapters are at least an inch longer that what I see in the pic sticking past the weld.
I'm not at the point where I'm ready to cut into them yet. However I will say that the threaded bung goes fairly deep on the arms just looking with a flashlight. The 2.5" RC shanks are about twice as long as the Currie. On the 2" the RC are about three times as long. Let me snag a picture, only have the 2" here near me at the moment.

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post #13 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 09:51 AM
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will the joints that replace his long arms fit the rc short arms to?
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 09:54 AM
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The rough country lower control arm that is bent is not DOM tubing and is not 1/4 wall, if you look down through the end you can see the welded seam and sticking my finger through the hole the wall feels to be 3/16 to 1/8.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-12-2013, 10:00 AM
mrblaine
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Originally Posted by TroubleNEO View Post
I'm not at the point where I'm ready to cut into them yet. However I will say that the threaded bung goes fairly deep on the arms just looking with a flashlight. The 2.5" RC shanks are about twice as long as the Currie. On the 2" the RC are about three times as long. Let me snag a picture, only have the 2" here near me at the moment.
It's about diminishing returns. It's all fine and dandy to have very long shanks on ends, but that doesn't mean you should ever run them extended out that far especially on a long arm kit.

The problem is leverage. The reason that short arms rarely bend joint shanks is the distance from the coil spring to the end of the arm is too short.

On a long arm, if you put a rock under the arm close to the joint at the frame and then get air under the tire, the spring's down force is multiplied a lot more. That force is trying to lift that side of the rig using the rock as the fulcrum and the shanks can lose that battle quite easily and bend.

Point being, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Even when I build only 28" long arms for the lowers, I set them up so that I have no more exposed thread than I can possibly get by with, typically 3/4" or less.

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