I'm debating which ones to go to when I go to 35's soon. If I went with chromoly shafts, I would also go with the Vanco big brake kit from Savvy, but with the RCV's, this is impossible. Are the RCVs THAT much better? I'd like to get some opinions from the wealth of knowledge here at Jeep forum.
I run stock shafts with spicer joints on 35's with no issues at all....with 4.88's, locked, in rocks. But I also run Centric rotors with Savvy pads, which will EASILY lock up 35's. I'd recommend just giving that route a try first. If you feel that one or the other area is lacking, upgrade it. FYI, I've heard that AEV's brake kit will work with RCV's. A fella on ROF is doing it. Unfortunately, AEV's kit is a bit excessively priced.
I see no reason to drop $800 minimum on something that won't ever be exposed.
BTW, this Jeep is a DD and will see a couple trips a year at 700 miles +
It would seem as a DD with only a few trips a year, I'd side on the value of stopping power. The RCV shafts are an awesome axle and are stronger and I found to be a better value than say Superior Evo's even with CTM's. I can't reliably run Vanco's, so I use Centric rotors and EBC yellowstuff pads and are not completely satisfied with their performance either on or off the trail. I'd try a quality shaft with spicer joints to start, that would allow you to run Vanco's.
Having said that, I have no experience with the new Black Magic pads. They may be head and shoulders better than EBC offerings and allow you to enjoy reasonable road worthy stopping power (still no where near Vanco performance) along with RCV's.
I run RCV's cause I got them at a steal of a price. I wouldn't pay full price, or anything close to that for them. I would run superior shafts in a heart beat if I had to do it over. I'm running the Black magic pads also (much better than EBC yellows). I'm about to do WJ brakes and steering only because I get bored and like to tinker. I can lock up my 35's no problem with the BM pads. They just saved me the other day when I got cut off.
I'm currently saving my pennies for a set myself.
I run nothing but rocks, and have extremely build D44's (full chromo shafts and long 300M u-joints)
I keep snapping outers, inners, and I've broken one 300m u-joint cap and cross.
For about 1400, I can get RCV's that are "about" as strong as stock D60 stuff. Plus, I won't loose any strength in the axle while turning.
I agree that brakes are critical, but so is the time and money you invest in a wheel'n trip.
Maybe invest in a better set of pads, and call it good?
I'm hoping to wheel it at least once a month, but it will also see probably 2 or more trips a year that are 700+ miles highway one way. I want to make it as tough as possible, because just about everywhere I wheel it, will be at least 1 hour away and I want to be able to drive home. Money is not as big a part of this equation as getting it done right. The main reason I was looking at RCV's was their strength, but was also looking at Vanco for their superior stopping power. I just want to do it right the first time.