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Unread 10-24-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
jeepstrive
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Austin, texas
Posts: 10
Just spoke with Rock Krawler, they are redoing a lot of their product lines, changing things on their website, and their pricing seems to have changed as well. Their basic long arm kit has come down in price to about what I was looking at before for the "pro" version of the mid-arm kit. Here's a comparison of the 3.5 mid arm vs 3.5 long arm, keep in mind, I was going to go with a 2700 mid arm kit before. Now it looks like I could get the long arm for the same price, but it sounds like the install time will be roughly double that of the mid-arm kit. Decisions decisions?

3.5 X Factor Mid-arm
System Benefits:
Complete Bolt in System
High Clearance Lower Control Arms
Progressive Rate Front Coils
Front Spring Retainer Clips
Heim Jointed Rear Extended Sway Bar Links
Rear Coil Spring Degree Wedges
Bomb Proof Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket
Excellent Highway Ride and Handling
The Best Off Road Ability of any bolt in Mid Arm System
Allows for 35 Inch Tires with OEM Fenders
Allows for 37/38 Inch Tires with Flat Fenders
Abuse Proof Lifetime Warranty on All Hard Parts
Upgradeable to any other Rock Krawler System

3.5 X Factor Long Arm System
System Benefits:
High Clearance Lower Control Arms
Excellent Highway Ride and Handling
Independent 3 Link Conversion Front and Rear
Adjustable Anti-Squat Feature
Drag Link Flip Kit
H.D. Drag Link
Progressive Rate Front Coils
Rear Shock Relocation Brackets
Front Spring Retainer Clips
Bomb Proof Rear Track Bar Bracket
Heim Jointed Rear Extended Sway Bar Links
Rear Coil Spring Degree Wedges
The Best Off Road Ability of any Long Arm System
Allows for 35 Inch Tires with OEM fenders
Allows for 37/38 Inch Tires with Flat Fenders
Abuse Proof Lifetime Warranty on All Hard Parts
Upgradeable to any other Rock Krawler System

One thing I didn't ask is what it would take to upgrade from a mid-arm to a long arm in the future, how much extra money etc., maybe I could do the mid-arm now and in a year or two upgrade to the long arm kit...

I also wonder if the long arm kit would void the factory warranty, I've heard that going over 3.5 lift DOES but this sounds somewhat variable as well?

I'm guessing I would still want/need all of this that brianjw suggested no matter which lift kit I choose:
dual cardan front driveshaft, HD ball joints, steering box sector shaft brace, full suspension bolt kit and cam eliminator washers?

These are optional and could be added later it sounds like
front frame side track bar brace, Heavy duty transmission crossmember

Any suggestions on brands for these extra pieces, that will help me figure out pricing. I want to do this right the first time within the quality level I have chosen, but I have to draw the line somewhere in my head as well or at least set the bar somewhere (like avoiding coilover setup because it just costs too much) because the way I do things, I go overboard already as is.

Thanks guys!

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Unread 10-25-2013, 09:57 AM   #17
jeepstrive
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Austin, texas
Posts: 10
Brianjw, in my search for what a dual cardan front driveshaft is and what brand I should use, I came across this thread of yours from a couple of months ago http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/d...-help-1555327/ After reading this thread, I can see why you'd say some of the things you did about my build and vibrations and some of the suggestions you made for parts as well. Couple of questions, what ever happened to this problem you had in the thread, where you able to fix the vibrations and make them go away somehow and if so, how? Two, is the Tom Woods brand the one you'd suggest for me to buy for the front driveshaft replacement you recommended earlier in my thread? If not, what other brands would you recommend?

Thanks!
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Unread 10-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
jeepstrive
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Austin, texas
Posts: 10
I just read this thread as well: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/wh...nt-one-854790/

They're talking about TJ's in the description page but I'm guessing you basically get the sames issues with the JK hence the reason for needing these?

Thinking about all of this, it seems like if I went with a 2.5" lift, I'd have less need of the aftermarket dual cardan front driveshaft but likely need it either way I'm assuming?
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Unread 10-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
brianjw
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2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Hillsboro, Or
Posts: 1,364
I think the issue is the cheap Tom woods "gold seal u joints" he uses. I replaced just one of the front u joints (axle side) with a spicer and the vibration is nearly gone. It is worth noting that it was completely vibration free for 15k miles. With just over 4 degrees of caster, the pinion angle is 5 degrees off from the driveshaft. Ideally with a dual cardan driveshaft, the axle side u joint should be at zero, but a few degrees usually isn't a big issue. The problem is, the gold seal u joints seem to be out of spec from cap to cap. There is slight play in several of the u joints (even the brand new rear shaft). Add up a slight movement in 3 u joints per shaft, it's no wonder. I've measured a brand new gold seal joint (spare) and a brand new spicer and from cap to cap, the gold seal joint was slightly smaller.

You can order his drive shafts and specify spicer u joints which I would do if I did it again. He will tell you that the gold seal joints are just as strong but I don't think strength is the problem. They are crap quality IMO. Find threads all over the net with complaints about the joints.

For what it's worth Tom has been extremely helpful and friendly which is why I still have the drive shafts. He still offered to take them back but I don't want to have to order someone else's drive shafts, wait, pull mine, swap yokes etc. I'll probably just find a local drive line shop and have them install spicers and re-balance the drive shafts.

There are many other drive shaft companies though, so you have plenty of options. You CAN upgrade later but you'll have to modify the exhaust if you keep the stock shaft for a while.

The factory front driveshaft will hit the exhaust at 3.5" lift. I replaced my exhaust y pipe initially, but the angle of the cv joints is too extreme at the front of the transfer case. After a while the boot rips and the joint seizes shortly after. Now I have an exhaust y pipe (from Afe) and an aftermarket shaft. But I probably could have just run the aftermarket shaft since it has a smaller diameter.

It seems like a lot of guys get by with stock shafts on 2.5" of lift, but I'm sure it depends on the suspension travel on each kit.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 05:38 PM   #20
jeepstrive
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Austin, texas
Posts: 10
So based on this thread and everyone's helpful info, I think I'm going with a front JE Reel drive shaft and steering clear of 37's for now to cut on costs. Also steering clear of the long arm kit for now, sticking with mid-arm, again, to cut down costs. I also removed some of the aluminum parts I was using to save weight and just went with steel to save money

Appreciate all of the help you guys have provided, I'll post pics in December (I hope) when the jeep arrives and I get all of this done.

Thanks Again!
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Unread 10-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #21
73azbronco
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2013 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 510
4wheel parts sells jeep kits at different levels of capabilities, you might want to go that route instead of piecemealing it part by part. Other than that, get ready to pay book rate for each part, and I doubt they will give you a deal unless you really press them on labor for all the parts as one price.

I ditto the comment if you are into 37 tires, you are probably beyond the stock drivetrains capabilities, might consider a tougher axle and shafts versus building up a rubicon. Might want to run the numbers on a cheaper base level jeep and then do all this stuff, you will probably be saving money and getting what you want.
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