Control arms - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
jwmbishop
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Control arms

Short story - jeep's wheelbase is 1/8 inch shorter on the left than the right - bent lower rear control arm. Could just change the one - and may do so as I am already too deep in this years budget, but in the meantime:
I am now comparing various kits and wondering what some others have experienced among the different brands and designs...


J Wm Bishop EA, ASADE
The wagon should, of course, be as light as possible, but strength should not be sacrificed to lightness, for on any but the regularly traveled roads, the wagon will get many a hard knock...
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post #2 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 09:47 AM
RockyClymer
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John, I have used both Rock Krawler and Teraflex control arms - both seem well built and I like the rebuildable Krawler joints. Tereflex has zerk fittings which I think might be better than the Krawler joints which I just spray with wd40 several times a year.

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post #3 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:15 AM
duneslider
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I have some metal cloak and synergy and jks, yep frankenlift. I like the metal cloak joints the best but like the adjustability of the synergy. Jks seem the beefiest to me. Wish they were all synergy with metal cloak joints.

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post #4 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:36 AM
motoguy1251
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I am in the middle of changing my RK arms out for Metalcloaks. The RK (2nd gen i believe) arms were good until the replaceable bushings started to wear. With Michigan winters the RK joints became pretty corroded and I can no longer get them open without destroying the tiny locking ring. Another thing I took into consideration is that after Metalcloak came out with their design, most of the other companies started to use their design of adding a second flex joint at the frame.

I chose Metalcloak for the ease of rebuild ability, zinc coating that can be painted over, and the commonality of the duroflex bushings between the different arm sets equaling less spare parts.

The RK arms held up well for the two years I ran them until corrosion made them un-serviceable. Plus RK and Synergy changing their design to mimic Metalcloak shows that they were on to something even back on 012.
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post #5 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:38 AM
SLADE
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Take adjustability into consideration. Without getting into a lot of relocation of components, you have about 1" to work with. ore than 1" and you start running into coil bow and relocating the track bar and sway bar. Lengthening the arms slightly will help center the axle at ride height and increase tire clearance at the pinch seam when the tire is stuffed.

Rock Krawler for example uses 2 different sets of rear arms to accomplish what some do with 1 set of rear arms. I assume this is because RK uses a smaller diameter and shorter shank than what most use. They have one set that is usable with factory uppers and one that can be used with adjustable uppers. The longer set which is advertised to push the rear axle back 1" must be used with adjustable uppers.

This is worth noting for someone in your situation. Your looking at an unscheduled repair/upgrade. Spending money on a factory replacement will be a waste when you upgrade later and if you end up with a short set of arms to match your factory uppers, your adjustability will be limited later when you do get adjustable uppers.

Metalcloak and Synergy on the other hand offer one set of arms. They are short enough to work with factory uppers or lowers but have a larger diameter shank and are long enough to adjust out to 1" - 1.25" longer than factory. Their recommended lengths are around 3/4"+- longer than factory for the rear, so you don't really get anything special with Rock Krawler's longer rear arm's but are not limited when you just run 1 set of arms with factory uppers or lowers.

Metalcloak and Synergy both provide their Min./ Max lengths along with recommended set points/ starting points. Rock Krawler will not provide their Min./ Max. lengths of either set of their arms (flex/X-factor) even when asked.

Metalcloak
http://www.metalcloak.com/Metalcloak...Kits-s/231.htm

Synergy
http://www.synergymfg.com/Jeep-JK-p-1-c-4055.html



Other things to consider are arm design and bushings/ joints used.

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post #6 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:39 AM
ferninaz
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I just replaced my bent rear lowers with RockKrawler. I like the upswing for the clearance. Just snapped a MetalCloak front lower this weekend. I always thought they were top notch though, felt like they smoothed out the ride. Not sure if I am going to be replacing the broken one with another MC one. Might long arm the front.
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post #7 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
Metalcloak and Synergy both provide their Min./ Max lengths along with recommended set points/ starting points. Rock Krawler will not provide their Min./ Max. lengths of either set of their arms (flex/X-factor) even when asked.
Here we go.
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post #8 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 10:55 AM
invest2m4
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Based on your situation right now, I'd say metalcloak. No BS, no questions lifetime warranty. I bent an arm, called then sent a picture and a new one was in the mail the next day. Blew up a 6pak shock on a trail 10 hours from home. Overnighted new one to my hotel.

When I listed my $4k Game Changer for sale on the forums, Maston (owner) posted on the thread that their lifetime warranty transfers to the new owner. No questions asked. Talk about helping me sell it.

I've run a most joints out there. Duroflex are at the top. Using them on my custom build. The Ballistic joints look nice, but I've had issues with service there.

Most of the names you know make good stuff. You really can't go wrong. Stuff will break. I just like the ease of service.
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post #9 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 12:56 PM
SLADE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
Here we go.

Like it or not, it's the truth. Rock Krawler wouldn't provide any information to correct my criticism and if my criticism is not accurate, they would not have stated that they have a new set of arms coming out for 2016 that will work for both the Flex and X-factor arms. Their new arms (not available yet) will be more comparable to what is offered from companies like Metalcloak and Synergy. Im willing to bet that they will also be using a more common/standard 1.25" diameter shank instead of the smaller (I think) 1" shank that they currently use.

They have been playing catch up for a while now. Making their coils, joints, and now arms more like their competition. Whats their saying again?

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post #10 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
I just replaced my bent rear lowers with RockKrawler. I like the upswing for the clearance. Just snapped a MetalCloak front lower this weekend. I always thought they were top notch though, felt like they smoothed out the ride. Not sure if I am going to be replacing the broken one with another MC one. Might long arm the front.

Snap the arm or the joint?

I believe some of the first joints were welded and then they went to a forged joint.

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post #11 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 01:19 PM
motoguy1251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
Snap the arm or the joint?

I believe some of the first joints were welded and then they went to a forged joint.
I just installed some a month ago. The axle side is welded to the tube, the frame side (Adjustable) was a forged joint end.
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post #12 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
jwmbishop
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Awesome input guys thanks - glad ya'll chimed in with relevant data before the thread devolving into a my brands better cuz I chose it dialog! lol.

Yea I can get a lower takeoff with 4 miles on it for 15.00 bucks so its not a total waste just slapping on a oem until I rebudget in spring... timing sux as I just last month sold a third of our contract location, took a full distribution of my accumulated earnings - and paid off ALL of my personal debt (getting ready for retirement). Then based on my much lower income needs with no mortgage or consumer debt - took a 50% reduction in Salary to keep the company running in the black all the way til next spring (first time in 25 years that we will not have to seek capital for the final months of the year!). AND I spent 1400 of my 1300 damage reserve on fenders (100 over budget for year on an item that could have gone another year) not seeing the bent control arm. I really don't want to balance the cards again. BAH.

I am honestly leaning towards the Metal Cloak - the only part of their design I think don't like is the angled end joint on the lower fronts and upper rears - must always adjust with a full rotation - where a straight joint will allow a half. At 1/28th inch per turn it seems its a wider margin to hit so its a trade off between length accuracy (+/- 1/28th vs +/- 1/56th) or loosing parallel and center of the bolts - and I think bolts being parallel or not effects things more (travel binds at full articulation)... any length diff side to side would get split in the tire slip angle. (which is kinda how I found the bent - started looking at tracking when my off road tire set lost more tread in 500 miles this year than in the past 2000 all combined and started cupping in the last two hundred).

using MC's measurements - increases the rear lower by 11/16 and the upper by 1" - this doesn't require a relocate of track or bowing of coils? (easily corrected but if I go for it before wintering - I want to make sure I've got it all covered rather than find out later like I did first go round - adding .75 puck to my 2.5 lift while putting rear mount skids on it and finding I had to hack and reweld my track bracket) During winter months all my work in shop is done late at night early in AM at 25-45 degrees. Yea I know - what a wuss. lol

J Wm Bishop EA, ASADE
The wagon should, of course, be as light as possible, but strength should not be sacrificed to lightness, for on any but the regularly traveled roads, the wagon will get many a hard knock...
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post #13 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 01:48 PM
SLADE
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I have my rear arms set to Metalcloaks recommended lengths and do not have any issues.

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post #14 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 01:54 PM
SLADE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoguy1251 View Post
I just installed some a month ago. The axle side is welded to the tube, the frame side (Adjustable) was a forged joint end.

I was referring to the adjustable joints, not the fixed end. I think the first joints were welded instead of forged.

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post #15 of 38 Old 09-28-2015, 01:59 PM
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
Snap the arm or the joint?

I believe some of the first joints were welded and then they went to a forged joint.
The arm.
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