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post #1 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
Junior1210
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Question about control arms

I'm trying to educate myself about the various suspension parts during my wait/save time. Looking at the various aftermarket control arms (short), I can see the improvement most have over the stock arms, but I'm having a hard time understanding the advantages of one over another. A good example is Core 4x4(tier 3) vs JKS. Both have good reviews/reputations (as far as I can tell), both are well built, and from good materials. Both are equipped with Currie Johnny joints and quality bushings. What I don't understand is what would make the JKS arms cost $80+ more than the Core 4x4 arms besides name. Is there something else I'm missing? I've got several weeks of saving before I can do my BB lift and upgrades so I want to learn these things now.

Also interested in whether it'd be better to replace all the bushings before doing the BB, or does it matter? I also plan to do track bars front & back, plus all eight control arms eventually.

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post #2 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 12:53 PM
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The core 4x4 are not well built with good materials. They cut a number of corners on materials to keep cost down, the big part of that is they don't use a normal threaded JJ, they weld a really coarsely threaded rod to a uniball JJ. That means they don't adjust really well.

The difference in price for the JKS arm is practically a steal.

There is no need for adjustables on a BB. Unless you're beating on it hard enough to need stronger than stock arms you can stay with stock arms. Track bars are a more important thing IMO.


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post #3 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 01:33 PM
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Great info on the Core, thank you.
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post #4 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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You're the first to say that about the Core 4x4 stuff that I've seen, though that might just mean I haven't read enough. I'm not sure about any specifics yet except for the BB recommended to me by Kolak. If I went with adjustables it would be for in case I wanted to do a higher lift later, but it's not on my radar at the moment. More than anything I'm trying to get a sense of what is making a quality part vs not so much. I looked at some other brands and saw how they didn't use as thick tubing, or the bushings weren't included or were low quality bushings and joints compared to JKS. If you've hadn't noticed yet I'm using JKS as a ruler since I know they make quality gear.
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post #5 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 01:41 PM
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The core stuff is good enough, at least for what I wanted which was anything stronger than stock, but I'm unimpressed with the corners they cut.

The metal cloak would be my choice if I was going to be driving the jeep with any kind of regularity.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
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I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #6 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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I thought MetalCloak only did stuff for the Tj and LJ models.
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post #7 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 01:50 PM
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The front end of a TJ/LJ is identical to a ZJ.

You can mix and match to cover the rear end.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

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Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
Junior1210
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I didn't know that. It pays to ask questions, but the search function has been invaluable. Might have to check out Tj and Lj areas for info too then.
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post #9 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 02:50 PM
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A full set of TJ/LJ control arms work on the ZJ. Front arms are identical, and although stock rear arms aren't, the aftermarlet versions have enough adjustment that they work.

I can very highly recommend Metalcloak stuff, their bushings and build quality on parts has been the best by far what I've used on my Jeeps for the past ten years. Especially the Duroflex flex joints are a big improvement even if you compare them to Johnny Joints. After buying the first set of Duroflex joints, I wouldn't install any other joints on a Jeep that is used both on-road and off-road.


When investing in control arms, buy high quality arms. No point in buying the cheap ones, then getting annoyed on 'em and eventually buying the good ones anyway

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
When investing in control arms, buy high quality arms. No point in buying the cheap ones, then getting annoyed on 'em and eventually buying the good ones anyway
That!

I bought core4x4 arms assuming they were junk and I was still disappointed.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
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I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #11 of 36 Old 05-08-2017, 03:12 PM
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FWIW:
After installing a SYE, I needed to adjust the rear pinion angle, so I picked up a set of Core 4x4 upper rear adjustable arms (the Tier One, or whatever the cheap ones from eBay are). I specifically asked for OEM Clevite bushings since the ZJ isn't lifted much, the OEM control arms were otherwise sufficient, we wanted to keep as much OEM ride and handling as possible, and the ONLY reason for them was to adjust the pinion angle. They were absolutely perfect for my application. I was able to get the pinion exactly where I needed. I thought fit and finish was great. (The ONLY "extra" thing I did was cut off the old brake/ABS bracket from the OEM control arms and weld them to the Core arms, but I've never noticed that any aftermarket control arms come with this bracket anyway.)
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-09-2017, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
A full set of TJ/LJ control arms work on the ZJ. Front arms are identical, and although stock rear arms aren't, the aftermarlet versions have enough adjustment that they work.

I can very highly recommend Metalcloak stuff, their bushings and build quality on parts has been the best by far what I've used on my Jeeps for the past ten years. Especially the Duroflex flex joints are a big improvement even if you compare them to Johnny Joints. After buying the first set of Duroflex joints, I wouldn't install any other joints on a Jeep that is used both on-road and off-road.


When investing in control arms, buy high quality arms. No point in buying the cheap ones, then getting annoyed on 'em and eventually buying the good ones anyway
Good info on the Meatalcloak Ca's. Their price seems competitive with the adjustables found on Rusty's, Quadratec, and IRO. I'm still looking for others who have fixed CA's (like Rusty's has) so I can compare. Like KG had posted before, my need for adjustables is little to none for now, but I might still get them for future stuff, maybe.

What's the difference between the Duroflex joints and the Currie Johnny Joints? I haven't gotten that far in my learning yet.
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post #13 of 36 Old 05-09-2017, 11:44 AM
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The duroflex joints are an improvement over the JJ in comfort and handling, the JJ is a bit older design. They're both in the space of trying to maintain factory like ride with heim strength.

Both are excellent. Duroflex would be my choice if the jeep sees street time. JJ or Heims if it's a trail queen.


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1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #14 of 36 Old 05-09-2017, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
Junior1210
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Thanks. I don't know what I'm gonna end up doing, but I like having options.
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post #15 of 36 Old 05-09-2017, 01:17 PM
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Johnny joints use urethane in their ball-and-socket- type flex joint bushings, not UHMWPE like many other "traditional" ball & socket- style flex joints do. That is why JJs ride better and more quietly than many other flex joint (or especially heim joints) do.

Duroflex joints use molded rubber like the factory bushings do, but Duroflex joint design is very much different from the factory rubber bushings. They are a true flex joint, but use rubber on the bushing part, so that they absorb noise and vibration as well as - if not even better than - factory bushings, but provide similar flex as the normal ball-and-socket- flex joints do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
Both are excellent. Duroflex would be my choice if the jeep sees street time. JJ or Heims if it's a trail queen.
I've been wheeling with the Duroflex joints for almost two years now, including severe winter weather (temps well below 0F). I haven't had a single issue with them, no cracking or anything.
I honestly was a little skeptic on how the Duroflex joints would perform and last during winter, but they've been better than expected

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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