Short Arm vs Long Arm - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-10-2018, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
NewJeeperYJ90
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Short Arm vs Long Arm

Hey guys and gals. New to the group. I actually have a 2000 TJ Sport. So I have a 3.5 Short Arm Kit Rubicon Express. It was on the Jeep when I bought it. It rides pretty rough. And I like to go up to our cabin that's about 4 hours away and it's a LONG 4 hours. I put new Bilstein shocks on. Helped a little. Anyways. Long story short. I'm looking into getting the Metal Cloak lift. I was going to do the short arm but the shop that I go to said that the Long Arm kit is a world a difference on the road and off road. But I'm assuming with the Long Arm I would have to do new driveshafts front in back also. I wish you could test drive them. So my long drawn out questions are is the Long Arm worth it? Does the Long Arm really ride that much better then the Short Arm. And wil I have to put new Drive shafts on with the Long Arm. Thanks

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post #2 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 08:37 AM
jjvw
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Arm length makes little to no difference in ride quality. Any long arm kits that simply bolt on without the need for welding are wrong.

Ride quality is mostly influenced by shocks and tire pressure. How much shock shaft is showing? What are your tires set at?

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 08:54 AM
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Fans of long arm are in the minority on this site. You should go over to TJ Tech section and use the search function. This stuff has been discussed many times before and there will be tons of reading for you.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Fans of long arm are in the minority on this site. You should go over to TJ Tech section and use the search function. This stuff has been discussed many times before and there will be tons of reading for you.
Thanks. Still figuring my way around the site
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
Arm length makes little to no difference in ride quality. Any long arm kits that simply bolt on without the need for welding are wrong.

Ride quality is mostly influenced by shocks and tire pressure. How much shock shaft is showing? What are your tires set at?

2003 Rubicon


I have Bilstein shocks. There isn't too much shock showing. At least in the rear. But then the shocks are for 3.5 and 4.5 lift. Which to me isn't right.

33" Tires are at 25psi
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 03:52 PM
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As mentioned earlier, shocks are going to make the most difference in ride quality. 25psi for your tires is about right. That's what mine are at.

It's never going to be smooth like a Cadillac, but the ride shouldn't be harsh. It will bounce around a bit due to weight and size and 2 solid axles.

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post #7 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by NewJeeperYJ90 View Post
I have Bilstein shocks. There isn't too much shock showing. At least in the rear. But then the shocks are for 3.5 and 4.5 lift. Which to me isn't right.

...
It isn't. Sounds like you need shorter shocks that will give you back some up travel. Factory was 4" up, 4" down. There should be at least that much shaft showing. Long arms can't fix that problem.

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by frenchy206 View Post
As mentioned earlier, shocks are going to make the most difference in ride quality. 25psi for your tires is about right. That's what mine are at.

It's never going to be smooth like a Cadillac, but the ride shouldn't be harsh. It will bounce around a bit due to weight and size and 2 solid axles.
I've never ridden in a Caddy. But good shocks, good up travel and the right tire pressure will make a Jeep ride pretty good.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 04:14 PM
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I've never ridden in a Caddy. But good shocks, good up travel and the right tire pressure will make a Jeep ride pretty good.
Pretty good is subjective. I have several vehicles. The Jeep is, by far, the bumpiest ride of all of them. It's not harsh, just more bouncy than other vehicles. It has a new OME suspension.

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-11-2018, 04:24 PM
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Pretty good is subjective. I have several vehicles. The Jeep is, by far, the bumpiest ride of all of them. It's not harsh, just more bouncy than other vehicles. It has a new OME suspension.
Which shocks? I have rancho rs5000x up front and Fox 2.0 in the rear.

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post #11 of 14 Old 03-14-2018, 04:53 PM
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Shocks and tire pressure make a difference for sure. Something else to keep in mind is if your control arm joints / bushings are worn, it can contribute to a harsh ride, as there is literally slop between the frame and control arm. I ditched my poly bushing Superlift arms for Rokmen control arms with Johnny Joints and that alone tightened up my suspension quite a bit, it mimics the factory ride pretty closely in my opinion.

I was on a 4" lift with short arms which had some funky characteristics. I've since gone to 3" springs, and would consider going to 2.5" springs, maybe 2" because the suspension has a much more "neutral" feel. Under hard acceleration, or high torque situations, the suspension geometry, and effects of that geometry, particularly "anti squat" can play into harsh ride situations as the torque of the motor is causing the Jeep to stand up.

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post #12 of 14 Old 03-15-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffjeeper View Post
....

I was on a 4" lift with short arms which had some funky characteristics. I've since gone to 3" springs, and would consider going to 2.5" springs, maybe 2" because the suspension has a much more "neutral" feel. Under hard acceleration, or high torque situations, the suspension geometry, and effects of that geometry, particularly "anti squat" can play into harsh ride situations as the torque of the motor is causing the Jeep to stand up.
Your shocks size in relation to the changing lift height is likely playing a very large role in the ride quality. Antisquat is not having a meaningful affect in what you describe.

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post #13 of 14 Old 03-16-2018, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
Your shocks size in relation to the changing lift height is likely playing a very large role in the ride quality. Antisquat is not having a meaningful affect in what you describe.

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Care to elaborate? I believe we are talking about 2 different situations.

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post #14 of 14 Old 03-17-2018, 12:59 PM
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I had pretty much the exact same geometry suspension as the TJ in my ZJ with 4" of spring lift and 1.5" budget boost for a total of 5.5" The TJ is the closest set up to the ZJ. and I got to tell you, When you lift 4" ^ the angle of the Control arms become way to step. For TJ/ZJ that is. the term Jarring comes to mind. I even went to 8 adjustable control arms with flex joints, different shocks, you name. It was tearing up the all the new CA bushings and ripping the upper CA mounts off the uni-body. it was a horrible ride In my opinion. Until I went to a F/R 7" Long arm and now its 100% better . Granted it is a total suspension design change. The TJ is one I would go Long arm with.

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