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Mid Arm Lift Suggestions

MX952

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Going deep here so let it fly. I am looking at swapping out my garbage Rough Country that the PO had on my 2001 TJ. I have already upgraded to Rubicon D44s with lockers geared at 4.10, 4.0 engine and the auto tranny with SYE installed, Anti Rock front and rear and 33” tires with heavy bumper tire carrier rear and heavy bumper front with winch. The reason l list bumpers is the additional weight and my desire to NOT have the front end hanging lower than the rear.

I have looked at a short arm lifts and long arm lifts and some have very great opinions of both. However, a few such as Jerry Bransford who has been a wealth of information in my TJs transformation in the last few months and hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Jerry has great things to say about the mid arm lift however I can’t seem to find much info on these.

I’ll be getting into rocks, downed trees, as deep of snow as I can go in so any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


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jjvw

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Which RC lift do you have? Short or long? What is it doing that would be solved with the Savvy mid arm?
 
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MX952

MX952

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I’m not 100% sure which RC Kit it is, assuming a 2.5” however there are several issues. The kit is using the stock upper control arms and non adjustable track bars so one can’t get the “free feeling” and action of travel. It was binding when simply trying to swap the axles let alone when put into extreme angles. I ride/drive with a couple of buddies that both have 5”+ Long arm kits and they simply flex better and ride smoother that what I have. When the terrain gets twisted I start lifting tires off the ground and they are planted still in all 4s. I know this isn’t completely comparable but curious of opinions so I can make an educated decision.


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jjvw

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I’m not 100% sure which RC Kit it is, assuming a 2.5” however there are several issues. The kit is using the stock upper control arms and non adjustable track bars so one can’t get the “free feeling” and action of travel. It was binding when simply trying to swap the axles let alone when put into extreme angles. I ride/drive with a couple of buddies that both have 5”+ Long arm kits and they simply flex better and ride smoother that what I have. When the terrain gets twisted I start lifting tires off the ground and they are planted still in all 4s. I know this isn’t completely comparable but curious of opinions so I can make an educated decision.


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Shocks determine the flex. Sway bars can effect how well the tires stay planted. Changing the arm mounts is addressing a more abstract problem of how the suspension behaves under load. This problem isn't happening at lower lift heights while simply rolling over twisted terrain.

Before mid arms, I would first encourage a well detailed short arm, a raised belly, Antirock and relocated shock mounts for longer travel and decent valving. The overall benefits are far greater. Then if the Jeep is experiencing odd behaviors during steep climbs, then you may want to start looking at moving the arms.
 
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MX952

MX952

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Here's Savvy's page that describes their complete mid-arm suspension kit. Know that there's considerable expertise involved in having it properly installed so you obtain all its benefits. It's #1 on my list of my most desired upgrades for my TJ.

https://savvyoffroad.com/product/sma-kit/
Are you running this kit Jerry? Curious on your opinion if the rear 4 link system versus a track bar.


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jjvw

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... Know that there's considerable expertise involved in having it properly installed so you obtain all its benefits. ...
That's an understatement! :)

The arms were easy. When starting with what was effectively a stock Jeep, the quantity of everything else was nearly overwhelming. Especially when doing all it for the first time.
 
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MX952

MX952

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Shocks determine the flex. Sway bars can effect how well the tires stay planted. Changing the arm mounts is addressing a more abstract problem of how the suspension behaves under load. This problem isn't happening at lower lift heights while simply rolling over twisted terrain.

Before mid arms, I would first encourage a well detailed short arm, a raised belly, Antirock and relocated shock mounts for longer travel and decent valving. The overall benefits are far greater. Then if the Jeep is experiencing odd behaviors during steep climbs, then you may want to start looking at moving the arms.
Great input. The shocks I am running are the Rancho 5000X and those alone made a massive difference in the ride quality.


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MX952

MX952

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No I'm not running it, that's why it's on my list of desired upgrades. Far better at explaining your 4-link vs. track bar question would be @mrblaine who incidentally designed Savvy's mid-arm kit.
I’m excited to hear this one from @mrblaine and what his thoughts are on mid arm versus the suggested well detailed short arm setup.


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jjvw

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I’m excited to hear this one from @mrblaine and what his thoughts are on mid arm versus the suggested well detailed short arm setup.


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There is a pretty good short arm vs long arm thread that I think helps get people thinking in the right direction about suspension geometry. It is a very different discussion than what your long arm buddies are having.
 
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MX952

MX952

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There is a pretty good short arm vs long arm thread that I think helps get people thinking in the right direction about suspension geometry. It is a very different discussion than what your long arm buddies are having.
@jjvw I looked and couldn’t find it. I know I saw it at one point but would love to read up on that discussion point for sure if someone has the link.


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jjvw

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Chris

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I have a Savvy mid-arm on mine. Did I solve anything by installing it? Hell no. However, in all fairness, I was simply trying to build mine to take on almost any terrain I might ever run across, so I really did it not just because I could, but because I wanted something that was proven to work, designed by someone who knows their shit, and would be able to take just about anything I threw at it.

There can be no question at all as to whether I "overbuilt"... I did!
 
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MX952

MX952

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I am with @Chris, I want the best setup I can have and know that if I can’t go where I want...it’s me not my Jeep.

Interesting however reading back though the link above (only partially read) that the snow conditions I play in often cause a MASSIVE amount of hop. Definitely questionable traction and even on flat after she digs in (creating an imitation incline) she hops like crazy, as does both of my buddies long arm kits. I would be super intrigued by the mid arm as it corrects the anti squat and imaginary center of gravity. What do you think here @jjvw? It seems you play in the snow as well.


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pcoplin

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If doing trails with snow and downed trees really is the terrain you see, then I'm not sure you "need" a midarm setup. In fact, the RC lift will likely perform that fine. A short arm will also do great.

However, if you are planning on high traction surfaces with climbs and off camber, then you will want better geometry than that RC or a short arm will give you. If you've ever seen a Jeep hopping around, breakign stuff or falling off their line, or just flat not making an easy climb, then you will see why the Savvy midarm will have its benefits.
 

Jerry Bransford

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I am with @Chris, I want the best setup I can have and know that if I can’t go where I want...it’s me not my Jeep.

Interesting however reading back though the link above (only partially read) that the snow conditions I play in often cause a MASSIVE amount of hop. Definitely questionable traction and even on flat after she digs in (creating an imitation incline) she hops like crazy, as does both of my buddies long arm kits. I would be super intrigued by the mid arm as it corrects the anti squat and imaginary center of gravity. What do you think here @jjvw? It seems you play in the snow as well.
Wheel hop is not being caused by the snow, you have a suspension design/geometry flaw causing it. Here's one of many threads on what causes and can help reduce wheel hop... https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/general-4x4-discussion/361697-eliminating-wheel-hop.html
 
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MX952

MX952

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Wheel hop is not being caused by the snow, you have a suspension design/geometry flaw causing it. Here's one of many threads on what causes and can help reduce wheel hop... https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/general-4x4-discussion/361697-eliminating-wheel-hop.html
@Jerry I 100% agree! Which is why the philosophy of the relocated control arms of the mid arm are what theoretically would correct this. The RC lift I currently have has many flaws and only some have surfaced I’m sure. I also forgot to mention that the RC rear track bar impacts the front of the stock fuel tank skid plate. Possibly because of poor design or the inability to adjust the stock upper control arms. When swapping the axles it was also virtually impossible to manually move the control arms, no grease zerks doesn’t help the situation so I disassembled and greased them before reinstalling.


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MX952

MX952

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If doing trails with snow and downed trees really is the terrain you see, then I'm not sure you "need" a midarm setup. In fact, the RC lift will likely perform that fine. A short arm will also do great.

However, if you are planning on high traction surfaces with climbs and off camber, then you will want better geometry than that RC or a short arm will give you. If you've ever seen a Jeep hopping around, breakign stuff or falling off their line, or just flat not making an easy climb, then you will see why the Savvy midarm will have its benefits.
Same here. I mid arm MAY be the fix but I haven’t completely removed the idea of a short arm such as the Savvy, Currie etc.

We play in snow in the winter, the rest of the year we have a variation of terrain from clean rock to loose rutted trails...littered with downed trees, clean rock and ruts. So I can’t completely set up a rig for snow or for one of the above listed samples. Much like in my previous “hobby” of racing dirt bikes you can’t set up a bike for only one thing and succeed, you have to pick your focal point and find a happy spot there without sacrificing every well else. Happy medium if you want to use that term. @jjvw did a fantastic job of detailing his “learnings” when he built his which will and has already saved me several mistakes. I had a vast array of different terrains and also uses his TJ as a daily driver.


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