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  #16  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 08:49
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4JeePmaNthINg View Post
another note for the fab is it doesnt require welding though the clayton does, i wish i had a good welder or the skill.

does the fab kit sound like a sturdy mounting system vs clayton that requires welding.

Dutch you'd be a good reference on wether cav is a good choice or worth welding some of this kit. irons is cool but $$$$ big time. greaseable joints are a + for fab. Clayton arms probably slide well, the cross member is smaller, though requires welding.

now all i couldnt pretend to know, but almost all kits are close in price. what each kit delivers is the same or quite different for the coin.

ive heard some good recommendations, however what will these deliver for the money on a dd vs cost and possible 2nd party help on install?
Personally, I would rather have my cross member welded on. While it is more work work and another issue if don't have a welder, I feel it provides a little more assurance than just bolts.

Really they all are decent kits. Clayton, IIRC, has been around the longest where as Cav and IRO are newer. I personally really like Ironman's crossmember because of the ability to adjust so much on it. Major downside is being a PITA to access the few bolts to get to the tranny if needed. Also it based on you being able to "build" most of it so not really the bolt on solution you may be looking for. I'd go Clayton for a all around solid setup.
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  #17  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 08:51
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAhasnoWAVES View Post
if you manage to hit the upper link on the trail... you have other problems.

i built my lowers at 36" out of 2x.25 DOM and 1-1/4" heims... bent them. the longer upper with 7/8" heims and 1.75x.120 DOM was fine. it lives in a state of compression as the pinion is driven down under torque. tube carries this load very well.
Its not so much the arm failing, its the single bolt holding it on the axle that I'm more concerned about. Its also not just up and down forces or rocks, there are rotational forces from the drivetrain at play too. Plus the force of driving into rocks that pushes the axle back into the arms. Again, with only 1 7/16 bolt holding the upper link to the axle.

Granted I have ran Y-Links before with no issue and at that point there are only 2 bolts at the frame holding your axle in place.

Extreme example but a 4500 car running a 3-link front at KOH just DNF'd because the lower control arm on the passenger side failed. If the lower fails on the side there is no upper then there is nothing holding it place anymore. So its not just the upper you have to worry about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4JeePmaNthINg View Post
another note for the fab is it doesnt require welding though the clayton does, i wish i had a good welder or the skill.

does the fab kit sound like a sturdy mounting system vs clayton that requires welding.

Dutch you'd be a good reference on wether cav is a good choice or worth welding some of this kit. irons is cool but $$$$ big time. greaseable joints are a + for fab. Clayton arms probably slide well, the cross member is smaller, though requires welding.

now all i couldnt pretend to know, but almost all kits are close in price. what each kit delivers is the same or quite different for the coin.

ive heard some good recommendations, however what will these deliver for the money on a dd vs cost and possible 2nd party help on install?
With the prices being similar between the Clayton and CavFab kits I would go CavFab. No welding is nice, the crossmember is a lot better looking, and it has a built in skid for the transmission.

I would recommend upgrading your lower control arm mounts on the axle.
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  #18  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 09:01
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

http://www.stinkyfab.com/axle-parts/...-brackets.html

Since Polyperformance stopped making theirs
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  #19  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 09:23
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchVDub View Post
Its not so much the arm failing, its the single bolt holding it on the axle that I'm more concerned about. Its also not just up and down forces or rocks, there are rotational forces from the drivetrain at play too. Plus the force of driving into rocks that pushes the axle back into the arms. Again, with only 1 7/16 bolt holding the upper link to the axle.

Granted I have ran Y-Links before with no issue and at that point there are only 2 bolts at the frame holding your axle in place.

Extreme example but a 4500 car running a 3-link front at KOH just DNF'd because the lower control arm on the passenger side failed. If the lower fails on the side there is no upper then there is nothing holding it place anymore. So its not just the upper you have to worry about.
a 7/16" grade 8 bolt has a shear strength of over 13k pounds.

on a properly designed 3 link, there should be no fore/aft loading on the upper from terrain input. the lowers control the fore/aft location, thats why you need 2. all the upper is doing is controlling forces on the moment arm created by the upper link tower off the axle. as torque is applied, the pinion is driven down. under braking, the pinion is driven up. the upper lives in a state of tension and compression.

if either of the lowers fail on a 3 link, the system fails. bad things are going to happen if you lose one, regardless of placement of the upper link. even with a second upper link, the role of the upper links are is not the same as the lowers. can you maybe limp it back to the pits? sure. but if you continue to apply the same abuse that destroyed the lower, the uppers will surely fail. and lets be honest, very few people are pushing their cherokee that hard.

ive played around with calculators. played around with link design. and run analysis on the forces involved when i built my own suspension. even looked at running 2 uppers for fore/aft locating and a single lower for rotational control. that was one of many ideas i toyed with just for shits and giggles. its not rocket science, but a good photo definitely helps paint that picture. and drawing a force vector diagram definitely helps. luckily i had good photos to play with when i built mine...
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  #20  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 09:43
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAhasnoWAVES View Post
a 7/16" grade 8 bolt has a shear strength of over 13k pounds.
in a 4000lb rig traveling 50 mph how much force does a hard breaking event incurr on the upper?

IMO 7/16" is too small for a single upper.
I run 9/16" F-911s in my upper on my 3 link, which may be overkill, but the comfort factor is worth it.

and FWIW link bolts should only be loaded in tension, not in shear, ... but thats in a perfect world.

Quote:
on a properly designed 3 link, there should be no fore/aft loading on the upper from terrain input. the lowers control the fore/aft location, thats why you need 2. all the upper is doing is controlling forces on the moment arm created by the upper link tower off the axle. as torque is applied, the pinion is driven down. under braking, the pinion is driven up. the upper lives in a state of tension and compression.
The only way to make that statement true would be to mount the lowers on the centerline of the axletube.

you cannot do that so the upper will always share some of the load of controlling the axle fore/aft. certainly the lowers see much larger forces in this regard because they are usually mounted closer to the centerline than the upper.


Quote:
if either of the lowers fail on a 3 link, the system fails. bad things are going to happen if you lose one, regardless of placement of the upper link. even with a second upper link, the role of the upper links are is not the same as the lowers. can you maybe limp it back to the pits? sure. but if you continue to apply the same abuse that destroyed the lower, the uppers will surely fail. and lets be honest, very few people are pushing their cherokee that hard.
agreed 100%
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  #21  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 09:44
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

3 Links work and are proven, but I still prefer the second upper arm for extra peace of mind. As I previously said, the potential binding of the 4 link is probably negligible at the levels of flex I'm getting out of my Jeep.

If you push that front axle hard into a rock/obstacle that force is still going to transfer into the upper links. And 13,000 lbs of force definitely seems like a lot, but how many times have we seen parts break on our Jeeps that should have no problem handling the forces.

I'm not saying that 3 Links are too dangerous and that you're guaranteed to crash into a bus full of nuns and orphans. I'm just saying that I prefer the extra security of a 4 link. If I have a link failure I'm not going to keep wheeling, but I'll have a better chance of getting back to the trailer. Just like I carry spare shafts, u-joints, heims, etc that second upper control arm is a spare that's always there.
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Last edited by DutchVDub; February 22nd, 2018 at 09:48.
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  #22  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 09:59
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockclimber View Post
in a 4000lb rig traveling 50 mph how much force does a hard breaking event incurr on the upper?

IMO 7/16" is too small for a single upper.
I run 9/16" F-911s in my upper on my 3 link, which may be overkill, but the comfort factor is worth it.
good question, im sure the calculations are strait forward... but these days i rely on my computer to do the calculations. i slept through physics mostly.

keep in mind that number i through out was for single sheer.

even still, i ran a 5/8" grade 8 myself.

Quote:
and FWIW link bolts should only be loaded in tension, not in shear, ... but thats in a perfect world.
while i agree... i dont see how a bolt CAN be used in tension for a suspension.





Quote:
The only way to make that statement true would be to mount the lowers on the centerline of the axletube.

you cannot do that so the upper will always share some of the load of controlling the axle fore/aft. certainly the lowers see much larger forces in this regard because they are usually mounted closer to the centerline than the upper.
i agree, i did simplify and speak in an absolute.

i dont want to say it is a moot point... but the desert guys and pedal mashers aside... the most likely time someone will see an impact like that is during an on road collision.

Quote:
agreed 100%
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  #23  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 10:03
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchVDub View Post
3 Links work and are proven, but I still prefer the second upper arm for extra peace of mind. As I previously said, the potential binding of the 4 link is probably negligible at the levels of flex I'm getting out of my Jeep.

If you push that front axle hard into a rock/obstacle that force is still going to transfer into the upper links. And 13,000 lbs of force definitely seems like a lot, but how many times have we seen parts break on our Jeeps that should have no problem handling the forces.

I'm not saying that 3 Links are too dangerous and that you're guaranteed to crash into a bus full of nuns and orphans. I'm just saying that I prefer the extra security of a 4 link. If I have a link failure I'm not going to keep wheeling, but I'll have a better chance of getting back to the trailer. Just like I carry spare shafts, u-joints, heims, etc that second upper control arm is a spare that's always there.
fair.

only difference is you will need to run bushings to "soak up" some of the bind (radius arm as well) where a 3 link lets you run hard joints. like you said, the bind being negligible... as there are other limiting factors such as shocks or steering.

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  #24  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 10:10
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAhasnoWAVES View Post

while i agree... i dont see how a bolt CAN be used in tension for a suspension.
This is a concept that is tough for many to grasp.

when a Bolt is used in a suspension link, it is basically a clamp that is clamping the joint inside the link bracket.

the clamping force is what holds the joint in place by creating a friction bond between the inside faces of the link bracket and the bushing or joint sleeve.
that is why you should always use a torque wrench and torque suspension bolts to spec.
Without the clamping force created by loading the bolt in tension (torqueing the bolt to spec) the connection would fail.

thats why every time someone suggests welding a washer over the outside of a wallowed out hole in a link bracket (especially common with the axle side TB bracket) I want to slap them. that will accomplish nothing. the INSIDE faces of the bracket are what matter. no amount of crap welded to the outside face will matter.

suspension bolts are not intended to be used as a pin, they are not intended to be loaded in shear.
if they were, they wouldn't be bolts. they would be hardened pins and they would be press-fit.


however that is the theoretical. in the practical world, they will probably see some shear force because people dont always torque them to spec, or the torque wrenches aren't properly calibrated, etc etc.
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  #25  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 10:42
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

10-4.

thanks for the clarification.
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  #26  
Old February 22nd, 2018, 20:54
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

just for spec reference:
http://cavfab.com/ALPHA-SERIES-Jeep-XJ-3-Link_p_61.html

So, with a hard mount insert on the cast housing there will be little shock soak (hard rock or bump approach) from the upper arm/bolts/joints, Does this look like an issue for the HP D30 and 35s max?
-Dutch new Artec LCAs i have are also on the list, maybe more, ill PM you for some install ideas?

~from cav "a machined Currie Johnny joint which replaces the driver side upper axle bushing and eliminates the weak factory 10mm upper control arm bolt and moves up to a Grade 8 1/2" bolt."


Dutch mentioned having a 2nd upper arm for backup. Are there any flex/clearance issues with leaving the non diff upper mount on the axle, if I run the 3 link ( cav is made to run 4 links, but offered for 3)? ( i may not remove the other upper mount if i coulld leave it as a repair option for adding an upper arm (should the original 3 link upper break).


I have no issues with having portions of the cross-member welded, if needed, ill just need to source a local welder. other than asking cav, would welding any of this kit be recommended?)side mount brackets?

With the provided joint for the upper diff cast mount, are there any options you all would know of to upgrae the hardware for strength, or is this as Rockclimber wrote: a mechanical preference of torque to spec, rather than beefed up material to aid in the durabillity of the joint.

in fewer words, what should i be looking out for with these kits?
- thus far:
- 4 arms vs 3
- larger upper bolts
- welding parts vs direct bolt on ( im not a fan of reading "bolt on", but I also dont know the true strength difference that either install method provides.
what things, based on their build, do I not have to look out for?

this has been a lot of great information thus far, Thank You all for posting all of the above!
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  #27  
Old February 23rd, 2018, 05:36
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4JeePmaNthINg View Post

in fewer words, what should i be looking out for with these kits?
- thus far:
- 4 arms vs 3
Personal preference really. I like having 2 upper arms, but either way you'll be fine.
- larger upper bolts
That 1/2" bolt is a fair upgrade.
- welding parts vs direct bolt on ( im not a fan of reading "bolt on", but I also dont know the true strength difference that either install method provides.
what things, based on their build, do I not have to look out for?
The CAVFab setup has plenty of tie-ins to make it hold up as just a bolt in. I wouldn't be worried about that at all

this has been a lot of great information thus far, Thank You all for posting all of the above!
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Last edited by DutchVDub; February 23rd, 2018 at 06:15.
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  #28  
Old February 23rd, 2018, 07:25
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Stupid question - is there any particular reason why the single-link side of this sort of system couldn't be a y-link like in a radius arm setup? Then at least the upper link that goes to the frame is only shouldering part of the rotational load even if it doesn't provide that 4th axle-frame connection like some above have expressed preference for.

Would something like this be called a "hybrid" setup, or a "3 and a half link"?
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  #29  
Old February 23rd, 2018, 07:32
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

I think there would be some serious binding with that. One side would try to rotate (or not) the axle while the other in a totally different arc.
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  #30  
Old February 23rd, 2018, 07:56
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Re: cav fab alpha 3 link, pics of install and any issues please?

Only way I would bolt on is with some sort of frame stiffening otherwise what exactly are you bolting to?

Honestly, I would beef up the frame with 3/16 plate before mounting any system where the front axle is positioned by the crossmember. That crossmember better be mounted to something more than the tin of the unibody.
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