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The XJ JK 3 link build.

Old 07-16-2014, 11:14 AM
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Default The XJ JK 3 link build.

Figured I'd start a thread for my 3 link'd mid arm'd xj with jk adjustable links. I Have seen a lot of questions about putting stock JK FLCA's in as mid arms before but never saw anybody attempt it, so I decided to on a different level.

I started with a 1999 xj sport 4.0/aw4/231 30 and 8.25(29spline)

I got it with about 3.5" lift and way to short of shocks, RC LCA's, jcr stage 2 sliders, a roof rack and Logans steal bumpers front and rear. Here it is the day I got it, I had already taken the god awful rack off.


Since getting it I have added (deep breath)
Mid arms (2 sets so far)
front locker
solid front diff cover
sleeved tie rod
custom grill hoop
rockhard 4x4 8 point sport cage
14" LED light bar
tnt mid stiffeners
dirtbound offroad front stiffeners
longer brake lines (to short now)
12.5" travel shocks
rear locker
35" km2's
tomken 97-98 rail to rail t case skid
tomken tranny/engine skid + trackbar brace
barnes 4wd 5/8ths u bolts
rock lights
SYE
custom track bar
jager deer for luck
more dents
more scratchs

Here it is as it sits today




I'll post up more about the different mid arm set ups that have been in it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:24 PM
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Nice
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:44 PM
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Ok so my original mid arm build I used a wristed radius set up instead of doing a true 3 link. It worked great but I would occasionally get wheel hop because of the radius arm.

Any way! So I bought the links out of ktmracer419's.... green 4 door, black 2 door and whatever else they were in, I also have the quarter guards from the 2 door. Before I get sidetracked....

I bought brand new johnny joints to go into the links and cut the shock brackets off so I could run with the adjustment at the frame. OOOHHH AAAAHHH Links.


I welded on a bracket for an upper link to use the arm like a radius arm.



Then I got some barnes4wd brackets to use on the body end.


And installed them


And they worked great. They were 1.75" solid stock with ballistic joints on one end obviously JJ's the other. Then the upper mount was a fork and a rock krawler bolt in joint to prevent "wrapping"

The big issue was that with the bend they hung down.... a lot and with joints on both ends the arm would twist around and do funky things to the pinion angle. And they rubbed a lot....
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by XJwonders View Post
Nice

Thank you!
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:35 AM
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Enter the JK arms. After measuring jk FLCA's one day at work I realized that they were only 22 5/8's long eye to eye so It got me thinking If i bought adjustable's I could run them in my xj. Now that being said I did not know that at the time of the original mid arm build. Anyway after only 9 months of driving and wheeling I had already gotten tired of the old arms, they hung low, and because of the frame side control arm mount being further outboard than stock the arm was closer to the tire, to make things worst when I welded on my HD lower control arm brackets on the axle I outboarded those to fix the control arm angle. MY TURNING RADIUS WAS GONE. So I started to get serious about the jk arms. I did research, and lots of it, I wanted to figure out how to get rid of the link twist that was messing with pinion angle and creating "wrap" I also wanted to be able to turn again. And most of all... I wanted heims, I ran them on my old solid axle f150 build and loved how little maintenance they were and how durable they could be. That left me with the conclusion of this link criteria: Has to have a poly axle side bushing, have to be bent inward for clearance, need heims at the frame and need to be adjustable to 23.25" or further. That left me with very little options since most lift company's love Johnny Joints or other flex type joints (don't get me wrong they work awesome... but I'm lazy and don't want to keep greasing them, besides grease attracts dirt).

My options for arms were
Full traction $399.99


Ruff Stuff $237


Both used 1.25" heims, both have a bend, both have poly's, both are 2" .250 wall but obviously the ruff stuff ones are cheaper. I went with the ruff stuff arms and being that I ordered them 4th of july weekend I got a coupon code and got them for $187!
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:27 AM
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So I ordered the ruff stuff arms and waited for them to ship.
After a few days I came to home and had a box with all this in it.





Needless to say I spent the night pulling all the old stuff out of the cherokee and then the next day was all business.

I was ready to do the radius arm again and half way through I started toying around with putting the old upper link on the frame instead of making a radius arm. So I did a little investigating, I made a bracket and tacked it in where the stock lower control arm mount was, conveniently jeep had already started plating it for me. Any way I tacked in the bracket bolted in the link and started to cycle the suspension. It moved similar to a radius arm set up, the pinion always stayed pointing at the transfer case no mater where the axle was but it did move a little bit as it cycled, after all it was still a separate upper and lower. So I decided I'd rather have a real 3 link and welded in the bracket, after welding in the bracket I went ahead and gusseted it on both sides and then from the back of the bracket backwards.

Here is the 3 link set up when I was cycling it. And I know the short upper link doesn't look all cool like most 3 links that have it run back to a mount inside the frame or up through the floor or however other people like to achieve it. BUT its all function, form is a huge priority for me as far as suspension goes.







Thats realistically the whole deal with the mid arms. I know the upper link is short but like I said function over form and its functioning great.







At some point I will bring it to work where I can use it on the RTI ramp and get better flex pics. Not that the mid arm stuff is out of the way I'll periodically post pics about the rest of the build.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:00 PM
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Good lookin rig!
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by coloradocherokee View Post
Good lookin rig!
Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:20 PM
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Looks good. Might try something similar on my jeep once I have the spare $$$
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Arb10 View Post
Looks good. Might try something similar on my jeep once I have the spare $$$
Thank you lol and I can't speak to the 3 link as a whole yet but the old set up I had worked very well and as far as ease of install, you can't get any easier than being able to weld in brackets and run pre made arms. I mean its cool to be able to say you built the suspension completely but at the same time this is pretty cost and time affective.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:35 PM
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I should probably update this with a little more about the build.

Ok so I got the jeep last september, I traded my 1994 f150 solid axled trail whale for it. Reason being frame was seriously damaged. Twisted it from the winch plate up front all the way to rear bumper, after tearing the track bar bracket off once, cutting the engine crossmember half way out to clear the 44 solid axle and folding the right side frame rail at the radius arm mount. But it was a champ... oh and I may or may not have destroyed the body hitting trees and not have real sliders. But here it is for reference.









After finally giving up on the trucks frame I offered it for trade on good ol' CL.
I wanted an LJ or an XJ, after a few offers I got one from the owner of this thing.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:50 PM
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When I got the jeep I thought it was a good platform to begin with. Already had the lift height I had in mind (4.5" rc springs front nicely sagged to get it down to 3.5, RC LCAs, skyhacker shocks, skyhacker leafs packs and shackles) It had a decent winch (xrc8) decent bumpers (logans steel front and rear with tie ins) it had jcr stage 2 sliders. All things necessary and actually worth having but I didn't want to pay for. The leaf packs, sliders and winch were actually the biggest things for me, I liked the sliders and the nice flexy leafs, the winch... well as you can see I had a tractor supply special and anything not that would have been better. It had other stuff also but that was the important stuff to me, wanted just enough to keep my expenses down and just enough that the things I wanted to be picky about well I could. Anyway shortly after picking up the jeep I got an almost new lock right, and a brand new solid diff cover for the 30 also threw some wheel bearings in it at the same time. Heres a pic for those of us that like that stuff... or those who don't care to read I'll make it easy

FIRST REAL MODS I DID
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:58 PM
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After that I found me a jeep show and hit the ramp... As of 10/5/13 my rti score was 432 on a 25* ramp not the same story now just gotta redo it.



Anyway after locking the front I decided stiffeners would be a good idea... enter TNT customs having the best price on mid stiffeners.


Also added a Tomken rail to rail t case skid and an sye




Shortly after installing the skid, sye and stiffeners A friend of mine started to part his xj and I bought his tomken engine, tranny skid with a track bar bracket brace.

Oh and at some point before all this I put in a teraflex track bar but there isn't any pics I remember taking. Here it is after I took it out
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:12 PM
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Next after the engine tranny skid I did the first mid arms that I posted earlier.
Followed by my custom grill hoop. Now the grill hoop's purpose was not only because I got some awesome 1.75" .134 wall tube for free, or I didn't like the light hoops on the dirtbound one, and I love how it looks but it's main purpose was to protect the radiator and header panel in general because months before, I watched my buddy roll his and it scared my girlfriend to death and it made me pretty impressed that he could've driven it home if he didn't pop the radiator.







Any way so I got to work on the hoop.


The main is 1.75" .134 wall and the light hoops are 1.25" .120 wall


And done

Last edited by MREECEW; 07-21-2014 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:18 PM
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On the theme of rolling and trying to get my girlfriend to feel safe I made an offer to my buddy who was parting out his XJ to buy his rock hard 4x4 cage from him. I payed $500 for it and all I had to do was take it out.... and get rid of the lime green

I decided to try sand blasting it... It was covered in stickers also


Sprayed it flat black to reduce glare and put it in.








Forgot to mention That I also added JCR quarter guards also... No pictures of the install, they were painted red and done before the cage. Kinda visible in these pictures, the red was not an exact match.



Last edited by MREECEW; 07-21-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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