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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking of doing something to increase front travel on a half ton ford.

Has anyone got experience with extended, wristed, or heim jointed radius arms?

I was thinking of changing the rear mount to some sort of a hinge joint. Not that I need to, the stock setup allows 24" of travel, but I just like to change things.

Opinions? Besides buy a Chev? Lol

Dan.
 

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Basic Baboon
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Well, there's a couple of things you can do. Wristing the right radius arm is probably about the most effective thing you can do. Also, extending the radius arms will gain you some additional flex. However, on the radius arm joint; don't put a hinge joint there. When the radius arms cycle in opposite directions (one up, one down) they move in-and-out just a bit, in addition to up-and-down. This would either be limited by a hinge, or more likely, break the hinge. A heim-type joint might work, but the stock-style of joint is hard to beat for reliability, and if the bushing every falls out of it (BTDT), you can still get off the trail.

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--C.J. Ford
 

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Superfly
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Originally posted by CJ:
However, on the radius arm joint; don't put a hinge joint there. When the radius arms cycle in opposite directions (one up, one down) they move in-and-out just a bit, in addition to up-and-down. This would either be limited by a hinge, or more likely, break the hinge.
Another option would be to hinge the MOUNT for the radius arm. This would allow the arm to angle away from the frame much more easily but still allow the slight telescoping action afforded by the doughnut bushing.

However, I think longer arms, with one of them wristed near the axle end, would be the more elegant and reliable approach.

...lars





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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've always wanted to extend them, but I just can't make myself commit a set of arms, they're getting kinda rare in the scrap yard. I saw a magazine article on some new James Duff extended arms, tubular, with a huge heim joint at the frame end, and two heim joints at the axle end with their special place steel axle end bracket. Looked cool, which is what I'm mostly looking for, lol, but the article was about before and after of a whole suspension kit, so there really was no comparrison between the stock arms and the new arms, the huge difference I figured was mostly due to the new softer springs and longer shocks all the way around.
I'd like to to build a set of radius arms with a bend in them for more tire clearance. 38.5's reduce the turning radius a little more than my old 33's did thats for sure. I suppose I could build a set of tubular radius arms easy enough, the tricky part is just building the part that goes around the axle, I could use the stock front half, just gotta build the back half with the right angles to match up to the C-bushings properly. I could even build in some caster and get rid of my drop brackets at the rear. Hmmm, ideas are always rolling, and then end up in the gutter.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmmm, anybody got a spare set I can butcher? I dont want to commit my only set of arms.
 

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This wristed arm vs. extended vs. heim joint debate has been on for a couple or three years now. With all the testing and testimonials plus running a 'wristed' arm for almost two years and up close inspection of the DUFF system and talking with Jim Cole the 'inventer' here is my take.
Wristed arms are much better than extended arms. Duff's combination is better than extended alone but not quite as good as wristing. If you not into welding, want good street performance and great trail handling with easy bolt on an no get the Duff stuff. If your a trail 'mosher' like I am build one, a trail mosher can build that stuff or he's not a trail mosher
If you still want a plain old wristed arm you can get one from Boyd http://www.fourbuy.com/strongarm.html He calls his the "Strongarm". He's sold a lot of them and all the reports have been good, I think he's in Colorado so there will be some shipping. A guy in Bothell WA is also making them. He's sold a ton of them and they also have the locking provision for normal street manors. You can email him at [email protected] Shipping would be easy cause you can drive to my garage, install it and drive home

Just extending the radius arms helps a little but it's not enough gain to offset the labor or the extra stuff underneath. Sorry but putting heim joins at the doughnut end or making swivels and such do nothing. On some of the Early Bronco lists we've tested and engineered this for years now and the problem with the Ford radius arm is not at the back, no matter how much you want to think it is, it's at the C-bush end. Wristing in some of the various forms is the cheapes, quickest and IMHO the best way to correct it. As far as the pin breaking, that is definatly NOT a problem. Wristed arms have hammered everything from Tellico the Hammers, Rubicon and Morningside. My locking pin and hinge pin are simple 7/8" grade 5 bolts. After two years, trips to the Rubicon and flat towing it there I pulled the hinge bolt to check for wear and the plating had not even worn off.
This is all for smaller vehicles. I would'nt bother changing them at all on full size rigs. The articulation gains are much more than a full size could use, there would be other issues to solve using a full size on the kinds of trails where the wristed arm would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your insight Roger, maybe one day if I come up with a second arm, I'll build one, no sense buying one, they dont look any better than what I could build. You have a good point, with my fullsize long wheelbase I'd never lifted a wheel, the frame flex was always enough to take up the slack, at least for what I had it on back then. I'd still like something extra, just for bragging rights. That'll come from my four link coil spring rear though, but maybe next year that'll finally come together.

And of course one day I'll get an early bronco.

Dan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I was going to buy one, but every time I had a line on one in my price range they would suddenly for no aparent reason have it hauled away as scrap.


[This message has been edited by Dan (edited September 11, 2000).]
 

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What about Bronco Bob? A guy I know had some bumpers welded up, and while we were there, one of Bob's other guys were doing up some extended arms and such...

Maybe check out his page and see if he offers what you need.
www.broncobob.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now if only I had a frame, or a tube bender.

Dan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So what do you think of a four link and coils in the rear of a fullsize Roger?
I'm thinking it'll be pretty cool, I'd love to max out the ramp.

And does anyone think my old front coils would be anywhere near the right spring rate for the rear?

Dan
 

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Go for it. It's not that hard and would be pretty cool. You might loose payload depending on the springs you use, or not have it work very well if you want payload but in a fullsize pickup to take advantage of the system your going to have to sacrifice one or the other.
If all you want to do is 'max' a ramp build one that is about 24" high and drive to the top of it. Here is the can of worms
There are a ton of different ramps out there. I maxes out a 55" one this weekend, but it was steep and short so my RTI wasn't even over 1000. If you have a 20 degree ramp 20 feet long I can score 2000 on it. If you just want to 'max' a ramp go for it but first figure out what ramp you want to 'max' and what paramaters for success you will use. I'm going to start a ramp thread under general topics. Lets get some other opinions on rampin'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hee hee, well the ramps I deal with are just over a jeep in lenght, so if I build a fullsize to ramp 1000 or better, I should be able to run off the end of it.

My plans for the coils and four link in the rear were done a long time ago, the templates are made, the measurements are marked. I started building, but my problem came with rod ends. I wanted to use Johnny Joints, but it was getting expensive, around $60 each, if I went with good joints at one end and rubber bushings at the other end I was still into about $300 in joints and bushings. A bunch of heavy wall DOM for my links, plus misc. plate steel and fasteners, I was getting into $600 total, plus welding wire, cutting blades, etc.

So I went shopping the spring shops. My custom made 90" long rear leaf springs are costing me $450, bolt them in and go. No work involved.

I figure I can put the leafs in and its on the road and driving. Theres nothing stopping me from building my four link, welding my brackets on, etc. I can take all the time I want that way, as I can afford the parts, and then once I have everything its a matter of a quick swap from leafs to coils.

It was kind of funny. Ordered my springs, he said they'd be done in a week. I went back two weeks later, and he says, uh oh, good news and bad news.

The good news was he could still make them for the same price, the bad news was he has to wait for the special order spring stock. Everything he could get locally was 80" long, and theres was no way he could get the arch I needed with the center to center I wanted out of 80".

Hee hee, 60 inches spring eye to spring eye, should get a decent ride out of it.

Dan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wow, some people have built a lot of , uhhmm, lets say, unprofessional looking, ahhhh, stuff.

Now I'm thinking that the front piece of the radius arm bushing surface is the same as the back of it, because when you buy non degreed bushings they arent labeled front, top, bottom, or rear.

I have a spare set of front caps, since I bought a set from a factory quad shock equipped version to run on my truck, which I could weld some four link bars onto and build into some cool articulating arms. What do you think? Four link front end too, but utilizing the stock C bushings.
Just like those twister arms, which are basically a ladder bar, but mine'll have a different bracket at the frame end to utilize a four link version.

I once built a ladder bar rear suspension for a truck, worked great in the mud, but didnt allow any side to side articulation, just free up and down travel.

Hmmm, I'm once again in a creative mood.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And to think I checked every one of those. Theres a lot of great ideas, and some ideas that are just plain funny. And of course theres a couple I wouldn't trust any further than I could throw them.

Now a real Ford question.
Does my memory serve me correct in thinking that fullsize bronco radius arm mounts (frame end) had more drop in them than the pickup versions?
I'm sure I looked at a bronco once and the bracket was longer than mine. Maybe my early ford is just the special one with the short bracket.
I'm just thinking if there is a longer bracket around it'd be better to put that in and take out my drop down bracket, or build a shorter drop down bracket. Just trying to reduce leverage and avoid building another brace from the bracket to the crossmember.



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Dan
-91 Cherokee, 4.5" lift, 33x12.5's
-69 Ford, lots of lift, 38.5's
 
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