clayton 3 link cross, diy arms/mount?

4x4JeePmaNthINg

New member
figure Ill ask you guys before I find myself in a pickle.


Ive been toying with a long arm for a while and thus far. Im kinda liking the idea of something like the Clayton 3 link crossmember and building my own arms for hopefully saving some coin, and something fun to do.

the speedbump Im curious about is adding a press in johnny joint to the diff mount and building the upper arm to fit this, vs clayton welds a giant 3/8 bracket to everything on the pumkin.

Does anyone have a similar set up and do you think there would be enough separation to clear the driveshaft to use the JJ?
 

bajabronco

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I know that with the Clayton kit they move the actual axle mount position over some more toward the center of the pumpkin, maybe that helps with stability? There might also be some concern with all the torque going to that one cast piece on the axle housing.
Out of curiosity, why are you deciding to go with a 3 link vs a 4 link ? Are you doing an engine swap and something interferes with the 4th arm ? Or are you just looking to save $$ and not spend money on the 4th arm? You could always look into just buying the 4 link cross member from someone like Ironman - https://ironman4x4fab.com/ . or the link brackets from Stinkyfab http://www.stinkyfab.com/sfr-jeep-xj-cherokee-long-arm-brackets/ . I am big proponent of the stability that a 4 link provides, both on and off road.
 

4x4JeePmaNthINg

New member
I've talked with a few vendors on 4 links. Truly I would prefer this set up, but many of them have said I might need to modify exhaust to make the 4th link work.

I have the means to weld and cut but I have no way to shape exhaust so its just not for me. saving money is also part of the 3 link thought as far as diy arms. The cast mount also seems like a good bit for strength for a 3 link.

Expense wise I had a mind of what if I built my own cross member, but cost wise it hasnt been cheaper than a pre designed x member. SFR is awesome, but I like other platforms that use more length of the control arms that better level ride geometry. I'm not building a buggy nor draining the bank so Ironman is out hahaha. ultimately this is an effective goal to get away from fixed short arms and maybe to 35s, or at least a bit more lift on 33s, that would all be decided once Im able to adjust the arms.


I cant argue a 4 link is more secure, but I havent read anyone mention stability for 3 links, you have me curious?
 

Heavyopp

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I like to build my own stuff too — it rarely saves money if you account for your time

That being said, I bought a 4 link setup from Ironman this summer — at the time I bought it I thought it was overpriced - even at the sale price — add the shipping and it gets even worse

Once I got it in hand I realized what I paid for — the pictures do not do his work justice — beefy is an understatement — the lower arms or “beams” are hard to explain without seeing and holding them

Anyway, I get where you are coming from — design and build to make you feel like your saving money — in the end it’s more about you made something yourself, full custom — problem is we aren’t getting any younger — takes me more time to design and build than I actually get using the stuff I’ve built

You just need to decide where your time is better spent — it’s only money...
 

SlowXj

New member
I run the iro 3 link on my beater Cherokee and it is just as stable on road as my clean stock xj. With that said I only have a 3.5 inch lift. The iro kit does rely on the cast mount and I have had no problems in 2 years. The upper arm does have 2 bends in it to clear the floor at full stuff as well as the pinion yoke.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

smokeyyank

Jeepoholic
NAXJA Member
I've talked with a few vendors on 4 links. Truly I would prefer this set up, but many of them have said I might need to modify exhaust to make the 4th link work.

I have the means to weld and cut but I have no way to shape exhaust so its just not for me. saving money is also part of the 3 link thought as far as diy arms. The cast mount also seems like a good bit for strength for a 3 link.

Expense wise I had a mind of what if I built my own cross member, but cost wise it hasnt been cheaper than a pre designed x member. SFR is awesome, but I like other platforms that use more length of the control arms that better level ride geometry. I'm not building a buggy nor draining the bank so Ironman is out hahaha. ultimately this is an effective goal to get away from fixed short arms and maybe to 35s, or at least a bit more lift on 33s, that would all be decided once Im able to adjust the arms.


I cant argue a 4 link is more secure, but I havent read anyone mention stability for 3 links, you have me curious?
Really there hasn't been anyone that can truly say 4 link is more stable than 3 link. It really boils down what can you fit, what is your preference but above all how you build it. Each set up will have inherent differences based on what your doing. One of the nice things about a 3 link is that it's easier to mount the links where they'll fit, as opposed to a triangulated 4 link where the position of the mounts provides the amount of triangulation.
 

SlowXj

New member
Purely from a mechanical engineering standpoint, 3 link vs 4 link without triangulation with the addition of a panhard bar shouldn't make a difference. As they would have the same degrees of freedom. This isn't taking into account the very small amount of triangulation on the upper links though... As I don't think that would be enough to add anything to the pot.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

RCP Phx

New member
I wanted to add that I thought about removing one upper arm or making it "wristed" but I never found a reason to motivate me to do so.
 

Evan03

New member
Exhaust is easy to rout. By enxspensive shorts bends off ebay. Or just cut 22deg pies out of straight pipe to make bends. Alittle bit of welding but makes routing easy. Tack it all together remove then finish weld. Looks pretty damn cool to and is truly custom
 

4x4JeePmaNthINg

New member
:looney: lol this whole bit has me curious about redoing the down pipe, or map gas and bending out the dents, idk lol.

I found a good deal on goatbuilt JJs+tube insert/jambnut combos. Im trying to price out tube, be it square or DOM. Thus far one local distributor says it comes in 17ft length, w.t.h.? much more than I need...

I would prefer 2x .250" square lower tubing, 1.5x.250" DOM upper link, JJs and a 1/2" bolt cast mount press In JJ.


Im not sold on a cross-member, but I do plan on welding it to frame stiffeners one day.

still researching, Ill need more tubing qoutes to know whether ill get a better deal on pre built or not. Ruffstuff has a dom package at 186$ in 3ft sections. they have other cool deals, but im not interested in heims really, DD and all.

the :read:search goes on
 

4x4JeePmaNthINg

New member
well ive gotten some qoutes back. square tube is about 1/4 the cost of DOM so that make my choice easy.

as far as the upper link goes, does anyone advise against a square tube upper?
google says its 33% stronger, but I dont know in what way.
 

VAhasnoWAVES

New member
whats the cost of square tube?

after bending 2x1/4 DOM control arms on my last jeep... personally id just order aluminum links for WOD. for the cost and labor time making links? its worth the convenience and strength.
 

VAhasnoWAVES

New member
if you are going to do a 3 link, the upper does all the controlling of the axles rotation, and sees a lot of forces. you need a hard joint at the axle (hard joint at both ends actually) like you mentioned. but if you want to use the stock casting vs welding on a truss you can buy a threaded clevis for the upper, i found a few with a quick google search.

https://www.extremeterrain.com/steinjager-studded-clevis-front-upper-control-arm-pair-9706-tj.html
http://www.stinkyfab.com/jeep-upper-link-clevis-ends/
 

4x4JeePmaNthINg

New member
yeah I planned on using this for the cast joint: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cur-ce-9112m2?seid=srese1&gclid=CjwKCAiAxMLvBRBNEiwAKhr-nLJrFuVqQt5Bvi33kKQb2Z_QDaBUPfHMdcvLIVmHTLDsc09bz6Lg-xoCQkcQAvD_BwE

its the 1/2" upgrade from the 7/16.


I havent found too many clevis for the upper arm (sfab is more than a JJ????),maybe ill make my own. I planned on a JJ at all arm ends, mostly because its still a DD and I like the idea of JJs having a tad more give then heims.

I do want to add a truss, just not one that buries the cast mount, that makes no sense unless its required for separation, which I still need to find out if this will work without a raised mount.
 
Top