Originally Posted by Bones
I STILL do not understand why people are concerned about unit bearings and ball joints. Buy good products and they will hold up.
13 races on the 4400 buggy and I replaced exactly 0 unit bearings (I even ripped the knuckle off the axle and the uni bearing was fine). I DID replace the balljoints twice. Once was preventative maintenancebefor KOH, and the other was after landing in a washout which sheared my knuckle off (mentioned above).
Not to mention my tire/wheel combo is about 144 lbs per corner...
also as mentioned, rock solid has an awesome high steer kit that really isn't that expensive.
For what you are doing your setup should be fine. As for strength of kingpin vs. balljoint I believe them to be comparable. The only benefit of kingpin for me is the cheaper price of highsteer and aftermarket components (plus I have kingpin 60 parts up the wazoo in stock already)
Now, as for unit bearing vs. rebuildable, there is a great difference, and that is the long term wear that you would not see on your buggy. From an engineering standpoint most unit bearings are weaker because they are much narrower from bearing race to bearing race internally. Thus the taller/heavier/wider wheel/tire combos put more stress on them that they would on wider race rebuildables. Day to day driving with big tires can eat up unit bearings fast.
Another big difference is water and mud, which on a trail rig is always a concern. Heavy mud and water fording will push contaminants into the hubs, no matter what the design. A little grease is alot cheaper than new bearings.
With all that being said I am swapping a unit bearing Dana 60 into the Excursion with 37 inch rubber, eventually. So we'll see how it holds up!