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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #1
coolkak12
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Default Best Long Arm Upgrade For an XJ

I'm looking for a good long arm upgrade kit for my XJ. I'm really aiming towards going with the Clayton kit. Although it is expensive, i want something i am going to be happy with and will never have to replace (aside from bushings and such). The Clayton kit seems like it would be the best one because of the 3 piece crossmember. Having the ability to remove the front axle without needing to support the transmission with a floor jack would be nice.
The other kit that I was looking at is the BDS Long Arm Upgrade. I am a big fan Of BDS products but i dont know anyone that has purchased or even heard of anyone else that has purchased this kit. That leads me to be a little sceptical about it. Another thing is I dont know how a TRUE long arm setup will flex compared to the standard radius arm setup.
I am really looking for some input and peoples opinions about these long arm upgrade kits, and any other ones i dont know about yet that would be comparable. My XJ sits about 7-8" lift right now with 33" BFG's, Ford 9" rear with 4.56's and a short arm Rusty's lift. After the long arm upgrade it will be getting lifted to around 10 to 11" of lift and ride on 35-37" tires. Also Building a 350 SBC and 700R4 to put in it. I dont know how the aftermarket crossmember will work with a completely different transmission. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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i would say sell that 350 and stick too the good ol 4.0 it's going to be a pain in your ass to put in correctly for the small gain you will get. power wise the 4.0 is close enough too not do it.

and the clayton kit is a sexy thing. I've read lots of positive things about it and nothing negative I don't think. just keep your springs and shocks and buy the arms and crossmember. it's reasonable that way.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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i like the clayton kit, and thats the one im leaning towards, but im open to anything. after the long arm its getting the rusty's 8.5-9" coils and the 35 dollar AutoZone special chevy drop shackles. i've still got the oem shackles in it.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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In my SBC XJ, I'm going to build a trans crossmember that will be separate from the factory crossmember in case I end up doing a long arm, it won't be in the way.

The shop I work for has been a BDS dealer from the beginning. I've done a few XJ long arm kits with no complaints from any of them.

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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsjunk View Post
In my SBC XJ, I'm going to build a trans crossmember that will be separate from the factory crossmember in case I end up doing a long arm, it won't be in the way.

The shop I work for has been a BDS dealer from the beginning. I've done a few XJ long arm kits with no complaints from any of them.

My build.
SBC XJ
That is the same thing i was thinking about doing to mine. I just had no idea if it could work. never seen it done. I do like the one piece crossmember from BDS simply because you can still drop out your control arms and still have it bolted to the uni body.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #6
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I was going to mount the new crossmember on the inside of the frame rail leaving the bottom open for the long arm crossmember. I may have to rework my exhaust but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Anything is possible, dream it, do it and screw what everyone else thinks.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #7
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that could work. you can make anything work with a good enough welder. besides the clayton and BDS kits, are there any others that also incorporate a crossmember into the long arm setup? i havnt really found any thing else. I just want to look at all of my options before i buy something out of impulse.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Trailmaster uses one for theirs but they use a radius arm set up.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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I helped install a BDS kit on a an XJ not to long ago. Saw it in action the other day and it works fantastic. Loved everything about it other than the crossmember was 1pc so any trans work will require pulling the front end also. The links are great and the arm material is very heavy duty. Drives great on the road as well.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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well, this morning i did a lot of thinking and i ordered up the clayton kit. I got talked into it by a lot of people who have bought/used/ seen it in action and love it. Can't wait till it comes in and gets installed!
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Old March 31st, 2012, 07:49 PM   #11
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i have the clayton kit and i love it. my rear is chevy 63'' leas but im only on 6''lit with 36's
my build thread
My 95 xj 2 door build - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest
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Old April 4th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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I guess I'm a little slow since you already ordered, but I have almost 10 years on my Rusty's long arms and have had zero issues with them.

Adapting my trans/long arm crossmember to my 4L60e (700R4 will be similar) is one of the easiest things I have ever done. A piece of 1/4" drilled and mounted to the stock location. About 4" in front of that I used an off the shelf trans mount from Advance to bolt to the transmission.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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This morning the Clayton kit came in. Very impressed on how well built everything is. Everything is very heavy duty. Installation shouldnt be too bad to do. Maybe a few hours and a case of beer. I'm glad i'm not the first person to do a long armed xj with a SBC. will update and post pics of installation and flexing afterwards asap.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolkak12 View Post
I'm glad i'm not the first person to do a long armed xj with a SBC.
Far from it. The LS swaps seem to be more common lately, but V8s have been going in XJ's for a long time.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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i finally got the long arm kit on after a lot of procrastination. I got the long arms done the day before the jeep blessing. And it was well worth it. Absolutely love it. The jeep rides so much better down the road now and has a lot more flex. Just need longer shocks now...
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