Too much flex??? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 11:13 AM
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Too much flex???

I was off-roading with some friends this weekend and I finally got to see a Jeep with a Old Man Emu suspension. I have heard lots of great things about the kit and seen some great pics of what the suspension can do and the thing rides like a dream, but....it has TONS of body roll. You could literally take the jeep and rock it from side to side and completely compress the springs just by rocking it!!!

So I got to thinking that I would prefer having a little stiffer suspension that something that incredibly soft(Of course I have the stiffest with Pro Comp). What does everyone else think, have any of you seen where someone had too much flex?? I did read the article in one of the mags recently about the flex issue but I wanted some real world opinions.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 11:31 AM
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Re: Too much flex???

Try National springs. They are a little stiffer than OME but have a great on road ride. I am a suzuki owner so I dont know alot about aftermarket springs for Jeeps,so correct me if I am wrong.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 11:40 AM
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Re: Too much flex???

The National setups that I have seen use a bunch of thinner leaves rather than a few thick ones. This is the way to go for control
and articulation.

Brad (from the 4 Wheeling center of the universe, 4 corners USA)
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 01:40 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Some valid points raised in the replies, but I think this still skirts the original problem.

No matter how many leaves you use, or how thin - a by-product (so to speak) of soft springs that flex well is body roll.

If you make the spring soft enough to compress when 4 wheeling, you have also made the spring soft enough to compress in many other situations both on & off road.

I have seen quite a few vehicles that could ramp over 1500 on a 20 degree ramp make it no further off road than my Toy that ramps just under 1000.

As a personal rule, I want to get my Toy to ramp just over 1000 on a 20 degree ramp. From what I have seen, anything more is just wasted flex - and usually wasted money in tweaking as well.

I also like to keep one end of the vehicle stiffer and with less flex than the other. What this does is lets me always know how each will react. For example, right now my rear springs do not flex all that well, but the front maxes out my 9012's on droop & compression - and could do more. What the stiffer rear springs do that when on an obstacle I know the truck will basically stay with the action of the rear, more than the front. Knowing this, I can adjust where I place the rear tires to keep the body at the angle I want.

If both front & rear suspenions were as soft & flexy as the front is now, I would always be guessing which end had the least force on it, and which end the body would stay alligned with at that moment.

This may not make sense, but ask anyone with a Hummer and they can agree. The Hummer may not have lots of travel, but the suspension allows the driver to always know how the body will react at any moment - and this is part of why they are difficult to roll.

Hope this helps, or stirs up some other responses[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

David
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 02:21 PM
 
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Re: Too much flex???

Dam,,,,, and all this time I thought it was because the Hummer was wider than most 4x4's are long!!!!!!! But that still doesn't keep them from rolling.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 03:21 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Okay, interesting statements David. Now why are you going to a custom, high flex rear suspension then? Not that I disagree with anything you wrote. I know many owners of rockbuggies here in AZ that have 1/4 ellipt rear suspensions, etc. They can ramp over 1000 on a 23 degree ramp and many of them can get over 1000 on a 27 degree. What I notice is that these vehicles have an awesome amount of flex but don't do any better on most obstacles than I do. My truck only ramps a 776 on a 23 degree ramp but the wheelbase seems to more than make up for it.

For instance, on most trails my friends and I run, my friends' highly modified Cj7s and Cj5s and Tjs that ramp 1300 or so on the same 23* ramp actually lift tires more than my 104.5" wheelbase Toy that ramps a measly 776. Is wheelbase the only reason? There hasn't been anywhere they could go that I couldn't b/c of a flex problem. In fact, the body roll some of them get is bad enough they can't complete a section of trail b/c the body/cage is leaning into the opposing rock wall and they just can't physically clear the obstacle.

Now, having said all that, I'd still like to get more flex. (It really makes your pictures look cool[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]). But I think there IS a definite point of diminishing returns here. I don't know where that point is, but for each vehicle, there is this point. Another thing to really ponder is how much MORE OFTEN my friends' Cjs and Tj would lift tires were it not for the massive amount of flex they now have? In that case, I'd have to say all their hard work and modification has really paid off.

I don't pretend to have any answers here; just some observations from what I've witnessed.
Sean

post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 04:01 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Sean you basically stated exactly what I wanted to know.....what is the point of diminishing returns??

Example....OK so I have a stiff suspension and I lift a tire, who cares if I have lockers right?? I mean don't get me wrong flex and keeping the tires on the ground is nice and I hope to achieve that when I go SOA in the next month, BUT some of the crazy suspensions I see just gets me wondering........any more opinions??

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 04:14 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Well, actually I keep flip-flopping on whether to do the rear suspension or not.

I came up with a way to lock the suspension in place when either articulating or on the street. The device I came up with would only work with the V link rear, but could actually be used similar to a sway bar in the rear.

Anyway, the custom rear suspension would honestly be more of a "neat" factor than anything else.

The reasons I gave is exactly why I haven't done that suspension yet in the rear - I am finding that the way it is now is more predictable - something that seems to mean more & more to me...[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 05:43 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Could the body roll be controlled with adjustable shocks, ie. RS9000's, and an anti-sway bar? I've been considering OME springs too because my wife can't take the off road pounding of some of the stiffer suspensions. I once had a 2.5" Rancho kit, with RS 5000's, and it rode somewhat like the proverbial lumber wagon.

post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2000, 06:17 PM
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Re: Too much flex???

Yeah you can control the body roll with track bars, sway bars, and GOOD shocks. I would definitely go with Rancho 9000's....The vehicle I saw with the lift didn't have track bars, so I am sure they would stiffen things up a bit.

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