Joined: Sun Nov 19th, 2017
Reputation Points: 179
|12° North Industries wrote:
My end goal is to do a SAS, I would hate to spend a bunch of money on a whole front end, just to scrap it when I am ready to do the SAS in the front. I don't do hard trails, Just washes in the desert. The sand gets deep. The trail I ran, 99% of the time I have done it in 2wd without issue. heck when I had my jeep patriot I did that trail a bunch. Just for what ever reason, this time, the sand was SUPER deep in that one area. Once I got out I could see where at least one other person had to dig themselves out not 20 feet from where I sank in the sand. I am kicking myself for not taking some pictures.
With respect, your stock IFS is better than a stock solid axle in terms of handling and ride comfort, but just not as good when it comes to durability or wheel travel. Once you start talking about upgrades to either system or what you convert your own suspension to, all that goes completely out the window. If you think there's anything about maybe going a long travel IFS which will make it ride better than a solid axle or even a stock IFS setup, you may not understand what you're asking about. Unless you're building a specific ORV rig, meaning a full on desert racer or rock crawler to trailer to location, the daily grind of ride quality or control is entirely a function of spring rate and shock valving; SAS will get old really quick. Handling is a function of those things and suspension architecture. Wheel travel is a function of suspension architecture. All a long-travel setup will do is change your suspension architecture - it will give you more wheel travel, it will change your handling for better or worse depending on how you do it, and it will have no effect AT ALL on ride quality.
How low you can sink the diffs or frame in the sand/mud, If you really consider the logic in it, you will only find other ways. More difficult albeit due to confidence in "not getting stuck" and eventually find a way or manage to get stuck in the future. And if that was with SAS then, now what? SAS wasn't the answer was it?
So - if you're breaking CV shafts, you need a solid axle.
If your CV shafts are strong enough but you're bottoming out your suspension, long travel might be a good upgrade.
If you aren't hitting the bumpstops and aren't breaking CVs, then neither a solid axle or a long travel suspension will be any improvement in any category, and you again need to ask and answer the question what do you want from the truck?
Define that, and we can give you better advice.
Your stock truck can handle 99.99% of what you say your asking of it just fine, you don't need to upgrade anything in order to go lots and lots of very cool places. So define what you need from the truck that it isn't doing now, and you'll have a much better idea of what modifications you need to make.
4x4 leaving you having to dig out once or three times a year is a matter of having some better recovery options. I know some aren't cheap by any means or become complicated in purchasing due to needing other modifications or larger ticket items in connection with but buy yourself a set of even MAXTRAX and you would have been out in 20 mins most likely by yourself.
For better ride quality, leave your IFS alone. This is why the industry is constantly offering new tire designs, suspension systems, shocks, control arms, springs, recovery gear, winches, MAXTRAX, snatch/tow straps, recovery points, even that shovel on the rack, etc... At some point investments in such items just make it easier in recovering yourself faster so you're not wasting time and you're enjoying the outdoors more.
Although personally, any mild catastrophe shy of breaking things always makes the trail runs more interesting and in a weird way, fun. Maybe its because we're out with the fellas and sometimes the ladies too and when we setup camp, get the fire going, food cooking and the beers passed out its a story to talk about and in future conversations. If its too easy of a run, were you really out wheeling anyway? ;-)
I used to drive an XJ, which had solid axles. I'm perfectly fine with driving a vehicle with solid axles. it does 99.9% of what I'm doing TODAY. Eventually, I would like to go to a v8, 35" tires, solid axles, etc. again, this is not a daily driver. It is a toy. I would like to do more difficult trails, Like I used to do in my XJ. I currently have small kids (my youngest is 3years old). so I won't be doing anything till they are a bit older. as it is I have to lift the younger ones in and out of the truck.
My thing with sas, is I didn't want to spend $800+ on going to a live axle setup when I plan on ripping that all out eventually. I'm OK with spending $150 on some manual lockers in the short term.
I was headed out to my favorite shooting spot. Got a new gun, had a few hours. Kids were taking a nap, Wife was working on project, would have been home in time for dinner. Getting there requires a short drive on this, normally very easy, trail. Normally I bring all my recovery gear. I got complacent which is 100% on me, and didn't bring anything with me. I used to have a jeep patriot, and often drove this trail with 0 issues at all. I've been down this trail a dozen times or more, never engaging 4wd. I think it is simply because of the recent rains have washed the sand in the washes into banks that were soft and much higher than they usually are, changing the aspects of trail I was normally very familiar with. I've honestly never had to actually dig myself out before. I have had to resort to using my come along once, but normally... I'm much better prepared. This is 100% on me. but also my 4wd SHOULD have worked, and it failed me as well.
My old XJ:
and my patriot: