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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it is somewhat related....Just wanted to share my thoughts on the strength of a well built Independent Front Suspension.

The Axles I used to run on these FWD drag cars took a severe beating. Not only was the traction much more than an off road vehicle, we were running similar diameter tires(28"-33"). My first car was close to 700HP, and the second car was over 1000HP with Nitrous. Initial impact on the drivetrain at the start line was tremendous. A two step ignition Rev limiter held the turbo boost at 20psi/300+/- HP. Tourque had to have been a few hundred ft.lbs.

There will be Axles to support 35" Tires with a Hemi and 4:1 transfer case reduction.



Here are a few pics of the custom IFS with HD axles.



Tires:
 

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Looks nice except I think someone put your motor in sideways. LOL
 

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Is it really the lack of strength that off-roaders don't like about IFS? I always thought it was because of the lack of articulation - reaching out for the ground while its way up in the air.
 

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Is it really the lack of strength that off-roaders don't like about IFS? I always thought it was because of the lack of articulation - reaching out for the ground while its way up in the air.
You are also correct sir. The traditional Ball joints are normally the limiting factor on IFS. But with a little Fab work and some Heim joints/extended range Ball joints, I have a feeling we will see much more of this in the future.

Example1:

Shannon Campbells IFS Rock Racer....SANS AXLES:







 

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I think a lot of the push against IFS is from the traditionalist that sees the solid axle as the only option. I agree that it is nice to be able to have more feet on the ground, but I think that - as you have shown - IFS can be just as capable in offroad conditions. In fact, I think IFS could be MORE capable if it were developed to be.

However, I think that in a few years, the IFS argument will be moot. When the all-electric Wranglers come out with independent electric motors for each wheel - the suspension could almost be made irrelevant. If the motors will have power regardless of their distance from the body, the only limiting factor in articulation on an electric Wrangler would be how much you are willing to pay for the longer parts to keep the wheels attached to the frame.
 

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SORRY,

i like IFS only in 2 situations, Baja, and on the street.

the rest of the time it sucks.

its squeaks all the time, parts a weak, and on the commander, there is no option for a front locker.

i'm going for a JK D44 front and rear when i have saved enough pennies. i want real lockers and real gear options.
 

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I think it all comes down to how hard you wheel your vehicle and what type of terrain you are wheeling your vehicle on. During the previous trips to Rausch Creek Off Road Park I have had no problems running the trails with IFS. However, I definately agree that it would be nice to have the articulation of a SFA. I highly doubt that anyone is going to come out with a SAS for the Commander so maybe we can look at getting a Long Travel IFS lift!
 

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making the long travel arms is the easy and inexpensive part.

coilovers = $$$$$$$
mounting = $$$$$$$
long travel CV axles = $$$$$$$

Take that all into consideration....

yep still cheaper to run a straight axle. more reliability in a straight axle. more strength, no screwed up camber issues. no need to jerry rig spacer lifts.

i could really go on for days why i hate IFS.
 

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No IFS, ANDS, or BUTS.
 

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making the long travel arms is the easy and inexpensive part.

coilovers = $$$$$$$
mounting = $$$$$$$
long travel CV axles = $$$$$$$

Take that all into consideration....

yep still cheaper to run a straight axle. more reliability in a straight axle. more strength, no screwed up camber issues. no need to jerry rig spacer lifts.

i could really go on for days why i hate IFS.
Well I thought you already said that it wont be possible to do a SAS on the XK. I mean we can sit here all day saying how much better it would be with a SFA but if we cant do it then whats the point.
 

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it can be done. it'll take some major work as far as exhaust.

is it worth it time and money wise?

Time, probably not.

Money, for me yes. i'd rather have a solid axle. i would never sell it as a kit. most people would not be able to pull it off.

i use my commander off-road about once every two weeks. my trips are usually over 10 miles off-road with lots of boulders. my front end sucks. its making lots of noises now. i have replaced just about everything i can.

i plan on JK axles. they come stock with 4.10 gears, electric lockers and they will work with the stock ESP and ABS. they have the same sensors. i'll use the stock JK steering box and mount it to the frame with a new plate that matches the frame.

i only plan on running 33" rubber. i really don't need any thing taller to prove anything. i want to stay streetable.

it may or may not be worth it. but i really do not care. i have the motor i like and i like everything else about my commander. i can build and design the brackets i need for the swap.
 

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I know there have been several people who have done SFA conversions on the liberty with good results.
 

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Any fabricator can attach mounting points to run a solid axle under an XK. Hell, pay me enough money and I'll consider doing it for you. It may take significant reinforcing of the unibody, but it can be done.

IFS is flawed for crawling purposes. When suspension compresses, ground clearance goes to garbage. A solid axle at least keeps things at or above the wheel centerline...with IFS, the skid plate can move significantly below the centerline of the wheels.

Stock IFS is inherently small and weak. Just take a look at your TREs and BJs some time. This pics in the first post don't really support the argument that IFS is great. The extremely small size of the links in the pictures clearly shows that the stresses seen in offroading are not present in that vehicle...probably largely because of differences in weight. Also, a race car won't see high torque situations with the wheels turned full to one side (4LO doing a complicated hill climb). A racecar also won't see the extreme suspension flex while under torque that an offroader will. Also, try to run a fulltime locker with any IFS setup...see how long your CVs last.

IFS is good for 2 things offroad...road ride and 2wd baja (when beefed up).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Any fabricator can attach mounting points to run a solid axle under an XK. Hell, pay me enough money and I'll consider doing it for you. It may take significant reinforcing of the unibody, but it can be done.

IFS is flawed for crawling purposes. When suspension compresses, ground clearance goes to garbage. A solid axle at least keeps things at or above the wheel centerline...with IFS, the skid plate can move significantly below the centerline of the wheels.

Stock IFS is inherently small and weak. Just take a look at your TREs and BJs some time. This pics in the first post don't really support the argument that IFS is great. The extremely small size of the links in the pictures clearly shows that the stresses seen in offroading are not present in that vehicle...probably largely because of differences in weight. Also, a race car won't see high torque situations with the wheels turned full to one side (4LO doing a complicated hill climb). A racecar also won't see the extreme suspension flex while under torque that an offroader will. Also, try to run a fulltime locker with any IFS setup...see how long your CVs last.

IFS is good for 2 things offroad...road ride and 2wd baja (when beefed up).
I agree with most what you are saying. The torque seen by the race cars in the first pictures are very extreme situations, and I wanted to show that axle strength can be acheived. Anyone can fab up some beefy arms, but the axles are key. The axles in the race cars saw more initial torque than most IFS off road vehicles would ever see. Both cars had spools.

I guess this was a bad idea for a thread. Kinda like discussing what color is better for the Commander. It boils down to your application, wallet and determination.

wish I could just delete it now.
 

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the unibody is pretty strong.

the "frame" rails under the body is 3/16" thick. its an excellent plat form to build off off.

i'm planning on a long arm radius arm style for the front. it will leave enough room for exhaust clearance and driveshaft clearance. i may have to relocate the battery to the passenger side or up under the back somewhere for the steering box.
 

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So, what happens to the IFS/Solid axle argument when each wheel has its own electric motor? Does it change anything?
 

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Well...if you can beef everything up strong enough, I suppose it does. With electric motors on all 4 corners, will they be set up properly for low end torque and wheeling. Current serious wheels have choices of gears, dual transfer cases, etc to attain very low geared crawl ratios. Having an electric motor on all 4 corners and IFS is pretty sweet though...no drivetrain issues to figure out.
 
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