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  #1  
Old 08-06-2001, 11:31 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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New Lower Rear Control arms on the market!

Custom made market that is.

Today I received via UPS 2 custom made lower rear control arms to replace my Rubicon Express long arms (the ones that are not supposed to bend or tweak).

Just a few weeks back, a good jeeper friend and myself were discussing over the telephone the shortcomings and problems of different suspension lifts. Conversation ended in where I asked, and he offered, to build a set of arms that I would not bend. I advised him to take no prisoners (no shortcuts) and build the arm as he would for himself... well he did.

I would like to take this time and personally thank Blaine for the outstanding job he did on those arms along with Jack from CTM. Blaine, thank you for your efforts and all the running around you did to help me with these new long arms. Let me stop here as you might need a new hat size if I keep on writing.

Arms have not been tested. By just looking at the quality of the welds, design and the biggest bad ass heims I've ever seen... they look to be indestructible.

If any one wants to see any pics of these arms, let me know and I will post them at a later date. Please don't ask how much they were as we took no prisoners.

Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2001, 12:05 PM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Jim,
I, for one, would love to see them. Are you mounting them to the belly pan a la RE or a custom frame mount?

Thanks.
Seth

sethmark@pacbell.net

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  #3  
Old 08-06-2001, 12:11 PM
TObject TObject is offline
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Do they look anything like this?
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2001, 12:33 PM
Ace! Ace! is offline
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I saw the heims and steel Blaine had for making them some time back. It looked like they would be very nice. Congratulations.

Áron O'Proinntigh is ainm dom
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2001, 03:22 PM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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Jim's are a version of those on Garry's jeep. We made a few upgrades for the more extreme forces encountered with the longer leverages of the longer arms.

The diameter is the same, it is now heat treated to about 40 Rockwell. Not hard enough to be brittle, but hard enough to be tough. There is only swaging on one end for the 1 1/4-12 threads of the aircraft grade rod ends, the other end is a 4130 sleeve to accept the standard RE long arm Clevite bushing.

I had an exceptional welder attach the two together for me, and he did a nice job with the tig torch. I have no doubt these will exceed any demands that Jim can place upon them.

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  #6  
Old 08-06-2001, 03:48 PM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Very cool. Love to see them.

I'm going to make a trip north this week... Got time to have a beer?

Seth

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  #7  
Old 08-08-2001, 04:33 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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Enclosed you will find pics of the lower rear custom arms.

Have not installed them yet due to available time. Clearance of the heim on the stock skid bracket worries me a bit as it seems a bit close due to the size of the heim as compared with the slightly smaller cartridge female end of the RE arm. I'll find a way to make it work if the outer part of the heim rubs on top of the bracket.

I do have one complain with regards to this product... there were no installations instructions included in the box. It is amazing what some people will go through to save a few pennies.




Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
JJB@worldoversea.com
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2001, 04:57 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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Seth,
Forgot, I'm very satisfied with the RE skid the way it has performed and will continue to use the skid with the attachment arm points.

Whenever I decide to change the clutch or do any service to tranny or TC, I will take this opportunity to install the new 3 piece plate. The 1/4" plate seems to have handle anything I've given to it so far.

Has anyone seen the new 3 piece plate, how does it hold up as compared to the one piece?

Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2001, 06:10 AM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Seen it? I have it installed. Its a WONDERFUL addition to the kit and works perfectly. I can now get to my guts in under 5 minutes... compared to the hour it used to take.

No issues with flex or toughness.

Tightey Whitey World
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2001, 06:53 AM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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Jim, I won't discuss cost here, but we are good at arms and very poor at instructions. It would take us twice as long to write them and they would cost twice as much as the arms. How many sets would you like?

What's the issue with the clearance on the rod end? Is the forward bracket boxed in at the top?

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  #11  
Old 08-08-2001, 08:18 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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Blaine,

Install instructions would save serious time for the occasional scenic off roader on figuring out where the 2 bolts go on each of the control arm brackets. Was not aware of this insensitive side of you and price gouging abilities on written instructions.

Btw, like we discussed, I plan to put them in at the end of the month. With regards to the clearance issue of the heim. No biggy if it rubs a little, if it's more than a little, slightly shaving off the top of the box bracket should be sufficient if it's more than a slight rub without worrying about the strength integrity of the bracket.

Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2001, 08:50 AM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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It's not gouging. It's time. I can make arms in less time than I can write instructions.

btw- if you need instructions, maybe you should consider a different hobby.

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  #13  
Old 08-08-2001, 09:22 AM
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Well Blaine, I think you opened yourself up to a question or two . How easy is it for you to make arms, and at what costs? Can you make arms that are similar in price or better in quality as some of the available aftermarket companies, and are you willing to make arms for people?

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  #14  
Old 08-08-2001, 09:37 AM
TObject TObject is offline
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Let me jump in. How easy would it be for an individual to make a light switch out of metal sheets and some plastic granules? If you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it For people like me and you, it is better just to go to Home Depot, and buy the switch for 79 cents, sure, it may be not as durable and exquisite as custom made, but it works.
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2001, 10:04 AM
TJRON TJRON is offline
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What the heck does "being able to afford it" have to do with Jeepin'? Eh?
Jim,
I'm good at writing instructions so I'll help poor Blaine out on this one.
_______________________________________
_________________________
Super Duty Control Arm Instructions
_______________________________________
_________________________

#1. Remove old control arms......
#2. Install new control arms......
___________________________
________________________________________

Nothing to this stuff!
Your welcome,
Ron
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2001, 10:06 AM
Ace! Ace! is offline
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I hear you TO, I'm asking because Blaine says it's easier for him to make them than write instructions. I don't know how hard it is for him to write instructions. If the guy works in a light switch factory or has the equipment at home for making light switches it's probably easier than going to Home Depot and spending $0.79. I'm wondering if it's easier for Blaine to build them, and more cost effective, and if he wants to. Just like the Seals deal. Is it easier to have Seals build a CO2 package or buy a $300 PowerTank...depends on what you need and who knows you. It's no big deal, I'm just wondering, and if Blaine doesn't want to build them for people and if they're expensive I'd like to know and it won't hurt my feelings at all.

So Blaine, do you enjoy building $0.70 light switches that cost $0.79 at Home Depot, or was it an experiment that you wouldn't do again because benefits don't outweigh the cost/time for something you can get elsewhere for less, that will outlast what most of us will do with them anyway?

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  #17  
Old 08-08-2001, 10:36 AM
TObject TObject is offline
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There is no way somebody can make a single light switch at home from scratch, for less than Homo Depot sells it. I think those arms are not for you and me. Not until one of us breaks at least a pair of the strongest arms that are available on the wide market.

Let’s use the big O notation. I think Blaine can make better arms for cheaper, if we are talking about single units. How about Skywacker, if they put an order for 10,ooo.oo arms to a factory in Honk Ong, there is no way Blaine can compete with that.

How many Skywacker Doupleflex arms have you personally broke or severely damaged? If you damaged less than two, I’d say go with Skywacker, and use the saved money to go to a Caribbean vacation, or something.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2001, 10:42 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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Ron,

Thank you for your valuable install instructions... this is exactly what I was looking and expecting out of Blaine. I won't hold anything against him as I do understand that some of us have certain weaknesses.

Ace,

With regards as to when you need something custom or not and is it worth the expenditure. Every one of us have different ways of wheeling with regards to as how far we are willing to undertake certain obstacles or our vehicles. You can try what has been proven that is out on the market and see how far that takes you for the type of wheeling you do (.79 switch). If it does fine great, if it does not than you have to ask your self if you are willing to back off to the point of no more breakage according to your style of wheeling.

If not, you then have to come out with a formula that will be the easiest on your pocket for the long run. Do I continue to buy 2 RE arms at $300 a pop (this goes for any other piece of equipment), or do I pay the piper now and be done with it. Yes, funds can be a limiting factor, and if it is, than you must back off, or wait till you have it to do what is best for your pocket on the long run. If we can not do this than we must alter our style of wheeling to continually avoid breakage.

Below you will find a pic of East coast traction coming up a hill that has been eroded that unfortunately you can not see the back section on this pic. Think of those 38" tires up in the air, spinning, coming down and doing a hold to pull you over the top. The dark color difference of the ground is run off since it had been raining all day.



Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2001, 10:44 AM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Funny thing about Skycrapper... ever notice that their silly 'double flex' arms are identical to the ones the Rubicon Express STOPPED making years ago?

The reason is b/c 2 heims on the same arm cannot handle the stresses of daily driving. The bushing wears and the heims get loose.

The recirc ball that currie and RE use now are a much better, better wearing design.

Not to slight heims... they work wonderful in trail rigs, but fail on daily drivers.

FYI

Tightey Whitey World
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2001, 11:55 AM
TObject TObject is offline
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Seth, just don’t tell that to my daily driver. I think those rod ends Skypooper uses will last longer than anything else on the jeep.
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  #21  
Old 08-08-2001, 12:15 PM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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Not to offend... just the finding that RE had when they used that type.

LOTS of worn heims...

Tightey Whitey World
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2001, 12:48 PM
TObject TObject is offline
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All I can say is that RE probably used wrong Heims.
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  #23  
Old 08-08-2001, 03:26 PM
William William is offline
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Some times the experience gained in building something out wieghs the cost of it compared to normally available items.

Sometimes, you have to think, that perhaps, the most durable, heavy duty item on the markette, is really, not needed for the way you wheel.

It's ok to say "My jeep can't do that" because in reality "YOU wouldn't do that".

This is a concept that is hard to accept sometimes, as we would all like to have a bullet proof jeep.

But if you KNEW you would NEVER EVER leave the street but wanted a lift for looks.. would you buy a long arm kit and all the whistles or simply some spring spacers.. and save the money for polish.

What alot of people need to do is this:

Stop:
Think exactly what you WILL DO.
Disregard what you "might one day do" (which is never)
And research/build towards that end.

It tooke me a lot of pride swallowing to do this, but I"m glad I have patient friends who help me think of these things.

R/
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2001, 03:51 PM
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I think you make a good point William, and there are also plenty of people riding around on 31" tires when they'd be happier with 33s, or people that have bought plenty of things and done plenty of mods and are now riding on 33s when they would have made significant differences to what they'd have spent their money on originally and would now be on 35s (but of course right now they're enjoying the Rubicon ). People definitely have to be realistic about what they want to do with their Jeep.

I thought I asked some decent general questions, but it seems they've generated a lot of additional posts that seem to be saying I don't need the arms Blaine built, that I can get good enough for less $. That may well be the case, but I'm still interested in knowing how easy/difficult it is to make arms, and at what costs? Are the arms similar in price or better in quality as some of the available aftermarket companies, and whether Blaine is willing to make arms for other people? Based on those things I think it would be rather easy for me to determine if they are worth their price (whatever that is). I just have some general questions, I can figure out whether they'd be right for me (although, I don't even know if Blaine would build more, and not that I'm asking him to build me some).

Thanks.

Áron O'Proinntigh is ainm dom
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  #25  
Old 08-08-2001, 04:22 PM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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Here is a quick rundown on what a set of 4 identical replacement arms would cost for Sergey on his jeep if I built them to be near bulletproof. (we'll leave the durability of the rod ends out of this discussion)

tubing...............80.00
rodends.............896.00
heat treat..........150.00
swaging.............150.00
machine and thread..125.00
powdercoat...........60.00

total for 4........1461.00

How many sets would you like? I will build as many as you or anyone else orders. Bear in mind that these are just the costs of the different processes and I will have to add in a 25 percent builders cost to justify my time. There are other costs involved that the 25 percent will help cover. One of them is the very expensive taps and drill. That comes to around 350.00 dollars just for those. Good for around 20 sets of arms, so divide that into 20 sets and figure that in also.

The bottom line here is that if you can afford custom, you rarely ask how much. Not picking on anyone, that's just the way it works.

Begin to have an understanding of just how economical most manufacturers lift kits really are?

As an aside- Seth, the reason we went with Skyjacker is because they have a lifetime gurantee on their rod ends. They do wear and I think if you could do some research and get truthful answers, most worn rod ends are from trailer rigs. Sergeys are just fine, I checked. Mine wore out a couple until I figured out that the trailer straps were trying to stretch out the suspension.

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  #26  
Old 08-08-2001, 04:34 PM
William William is offline
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I learned that exact thing when ordering a few custom knives a few years back. A person would think that they should be "cheaper", but, in reality, there is some economizing in the larger coperattions that we can't get.

R/
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  #27  
Old 08-08-2001, 05:21 PM
TJRON TJRON is offline
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I go through this all the time with my wood working. People will ask if I can build so and so from a catalogue. Sure says I, how many do you want? The first one will cost 4 times as much as the catalogue but by the time you get to 40, I might be able to make them for close to the same price. Oh, you wanted a finish on it also? That's extra.
I make wood things for my friends all the time, but only if they can't buy it in a store! I never charge for my labor as I would insult myself by charging less than $5 an hour and my friend would think he got screwed!

I'm sure Blaine takes on a project like this for a friend and sees it as some what of a challenge. Put a $ on his time and wow! I can only imagine the time spent running around, research and God only knows what not! He's making something for a friend that his friend can't buy.

BTW, Blaine you should make Jim a automatic seat riser so he can see where he's going when he gets the front end up like that! For those that haven't wheeled with Jim, look at his picture again, that's his position of choice! Jim, got any body damage yet? Haha! Just busting your balls a bit.......
Ron
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  #28  
Old 08-08-2001, 07:49 PM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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You laugh Ron, but in fact I have a nicely machined set of aluminum seat risers in the garage. You never know what you will find in my garage.

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  #29  
Old 08-09-2001, 04:08 AM
Jim B Jim B is offline
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Dam it Blaine, you are really getting me upset! You are giving out all the custom secrets that you have so graciously offered to make for me! I'm surprised you have not told anyone about the automatic block leg extenders so that I can reach the pedals when the seat riser engages!

Ron,
Since you saw the red TJ I've only added a small dimple above the rocker toward the back on the driver side. Driver's fender seems to straighten out fairly easy every few times. I can actually say that I've faired ok out of all the crazy stuff I do, unlike yourself of course. I still have dreams about you switching out my hood for yours. Btw, never mind trail and drivetrain repairs, does April know how much you spend on fixing body damage? Please forward her email address.

With regards to the talk about cost. To add in what I wrote earlier in determining for yourself what will be best for you and cost factors over the long run. I tend to agree with Sergey and Blaine on cost. At no time when Blaine and I were discussing the building of these arms there was a definite price discussed or put on them. I speculated how much they were going to cost but that is as far as it went. Sometimes your speculations can be under or over your estimations, but if you have to ask or put down a firm number on something you have decided that you need... you might as well not have them built.

Trust and fairness amongst both individuals is very important, if you don't have this formula it will not work. The person that offered, and you choose to build, should have the knowledge, be fair enough with you, without you taking advantage of his time & his own pre personal funding. The person (you) who is having them built should be ready to assume the monetary responsibility upon receiving the final figure, not causing any hardship on the builder which had been out of pocket from the start of the project. Analyse well before you give the green flag to someone.

Jim B.

97TJ El Niño, Mods listed on Web Site.
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  #30  
Old 08-09-2001, 07:11 AM
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Well, that seals the deal then. I'll write up the instructions for $730.50, only half of the cost of the arms (more than 50% less than Blaine).

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