Even though Rancho only had one Jeep JK Wrangler on display at SEMA 2006, it was without question the one Jeep JK Wrangler that everyone was talking about. Sitting on top of 4″ competition coils, high articulation long arms with spherical composite rod-ends that are extremely durable, quiet and self-lubricating (an industry first), front and rear track bar relocation brackets, a new forged drop pitman arm, front sway-bar quick disconnect links and a stunning graphics wrap, the official Rancho Jeep JK Wrangler was truly an amazing sight to see. However, what really got people gawking and talking about this particular JK was the decision by Rancho to use a radical reverse tri-link design in the rear.
While there’s nothing new about the use of a tri-link and plenty of reasons to use it, the location of the gas tank and emissions equipment underneath the Jeep JK Wrangler had made it problematic to incorporate one without having to do major modification. And, ultimately this was the reason why Rancho decided to design theirs to extend down from the rear cross member as opposed to extending it down from the center of the frame rails as is done traditionally. Of course, this design immediately raised a few eyebrows in the Jeepin community and begged the question, how is the pinion angle affected under loads, braking conditions or under extreme axle travel on the trail? And, from what I’ve been told, these concerns have been addressed by “moving the axle back a bit to correct the way it sits”, using “fine tuned” springs and engineering components specifically designed for this application using Solid Works. Need I say, I’m really eager to see this thing put to the test both on and off the trail. Ultimately, that’ll be where all the questions being asked will get answered.
If you’re interested in this long arm suspension system, you should know that the factory control arm brackets will need to be cut off your Jeep JK Wrangler’s frame rails and that the factory muffler will need to be relocated or replaced as well (a kit is scheduled to be released by Dynomax in the near future). Otherwise, the Rancho 4″ Long-Arm ROCKCRAWLER System will be a complete bolt on kit that will get you sitting on 35″ tires, increase your JK’s articulation and give you a score of 1000 on an RTI ramp. Being that this is Rancho’s very first attempt at a long arm kit, I’d have to say that they’ve really out-done themselves – good job Rancho!
The Rancho 4″ Long-Arm ROCKCRAWLER System and it’s more basic short arm Sport System version will be available for sale by the end of the year.