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.
This kit looks great, I’m anxious to install one.
Hey Jason, if and when you do, I’d be grateful if you could send me pics and keep me posted as to what you think of it.
The kit looks awesome. I have on order an 07 unlimited rubicon. Hopefully should receive in April? I’m very interested in the system. Just curious to its capability and overall reliability. I contacted Rancho suspension and spoke with one of there technical rep’s and to my suprise he didn’t have any “hard dates” for when the system will be available. The new shocks on the system are too not yet available. So, if anyone has any inside info regarding availability etc. I would love to be informed. Vincent
That’s odd. At SEMA, they were quite sure that it would be available by the first of the year. Well, I know they needed to figure out a few more things like redesigning the rear truss and maybe they’re still working on it.
If I find out anything, I’ll be sure to let you all know.
Hi Eddie, Thanks for the reply. I think the biggest problem with the new system is that rear truss….for that matter the whole rear reversed Y-link. If I hear something before you I’ll let you know. If you go the Rancho’s web site. They actually have a stock reference number for the system (RS6508B). One thing is for certain. I have a new jeep on the way…and will be increasing my ground clearance. Hopefully, with there system? Other systems I’m looking into are the long arm systems from either Rubicon Express or Fabtech….if either do eventually come out with one? Again, thanks. Vincent
Yeah, the biggest problem I see with the rear truss is gaining access to the rear differential. I see no easy way to do this. As far as the reverse tri-link goes, I’m still not sure how this will all work out and or how it will effect the pinion.
Regarding Fabtech, I know people who have their long arm kit on their TJ and say the ride is terrible. I have also seen the rear tri-link break both arms under normal use. Based on this, I would not consider their kits on my JK.
As far as RE goes, they actually do already have a long arm kit although it uses radius arms in the rear. The solution makes sense but I’ll be honest and say that I am skeptical. But, I’m sure time will tell whether or not my cynisism is warranted or not.
Eddie, thanks for the info on the Fabtech system. I haven’t seen or heard of any tri-link breakage issue’s here in south Texas…however in defense I’ve only seen a couple of there lift systems. Well with that bit of info…I guess it will be between the Rancho sys and RE. Will have to wait and see when the Rancho system comes to market then compare. Vincent
I think Rancho may have knocked the ball out of the park with this one..the spherical composite rod-ends are alot like Range Rovers old set up, and a little like fords use to be..I can not wait to see if this really works, I just got my Rubicon 4 door this last week…any news on a snokel Kit? Donson