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Well, I've spent 60 hours this week searching this site (I'm off work hurt at the moment).

When I got out of the scene a couple of years ago, everyone was hunting flex. The two coolest rigs that I've ever seen (tim hardys and the fireant TJ) both have "OK" wheel travel. Neither are ramp champs but both WORK.

Have people become too obsessed with flex???
 

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Overrated, Maybe. Usefull, definatly, depending on what your running. Your going to get alot of different answeres from people defending why they did 'this' instead of 'that'. (I can see the arguments already :eek: )

My rig is going to be alot more flexy than stock when done, thats for sure. But with that said, I wont be anywhere near as flexy as a compitition rig, or even some of the people like Rudezuke and AZRockcrawler. I need to build a more all around rig for what I can run, I have mud locally ( :mad: ), and I have to travel at least 5 hours to get to rocks, but I do that as well. I am trying to balance alot of factors in my design, I hope it works out.

So to your question.......'flex obsesion?' Yea some are obsessed with it. Flex is good, but there has to be some big trade offs at some point.....(high speed trail running, cornering stability at moderate speeds, ect...) but hey I am no Expert in this. It seems to me that so many want flex 'couse the other guys have it' when its not nessary.....sounds trendy huh....

Hmmm keeping up with the Jones' in the wheeling world :rolleyes:


I hope I didn't piss any of you off, but I am sure I did....:flipoff2:

But hey, its just an opinion for what its worth...from a newbie at that :rolleyes:
 

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I think it all boils down to the old saw "off-roading is different things to different people". It's all a function of what you want to do.

In my case, I want to build stuff that will be as competent as possible without losing too much on-road performance. I'm not interested in trailering; I want to be able to drive my truck long distances and not be white knuckle the whole time, especially loaded up with gear and the family.

This kind of implies a practical limit of about 1000 on a 20 degree ramp from what I've seen (purely emprical wild ass guess).

My truck does around 700 or so now. I'll try to tune it higher when I get back at the truck but that has been than enough flex for my purposes - we just don't have the terrain that exists in the SW USA, and to be brutally honest I'm not sure if I'd want to drive that kind of terrain anyway.

I need to get my lockers installed before I do any tuning though (shelfware!!!).

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Super flexy suspensions are more complex, therefore require more maintenance and more $$$ to build and run in the long term. I like parts that are easy to find and cheap.

Also super flexy suspensions seem to be a disadvantage where I am. We have more hill climbs than any thing. Super flexy suspensions let front end rise and rear squat increasing the chances of flipping backward. We have very little use for a 600:1 crawl ratio, because you have to keep your tires spinning to clean them out. Also the flexy rigs tend to hop and bounce more when spinning. There is a law of diminishing returns on flex, and around here there is such thing as too much flex.

Coil overs are a whole different story, I don’t know much about them, but they seem to incorporate the good traits all around, opposed to Q-ellipticals, m-link, and other custom set ups. Leaf springs are tried and true, super simple to work on and modify, not much to go wrong.

I’m sticking to leafs for now, and I’ll see how much I can get out of them.
 

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Uphiir said:
Well, I've spent 60 hours this week searching this site (I'm off work hurt at the moment).

When I got out of the scene a couple of years ago, everyone was hunting flex. The two coolest rigs that I've ever seen (tim hardys and the fireant TJ) both have "OK" wheel travel. Neither are ramp champs but both WORK.

Have people become too obsessed with flex???
Is gearing overated? Is tire size overated? Is HP overated? Your local terrain will dictate how much of the above is needed. Get out there and see what works, then build it and have fun. IMO a well designed rig with lots of flex will go more places with less damage than a rig with less flex (all other things being equal).
 

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Re: Re: Is wheel travel overated???

Azrckcrawler said:


Is gearing overated? Is tire size overated? Is HP overated? Your local terrain will dictate how much of the above is needed. Get out there and see what works, then build it and have fun. IMO a well designed rig with lots of flex will go more places with less damage than a rig with less flex (all other things being equal).
Well said chris, i couldnt agree more!!

For some a spoa on 31's with a 4:1 case and some lockers is all they need to get where they want to go.......Hell i started there!

But there are always bigger rocks, ledges and different places you want to go....Your rig will tend to grow with your skills and needs of driving it.

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Re: Re: Is wheel travel overated???

Azrckcrawler said:


Is gearing overated? Is tire size overated? Is HP overated? Your local terrain will dictate how much of the above is needed. Get out there and see what works, then build it and have fun. IMO a well designed rig with lots of flex will go more places with less damage than a rig with less flex (all other things being equal).

Chris,

While I agree with your basic idea, the original question was whether or not flex is overated. And since there seem to be quite a few guys that think massive flex is more important than gears, tires or HP, then yes, I would say that flex is overated.

Not that it isn´t needed. Not that it isn´t good. Just that it´s overated..........

;)
 

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i still can't buy into the big flex game... yea i've got coliover's, but they're stubby's! all my leaf spring rig's have been fairly rigid, but well balanced and super stable, who care's if you lift a tire as long as you're stable? my CO'd buggy is teh same way, it's stiff, low amount's of travel, and work's almost flawlessly :D
 

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You only need as much as what you want! Like everything there is not simple answer, the guys above answered it well.

I simply enjoy it a technical goal, something you can design for. Some people like the horsepower game, some like quarter mile, whatever you like.

Ken
 

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It all depends on the trails you are doing. But if flex is required on a trail, then its better to have it than not. Sure you don't need it for mud or hill climbs , but each truck is built fro a different purpose. Someone who runs mud or dunes isn't going to build a flexxy rig.

When is flex needed? When you need to split the difference between front and rear axles travel to keep the body as level as possible. Non flexxy rigs will roll with the shift of COG.

just my 2 pennies worth :)
 

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Too much of anything (except maybe land and money) will get you into problems. That said, let me explain.

When a vehicle has no flex but has 2 lockers, it wil go most anywhere. BUT you have to put up with the see-saw/rocking motion and lots of balancing before the corner with lots of air comes down to earth again.
On the other hand, if you have a flex monster that hardly lift a tire in the boulder fields, you may end up with stability problems.
The key is to get a good balance of flex and stability. If you can flex it up good, but you don't have much contact pressure then it doesn't do you much good.
There is a guy in my local club that wheeled for years with springs so stiff that he could lift a tire on a high curb... but he knew that if a tire was touching the ground he had solid traction. There are others that (when flexed up) you can grab a tire and lift it about 6 inches, showing how little pressure the vehicle was actually exerting on the ground.

Balance... :D
 

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Flex has nothing to do with traction. its about ballance, COG .
A well ballanced flexy rig will out wheel any stiffy:flipoff2:
 

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Terrain is an important key, as noted. You don't need coilovers to run mud. Most rockcrawlers, however, have a decent amount of flex.

Coming from the rockcrawling field, I believe 'flex' is of the utmost importance. Having wheeled a rig with almost no wheel travel (stock SPOA with nearly zero flex), I feel that a severe lack of flex is dangerous. I had numerous occasions when a wheel stand nearly dumped me over. Having a pair of lockers helped to aid in traction, but as many noted, there should be a balance.

I changed my suspension to longer leaves that added more 'flex' (YJs). I am very happy now. With front missing links, I have more flex than I really need, but I am happy with the set-up. The rig feels much more stable on the trail, and it doesn't feel tippy on every rock I go over.

I guess everyone has an opinion, and that is mine. I don't think there is any need for a rig that will ramp 1500 on a 30* ramp, but I also feel that 'flex' is needed to a certain degree. I personally feel that zero flex is dangerous. My $0.02. ~Steve
 

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i think the key thing to keep in mind is the law of diminishing returns...

it wasnt to long ago that guys were running the rubicon in almost stock cj5's onn 31's with all train tires and a limited slip in the rear. they thought they were geting it awn...

now a days it seems like every one thinks that you have to have huge amounts of travel. i personaly call bull shit.. yes a decent amout is good, but so many people are going to such soft springs, and not balancing the rig well, that the rigs ramp well, but dont do as well as they could with just a little more thought.

personaly, i think that for 98-99% of the zukes out there in the real world (not competion) they would be well served by a basick yj spring over. that alows an easy 12" or more travel out of each corner, but its still stif enough to be driveable, and stable. ad a pair of lockers and some gears and some one with even meager driving skills ought to be able to do atleast 95% of the trails in the country.
 

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Just to add to the .02 cents....

I agree with most of the above posts as well. Seems to me that the key thing is to have a well balanced rig that is set up for the primary type of wheeling/driving you plan on doing. I'm on my 5th samurai and I personally have continued to progress towards more flex/travel with each rig. That is due in part because I've moved several times from areas in the southeast where it was all mud, to the great NW where you have mud and rocks. I'm tired of mud and wheel primarily in rocks now.

I do think that it should be re-iterated that lockers and gears should come before a flexy suspension. A rig flexed out with poor balance and no lockers WILL NOT get over that rock because of the low contact pressure where a less flexy, stiffer rig with lockers and 3 tires on the ground will get over that rock.

Plan the rig for your use and build it accordingly. Flex is getting overrated when speaking in general terms, but when it's talking about a well balanced, well built rig that is run primarily in rocks, then no, it's not overrated.
 

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Uphiir said:
Well, I've spent 60 hours this week searching this site (I'm off work hurt at the moment).

When I got out of the scene a couple of years ago, everyone was hunting flex. The two coolest rigs that I've ever seen (tim hardys and the fireant TJ) both have "OK" wheel travel. Neither are ramp champs but both WORK.

Have people become too obsessed with flex???
I think alot of people here are obsessed with tim hardy
I cant read s#!t on here without hearing about tim hardy I am not impressed...:flipoff2:
 

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I was getting ready to make a statement like,
“Damn, I can’t believe I agree with everything post on this thread”

But a very sarcastic thanks goes to kd7srj for throwing some idiocy into the mix and ruining our “hey were all agreeing little party”:flipoff2:

and no one said "search" either :flipoff2:

Good debate post newbie
:flipoff2: welcome :flipoff2:
 

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Re: Re: Re: Is wheel travel overated???

billj said:



Chris,

While I agree with your basic idea, the original question was whether or not flex is overated. And since there seem to be quite a few guys that think massive flex is more important than gears, tires or HP, then yes, I would say that flex is overated.

Not that it isn´t needed. Not that it isn´t good. Just that it´s overated..........

;)
I got the original question, I think your changing it by adding the word "massive". Flex is as important as tires, lockers and gears. Note I didn't say more important. Maybe a picture would help.

Here's Fred Swanson going thru a crack on Upper Ajax, it was a moderately challenging trail several years ago. Notice how nice and level his rig is. He's locked, gears, etc but sports the first YJ S/R suspension sold to the public (to the best of my knowledge). He continued on thru without picking up a tire.




Here's me, SPOA with stock rears up front, CJ's in the rear. Notice how I am tipped a little more due to the CJ's not stuffing as well as YJ's. Having some good flex up front kept the front tire (and CG) down. I did pick up my front tire a little on the climb out, maybe a foot high.



Here's Gordon, stock spring under, I didn't get the picture in the same spot as the other two but he had the rear tire in the air before trying to climb out and getting to this point. A little more flex would have made this much less dangerous. Just think where his CG is with the whole front end several feet higher than the rear axle. He did make it (used his rear bumper as a tripod) but like I said, all things being equal, flex is just as important as tires, gears and lockers.



I'll agree that "massive" flex is just silly, having a balanced rig is much more important. As a side note I tried to think of a single rig I had come across in the last 6 years that had massive flex but no lockers, gears or crappy tires. I am drawing a blank.
 
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