You Can’t Go Fast With a Solid Front Axle

• The Currie F9 IFS center section measures a mere 14.5 inches wide from axle face to axle face. We’re showing custom aftermarket tie rods here, but most solid front axles come with tie rods much, much thicker and stronger than their IFS equivalents. Want ultimate go-fast off-road performance? How’s this for going fast and flying high? Repairs are more complicated with IFS, while it’s pretty simple to switch out a damaged solid axle. • Traditionally, IFS setups didn’t allow for much wheel travel, as the CV axle joints and rubber boots do not take well to extreme angles from the front differential. A solid axle setup can improve traction over big bumps and hills as well as gain more torque from the differential as there are fewer parts that power must transfer through. When the Jeepspeed racing series began, many thought the term “Jeepspeed” was nothing short of an oxymoron. Ultimate IFS? Long-arm suspension kits, such as Off-Road Evolution’s Double Throw-Down system seen on this ATX Wheels JK Wrangler, offer greater strength and increased wheel travel thanks to re-configured suspension mounts, and longer, stronger suspension links. A much-argued debate in the off-road community by truck owners is which type of axle is better - solid or independent? For rock and hill climbing, solid axles are more durable and have slightly better traction; however, IFS may offer just a bit more ground clearance.

If you’re just after tire clearance or are on a tighter budget, a drop bracket IFS lift kit is the answer.

Bolt-on IFS long-travel kits typically bolt to stock A-arm mounting points. Getting significant suspension travel out of a 4x4 A-arm system has historically been challenging because the stock front differential was so wide that the A-arms and CV shafts couldn’t be built to a significant length without incurring a silly-wide track width in the process.

The factory frame is long gone in front of the firewall. The added arm length equals added wheel travel. This leads to a higher chance of needing to repair the axles and it is a more complicated job to do such repairs. In many cases, upgraded steering kits are available from these same companies, replacing the weak stock steering parts with stronger aftermarket offerings. The biggest draw for IFS is that it offers a more comfortable ride than solid axles and in a lighter package. A Word about Un-Sprung Weight Extended CV shafts span the new distance and retain full 4x4 function. By and large, solid front axles have a lot of built-in strength right from the dealer lot. Unlike solid front axles, independent front suspensions (or IFS for short) allow each wheel to move independently ofeach other. A speedy solid axle rig doesn’t have to be completely custom built, but it still has to use the right combination of aftermarket parts. Resources | Sitemap, A Reputation For The Highest Quality And Design. Stock front differentials are retained. 4WD 24-7 397,640 views

You’ll find IFS long-travel kits to be quite a bit more expensive than drop bracket lift kits. They are considerably heavier than IFS due to those cast iron differential housings. The added control means added safety and confidence. There is, however, a fundamental difference in the type of ground clearance you get with a solid-axle versus A-arm frontend. The other potential problem with an aluminum differential housing is fragility in the face of sharp rocks.

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