Long Arm vs Short Arm Lift Kits

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Last Updated on July 3, 2022

The confusion between the long arm lift kit and the short arm lift kit is not new. That’s why I am here. Today, I will be talking about both Long Arm vs Short Arm Lift Kits in detail. 

As an off-roader, you will be facing so many trails. Obviously, all the trails are not the same. You may not find even a surface in some areas. Uneven surfaces, especially the area where large rocks exist is definitely a problem. It is tough to pass the rocks without facing any obstacle. What can keep your vehicle safe from this situation is good ground clearance.

The ground clearance means the distance between your vehicle and the ground. An adequate amount of clearance will keep the undercarriage of your vehicle safe. So, if you think the ground clearance of your vehicle is not up to the mark, you can take help from a lift kit. By installing a lift kit, you will get some extra height.

Long Arm vs Short Arm Lift Kits

Why Do You Need A Lift Kit?

Before moving into the core section, it is better to know why you need a lift kit. You will be able to have a better understanding.

Well, the suspension system of your jeep may provide you with excellent riding and handling on tough terrains. But in some cases, this suspension may not be good enough. In order to improve the capability of your jeep, you have to upgrade your jeep suspension system and you can do it easily by installing a lift kit. 

As a result of installing a lift kit, your vehicle will have improved ground clearance. Without it, you will find better wheel articulation. Moreover, installing a lift kit will improve your approach and angles of departure while going over the obstacles. 

Short Arm Lift Kits Vs Long Arm Lift Kits

1. Short Arm Lift Kits

Short Arm Lift Kits

The short arm lift kits are less expensive and easy to install. This type of kit is usually attached to your jeep’s factory control arm. There is no need for any fabrication or welding while going through the installation process. You will find everything that you need to install the lift kit such as sway bar links, shocks, brakes, coils, line extension with your lift kit.

By using a short arm lift kit, you will be able to lift the suspension up to 3.5-inch without interrupting the ride quality. If you want to install a larger lift kit, then you will be needing some aftermarket accessories such as drop brackets. It may result in reducing the ground clearance.

There are downsides of a short arm lift kit too. You will not be able to enjoy enough smoothness while riding on the pavement. Because the short arm translates short wheel travel length that ultimately increases stress on your vehicle’s suspension constantly by pushing it up and pressing it upward with every bump. Rather than enjoying an up and down gentle motion, you will receive choppy movement with a lot of rattling and shaking.

Pros

  • The price is affordable.
  • The installation process is much easier.
  • Enhance the wheel travel and ground clearance.
  • Updating from a short arm lift kit to a long arm lift kit is possible.

Cons

  • Provides bumpy rides on sealed roads or paved surfaces.

In short, the short arm lift kit is the perfect option for you if you want to lift your suspension not higher than 3.5 inches, are not your daily driver and you wish to have plenty of rock crawling.

2. Long Arm Lift Kits

Long Arm Lift Kits

On the other hand, the long arm lift kit is more pricey compared to the short arm lift kit. This type of lift kit is famous to jeep enthusiasts. The long arm lift kit uses an elaborated control arm that attaches the backside on your vehicle and requires more space to lessen the arm angle and make stock-type geometry resemble. As a result of this improved angle, you will be able to enjoy a smoother ride than a short arm lift kit provides.

If you wish to lift your vehicle suspension about 4-inches or higher, then the long arm lift kit is the option for you. Installing this type of lift kit is challenging. Because you need to take off the previous control brackets and weld on your new one at the same time and you have to replace suspension parts and so many drivelines. It is recommended to take help from an expert to handle the fabrication, welding and installation.

There is a downside of the long arm lift kit too. This type of lift kit may get in touch with rocks while crawling as the control arm remains hanging down. You will not face this problem with the short arm lift kit.

Pros

  • Excellent ground clearance, articulation and wheel travel.
  • Offers better riding even if the trail is challenging.

Cons

  • May get caught on rocks often.
  • Price is higher for both purchasing and installing.
  • Complicated and harder installation requires fabrication and welding.
  • After installing a long arm lift kit, it is nearly impossible to switch on the short arm lift kit suspension.

Simply if you need a lift kit to have 4 inches or higher ground clearance, then the long arm lift kit is the perfect option. Apart from that, it will provide smooth ride quality. This lift kit is an ideal pick for having a lot of quick off-roading over tough terrains.

Which One Is Better?

Well, it is your requirements or needs that will tell you which one to get among the short arm lift kit and long arm lift kit. You should go according to your needs. Moreover, you have to make sure that the lift kit you are bringing is compatible with your jeep. It is important to get the suitable one. In this case, you can discuss it with an expert.

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About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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