A much-argued debate in the off-road community by truck owners is which type of axle is better - solid or independent? It can provide more front end clearance in some instances as the front wheels have greater articulation. Suspension lifts also become more complicated.
The added arm length equals added wheel travel. Ground clearance is determined primarily by tire size, not by suspension type. Racing, JD Fabrication, Mazzulla, PRG Products, Pure Performance, and Total Chaos Fabrication. It’s time for a modified IFS. It really does depend on your individual off-road truck, as some offer better axle setups than others. IFS systems have more joints that need lubricating and protecting, so the axle boots on your off-road truck can wear out or be easily damaged. This custom 2WD frontend was built by Tony Sato at Currie Enterprises, and is found under the neon-green XJ seen flying in the following photo. While IFS weaknesses are usually factory-installed, the same can be said about solid-axle strengths. Campbell’s KOH buggy uses a Currie F9 IFS differential. 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. Yes, we’re talking about wheel travel.
For this story, we’re sticking with 4WD solid front axles and A-arm-style IFS. By and large, solid front axles have a lot of built-in strength right from the dealer lot. Of course, you do have to be careful that your frame doesn’t hit the ground at full bump! Off-roading experts do seem to agree that IFS is the preferred choice for sand racing because it’s more responsive and does give a better ride at speed. Bolt-on IFS long-travel kits typically bolt to stock A-arm mounting points. No go-fast party, solid axle or A-arm, is truly complete without a set of bypass shocks. They are considerably heavier than IFS due to those cast iron differential housings. The Ford Twin Traction Beam front suspension has its own merits and demerits, but there’s not enough room for a three-way comparison. It turns out that almost every swipe against A-arm IFS has to do with a factory-delivered suspension. “Driving a Jeepspeed, you have to be ready for each bump,” Chris Nissley told us. A housing that flexes often allows the ring and pinion to become misaligned and possibly break while the flexing is going on. This is the higher-tech suspension option for sure. Some IFS also have less durable steering setups and use torsion bars that get in the way. Unlike solid front axles, independent front suspensions (or IFS for short) allow each wheel to move independently ofeach other. A solid axle inherently can’t achieve as much bump travel as an A-arm system.
Ground Clearance The A-arms are built from scratch, the lowers created from TIG-welded 4130 plate and the uppers from CNC-machined aluminum. It turned out that the only things Jeeps needed to go fast were the right build and the right mindset. Solid Axle Versus IFS: Which One's Better. The other potential problem with an aluminum differential housing is fragility in the face of sharp rocks. You’ll find IFS long-travel kits to be quite a bit more expensive than drop bracket lift kits. Remember the part about most IFS weaknesses resulting from factory designs?
The Nissley Racing XJ Cherokee enjoyed several seasons of Jeepspeed racing before recently going to a new owner. © Copyright 2019 Fab Fours. The other IFS problem in the photo is the dinky diameter of the factory tie rod. All in all, IFS systems are considerably more complexthan solid axles. 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. Portal axles (think Unimog or H1 Hummer) are the exception to this, but that’s another story. Everything on the front of Mark McMillin’s 2003 F-150 Supercrew 4x4 was designed and built for no-compromise performance. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. EXPOSED! If you’re looking for a clear-cut winner, this story’s subheading should be a giveaway. First and foremost, we can address something that historically seemed to always limit IFS rigs, and became a favorite arguing point for the solid axle crowd. There are many supporters out there on both sides, each claiming their axle is superior to the other in many ways.
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