The IFS vs SFA Thread

jimbo92

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Solid axle and ride good eh? Toyota had that covered in the 90s.
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Jalisurr

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Sorry Jalisurr I was not trying to call you out, more specifically the comment of tradeoff between ride and strength, I see it a lot in there not just from you. Please don't take it as an attack on you.

I see it differently, …….. I feel the Bronco should have at least an option for SFA because they are always saying this is not just another SUV it is going after Wrangler's piece of the pie Its an off-roader. So it should have a low cost. high strength option for the guy that wants that. Then the mainstream getting what it wants a nice ride, they don't need a locker. OR ...…...… they build a compromise between ride and strength so why not compromise some towing for a better ride. I bought my TJ because it was an off-roader not because it had a nice ride. Only time will tell if Ford can pull it off, but here again other things can make up for losses in certain areas.

the chair thing is just a joke that is why I only talk about it here.
Yeah, no worries, I didn't take it as an attack. I should use more emojis :)

I do admit I get a little defensive against the people (not you necessarily) who insist SFA is the only way the Bronco can possibly be successful...we already have the Jeep Wrangler, let's try a different formula for a 2 door off road SUV rather than just making a blue oval badged wrangler. Nobody make an IFS 2 door SUV right now, and higher speed off-roaders are very hot at the moment, see the Raptor + ZR2 sales success and the fact Jeep came out with the Mojave. There are more facets to off-roaders than just slow speed rock crawling so I also get a little defensive when people say that "SFA is better for an off-roader". It isn't about comfy ride for me, it's about being able to have a vehicle that is in control at speed on rough terrain.

At the end of the day, going after the Wrangler's piece of the pie doesn't mean going toe to toe with it in the rocks, it means going after their main market and coming out with a vehicle that has a similar off-road rugged image to sell to the masses. They can do that without building a hard-core rock crawler, and are probably smarter to do that. If they went toe to toe in the rocks, and came out not being significantly better than the Wrangler, what's the point? Whereas if they give a different spin on it, and end up with a better rounded vehicle as a result, they'll probably be able to win over more people.

Ideal world everyone has the vehicle they want. For me the vehicle I want is essentially a new Pajero Evolution, or a 2 door SUV Raptor, and that vehicle doesn't exist right now. I'm certainly not trying to say you're wrong for wanting more rock crawlers in the world...I just hope the Bronco gives a different option for me :)
 

OX1

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Cost is very complicated, in my experience with Superduty SFA can still be VERY expensive to fix/maintain, at least when you do it according to OEM standards. Granted it is cheaper to do most common modifications, I am not convinced it is much cheaper from the OEM, if it is, it is easily outweighed by other attributes both on and off road.
Be a lot easier cheaper for me to swap in a better SFA if one was already there.
Just the steering with a R & P stock, would be a lot of "fun".

Your going to have to show me this IFS (full aftermarket, I don't care) that fits in the front of the new bronco
and will hold up to the same abuse a factory axle (I would do RCV's, but that would be my only mod), designed
for an engine with over 1000 ft-lbs of torque and weighing 7000 lbs., will? I don't think you can fit enough metal in there.

And once you get that done, you still have full custom parts, where I just go down to ford or wherever to get
stuff for one of the most common axles in the country (say 100K per year approx F250/350 4WD's sold??).
Same reason I have zero worries about my 2.7 EB no matter how hard it is pushed in a fusion, when
it was designed for 1/2 ton usage.

Full Floaters!!!!! We're getting a Full Floater SRA!!!! ..................... just kidding, but it would be awesome if we did and that would definitely be a feature that would help the BroncoBronco overtake the Wrangler.
Technically I guess IFS wins that one, all "full floaters" :)
 

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Be a lot easier cheaper for me to swap in a better SFA if one was already there.
Just the steering with a R & P stock, would be a lot of "fun".

Your going to have to show me this IFS (full aftermarket, I don't care) that fits in the front of the new bronco
and will hold up to the same abuse a factory axle (I would do RCV's, but that would be my only mod), designed
for an engine with over 1000 ft-lbs of torque and weighing 7000 lbs., will? I don't think you can fit enough metal in there.

And once you get that done, you still have full custom parts, where I just go down to ford or wherever to get
stuff for one of the most common axles in the country (say 100K per year approx F250/350 4WD's sold??).
Same reason I have zero worries about my 2.7 EB no matter how hard it is pushed in a fusion, when
it was designed for 1/2 ton usage.
Again, I am mainly talking stock, for which the comparison is completely reasonable. The real point you make here is that the steering would be more difficult for you than if the Bronco comes with IFS. That is true, those are the types of things I revived this thread for.

If you start talking aftermarket, not only can I build something basically as robust (with lots of effort mind you) There is no way on Gods green earth that your simple 1-ton axle swap can do anything more than what YOU want it to. So regardless of IFS or SFA there is some significant effort required by all parties to get where we eventually want to be. Also I would be a bit nervous steering a 1-ton driveline with a dinky rcb gear, would it be fine for low speed turning and most general off-roading? Probably, but if I do anything "right" i'd like to do it all right. Heck, you would have to be using some custom parts or adapters to use the stock steering, I wonder if anyone has ever operated a draglink off the opposite side of a r&p gear? as long as we're talking non-ideal steering. (That might actually work as a starting point for a long travel TTB set up)
 

OX1

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Again, I am mainly talking stock, for which the comparison is completely reasonable. The real point you make here is that the steering would be more difficult for you than if the Bronco comes with IFS. That is true, those are the types of things I revived this thread for.

If you start talking aftermarket, not only can I build something basically as robust (with lots of effort mind you) There is no way on Gods green earth that your simple 1-ton axle swap can do anything more than what YOU want it to. So regardless of IFS or SFA there is some significant effort required by all parties to get where we eventually want to be. Also I would be a bit nervous steering a 1-ton driveline with a dinky rcb gear, would it be fine for low speed turning and most general off-roading? Probably, but if I do anything "right" i'd like to do it all right. Heck, you would have to be using some custom parts or adapters to use the stock steering, I wonder if anyone has ever operated a draglink off the opposite side of a r&p gear? as long as we're talking non-ideal steering. (That might actually work as a starting point for a long travel TTB set up)
Well, show me this killer IFS in detail that fits in the stockish, new bronco locations, because that's what you do to get a 1 ton in a heep
(or would do if Bronco already had a SFA).

In my case, would not be bothering with a 3 or 4 link if I swapped, just long radius arms and track bar, so I really only need 3 mounts and 2 of them are way back on the frame, so choices are pretty open/easy.

What "dinky" rcb are we talking about?
 

TeocaliMG

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Well, show me this killer IFS in detail that fits in the stockish, new bronco locations, because that's what you do to get a 1 ton in a heep
(or would do if Bronco already had a SFA).

In my case, would not be bothering with a 3 or 4 link if I swapped, just long radius arms and track bar, so I really only need 3 mounts and 2 of them are way back on the frame, so choices are pretty open/easy.

What "dinky" rcb are we talking about?
I think a proper triangulation would be the best comparison for a quality upgrade but regardless, even in your case you are talking about some significant hardpoint changes, as you should. As for IFS, I don't NEED to do fabrication, but I will because its better. In both cases hardpoints should be changing, it may be slightly easier to do the SFA hardpoint shift, but neither one is a deal breaker. Regarding toughness, again, when you are talking aftermarket it is really about use case, $per$ the SFA cost less to make stronger in the simple sense, hit it with a rock or big cartoon hammer, but i'd argue that both systems can be made wayyyy overbuilt and thus the over all performance becomes much more important to me.
Also SFA is not always inherently stronger, look at the loading direction, which is why I brought up use case. longitudinally it probably is, but not necessarily laterally, look at how tall IFS knuckles are, the taller the better for reducing bending moment at the knuckle. But since both can still easily be overbuilt this is largely irrelevant.

As for the RCB, compare whats on superduty right now, to that on a JL, which would be the best analog for what would be on an SFA Bronco. If Bronco launched with the superduty RCB gear it would practically be at max FGAWR ;)
 

OX1

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but i'd argue that both systems can be made wayyyy overbuilt and thus the over all performance becomes much more important to me.
You can argue it, but so far all I've seen is some general statements about "it can be done".
Hate to say it, but prove it................. I'm not being a dick (well, maybe a little :) ), I'm truly interested
to learn about a killer IFS build, using as many stock pieces as possible for minimum cost. It could be 80%
Chevy IFS 1 ton stuff for all I care.

I've already lived the proof on the D60 solid axle abuse through my main wheeling buddy for 14 years, which had 42 IROK's, EFI 460
with 4:1 case, 5.13's on a nearly 6000 lb rig. I think he at one point got a pro-rock housing really cheap used. He did have
alloy shafts, but nothing too exotic and just run of the mill spicer "solids".

Point is, this guy is POOR and manged to put this rig together on a pretty tight budget and beat the living crap out of it for
years and years and years. It was also streetable enough that he could drive it 40 miles each way in Pa if he decided
to not trailer that day. Sometimes we ran easier trails with larger, less modified groups (using either only Front or RWD,
to make it interesting).

I'm not that up on jeeps, but do they really swap out boxes, or just go to a single ram hydro to take pressure off the box?
(another thing you can't do with stock electric steering, without adding hydraulic pressure somehow). Guess someone will come
out with electrosteer using an electric ram to attach to steering links.................
 

Dads_bronze_bronco

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I think the broader question is exactly what will rockmonster have (or a Bronco Raptor) that the base and luxury models do not to make it worth the extra $$$.

A Rubicon comes with Dana 44’s, electronic lockers, a lower transfer case ratio for 4WL, electronic sway bar disconnects, and about 3/4” of lift / heavier springs / extra travel. There is some thin extra underbody protection and rock rails. The JLs also have lower profile fenders to allow bigger tires.

The Dana 44’s with the lockers justify the expense for most off-road use. However many serious rockcrawlers rip all that out and go to Dana 60’s etc.

My ‘08 JKUR came stock with about 8-9” of shock travel up front. Stock there aren’t many places you can’t go. With affordable upgrades across the life of my Rubicon, mere 35’s, 2-1/2” of lift and longer travel shocks probably get me to 10” of travel (keeping it lower for ease of entry / towing my boat). I think I read for the extra width, F150 Raptor has about 15” in shock travel.

So in my view a rockmonster bronco with travel similar to the Raptor would be a very capable vehicle. And like Jeep extremists, anyone wanting more will probably be massively modifying anyways.

The key for Ford to be able to compete with / get the premium pricing of a Rubicon is: what do you get for that price beyond a lift and cool looking armor?

Long travel like the Raptor?
Electronic lockers front and back
Sway bar disconnects? (apparently no)
Lower 4WL ratio?
Heavier axles / suspensions for bigger tires and more punishment?

The 35”s and beadlock capable wheels have me hopeful. We will find out When the deeper specs come out.
 
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Jalisurr

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I think the broader question is exactly what will rockmonster have (or a Bronco Raptor) that the base and luxury models do not to make it worth the extra $$$.

A Rubicon comes with Dana 44’s, electronic lockers, a lower transfer case ratio for 4WL, electronic sway bar disconnects, and about 3/4” of lift / heavier springs / extra travel. There is some thin extra underbody protection and rock rails. The JLs also have lower profile fenders to allow bigger tires.

The Dana 44’s with the lockers justify the expense for most off-road use. However many serious rockcrawlers rip all that out and go to Dana 60’s etc.

My ‘08 JKUR came stock with about 8-9” of shock travel up front. Stock there aren’t many places you can’t go. With affordable upgrades across the life of my Rubicon, mere 35’s, 2-1/2” of lift and longer travel shocks probably get me to 10” of travel (keeping it lower for ease of entry / towing my boat). I think I read for the extra width, F150 Raptor has about 15” in shock travel.

So in my view a rockmonster bronco with travel similar to the Raptor would be a very capable vehicle. And like Jeep extremists, anyone wanting more will probably be massively modifying anyways.

The key for Ford to be able to compete with / get the premium pricing of a Rubicon is: what do you get for that price beyond a lift and cool looking ar

Long travel like the Raptor?
Electronic lockers front and back
Sway bar disconnects? (apparently no)
Lower 4WL ratio?
Heavier axles / suspensions for bigger tires and more punishment?

The 35”s and beadlock capable wheels have me hopeful. We will find out When the deeper specs come out.
My hope is we'll see a similar package to what the Raptor gets over an FX4 F150

-More powerful engine
-Wider track, longer travel
-Live valve Fox Shocks (big $ there)
-Big tires, beadlock capable rims
-Different transfer case
-Front Torsen diff, rear locker that works at all speeds
-Interior improvements (seats, upfitter switches, etc)
 

TeocaliMG

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You can argue it, but so far all I've seen is some general statements about "it can be done".
Hate to say it, but prove it................. I'm not being a dick (well, maybe a little :) ), I'm truly interested
to learn about a killer IFS build, using as many stock pieces as possible for minimum cost. It could be 80%
Chevy IFS 1 ton stuff for all I care.

I've already lived the proof on the D60 solid axle abuse through my main wheeling buddy for 14 years, which had 42 IROK's, EFI 460
with 4:1 case, 5.13's on a nearly 6000 lb rig. I think he at one point got a pro-rock housing really cheap used. He did have
alloy shafts, but nothing too exotic and just run of the mill spicer "solids".

Point is, this guy is POOR and manged to put this rig together on a pretty tight budget and beat the living crap out of it for
years and years and years. It was also streetable enough that he could drive it 40 miles each way in Pa if he decided
to not trailer that day. Sometimes we ran easier trails with larger, less modified groups (using either only Front or RWD,
to make it interesting).

I'm not that up on jeeps, but do they really swap out boxes, or just go to a single ram hydro to take pressure off the box?
(another thing you can't do with stock electric steering, without adding hydraulic pressure somehow). Guess someone will come
out with electrosteer using an electric ram to attach to steering links.................
Alright there is a lot to unpack here, we are getting a little away from my initial inquiry but that's okay! First let me start with contesting that this poor mans rig is notably superior off-road for anything other than shredding a mud hole or maybe, if he did good enough work, a rock garden. (notice I said, notably superior, its obviously more capable then a stock rig, but by what margin?) And if he did do such excellent work then he is obviously a pretty competent fabricator! (this is good to hear). Regardless, it seems you want to make this a comparison where I need to prove some stock IFS somewhere can be thrown together to meet or beat your exact use case at a competitive price point. You win that comparison, but as I have stated, I am not interested in a specific (relatively simple honestly) use case, I am interested in the platform which offers the greatest array of use cases competently.

With that said, my next hang up is this idea of "stock" parts, yea you are taking a stock axle but what is an axle? It houses your driveline and ties a couple degrees of freedom together. Whats keeping my IFS build from using your same stock axle as a donor? The big ticket item for me is sourcing HD halfshafts which there is no shortage of. After that the only meaningful benefit of "stock parts" is that where you are making or buying radius arms, I am making or buying control arms. Big deal. I can even use the same knuckles, but I would probably fabricate my own, or use H1 portal axles, heck why not use the H1 driveline if I really want to keep it simple? inboard brakes and all. My point is its hard to compare actual "stockness" if we are being honest about where the parts are all coming from. IFS is being way misrepresented here, and the "stockness" of SFA is being given way too much benefit of the doubt. Anyway, where was I? oh yes, so you have GM 1-tons, H1, heck theres even some HD IFS from big trucks (think Oshkosh, SPARTAN etc.) now that would turn a Dana 60 into a twisler. Am I really going to use them though? heck no.

So if those don't prove it to you, and you are willing to wait 5-10 years to see my fabrication come to light I would be delighted to show you how it can be done.

Maybe its not realistic, but I don't like to settle. I am drawn to ultra 4 for example because you have to not only be good at everything, you have to be nearly the best at everything. And the path there is getting more clear every year. To me that embodies off-roading, I want to have a rig that can do just about everything, and do it extremely well! Jack of all trades, and maybe someday, master of them all...

To bring it back to my initial inquiry, it seems we have touched on the few but i'll admit reasonably founded advantages for a stock SFA Bronco when the vision is a fully built HD SFA dream build. I still question if those outweigh the IFS usability/flexibility for everyone interested in 37" or less or 12" travel or less considering all the similar work us IFS or SFA fans have ahead of us on a barely recognizable dream build
 
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frinesi2

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I'd like to raise a practical question:

How many "serious rock crawlers (and I mean REAL serious)" are buying brand new vehicles, ripping everything out, and installing beefier axles, versus the number that are buying used vehicles for these mods? And I don't mean how many bought new vs used 15, 20, 30 years ago when we all had money and everything was cheap. I mean within the last, I don't know, 5 years.

And I'll follow up with this question:

Should Ford be selling new vehicles with the 2nd owner in mind?
 

JimmyDean

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I'd like to raise a practical question:

How many "serious rock crawlers (and I mean REAL serious)" are buying brand new vehicles, ripping everything out, and installing beefier axles, versus the number that are buying used vehicles for these mods? And I don't mean how many bought new vs used 15, 20, 30 years ago when we all had money and everything was cheap. I mean within the last, I don't know, 5 years.

And I'll follow up with this question:

Should Ford be selling new vehicles with the 2nd owner in mind?
to answer your final question, yes, they certainly should, and they do. what a second owner pays, and thus the resale value, is often a consideration for initial purchase price on the new car to start with. 'How much can I get for this in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, or how long until I am no longer under and can trade in for another new'. I know plenty of people who purchase with this in mind. have a coworker on his 5th new vehicle in 8 years, once he can break even on it, he trades out for a new car/truck.

Also, as you pointed out, a lot of the mods come via the second owner, and those can drive a models desireability, both for the older one, and for new versions. It's not the stock 72 Bronco's that are driving the hype for the 2021 Bronco, it's the modded ones on 35s with crazy paint and cut fenders that are really driving the image, same for Jeep. it isn't the stock sport or even Rubi, it's that 20 year old 1 ton V8 swapped rig that drives the demand for today's new sales.
 

TeocaliMG

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to answer your final question, yes, they certainly should, and they do. what a second owner pays, and thus the resale value, is often a consideration for initial purchase price on the new car to start with. 'How much can I get for this in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, or how long until I am no longer under and can trade in for another new'. I know plenty of people who purchase with this in mind. have a coworker on his 5th new vehicle in 8 years, once he can break even on it, he trades out for a new car/truck.

Also, as you pointed out, a lot of the mods come via the second owner, and those can drive a models desireability, both for the older one, and for new versions. It's not the stock 72 Bronco's that are driving the hype for the 2021 Bronco, it's the modded ones on 35s with crazy paint and cut fenders that are really driving the image, same for Jeep. it isn't the stock sport or even Rubi, it's that 20 year old 1 ton V8 swapped rig that drives the demand for today's new sales.
Though I totally agree with this vision from a system engineering perspective, from what I have seen I am not convinced that PD engineering considers much past efficient delivery, low warranty and high initial value to the customer. And Ironically we fail at those more than we should...

Edit: Its honestly disheartening the number of times I have seen objective improvements shut down for lack of a system level vision. Despite how common sense it seems :( . Everyone wants to protect their part of the program from change that is not driven directly from their targets. A quote I really like from the big bad Elon himself (speaking in context of Space-X): "You can assume with 100% certainty that your constraints are at least partially wrong. Find the question, develop the question, after you have the right question, the solution is rather easy. Use system engineering, you build to an interface, maybe the interface doesnt need to exist." ...Holy crap I wish I could drill that last sentence home here at Ford.
 
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Stampede.Offroad

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to answer your final question, yes, they certainly should, and they do. what a second owner pays, and thus the resale value, is often a consideration for initial purchase price on the new car to start with. 'How much can I get for this in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, or how long until I am no longer under and can trade in for another new'. I know plenty of people who purchase with this in mind. have a coworker on his 5th new vehicle in 8 years, once he can break even on it, he trades out for a new car/truck.

Also, as you pointed out, a lot of the mods come via the second owner, and those can drive a models desireability, both for the older one, and for new versions. It's not the stock 72 Bronco's that are driving the hype for the 2021 Bronco, it's the modded ones on 35s with crazy paint and cut fenders that are really driving the image, same for Jeep. it isn't the stock sport or even Rubi, it's that 20 year old 1 ton V8 swapped rig that drives the demand for today's new sales.
An argument I've made a bunch of times. Just because it will be new now doesn't mean it will stay that way. Eventually, if we're lucky, most BroncoBroncos will be old and still in use.

That should matter to Ford and most people considering purchasing one.
 



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