There is a thread on a JK enthusiast site that is using a quote from our Four Wheeler install article about our Rubicon Express suspension system on Project 'Con Artist to illustrate a point that we feel is misinforming its forum members. We tried to reply to the post on that forum, but since the site owner only allows companies and journalists to participate if they pay him (he can say whatever he wants and we are not able to respond) we felt we would get our point across here at FW.com by posting the response we originally tried to post.
Thanks for quoting my article in Four Wheeler magazine (not 4 Wheeler). Maybe this means I can post now without you e-mailing me and telling me I need to pay you in order to participate on this forum. I am sure anyone who disagrees with you will have their post removed and maybe I’ll get my bill in the mail for this post, but I feel that if you are going to use my work as an example, I should at least get to have my say in what is being discussed.
First of all I have read this thread and watched it go completely sideways. I wasn’t going to post, but now that my work is being quoted, I'd like to point out a few things:
- I review suspension systems for my job and have much more seat time in various configurations and I can indeed tell you that radius arms work, and work well. How can you judge the RE kit when you admit you have never wheeled a Jeep with it installed? Can you name the OEM manufacturers that have used radius arms from the factory for their premium off road vehicles? I bet they used it because of the mix of on road comfort and off road ability.
- I have put almost 20,000-miles on the Rubicon Express Long Arm system on Project ‘Con Artist since February 2007, including trips to Moab, all over the Mojave, Anza-Borrego, Nevada, and the Rubicon. It has never dssapointed or let me down.
- Project ‘Con Artist is owned by the company, not by me, so I have gained nothing personally, nor do I have any personal stake in RE, other than I support the product due to a history of quality products that I feel comfortable recommending to my readers (this does not mean they are the only suspension company that I like or the only product I like, there are several good ones out there, but I am calling them out specifically because my name/work has been brought up in association with them in this thread).
- Mel at Off Road Evolution makes a great product too, in fact I know his product WILL work in conjunction with the RE Long Arm kit because he and I have discussed it in the past. His kit is very nice and very streetable, and is one more option for people to consider. We consider Mel and Off Road Evolution a friend of Four Wheeler magazine.
- RTI is not the only measurement of a good suspension system. It is only one measurement. Speaking solely of RTI is like saying a Veyron is the best car in the world because of its 0-60 time. It also reminds me of the prerunner pissing matches of the late 90’s where everyone was focused on who has the longest wheel travel. Forget clean wheel travel and what works, just focus on the longest. It is misleading and doesn’t work that way, there are a lot of other variables you are ignoring as to what makes a good suspension system.
And if you are going to quote my story where I point out RTI numbers, how about you quote my entire article where I talk about how good the system is. The Rubicon Express long arm kit flat rocks on the highway and the trail. It is cushy and comfortable, offers gobs of articulation and travel, won't throw your ESP light, and is a lot of fun in the fast terrain. You should also know that when we ramped the Jeep before and after, it was as apples to apples as possible.
When we ramped the ‘Con, it wasn’t done with 10psi tires or at an angle to the ramp. It wasn’t done in reverse or on the edge of the tires. It was done with 35psi in the tires and at a straight angle to the ramp (same as we did with it in stock configuration) to get what we felt were the truest results as possible. There are lots of different ways to ramp something on the same style of ramp, I am just telling you that these are the facts surrounding what I personally did with the vehicle you are using to illustrate your point. These are real world numbers that were not obtained by cheating the ramp.
I feel you have quoted me out of context to further your personal agenda and I am not going to stand here silent and let you continue to do it without saying something. And hey, it is your site, so do what you want and go nuts, but I should at least get the chance to set the record straight from my point of view.
Lastly, congratulations on the setup that you have found, one that works seemingly perfect for your needs (some people never find that just right mix of parts), but saying it is the only way to go while putting down companies with a solid reputation in the industry does nothing to further your credibility as a journalist or a source of information. Remember that Veyron? It won’t fit myself, my wife and little girl, so I guess it is not the best car in the world for my needs.
--Sean P. Holman
Tech Editor – Four Wheeler Magazine