Skyjacker Long Arm Kit Review

We put Skyjacker's updated long arm kit on a JK to see how it works.

Jul. 10, 2017 By Pete Bach

Change is good.  Ten years ago, when the new Jeep JK was introduced to the market, one company stepped up as the first to offer a long arm suspension system for it: Skyjacker.  We here at were lucky enough to be one of the first to test and review that suspension kit. While we reviewed the Skyjacker long arm suspension for the JK, mostly favorably, much has changed over the course of ten years.  Skyjacker has now come back to the table with some changes to the long arm kit that make it even better and we got the chance to test the new improvements.

The front components included in the Skyjacker long arm kit for the Jeep Wrangler JK are almost unchanged and the kit still offers the highest ground clearance that we know of. The arms are tucked up to the level of the frame rails, keeping them out of harms way, and many of us know that long arms on a long JKU have a tendency to smack just about everything when off road. 

The only real change to the front was also done to the rear. Gone are the polyurethane bushings that were used in the lower control arms at the frame ends. In the original kit, these two piece bushings were notorious for wearing prematurely due to the binding nature of the suspension movement.

Skyjacker now uses a rubber sleeve, flexible bushings that not only hold up better to torture but they also help in reducing road noise that can travel to the Jeep's cab.

The Drive

The front suspension works well, allows excellent road manners and is a joy to have on the trail.   Handling is smooth and predictable, whether we are traveling at high speeds or crawling through twisty terrain and rocks. If we had one request to improve the kit, we'd ask for a geometry redesign of the upper arms. We like the simplicity of using the factory link mounts but by using near factory length upper arms with much longer lower arms, it creates a problem. 

The travel is not as linear as it could be on droop and articulation bind occurs earlier than it could as well. It also rotates the pinion angle downward during droop that could lead to unjoint bind depending on shock length.  While this suspension geometry causes some minor issues, we wouldn't say it's a major hindrance. In fact, it allows for quick and easy installation that any shade tree mechanic can install. 

The rest of the front Skyjacker long arm kit comes with all the usual parts that are to be expected in a high end suspension upgrade, including upper adjustable control arms with flex joint, stainless brake lines, front adjustable track bar, bump stops, sway bar disconnects, etc.  Everything you need is included, except a front drive shaft, which Skyjacker highly recommends when using this long travel suspension.

We also must note the track bar mount braces that Skyjacker includes.  These braces keep the wimpy JK track bar mounts attached to the axle tubes during extreme wheeling.  Most JK owners know how easily these factory brackets can break off!  We did have to modify our braces a bit to accommodate our Dynatrac differential covers.

The rear of the Skyjacker Long Arm Suspension is where most of the changes took place.  While the kit utilizes the factory upper arm mounting locations with new adjustable links, it does have completely redesigned lower link mounts and new "curvy" arms.  The first generation rear link mounts included in the Skyjacker long arm kit were less than desirable due to the mounting location, which was on the bottom of the frame rail.  They were bulky and hung down too low and placed the lower arms in the danger zone of even smaller obstacles.

We got hung up on rocks more than a few times with this set up and the new mounts worked excellent. They are tucked up flat against the bottom of the frame and place the link mount outboard and high up on the side of the frame rail.

Great design for avoiding trouble, but even this clever design caused a problem. By mounting the link at the side of the frame, contact between the tire and control arm became constant.  Skyjacker outsmarted this geometric dilemma by creating a curved arm that bends out of the frame and tire's way, allowing for up and down travel without any interference.

This major change in design also changed our thoughts in the Skyjacker kit, taking it from a very good kit, to a great kit, that should be considered by any potential long arm kit shopper.

Our daily driven JKU, with its updated changes that Skyjacker has made to its long arm kit, is an absolute joy to drive.  Washboard and ruts are now taken in stride with very little jolting and jarring. We no longer avoid expansion joints on our local highways.  Hitting fire roads at speed is now an enjoyable experience and death wobble isn't even a thought that crosses our minds anymore.  We love the changes to our Jeep and appreciate the changes Skyjacker has made to the original long arm kit for the JK.

As you can see in the photos, Bach Crawlers Inc., in southern Colorado, built this Jeep with many details.  The Jeep was built for ultimate comfort, unsurpassed road manners and a craving for the rough and rocky dirt roads in Colorado.  This RIPP supercharged JKU was in need of a durable long arm kit that could take a beating on the trail and drive home at the end of the day without drama.  It had to be the ultimate daily driver and still be an animal off road. While performance was key, an eye catching look was also required, so each control arm was custom painted to match the red rock pearl paint job on the Jeep's body and you can easily do the same if so desired. 

The 4" Skyjacker coils ride nicely in conjunction with the long arms and easily fit our 37-inch tire.  If you are looking to take your JK one step further, Skyjacker now offers their Curt LeDuc Series Fox Coil Over upgrade to their JK kits as well. Check back soon for a new installment review that details this coil over set up from Skyjacker.'s good.

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