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Beam vs a-arm

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looking at various buggies and am curious what’s stronger a-arm or beam.

For me the car will never see the sand. Strictly desert. I won’t be doing wheelies. Rarely jumping and maybe only a foot when I do. But we like to go fast up the trails and don’t want a rogue rock or pothole to ruin my day. It will not be a new high dollar car. Probably in the $15-20k range. I have heard a beam is stronger for the desert and there is some logic to that but seems like all the new stuff is a-arm.

Id like to hear your pros and cons
 

02HoWaRd26

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It’s a hard comparison there. Joe’s A arms may be weaker than Tim’s beam but Mike’s A arms are stronger than Tim’s beam. If that makes sense.

For the budget your looking and if your not big on wrenching and fabricating yourself I’d honestly be looking at a rzr. But if you can wrench and fab than look for an early 90’s Raceco for a beam or something with a leading edge style lca for the desert.
 

Mikes56

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If it's a well built car, I don't think you're going to have a problem with either. I think the beam car is going to be the strongest though. On a beam car the trailing arms move up and back when you hit a bump, probably the best for those oh shit moments when you hit something you didn't mean to.

Again, just make sure it's a well built, well known car and not something someone threw together in their garage. The stock VW beam front end is actually a good choice if that's what you're looking for.
 

Brobee

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You’ll get more travel and a smoother ride out of a arms. But ultimately as far as durability, it depends. A sandcar a-arms are usually smaller and lighter but aren’t going to hold up well in the desert. A nice pre runner car is going to have boxed a-arms and a nice ride for the desert. If you can find one in your budget, that’d be the way to go. An extended beam car with a coil over set up will be durable but won’t ride as smooth as a basic SXS. Don’t shy away from beam cars, but keep your expectations realistic.

This was my previous ride.
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Ballsdeep

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What kind of car are you looking at?

I have several buddies that have beam car Baja's and they hold up fine but require attention every trip. If you stay up on the maintenance (tightening front end bolts and replacing shims) you should be fine.

I have an A Arm car and knock on wood never any issues other that replacing a few heim joints.

Maintenance is key on everything!!
 
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So my situation is coming from Jeeps I switched to a Toys for Big boys buggy. It has an ecotec. Boxed rears with coilovers. Front beam with +3 arms and coilovers. It doesn’t ride amazing but seems to soak up the whoops decent. Runs the washes good. We have had a lot of fun with it. After buying it I found lots of evidence of multiple repairs and or modifications.

Well this last week I pushed it to its limit and broke the chassis. I can pull it back together. Re-weld and gusset the crap out of it. But now that we’ve had it for a bit we’d like a windshield and enclosed nose So the question is do I put even more money into it and repair this car again. And add a windshield and some tin and be mindful of its limits or step up in car. Part of the problem is I won’t get a whole lot for this car despite the ecotec and new fully built trans. Which I think this combo is worth more than I’d get for the car.

In stepping up I want to make sure I get something strong. I really don’t want an LS and Mendiola which is what everything seems to have. Kinda looking at Playtecs but not sure what else fits my needs. I don’t want a sand car that will crumble in the desert which is perhaps what I have. I’d love to find a roller and put my stuff in it but then there’s labor there too

I’m torn.
 
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It’s a hard comparison there. Joe’s A arms may be weaker than Tim’s beam but Mike’s A arms are stronger than Tim’s beam. If that makes sense.

For the budget your looking and if your not big on wrenching and fabricating yourself I’d honestly be looking at a rzr. But if you can wrench and fab than look for an early 90’s Raceco for a beam or something with a leading edge style lca for the desert.
What is “leading edge style lca?”
 

02HoWaRd26

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What is “leading edge style lca?”
A lot of people refer to it as J arms, but a J arm mounts like a true A but wraps around shock to the spindle. The leading edge design has a center pivot as well a rear pivot, helps with transfer of pressure. A true A arm will always work best but you’ve got to build the hell out of the bulkhead as well arms.

Leading edge:
91762AFE-51CC-4075-B7E9-6324DDE4D555.jpeg


J arm:
4FF18AB4-3D43-47D8-9A61-3451A440671E.jpeg


A arm:
F854E5D0-72E2-4556-BB8B-5E02FF58C22C.jpeg
 
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