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to SAS or stay IFS?


Explorer Addict
November 30, 2000
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 LTD, 96 XLT, & 98 XLT
looking to build a Gen 2 trail rig. I know there will be many options and its probably been asked time and time again.....but i cant decide if i want to SAS or stay IFS.

I guess my main concern is how much beating can the Gen 2 IFS/ axles take? In all honesty i am new to offroading but just want something that can keep up with others i plan to go with. Most being IFS as well (Toyotas and Newer Jeeps like the GC's).

Do i stick with the IFS and go superlift/rough country with coil overs, or do i invest the time in a SAS?

Im thinking staying IFS but just wanted to get some feedback.

Main goals - capable offroad that has decent highway manners. I live in the unconstitutional state of CT so anywhere i wheel i need to travel. Being up north in New England or somewhere south. Id also like to make a few NC beach trips-

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Ifs will do all you will need. Haven't even broken a CV axle in my ranger on 35s and I go hard on it.


thats kind of what i was thinking. I was just looking at the IFS flexing pics and was admiring your ranger!!!!

Do you want to keep up with them, or get them stuck following you??
Just saying


I'd stick with IFS unless you are going for difficult trails and the toughest lines.

Depends on your expected use. Mild or wild off road use? Trailer queen or self reliance? How long do plan on having the rig after the mods? Modifying these rigs is done out of hobby, as they do not hold value, nor can you recoop money invested in them in most of the country. Keep that in mind as you plan/invest/build.

I think If you have the skills, the tools, a dedicated work place & time, and the money, then do the SAS. If not, then you can still get a mild use trail rig out of the IFS, and still have fun with it. You can't hang with the big dogs on the hard trails, but there is still plenty of this country you can enjoy, in a mild built rig. Let the wanted destinations help you make a choice here. Besides all I just mentioned, Location and land use available to you, should really be the deciding factor. Woods, Mountain tops, Deserts, marshy bogs, frozen tundra, etc...

If your new to this, there is something to be said about the learning curve, by gradually working your way from mild to wild, but... it costs more to do it that way.

The IFS rigs that you mentioned are made with trail use in mind. They are way better suited in stock form then the stock Ex. That's Apples to Oranges.

not 100% sure on expected use just yet as im just getting into building an offroad rig. I know right now i want something that i can road travel with as well as play offroad and something thats not going to break and leave me stranded. re-cooping money is not in the plan as i usually go overboard building and then keep it for a long time. The hardest part of this whole thing is building something im going to scratch up, lol. I need to get past that. Im looking to weigh all my options and then decide which way to go and start building. Just researching right now.

I know the Toyotas and such IFS are different then the good old Gen 2 IFS... so thats what keeps my thinking maybe a SAS would be the way to go... but i do really have to decide how overboard i want to go and what i really want out of the build.

When I went with the SAS in my 1st Gen, it was after four complete suspension reworks and it still didn't meet my needs. I wanted a trail rig that would do anything, go anywhere I wanted within reason, had good highway manners, could rock crawl, and go fast through the desert. It does all of that very well, is very reliable, I don't have to worry about getting stuck if I take it easy when out by myself, and will cruise down the highway at 65 all day long.

Its still like gman posted; it all depends on what you want to do with it. Maybe you should torsion twist and shackle lift it for now until you see how bad you get bit by the offroad bug.

keep the IFS until you cannot anymore = you grow as the vehicles abilities grow

If you are building a trail rig why start with a Gen II?
Gen I ttb is so much better AND it already has a steering gear box and coil buckets if you do decide to SAS