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Glossary of 4x4 Terms

A

Anti-Wrap Leaf Spring Perches: These perches are longer than factory perches.  The added length works as a lever to prevent axle wrap and damage to your joints, springs, and shocks.
Approach Angle: This is a 4x4’s maximum clearance (angle) when approaching an incline; otherwise the vehicle will hit its front end.
Axle Truss: Mounted on the top or the rear of your axle, this part adds structural rigidity and prevents bending and warping.
Axle Wrap: Axle wrap occurs when the axle rotates and forces the leaf spring to bend in an S shape.

B

Body Roll: Body roll is the leaning of a vehicle’s body or sprung weight during turning, acceleration or deceleration. A properly set up 3 link or 4 link suspension system can help combat this.
Bolt-on
: This is an easily installed aftermarket part that does not require fabrication.  
Bull Bar: A bull bar mounts to the bumper to provide protection for the winch, grill, hood and radiator. You can find these in Barnes’ Jeep Bumpers collection. 
Bump Steer: Also called roll steer, this happens when the wheels steer, without steering input from the driver. As the name implies, this commonly occurs when suspension articulates over a uneven surface. See our three link suspension installation tips for ways to lessen your chances of experiencing bump steer on the trail.
Bump Stop: Before the suspension system is fully compressed, the axle comes in contact with the bump stop to slow down and stop the axle movement before there is metal-to-metal contact.
Bump Stop Pad: This creates an area of contact for the bump stop.

C

Chromoly: Chromoly is an abbreviated term for very strong steel that contains chromium and molybdenum.
CNC Machine: CNC is the abbreviation for Computer Numerical Control. Therefore, a CNC machine is computer controlled to make very accurate and repeatable parts. 
Coilover: A coilover is a shock absorber that is wrapped in a coil spring.
Coil Spring Bracket (Bucket): The coil spring is mounted to this bracket (sizes vary according to mounting location) for increased stability.
Control Arm Bracket: This bracket provides a secure mounting place for the control arm of your vehicle’s suspension.
Corner Guard: A corner guard is a metal piece of body armor that is mounted just above the fender and spans from the door to the tailgate.

D

Departure Angle: Similar to “approach angle,” this is the maximum angle at which a vehicle can depart (decline) without hitting its back end.
Differential: A differential controls a vehicle’s torque and allows it to be dispersed at different speeds. This is especially important during turns.
Differential Cover: An aftermarket part that completely protects the differential and maximizes your vehicle’s clearance.  
Differential Guard: A differential guard is designed to protect a rig’s differential from damage. Unlike a differential cover, which surrounds the diff with durable metal, differential guards are lighter in weight and often contain large spaces (gaps) between the metal construction. This leaves the diff more vulnerable to damage. Furthermore, they carry a higher chance of rock snags.
Disc Brake Brackets: This bracket works to mount a disc brake caliper to the axle.
DOM Tubing: DOM is an abbreviation for Drawn Over Mandrel steel tubing and has no weld seam. For off-road 4x4 parts, it is made in custom sizes and applied to suspension control arms, steering applications, and more.
Drag Link: These links connect the steering box to the steer arms and provide control by the steering wheel.


E

Enduro Joint: The enduro may be used as a substitute for the heim joint. This rod end provides misalignment, flexibility, and durability for the suspension.

F

Fairlead: A fairlead is a ring-shaped device that is used to guide cable or rope (usually for towing or pulling). It is attached to a vehicle via a winch mount.
Flex Steer: Flex steer occurs in the axle, when one side drops, subsequently causing the arms to drop and retract.
Full Circle Bushing Mount: Helps you mount a poly bushing to any flat surface.

G

Grade Eight Nuts and Bolts: Are designated by six radial lines on the head of the bolt and on a nut usually six radial dashes. They are made from a mmedium carbon alloy Steel and are quenched and tempered. Grade 8 hardware has a min. yield strength of 130,000 psi.
Gusset: Gussets are structurally necessary for the installation of a roll cage or any other instance where you need to distribute a load over a greater area.

H

HD (Heavy Duty) Steering: An upgraded steering system commonly installed on vehicles that must withstand rough terrain or heavy-duty use. These kits are made from thicker wall steal tubing and upgraded heim joints.
Heim Joints (Heat Treated): Heim joints are rod ends commonly used to add strength, durability, and flexibility to suspension and steering systems.  
High Misalignment Spacers: This part enhances the articulations angle of a heim joint by reducing the bolt size used in the joint.
High Steer Arms: These are upgraded steer arms that allow you to set the knuckle preload, give you more freedom for steering link attachments, enhance steering strength, and raise the steering linkage for more ground clearance.

J

Jam Nuts: This part is used to secure (or “jam”) a nut and prevent loosening.
Jeep CJ: The Jeep Wrangler produced from 1976-1986.
Jeep JK: The Jeep Wrangler produced from 2007 to present.
Jeep LJ: A long wheel base Jeep TJ produced from 2004-2006
Jeep TJ: The Jeep Wrangler produced from 1997-2006.
Jeep XJ: The model of Jeep Cherokee manufactured from 1984-2001.
Jeep YJ: The Jeep Wrangler produced from 1987-1996.

L

Leaf Spring Frame Outriggers: These outriggers help you match the width of the leaf spring mounts so they fit your vehicle’s frame.
Leaf Spring Shackle Hangers: Hangers attach the Leaf Spring Suspension shackles to your rig.
Link Mount: Link mounts are used to attach suspension links to a vehicle’s frame.

M

Misalignment Spacers: These spacers maximize the angles of your heim joint without changing the bolt size.

O

O.E.M.: This is an abbreviation for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Overlanding: This term describes a rugged, outdoor adventure, usually to a remote area. It is commonly associated with heavy-duty 4x4 vehicles.

P

Pinion Guard: The pinion guard protects the pinion u-joint yoke.
Poly Bushing: Short for polyurethane bushing, this part is used to lessen noise and vibration, while keeping parts from rubbing together and breaking down.

R

Rig: “Rig” is a lifestyle term for a custom fab off-road vehicle.
Rocker Guard (Panel): These guards slide in between the tub and the body mount to prevent damage to the bottom of the tub and the rocker. They are included in Barnes’ Jeep Body Armor category.
Rockwell: Originally used in military 6x6 2.5 ton trucks, these axle are easily identifiable due to their square axle tubes and pinion that sits on the top of the axle.

S

Lift Shackles: These connect to the leaf spring and can increase vehicle lift depending on the length and angle of the shackle.    
Shock Bracket: Shock brackets are used to mount shocks to your rig.
Shock Tower: The tower contains and protects the shock in its mounted position.

T

Torque: Torque is the force created during rotation. This is an important consideration during off-road fabrication.  
Trackbar Mounting Brackets: This bracket mounts on the outside of the vehicle frame and increases the length of a panhard or track bar.
Transfer Case (T-case): The transfer case distributes power from the transmission to the axles.
Tube Flange: Tube flanges help distribute load over a large surface area and make it feasible to remove and reinstall tube work.
Tube Inserts: Tube inserts are welded into tubing to provide threads without having to tap a solid piece of bar.

U

U-Joint: A hinge that allows a shaft to bend in any direction.

W

Wheelbase: Distance from the center of the front wheel to the center of the back wheel.
Winch (Fairlead) Mount: This part mounts between the winch and the bumper to hold a fairlead or hawse.
Winch Plate: A mounting surface that is rigid enough not to bend and damage the winch during a hard pull.

Still Have Questions?

If you need some help understanding these terms or how a custom off-road part applies to your rig, give Barnes a call at (828) 551-7616 or send an email to sales@barnes4wd.com.
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