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  #1  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:02
Mudshack Mudshack is offline
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Replacing Upper Control Arms

All my bushings are toast on my upper and lower control arms. They are dry and cracked like a 10 year old rubber band. I wanted to replace the bushings, but don't have a lot of time to wrench and don't have a bench vise or hole saw.

When you buy upper control arms from O'reily's, they come with a bushing on the one end but not on the other. Will this be a simple bolt out/bolt in replacement or is there more to it?

So, can I pick up the Upper Control arms and swap them out with the old in about an hour of work, or will I have to still replace a hidden bushing and stand on my head with a fabbed up tool?

I have 1.5" spacers for lift, so I am going to go aftermarket on the lower control arms....might even upgrade to 3" lift because it wouldn't cost too much more than replacing both lower arms and a bracket for the track bar. Plus, I am a bolt out/bolt in kind of guy.
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  #2  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:31
mcdavid123 mcdavid123 is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

The lower control arms should come with bushings installed on both ends (frame and axle). The upper arms just have the one, frame mounted bushing. The "missing" upper arm bushings are actually mounted on the axle. You can use a ball joint tool to replace those. The axle end bushings for the WJ Grand Cherokees are a slight upgrade from the stock ones and dont need any modifications to fit.

To just replace the arms, you wont need any special tools and as long as the bolts come out easy, it should be a quick job. Ideally you should replace the hardware after removing it, I usually go to Fastenal to get new 10.9 hardware (not the 8.8 you get from HD/Lowes).

Also hit the nuts/bolts with a penetrating oil for a few days prior, it should make removing them alot easier.
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  #3  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:38
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xjnuttier xjnuttier is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

The upper front contral arm bushings are pressed in the the upper axle mounts. The best way to remove those is with a ball joint press/c clamp looking thing. When you purchase aftermarket lowers they will have both ends already pressed in.
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  #4  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:39
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xjnuttier xjnuttier is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdavid123 View Post
The lower control arms should come with bushings installed on both ends (frame and axle). The upper arms just have the one, frame mounted bushing. The "missing" upper arm bushings are actually mounted on the axle. You can use a ball joint tool to replace those. The axle end bushings for the WJ Grand Cherokees are a slight upgrade from the stock ones and dont need any modifications to fit.

To just replace the arms, you wont need any special tools and as long as the bolts come out easy, it should be a quick job. Ideally you should replace the hardware after removing it, I usually go to Fastenal to get new 10.9 hardware (not the 8.8 you get from HD/Lowes).

Also hit the nuts/bolts with a penetrating oil for a few days prior, it should make removing them alot easier.

I am reading your post thinking it was mine.. that was funny we posted alomst the same time...
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  #5  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 06:57
Mudshack Mudshack is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

So just replacing the upper crontrol arms means I still have to buy new bushings for the axel end? Hmmmmm, so what is the hardest part about replacing all the upper and lower control arm bushings? I can get the ball joint puller from Oriellys for free.
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  #6  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 07:00
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

yup.

Replacing the UCA bushings on the axle can be a pain in the ass. Look out when doing the passenger side one, the bracket there is not fully sleeved and if you aren't careful you can compress/tweak it instead of pushing the bushing out.

You want to read ths page btw - http://jeep.off-road.com/jeep/Featur.../detail/360764

EDIT: oh yeah. Do the arms ONE AT A TIME! Do not remove both LCAs or both UCAs at once unless you like cursing a lot and playing around with ratchet straps and/or putting the stock bottle jack between the axle and the frame.

Also, leave the bolts loose (about a turn from being completely tightened) till you have it resting on the axle. I like to replace the bushings/arms with the axle hanging (jackstands under the frame) then move the jackstands to under the axle to put the suspension at ride height. Once it is at ride height, tighten all hardware to spec. If you don't do this, the bushings will be twisted at all times and will wear out prematurely.
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  #7  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 09:36
Mudshack Mudshack is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

I can't find the bushing for the axel at parts stores. They all want to sell me the bushing for in the UCA.

Anyone got a part number?
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  #8  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 09:40
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

It's the same one at both ends - checked my parts catalog. One just presses into the axle, the other into the arm. The OEM number for an XJ one is 5203 8025.
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Please do not PM me about the AW4 info thread unless you have a truly unique question that is not covered by it or info to add. I do not respond to questions answered by the thread.
Definitely do not hunt down my phone number at 3AM, text me about it, and then threaten violence when I am not helpful. It will not get you what you want.
CTeunuch: Sometimes I really wonder if this sport makes you insane, or it just attracts the mentally unstable.
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  #9  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:16
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88JeepXJ 88JeepXJ is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastein View Post
yup.
EDIT: oh yeah. Do the arms ONE AT A TIME! Do not remove both LCAs or both UCAs at once unless you like cursing a lot and playing around with ratchet straps and/or putting the stock bottle jack between the axle and the frame.
Heed this advice! lol I got excited to do my LCAs with new BDS pieces and I pulled both stock arms out before putting the BDS arms in. As soon as I took the second one out the axle snapped back. It was NOT fun leveraging the axle back into place and line up the new BDS arm by myself!

I am still running stock UCAs lol. They are way to much of a PITA. My buddy who is a mechanic made a special pressing tool and it still took all night, and a year later the bushings are JUNK. This is also a "don't buy rubber pieces from Quadratec" warning. Something with their rubber, I don't get it. I bought my rear leaf spring bushings from them and after only two years I can see cracks.
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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:19
CaliXJ CaliXJ is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudshack View Post
All my bushings are toast on my upper and lower control arms. They are dry and cracked like a 10 year old rubber band. I wanted to replace the bushings, but don't have a lot of time to wrench and don't have a bench vise or hole saw.

When you buy upper control arms from O'reily's, they come with a bushing on the one end but not on the other. Will this be a simple bolt out/bolt in replacement or is there more to it?

So, can I pick up the Upper Control arms and swap them out with the old in about an hour of work, or will I have to still replace a hidden bushing and stand on my head with a fabbed up tool?

I have 1.5" spacers for lift, so I am going to go aftermarket on the lower control arms....might even upgrade to 3" lift because it wouldn't cost too much more than replacing both lower arms and a bracket for the track bar. Plus, I am a bolt out/bolt in kind of guy.
What YR WJ is it for the bushings upgrade? Thanks

Sorry i grabbed the wrong quote here.

Last edited by CaliXJ; April 2nd, 2010 at 10:22. Reason: I'm stupid sometimes hahaha
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  #11  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:04
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

WJ is 99-04 iirc, so any year in that range should work.
__________________
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Please do not PM me about the AW4 info thread unless you have a truly unique question that is not covered by it or info to add. I do not respond to questions answered by the thread.
Definitely do not hunt down my phone number at 3AM, text me about it, and then threaten violence when I am not helpful. It will not get you what you want.
CTeunuch: Sometimes I really wonder if this sport makes you insane, or it just attracts the mentally unstable.
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  #12  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:10
Mudshack Mudshack is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastein View Post
It's the same one at both ends - checked my parts catalog. One just presses into the axle, the other into the arm. The OEM number for an XJ one is 5203 8025.
Sure doesn't look it. But, I will believe you.
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  #13  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:13
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

I found it strange as well. But the parts catalog doesn't lie... at least it hasn't lied to me yet.
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Please do not PM me about the AW4 info thread unless you have a truly unique question that is not covered by it or info to add. I do not respond to questions answered by the thread.
Definitely do not hunt down my phone number at 3AM, text me about it, and then threaten violence when I am not helpful. It will not get you what you want.
CTeunuch: Sometimes I really wonder if this sport makes you insane, or it just attracts the mentally unstable.
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  #14  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:32
Mudshack Mudshack is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88JeepXJ View Post
I am still running stock UCAs lol. They are way to much of a PITA. My buddy who is a mechanic made a special pressing tool and it still took all night, and a year later the bushings are JUNK. This is also a "don't buy rubber pieces from Quadratec" warning. Something with their rubber, I don't get it. I bought my rear leaf spring bushings from them and after only two years I can see cracks.
Are you refering to replacing the bushing in the UCA or the bushing in the "frame" as being the PITA.

I can see that all the LCA bushings are toast, and that the upper control arm on the axel is toast. I may just end up replacing the lower control arms with adjustable arms/bushings from Ironman. And putting new OE replacemnt UCA on the truck. This combined with a Skyjacker track bar bracket and Rancho stabilizer should fix the Death Wobble and smooth out the bumps. I don't expect the bumps to get totally smooth because I need new tires...and face it....it is an XJ.
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  #15  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:43
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CharlesS CharlesS is offline
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Re: Replacing Upper Control Arms

The axle mounted UC bushings can be a PITA without using the proper tool.
As for myself; I used a large C clamp that is generally used for replacing ball joints to press out the bushings. The passenger side bushing that is pressed into the stamped steel mount should have a support sleeve inserted between the sides of the mount so as not to crush or tweak the mount.
When I installed my RE control arm drop brackets years ago I installed the replacement bushings while the D30 was sitting on the floor.
Recently I upgraded the UCA mounts with the Currie Johnny Joints and beefed up the stamped steel mount with the Currie 1" solid steel mount.



http://www.currieenterprises.com/ces...t.aspx?id=2888

There is a world of difference in the flex and the joints are greasable thru the bolt.

Charles
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