Control Arm Questions - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-21-2017, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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Control Arm Questions

What's the deal with these control arms (see attached)? I didn't think anything of them until the Jeep has started wandering and, sure enough, they did not pass inspection this time around. i have been learning as problems arise and this is really the first time messing with the arms.

with about 4"-4.5" lift on my 96 5.2 zj what kind of arms can i get away with? i was eyeing up the iron rock adjustables but pricier than i was hoping, especially since im trying to save up for some transmission work...

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-21-2017, 07:49 PM
Pierre_r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatAndTie View Post
What's the deal with these control arms (see attached)? I didn't think anything of them until the Jeep has started wandering and, sure enough, they did not pass inspection this time around. i have been learning as problems arise and this is really the first time messing with the arms.

with about 4"-4.5" lift on my 96 5.2 zj what kind of arms can i get away with? i was eyeing up the iron rock adjustables but pricier than i was hoping, especially since im trying to save up for some transmission work...
Based on the rust under the bolthead in the second pic, start to retighten all of them.

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-21-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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What style are they? i cant seem to find a similar style. the shop guys said i should replace 6 of the 8 arms
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-21-2017, 10:41 PM
PolkaPower
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The arms don't matter much unless the bushing are shot.
I mean, all they are is steel. If they are falling apart from rust that's one thing but wandering is the bushings. The stock arms are just stamped steel. Not sturdy at all.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 01:20 AM
kg6mov
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Those look like the old RE arms, very good stuff, but the bushings aren't any better than stock. You can rebuild them though, new bushings and some paint would make that look and feel much better.

Metalcloak is about the best for arms if you've got the cash, IRO is pretty good middle ground. Core4x4 is cheap crap, but they work . . .


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post #6 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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So these were left from the previous owner. I've never dealt with control arms with a lift.

The point I'm at now with my ZJ is daily driver and very light offroading every few months... I'd like to simply pass inspection this time around without breaking the bank (as I said before I'm trying to save towards transmission work instead right now). In the future I'd like to beef it up a little more, but I'm weighing my options.

The options I've been finding are stock arms (super cheap and flimsy looking), but with a 4" - 4.5" lift can stock arms be used?
The other options suddenly jump to about ~$100/arm fully adjustable. Is there any middle ground available?
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg6mov View Post
Those look like the old RE arms, very good stuff, but the bushings aren't any better than stock. You can rebuild them though, new bushings and some paint would make that look and feel much better.

Metalcloak is about the best for arms if you've got the cash, IRO is pretty good middle ground. Core4x4 is cheap crap, but they work . . .
How much of a pain the *** to replace the bushings in control arms? I haven't really gotten a chance to get under the Jeep for a thorough investigation but the guys at the shop said they would just invest in new control arms, meaning these weren't really salvageable (or at least not worth it) according to them - they aren't the type to blow smoke up my *** normally either.

Just looked into Core 4x4 and it's only a tad cheaper than IRO through Kolak, so at the moment IRO seems like my best option.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 07:22 AM
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A shop press is a very handy tool, I use mine at least twice a week. It is the appropriate tool for pushing out / in the old / new bushings. I would use really large sockets that fit the OD as the ram for pushing.

Here are Moog K3128 Bushings for $8.70 a pair. I don't know if these would fit those aftermarket arms, they fit the OEM arms.

My stock height (Up Country) vehicle has new Moog control arms and bushings, now it drives like new.

+1 Those arms would look really nice sanded and painted.


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post #9 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by CatAndTie View Post
...with a 4" - 4.5" lift can stock arms be used?
Fixed control arms won't allow you to "adjust your pinion angle, position your axle under the vehicle, and adjust your caster" for a proper alignment. And your suspension geometry is going to be pretty screwed up with a 4" lift and stock length CAs. Definitely do not recommend.


Quote:
The other options suddenly jump to about ~$100/arm fully adjustable. Is there any middle ground available?
Well, you can buy a 2 sets of IRO control arms (4 front, 4 rear) for $680, so $85 per CA. And you can probably get a better deal than that from Kolak. Either way, a bit better than $100 ea.

https://www.ironrockoffroad.com/prod...0-65-lift.html


I suppose you could save a bit of money by getting the fixed length IRO control arms for 3-6 inch lifts. Looks like a front kit is $250, or $62.50 per CA. These are longer than stock, so your geometry will be closer to correct for a 4" lift. But you won't be able to get a proper alignment.

https://www.ironrockoffroad.com/prod...-3-6-lift.html


If you're on a budget, kg6mov's suggestion is probably your best bet. Bushings are pretty cheap, and if you can replace them yourself then you can save quite a good bit of money. However, if you have to pay a shop to replace them, definitely get an estimate of how much labor they will charge and consider that in your decision.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 08:09 AM
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Control arm bushings are super cheap. Stock arms will not work with that height.
Just buy the bushings off rock auto and replace them.
Just doing the lower arms will make a big difference, but all should be done.
The biggest pain in the butt are the front upper axle bushings.
You might want a shop for those.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, I might just go the bushing route then. They said the front upper CA was fine, so I probably won't be touching that one at this point anyway.

Any idea if a stock CA bushing will fit in these aftermarket arms?

I'm also going to call the shop back today and see why they wanted the entire arms replaced as opposed to just the bushings, which I thought was kind of weird. Now after seeing them again in person I should be able to have more of a conversation to figure out that thought process.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 09:19 AM
wingless
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The bushings LOOK like the same size...

There are three bushings listed for the vehicle, for the different locations.

Rock Auto 1996 ZJ

Moog K3166

Moog K7418

Moog K3167


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post #13 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 09:42 AM
PolkaPower
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Actually they look like Teraflex arms when you compare them.
If so, they don't appear to use the stock bushings.

http://4x4.fatbobsgarage.com/mobile/...BoCUEwQAvD_BwE

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Actually they look like Teraflex arms when you compare them.
If so, they don't appear to use the stock bushings.

http://4x4.fatbobsgarage.com/mobile/...BoCUEwQAvD_BwE

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Yeah, those look like the type installed on my ZJ.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-22-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
CatAndTie
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So researching more about this specific brand, how the hell are they adjustable? That website says adjustable but this is unlike any other style I've seen.
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