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Unread 10-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
Budasac
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Changing out the UCAs

For those of you who have swapped UCAs, can it be done without removing the strut assembly. I need to replace my UCAs and the bushing on the LCA where the strut fork attaches. I have a very limited window of time to make the repairs and I'm trying to determine how involved it's going to get.

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Unread 10-15-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
JeepN4KC
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I don't see why you couldn't just jack the front end up, let the IFS droop, unbolt the fork and swap the bushing, unbolt the UCA and bolt, swap in the new UCA and put it all back together - never unbolting the strut tower bolts or removing the assembly.

I don't know - I'm trying to imagine this in my head w/o looking at my WK but it seems doable.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
Budasac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepN4KC
I don't see why you couldn't just jack the front end up, let the IFS droop, unbolt the fork and swap the bushing, unbolt the UCA and bolt, swap in the new UCA and put it all back together - never unbolting the strut tower bolts or removing the assembly.

I don't know - I'm trying to imagine this in my head w/o looking at my WK but it seems doable.
That was the plan, but looking at it I question if the UCA bolts will clear the spring when removing them. Just want to know if any one was successful in doing this, or should I just plan on pulling everything. I like to know exactly what I'm getting into before I start. If I have to pull it all it's not that big a deal but, since I'll be wrenching solo, I'd rather not have to deal with re-installing the springs without a second set of hands.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepN4KC View Post
I don't see why you couldn't just jack the front end up, let the IFS droop, unbolt the fork and swap the bushing, unbolt the UCA and bolt, swap in the new UCA and put it all back together - never unbolting the strut tower bolts or removing the assembly.

I don't know - I'm trying to imagine this in my head w/o looking at my WK but it seems doable.
This
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Unread 10-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
jstand22
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One UCA bolt on each side will not clear the strut assembly....all you have to do is take mounting nuts off the top, let everything sag, and move the strut like 1 inch and you're all set....you don't have to take it out. Otherwise you'll have to sawzall that one bolt out on each side.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
Budasac
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Originally Posted by jstand22 View Post
One UCA bolt on each side will not clear the strut assembly....all you have to do is take mounting nuts off the top, let everything sag, and move the strut like 1 inch and you're all set....you don't have to take it out. Otherwise you'll have to sawzall that one bolt out on each side.
Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. I was kinda hoping that once the springs were fully extended the bolt might fit between the coils. oh well. It shouldn't be bad. Just not thrilled about dropping $450+ on parts.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budasac

Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. I was kinda hoping that once the springs were fully extended the bolt might fit between the coils. oh well. It shouldn't be bad. Just not thrilled about dropping $450+ on parts.
I hear ya dude kolak just got $650 from me lol
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Unread 10-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstand22 View Post
One UCA bolt on each side will not clear the strut assembly....all you have to do is take mounting nuts off the top, let everything sag, and move the strut like 1 inch and you're all set....you don't have to take it out. Otherwise you'll have to sawzall that one bolt out on each side.
^ This, I ran into the issue also when installing my JBA UCAs.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #9
Budasac
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Originally Posted by hoaxci5 View Post
^ This, I ran into the issue also when installing my JBA UCAs.
So you dropped the strut a little as well? What if I bought replacement bolts and just cut the old one off and installed the new one from the inside? Does that save me any time?


BTW Hoax, did I see some where on UJ that you moved to the East Coast?
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Unread 10-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
hoaxci5
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Yea I'm pretty sure I loosened the 4 top bolts on the strut until they where almost off, and maybe even loosened up the bottom pinch bolt.. I can't remember for sure, and it was kind of a pain in the *** still as I recall.. I think I was doing it when I had my RRO 2.25 lift in place so that might make a difference also since spacers would move the spring to a different location.

Omelet said he removed his and reversed them in case he needed to remove them again. I'm not sure about cutting them, I think they are pretty stout and it might be quicker to just drop the strut at that point.

Yes I moved.... currently in Elkton, MD while we wait to close on a house in Claymont, DE (we were supposed to close 9/28 but dealing with some property line issues..) come out to RC Oct 27th weekend, there is a pretty good sized group planning on going.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 06:05 PM   #11
Omelet
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Yep what Jake said! Don't reinstall the bolts like they come from the factory (From the inside out) install them from the outside in. That way you never have to worry about having to remove the strut to remove the UCA again, whether it be in the driveway or on the trail
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Unread 10-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #12
YB Normyl
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To remove the bolts I used a spring compressor to maneuver the coil spring up or down but it was a real pain, then I inserted a little shorter bolt the opposite way. You could cut the bolts too, loosen them a bit and try to cut the head off so you can slide them the opposite way.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #13
Budasac
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Ok, so I'm just gonna plan on pulling everything. I'm ordering the JBA UCAs tonight along with the bushings for the lower strut fork bolt. I'm thinking I should replace the lower balljoints while I'm at it since they're only about $60 and I'll have it all apart. Sway bar bushings and endlinks were recently replaced, is there anything else anyone can think of that I should do while I'm there?
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Unread 10-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #14
2005WK37David
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I have replaced them before on a 2005 wk.

Jack the vehicle up and put the frame on jackstands.

Place a jack under the lower ball joint/control arm.

Then once you loosen the UCA bolts you can raise and lower the jack, which will compress and decompress the spring, and you can place it where you want it to slide the bolts out.

Same thing for putting them back in.
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Unread 10-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #15
Budasac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoaxci5 View Post
Yes I moved.... currently in Elkton, MD while we wait to close on a house in Claymont, DE (we were supposed to close 9/28 but dealing with some property line issues..) come out to RC Oct 27th weekend, there is a pretty good sized group planning on going.
Nice, welcome to the East Coast. I'd love to hit RC but that's the only day I have an opportunity to work on the Jeep. Coaching sucks up all my time. Right now football and wrestling season are overlaping so I have no days off at all.

BTW are you still rockin the beard???
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