Metal Cloak LCA install
Having trouble loading pics, but here is a write up with no pics to get your mouth watering...
Received my order from Metal Cloak today. Not bad, even though they say 3 weeks, I ordered on Jan. 15 and received today. I appreciated the fact that they included UPS shipping info and that you can access the tracking info right from your account log in on the MC website. One note, MC requires UPS to get a signature to deliver, so consider that when ordering and make sure you have a way to make that happen. I had mine delivered to work, so 1) I could get a signature and 2) Fed Ex and UPS will not go down my road for deliveries
On to the install. Today was almost 70 degrees and sunny here in central NC. Supposed to be snowy and cold for the rest of the week pretty much so I bailed a bit early on work and came home to get started on install.
The box was torn, but the arms were packaged well, with the air filled packing bubbles and lots of tape, so arms arrived unscathed despite the 27 pound shipping weight. I was impressed with the build and heft of the arms. In the past I have had Currie LCA's and the old style Teraflex CA's. These arms were bigger and heavier than those, according to my memory.
A quick inspection of the bushings from the stock LCA's showed what I think may have been at least part of the source of my shimmy... they don't look as bad as I have seen, but they are still past it...
I used the ratchet strap to pull the axle forward a bit. I adjusted the new LCA to 16", so easy pull with the strap of only about 1/4". To make this easier I put straps on both sides, put tension on them, loosed all 4 LCA bolts, removed one side bolts, and cranked the straps to move the axle where I needed for that side. I left the bolts loose on the newly installed MC LCA, then moved to the other side. Once I got the other side off, I cranked the strap on that side and installed bolts. Then I tightened all bolts, semi hard (keep your mind out of the gutter) and removed straps. Once the straps were removed I went back and torqued down each bolt.
Light was fading fast and while I have the barn to work in, the lighting is not the best. I chose to hold off on the UCA install for another day. However, since I did not have the time for the UCA, but I did have the rear bilsteins to add, I moved on that. I already have bilsteins on the front, so this is part of my ride improvement strategy.
Of course, I had my regular "hired help" working with me today. Joe is actually getting to be a help these days, when putting the tires back on, I would get all 5 lugs started and he would spin them "tight" enough to lower and have Dad tighten things up. So much fun.
After we got it all buttoned back up, we went for a quick test drive. I have been in this jeep game for a while... I can say without a doubt that this simple mod of the front LCA from Metal Cloak has an amazing impact on smoothness. I am lucky enough to have to ride on dirt for almost a mile before I get to pavement. This "road" to our house is what most would consider a trail. This change made the ride smooth right out. Kind of felt like floating over the bumps. When I got to pavement things were smooth until about 51/52 and then I got a slight shimmy, much less than before, but at a higher speed. I am sure caster is off, since I extended the LCA's by 1/4 inch and have yet to do the UCA's. I am excited to get the chance to get the UCA's installed, get an alignment and see how that effects things. I am confident that I will get the correction complete.
I am not so very easily impressed and often choose a less expensive option, due to the expenses of "real life". I can say now with confidence that the MC control arms are a worthy investment. I will report further after some road miles and after getting the UCA's installed.
Je Suis Prest ~ Semper Fi