96 ZJ Limited Changing Control Arms - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
ZJJeepers1972
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96 ZJ Limited Changing Control Arms

Hi guys,

I have ordered new upper and lower control arms for my 96 ZJ Limited. The old ones are shot.
What i want to know is if i can drive the jeep up on ramps to change these or do i actually need it on a lift with the wheels free?
I changed these awhile back but i had it on my uncles lift.

TIA

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post #2 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:17 PM
nick613
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You'd be best to support it by the frame and let the axle hang.

Would probably be ok to change them one at a time while on a ramp but I think you' be fighting things a lot more and it wouldnt be worth it.

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post #3 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
ZJJeepers1972
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Thats what i was thinking. Ill just use jack stands. I would like to use a lift but its not available anymore.
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:33 PM
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They should be close enough. What I do is jack the center of the front axle and lift the whole front of the jeep, then stick the jackstands under the "frame", lower the jack so the weight of the vehicle is on the jackstands then take the tires off so the axle can droop all the way down. Then you dont have the tires in the way too and gain more room to work.

You can leave the jack under the axle as extra safety and to move the axle up and down to help install the control arms.

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post #5 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
ZJJeepers1972
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Gotcha!!
Thank you nick613.
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 05:56 PM
nick613
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No problem, I just finished a lift on my 98 where I replaced all 8 control arms with adjustable ones so its all fresh in my head.

You'll need a T45 and a T55 torx bit and don't forget about the cam bolts for the lower control arms on the axle side they'll have to go back on the same way they were before or it'll throw your caster angle out slightly.

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post #7 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 08:32 PM
1996maroonzjf
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It is usually recommended to change control arms one at a time with all 4 wheels on the ground chocked. No lifting or ramps are required.

-Tim
(2) '96 4.0s
#1-'10-'18
#2- HP30/Ford 8.8 - 4.56, OME HDs, 5100's, IRO Adj Arms/Track Bars
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post #8 of 28 Old 02-23-2020, 11:39 PM
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996maroonzjf View Post
It is usually recommended to change control arms one at a time with all 4 wheels on the ground chocked. No lifting or ramps are required.
^- This exactly! Do NOT droop the axle, do NOT remove more than one CA at a time.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-24-2020, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996maroonzjf View Post
It is usually recommended to change control arms one at a time with all 4 wheels on the ground chocked. No lifting or ramps are required.
Who recommends that ? I don't think there's any way in HE** I could change my upper rear ones without letting the axle droop. I change one at a time on jack stands then tighten everything up to specs when on the ground. It's also so much easier removing tires & on jack stands. THIS IS NEWS TO ME, FOR SURE.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-24-2020, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 3hounds View Post
Who recommends that?

Just about everyone who has changed control arms on 4-link suspensions more than once

If you want to remove tires or let the axle droop for better access, do NOT remove any of the control arms when axle is drooping, only loosen all CA bolts/ nuts. Then support from axles and do one arm at a time. This will prevent the axle from shifting, which in turn keeps the CA and bracket bolt holes aligned.
That being said, when installing a lift & longer control arms, it may be necessary to lower or raise axle to align bolt holes.



As you mentioned, it is very important to torque the CA fasteners only after vehicle is at ride height - Jeep either supported from axles on axle stands, or weight on tires.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #11 of 28 Old 02-25-2020, 07:40 AM
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Here is a video:

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post #12 of 28 Old 02-25-2020, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terpsmandan View Post
Here is a video:

..and as can be seen in the video, there is binding because axle is drooping and body supported on axle stand. Due to that, when installing the new CA axle needs to be moved up and down for hole alignment.
With the Jeep on level ground and weight in tires/ axles, you don't usually get much movement at all - it can happen, but not often.

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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-25-2020, 12:26 PM
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Timo_90xj In that vid. is pretty much the way I've always done it except for tightening the cam bolt like he did first. I just put the bolt then nut on & lower to ground or axle on jack stands. So what you are saying is the only reason NOT DOING IT THIS WAY is so the bolt holes line up better or don't move at all ? Once he put the weight of the Jeep on the axles he then tightened them to spec. but I think he tightened them too much before doing so is the only problem I see. My rear upper Pass. side C.A. I could not remove the bolt unless I lowered the axle, the bolt could not be removed, it was hitting the bump stop on the frame.


I'm not trying to saying I'm right you're wrong, I just don't see a problem if you put the bolts back in ( which ever way you can ) then put vehicle weight on axles & tighten ? If I've been doing it WRONG, PLEASE SCHOOL ME ? I just don't see how it could bind the way I've been doing it ? Lowering weight on axles then tighten to spec. ? I'm here to learn & I KNOW YOU KNOW YOUR S**T BY YOUR ANSWERS I've seen in so many posts. Thanks for your reply, 3H out.
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-25-2020, 12:45 PM
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Yeap, it's easier with the axles at ride height, because there is zero or very little axle shift and the bolts come out and go back in without realigning the holes.
That is also the reason why you do one CA at a time, to prevent axle from tilting/ shifting position.


There is nothing wrong changing CAs with the axles drooping as long as you torque the bolts when weight is on the axles/ vehicle at ride height. But it's usually more work that way.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-25-2020, 01:36 PM
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All of this would have saved me SO much time last summer...
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