Can you check if the rear UCA bushings are bad without pulling the arm? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-19-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
AVR2
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Can you check if the rear UCA bushings are bad without pulling the arm?

I've checked the ball joint on my rear UCA by using a pry bar to lever between the top of the diff and the tip of the arm - there's no play there. Is there any way to check the condition of the two frame-end bushings without pulling the arm to look?

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post #2 of 17 Old 07-19-2020, 08:08 PM
snowbuggy
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One of my WJ's has bad upper control arm bushings and it is very obvious by looking at them. They are all twisted out of whack. It probably helps me to have another Jeep with good bushings to compare to.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-19-2020, 10:09 PM
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On my Jeep they still looked good and had some stiffness. I replaced everything anyway and it was night and day compared to the old bushings. If you think they’re soft then change them. It’s not a huge or expensive job
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-20-2020, 12:44 PM
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I'd say yes, the other day I had my WJ jacked up with the tires off and jack stands under the rear axle (so just sitting at ride height, no droop); and with a good light I could easily see that the upper A-Arm bushings were starting to crack and tear.

They looked bad enough that I went ahead and bought a new A-Arm w/ bushings (Dorman, $75 shipped @ Amazon) and a new ball joint (Mopar, $50 + shipping @ RockAuto). I hope the Dorman A-arm is OK quality, it had good reviews but their quality is becoming very hit or miss these days. The factory Mopar a-arm is not affordable, and RockAuto had a Moog one for $65, but shipping on it would be $240. Yes two hundred and fourty dollars.

I haven't physically checked the ball joint yet but I've had the A-arm out before and the job is kind of a PITA so to me it's worth it to just replace everything at once. In my case something in my rear suspension is making a thumping sound over bumps so I suspect it's bad anyway....
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-20-2020, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
I'd say yes, the other day I had my WJ jacked up with the tires off and jack stands under the rear axle (so just sitting at ride height, no droop); and with a good light I could easily see that the upper A-Arm bushings were starting to crack and tear.

They looked bad enough that I went ahead and bought a new A-Arm w/ bushings (Dorman, $75 shipped @ Amazon) and a new ball joint (Mopar, $50 + shipping @ RockAuto). I hope the Dorman A-arm is OK quality, it had good reviews but their quality is becoming very hit or miss these days. The factory Mopar a-arm is not affordable, and RockAuto had a Moog one for $65, but shipping on it would be $240. Yes two hundred and fourty dollars.

I haven't physically checked the ball joint yet but I've had the A-arm out before and the job is kind of a PITA so to me it's worth it to just replace everything at once. In my case something in my rear suspension is making a thumping sound over bumps so I suspect it's bad anyway....
Not sure of the Dorman parts, I agree on the hit/miss on quality. I just refreshed all my suspension with parts from Kolak. The upper was a little more expensive than the Dorman parts, but they were Crown Auto brand. Very good quality.

I would highly suggest checking with Kolak before purchase in the future. His shipping costs are good and he gives a decent discount with very good info when it comes to making a decision.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-20-2020, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MuloChico View Post
they were Crown Auto brand. Very good quality
Interesting - I thought Crown were meant to be very hit-or-miss quality these days? I've read lots of opinions from people who think they're flat-out crap.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-22-2020, 01:50 PM
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It seems like almost any brand making aftermarket versions of factory replacement parts is hit or miss these days. I've heard the same thing about Crown as well and Omix-Ada too. I've only had personal experience with Dorman and in the past 10 years of using their parts some of their stuff has been great, like O.E. quality or very close, and some has been really cheap junk that I didn't trust enough to use and returned for another brand. Seems like buying parts is basically a gamble.

I just try to use OE parts whenever I can afford to, but even for an 18 year old super common Jeep, plenty of items are stupid expensive from the dealer...
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-23-2020, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
It seems like almost any brand making aftermarket versions of factory replacement parts is hit or miss these days. I've heard the same thing about Crown as well and Omix-Ada too. I've only had personal experience with Dorman and in the past 10 years of using their parts some of their stuff has been great, like O.E. quality or very close, and some has been really cheap junk that I didn't trust enough to use and returned for another brand. Seems like buying parts is basically a gamble.

I just try to use OE parts whenever I can afford to, but even for an 18 year old super common Jeep, plenty of items are stupid expensive from the dealer...
Just as a heads-up Omix-ADA makes nothing of their own. They just relabel other manufacturers parts, jack the price way up, then sell the parts as their own. I've seen them do this with Walker exhaust parts, Valeo radiators, and believe they do the same with Crown parts.

Stay clear of Omix-ADA altogether and I've been ripped off once by them and never again.

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post #9 of 17 Old 07-23-2020, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
I just try to use OE parts whenever I can afford to, but even for an 18 year old super common Jeep, plenty of items are stupid expensive from the dealer...
It does seem that many OE parts have leapt in price over the last few years. Maybe it's due to the WJ design being 21 years old now, so stocks of OE parts are being run down and their price has been going up as they become rarer?

I mean, the Mopar rear UCA is now $500 at RockAuto. It never used to be that much, did it?

Apparently the full dealer list price is nearly $900, some Mopar discounters are offering it for $600 and others say it's discontinued.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-24-2020, 06:43 AM
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the Mopar prices went thro the roof when FIAT bought Chrysler and they needed to get as much money back as they could, didn't help with anything to do with the diesel models was Mercedes so FIAT obviously didn't want to be paying them licencing fees to use their parts.
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-24-2020, 12:57 PM
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Some good info Carl and makes sense. Plus I was at the Jeep dealer once and ended up in the Fiat showroom waiting for a Jeep part. Those little boxy Fiat cars sure seemed expensive for what you get!

As far as control arms go I've always leaned towards Mopar parts. But you may want to read Gman's long running build thread on here. I remember him buying replacement Mopar control arms and he said they were complete junk while wore out in just a couple months. I don't believe he was talking about the rear upper A-arm but just thought I'd pass this along.

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post #12 of 17 Old 07-24-2020, 05:34 PM
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I received my Dorman upper A-arm and the bushings are pressed in facing in completely different directions. That's not correct, right? Seems to me like the orientation of the bushings should be symmetrical.

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post #13 of 17 Old 07-24-2020, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
I received my Dorman upper A-arm and the bushings are pressed in facing in completely different directions. That's not correct, right? Seems to me like the orientation of the bushings should be symmetrical.

post a pic or two?

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post #14 of 17 Old 07-25-2020, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
I received my Dorman upper A-arm and the bushings are pressed in facing in completely different directions. That's not correct, right? Seems to me like the orientation of the bushings should be symmetrical.
If you look at the info below from the Dorman site if you were to just buy the 2 upper outer bushings for the 99-04 WJ A-Arm it says they are directional and should be installed the same as OE.

https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-11578-905-203.aspx

https://static.dormanproducts.com/do...905-203_tn.pdf

If you have one installed one direction and the other installed in the opposite direction that doesn't sound correct. I'd try to exchange it.

Below is the whole A-arm link on the Dorman site.

https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-82367-522-476.aspx

Their front view photo below is so dark in the back it's hard to tell but it does look like both bushing wide metal parts should face up.

The bottom view definitely looks like both rubber parts of the bushing are pointed down. You'd think somebody could dust the arm off before taking a photo to make it sell. Guess not..

PS. these photos are posting too small on the forum and likely it's better to zoom them in the link above.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-25-2020, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
If you look at the info below from the Dorman site if you were to just buy the 2 upper outer bushings for the 99-04 WJ A-Arm it says they are directional and should be installed the same as OE.

https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-11578-905-203.aspx

https://static.dormanproducts.com/do...905-203_tn.pdf

If you have one installed one direction and the other installed in the opposite direction that doesn't sound correct. I'd try to exchange it.

Below is the whole A-arm link on the Dorman site.

https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-82367-522-476.aspx

Their front view photo below is so dark in the back it's hard to tell but it does look like both bushing wide metal parts should face up.

The bottom view definitely looks like both rubber parts of the bushing are pointed down. You'd think somebody could dust the arm off before taking a photo to make it sell. Guess not..

PS. these photos are posting too small on the forum and likely it's better to zoom them in the link above.



Whoops! I have seen the discussion about the bushings being directional before, but have never seen anything definitive as to why....Now i see that i have probably installed them into my used control arm incorrectly. Ignorance is bliss...Thanks for ruining that for me Uniblurb...HAHA

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