Upper rear control arm bracket broken. Repairable? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
Toonces
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Upper rear control arm bracket broken. Repairable?

Last night I started noticing a shimmy in the rear of my 97 TJ when shifting gears. I went to run an errand this afternoon and along with the shimmy I started hearing a bump against the tub and it felt like it pulled up on the right when I shifted gears. Before I got too far I drove back home and parked the Jeep and took another vehicle. When I got back home I crawled under and found that my rear left upper control arm bracket was broken off at the axle. The other side looks normal with no cracks but as you can see from the picture. The driver's side is not so good. I've been searching on the subject of upper rear control arm breakages and nearly all the answers I found were for breakages on the body side. Is this repairable by having it welded back together or will I have to remove the whole rear end and remove the the brackets and have new ones welded on? I can see from the wear on the trackbar that it appears to have been going on for a while but must have just finally broken all the way through. Lastly, would it be safe to drive to a shop with 1 broken like this?

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 09:41 PM
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I don't have an answer. I.just wanted to say that you folks out west with your 15 year old vehicles with virtually no rust disgust me.

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post #3 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecleaner
I don't have an answer. I.just wanted to say that you folks out west with your 15 year old vehicles with virtually no rust disgust me.
I give that a x2 but as for help if it was my vehicle I'd tow it. But in reality if you baby it and it's only a mile or two you'll probaly make it. As for fixin it your probaly better getting a new mount put on

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 10:15 PM
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you can drive it to the shop without any problems. just be light on the skinny petal.

the other upper will keep your axle from rolling, alot of people run 3 links which is essentially what you have right now haha good luck to ya man

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 10:27 PM
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It seems to me that you do some HD wheeling, this jeep has been in a wreck, or there's something Very wrong with that type of damage! I've been looking into rear UCA rubber bushing failure on my 06 and there has been some mention of similar damage cause by polyurethane bushings? If I was you I find out what caused the damage, then do the fix.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 10:46 PM
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There's a couple of options: put the bracket back in position and weld it (budget fix); remove the bracket and weld in a replacement (still in budget range), upgrade to another axle like a D44 (depends on your budget..).

I have two frame mount brackets that I re-welded years ago and are stronger than before.

But, you also have to figure out why it happened to begin with. My inclination leans towards your 4" lift on stock control arms twisting the bracket. In this case it will continue to happen until you correct that with bumpstops, the correct shocks, new control arms that flex like Johnny Joints, possibly a trackbar...

Basically you need to get your lift dialed in and prevent your axle from flexing the mount (you can see how much your sway bar has moved in the mount, and remember, when off-roading your rear axle moves in an arc..). As you noted, this has been happening over time, not sure of the history of your Jeep so no way to know how long it has been happening.

In theory you could drive it a short distance, but if you're not going to do any repair yourself (welding), you will save a lot of money if you pull the axle, take it to a shop, have them weld it up and then re-install it. Potentially you could get an immediate repair for around $25 - $50
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I am going to take it in and get it fixed or replaced. Unfortunately, a new D44 or 8.8 isn't in my budget. Maybe the new Rancho 9000XL's that my wife got me for Christmas will help a bit along with whatever else needs to be done to get the problem resolved.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 11:37 AM
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Just weld it back together till you can do something different.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 12:57 PM
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Don't three links have a trackbar? That looks like the driverside ca mount where the trackbar attaches. I would have it towed.

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by limeking View Post
Don't three links have a trackbar? That looks like the driverside ca mount where the trackbar attaches. I would have it towed.
true. sorry i totally forgot that. get it towed or else your axle is going to walk around everywhere and you'll probably break more stuff

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post #11 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I took it in to a place not too far from the house and got it welded. Also had my new shocks put on. The repair wasn't too bad. $50. The bushings on the old shocks were all dried out and loose. Looks like I should replace the upper control arms all the way around as the bushings on them aren't much better than the shocks were.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 02:19 PM
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Do you know what caused the mount to let go?


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post #13 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by -dirt- View Post
Do you know what caused the mount to let go?
Well I was told at the shop that they see this kind of break a lot on the driver side upper on both the axle and the body. Their thought pretty much echoed what stvdiego said and that the lift added stress along with the worn shock bushings that let the shocks move around that it's been tearing that bracket for a while. I didn't notice it so it's been getting progressively worse until it finally broke. They said I should replace the upper and trackbar bushings all the way around soon too. Even if I just get new factory types it will be an improvement. My lowers have already been replaced with aftermarket ones but could probably use new bushings given the state of the others. They were on it when I got it so I have no idea how old any of it is.

It seems like most places sell all urethane kits for all these bushings but I've read that I should stay away from them as they don't provide the same cushioning as rubber and provide a harsher ride. If that's so, why do all the suspension manufacturer's keep providing them? Is it more because of the application that makes them a poorer choice? Don't mean to start a religious war if this is one of those topics
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 03:36 PM
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Ok, just curious. Thought this might have happened during or immediately after a wheeling trip.


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post #15 of 17 Old 12-20-2011, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -dirt- View Post
Ok, just curious. Thought this might have happened during or immediately after a wheeling trip.
Unfortunately not. Seems like it boils down to worn suspension components. I'm sure the desert heat doesn't help that any. At least it's a great time of the year to be outside working on the Jeep
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