Bent rear upper control arm

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Kevin.G

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Has anyone heard of this? I know the previous "mechanic" that worked on my KJ, removed the arm to replace bushes and ball joint. Now that I am replacing these items again, I have found the following:

1. Sub standard aftermarket bushes
2. The ball joint was never replaced, supposedly because they could not get the ball joint out of the arm. I suspect in the process of of attempting the removal, they possibly Bent the one side of the arm.

The bend is hardly noticeable, but it CAN be seen with the naked eye once picked up. Now apart from the severely worn bushes, there has been no other untoward problems other than a somewhat "loose" backend over uneven surfaces normally associated with bad bushes. BUT, I have also picked up a slight diff whine when under load, but silent with my foot off the gas. My question is/are:

1. Would the diff Wine have anything to do with the Bent arm?
2. Noting that there is no tracking issue or uneven rear tire wear, would it be necessary to change the arm. Remember, here in Africa these are difficult to obtain and expensive to import.

Regards, Kevin.
 

duderz7

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Pictures would be helpful. While I have successfully replaced the bushings and ball joint in one of these control arms, I wouldn't ever suggest or try it again. The way they are built makes it nearly impossible without bending or collapsing the arm. And thats if there is no rust or other corrosion. Buy a new arm with bushings and ball joint and get used to replacing regularly or buy the Iron Rock Offroad one and never think about it again.
 

Kevin.G

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duderz7

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I've just replaced the whole thing on mine, because it wasn't much more than a pair of bushes.

Probably a mistake buying that cheap but I won't be doing again, whatever happens - a KJ's just not worth all that grief.
Why are you still here? It seems all you do is hate on kj's. They're not perfect, no vehicle is. Yes there are certainly better vehicles just as there are far worse. But if all you're going to do is keep chiming in with, "The vehicles this site are dedicated to are garbage" perhaps you'd be happier on a site dedicated to squares on wheels.
 

duderz7

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The arm itself doesn't look bad, but if the bushings and ball joint are bad I'd get a whole new arm with them already installed.
 

Deb'nKJ

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Why are you still here? It seems all you do is hate on kj's. They're not perfect, no vehicle is. Yes there are certainly better vehicles just as there are far worse. But if all you're going to do is keep chiming in with, "The vehicles this site are dedicated to are garbage" perhaps you'd be happier on a site dedicated to squares on wheels.
Why shouldn't I be? I've got one & I have to learn to live with it, if not love it. I don't hate them, in fact I'm quite impressed with their abilities - although I do hate working on mine: probably the worst thing in that respect since the original Mini (maybe for the same reason - too much packed into too small a space.).
I am disappointed, I'd hoped for better - & frustrated by everything taking so long, I've almost forgotten what it's like to drive - which, I recall, I quite enjoyed.
However, the bottom line is, they're, literally, not worth spending a lot of money on - & I'm beginning to resent the amount of time my consumes. I'm grateful for some hard learnt lessons, but there's no job satisfaction, just a sense relief that's something else's done.
However, not wishing to offend anyone's sensitivities, I will try to read more, & be more circumspect when posting.
 

Luke

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It’s a shame that you don’t feel the joy that the vast majority of us feel/felt with our KJ’s… even when challenged with a repair. Your posts certainly don’t bother me but I do find it easier to read if I picture you like this … ;)

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duderz7

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Why shouldn't I be? I've got one & I have to learn to live with it, if not love it. I don't hate them, in fact I'm quite impressed with their abilities - although I do hate working on mine: probably the worst thing in that respect since the original Mini (maybe for the same reason - too much packed into too small a space.).
I am disappointed, I'd hoped for better - & frustrated by everything taking so long, I've almost forgotten what it's like to drive - which, I recall, I quite enjoyed.
However, the bottom line is, they're, literally, not worth spending a lot of money on - & I'm beginning to resent the amount of time my consumes. I'm grateful for some hard learnt lessons, but there's no job satisfaction, just a sense relief that's something else's done.
However, not wishing to offend anyone's sensitivities, I will try to read more, & be more circumspect when posting.
Your posts don't bother me, was just an honest question since it seems you're always so negative about your kj and seldom have anything constructive to add. But I hear you, I've certainly had my moments questioning why I spend the time and money on this thing, but then it takes me on an adventure and im reminded.
 

u2slow

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I renewed the bushings and balljoint once. The holes became too stretched to retain the replacements, so i had to tack weld. New arm for sure next time. They are on amazon for about $100.
 

JeepJeepster

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Those arms are thin stamped steel, so I wouldn't be surprised if they bent it a bit when trying to press out/in the bushings on the ends or the ball joint.

I replaced mine with the iron rock offroad control arm that has no rubber bushings. It does transmit a bit more noise, but I was glad to spend the $500 on my Liberty. The original arm was fine, I just thought it was time to replace it after 18 years of trouble free driving.
 

Kevin.G

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Thanks to All for the responses received to date. No one has touched on my question regarding the diff noise, but I guess I'll have my answer once the new parts are in.

I Love South Africa where I live, but at times become frustrated with the lack of availability of original and/or good quality parts for the KJ. So, due to a pathetically weak USD exchange rate, ridiculous import duties and long lead times, I have decided to keep the existing arm and have polyurethane bushes installed. The end result will soon become apparent and I trust it will be successful. Hopefully this exercise will only be repeated way in the future someday, and in the interim I will investigate replacement with an Iron Rock control arm.
 

duderz7

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Sorry, missed you the diff noise. A good place to start is doing a fluid exchange and inspection for any metal shavings. You could also put it on a lift or jack stands let it idle in drive and or have a friend in the driver seat giving it a little throttle. While you try to zero in on the noise. Just make sure it's solid before you begin, it's a bad day if it comes off the jack stands. Also, your noise could be as simple as a hung up parking brake.
 

u2slow

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I've had pinion bearings wear out twice now on the KJ. First time was whine/howl type of noise. Second time was a strange swishy noise.
 

jdlavin

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Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Parts in general are cheap for this vehicle and it's 'wonderful' build quality leds it self to creative home engineering. It's pretty easy for 50 bucks to get some heavy duty moog pressed in. I daily drive as well as mountain passes for commute, stock parts and materials have held up really well.
 

KJowner

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My pinion bearings were shot, the axle tube had corrosion on the inside that made the oil into grinding paste, the axle howled under acceleration.
You need an inch pound torque wrench to setup the preload on reassembly.
 

Xterra4x4

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Has anyone heard of this? I know the previous "mechanic" that worked on my KJ, removed the arm to replace bushes and ball joint. Now that I am replacing these items again, I have found the following:

1. Sub standard aftermarket bushes
2. The ball joint was never replaced, supposedly because they could not get the ball joint out of the arm. I suspect in the process of of attempting the removal, they possibly Bent the one side of the arm.

The bend is hardly noticeable, but it CAN be seen with the naked eye once picked up. Now apart from the severely worn bushes, there has been no other untoward problems other than a somewhat "loose" backend over uneven surfaces normally associated with bad bushes. BUT, I have also picked up a slight diff whine when under load, but silent with my foot off the gas. My question is/are:

1. Would the diff Wine have anything to do with the Bent arm?
2. Noting that there is no tracking issue or uneven rear tire wear, would it be necessary to change the arm. Remember, here in Africa these are difficult to obtain and expensive to import.

Regards, Kevin.
I never heard of bent upper rear control arm!
 
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