Rear control arm help!!

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by 2005jeepliberty, May 3, 2021.

  1. 2005jeepliberty

    2005jeepliberty New Member

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    Hi Guys, I'm new to the form. Recently purchased a used 2005 Jeep Liberty 3.7. noted knocking and clunk from the differential area since I bought it. Initially I thought it was the u-joints, therefore I replaced both of them however still the clunk was there. I looked above the differential and their appear to be a control arm which I never even knew existed. A use the pry bar and the ball joint was very loose and made a clunking noise.

    Today I was able to remove the rear control arm however I was having a hard time installing the driver side control arm bushing bolt, first it was not going through the bushing itself however I noted the captive nUt that is supposed to be housed in the frame was loose and is spining on its own. I'm not sure what to do now. There's no way I can even see you why the nut is spinning. I can't even hold it with anything. What are my options?
     

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  2. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What tri link did you buy ? ( manufacturer )
    some of the cheaper ones are junk

    Now on to the captured nut , is it just loose or is it spinning
    They are all somewhat loose but when you tighten them down they are good
    Run the bolt up in finger tight and then see if you can use a punch to kind of lock it in place
     
  3. 2005jeepliberty

    2005jeepliberty New Member

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    Thanks for the reply..I made a mistake a d orders a cheap one on Amazon. Should have ordered oem from jeep. The bold thru the passenger rear bushing area is so hard to get thru and the bushing is not aligned with the hole. The captive nut is very lose and I almost lost it in there. How would I use a punch to lock it in place?
     
  4. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

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    Yeah here's the deal: there are 2 (basic) ways to install, I've tried both ways and I prefer the 2nd method.

    Bushings first. Bolt the control arm to the body first with the 2 bolts, then try to get the ball joint into the differential. You'll have a hard time getting the ball joint in and you'll have to take a jack (possibly 2) and rotate the differential slightly until you find the perfect angle for the ball joint to slip down into the differential mount. A small 2-3lbs sledge is your friend to help persuade the control arm into the joint.

    Ball joint first. Place the ball joint into the differential first and secure with pinch bolt, then try to get the 2 body bolts in. You'll find that the differential will rotate on you and you'll have to jack the differential up, put it on jacks at the correct height, and then use a jack on the front of the differential to rotate the nose up which will also push the control arm forward/back so the body bolt holes will line up.

    If you are planning to install anything else on the rear end, do this first before you do anything else. Once you take everything apart, the springs will push the rear diff into the gas tank and your driveline will slip out, etc. Don't ask how I know. :)
     
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  5. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    remove the whole bracket from the rear diff , mount tri-link to all points, then bracket to rear diff
    that is the easiest and fastest way
     
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  6. 2005jeepliberty

    2005jeepliberty New Member

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    So here is the update. I was trying to install the bushings first however the bushing on the driver side, the hole did not align well with the frame hole so really I had to jam the bolt in. Also the captive nut was spinning. I used my impact wrench and was able to somehow get the bolt through and tighten it. I think I may have damaged threads on the bolt. I was able to get everything together and that ball joint was pain in the a** however was able to get that in as well. Had to use a chisel to open the ball joint yoke.

    What I'm more worried about now is if I have to replace the control arm in the future and I'm experiencing the captive nut spinning again that would be a disaster. I do not think there's a way to hold the captive nut unless I cut into the body panel.
     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes you made it extra hard on yourself in doing it that way
    also the pinch ( ball joint yoke, what you are calling it ) if pressed open too much will break, have seen it many times
    That is one of the reasons I remove the whole bracket making is way easier to see what you are doing and also getting everything apart and aligned correctly and easily going back together
    As far as the nut spinning, now that you have possibly damaged the threads on the bolt and nut spinning you may have to cut next time
     
  8. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

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    Huh. Hadn’t thought to do it like that but yeah that would probably be easiest. Still would require a jack to rotate the diff to get it to line up but at least you aren’t fighting the bushings or the ball joint. The ball joint is particularly frustrating when it goes in last. I actually like to use my jeep bottle jack and jack right at the nose of the diff to rotate.
     
  9. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

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    yeah sounds like you cross threaded the bolt. Did you try rotating the diff to get it to line up?
     
  10. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have several floor jacks, just jack it to where it needs to be in the beginning, remove old one with bracket and usually it will go right back into place , with maybe a minor adjustment on the nose of the diff
    Also, I always toss the Jeep balls and worthless sway bar on 99% of the KJs I work on anyways, so all of that is out of the road when reinstalling

    Sure am glad that the 05 is the only one of mine running a stock type tri-link anymore
     
  11. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

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    You don’t get any extra vibration from the driveshaft without the counter weights? And what about the sway bar - on road handling must be affected, right?
     
  12. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No extra vibrations and the sway bars do nothing really
    they are only attached to the lower control arms
    KKs were done right with their sway bars, but KJs are worthless
    The 04s been off for over 230,000 miles off roading, pulling trailers 1000s of miles etc
    03s been off since the day I bought it and over 80,000 miles
    I have about , well did have before last junk load about 40 some jeep balls/and that many sway bars
     
  13. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow New Member

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    What are the bad brands of tri-link? I ordered a Mevotech...