Upper control arm alternatives

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bwood97

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So I got one of the "Deeke's" lift UCAs in today, first time doing UCAs on a Liberty and man, it is a pain in the ass! Getting to the rear driver side UCA bolt is a right squeeze between the steering shaft, brake lines, and everything else in there. I ended up loosing one of the nuts for the UCA down into a hole in the unibody frame rail while doing it. Talk about a stupid design by Jeep on that one! They put a hole, just bit enough to loose the nut, RIGHT under the rear driver side UCA bolt! So of course as soon as I tried to pull the socket out with the nut in it (and because of the awkward maneuvering with a socket on a 12" extension), the nut fell into the hole and disappeared into the frame rail! That noise is going to bother the hell out of me as it rattles around in the frame rail when driving.

Other than that though, the control arm seemed to fit well, I still have the ball joint disconnected as I didn't get the coilovers installed today, but did get the old ones disassembled and the new ones assembled.
The grease fitting on top of the bushings though, are poorly placed, I removed them and plugged the holes after greasing them, because it appeared as though they could snap off when the suspension fully articulates. I just filled the hole with a dab of silicone, so if I need to in the future, I can put a grease needle through that and grease them that way still.

The arms themselves seem of decent quality, not JBA quality, but decent. The biggest concern I have is with the quality of the ball joint itself. I am going to use this ball joint that came with it, but I may swap it out later for a better known name brand one. They do appear to accept the standard Moog K292(I think that's the part #), that JBA arms or some Silverados take. It would be an easy swap. The hardware holding the ball joint to the arms seems of fairly low quality, despite apparently being grade 8, so anyone considering these arms, may want to order some Moog K292 ball joint and them and the hardware before installing the arms. The arms themselves seem good enough, so if you're okay with swapping the ball joints, or concerned about the quality of them (like I am a bit), it's still a significantly cheaper option to buy these and swap in the Moog ball joints, and have basically JBA UCAs for half the price. ($150USD for the arms, $100-$150 for 2 Moog K292 BJs).

Here is some photos of them newly installed.

The blue springs are OME 927s, I tried painting them blue to match the blue metal mesh grill I put in, and my blue row hooks, but the springs for scratched up pretty bad when trying to assemble the new coilovers. Shocks are Rancho RS5764 if I recall correctly. Bilsteins are expensive up here in Canada, and my fiancee is starting to get mad at me spending so much money on my old jeep, and not on her
 

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bwood97

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So, the Deeke's lifted UCAs are installed. I did end up swapping out the ball joints for some Moog K6292, which I think was the right call. The ball joints that came with the arms seemed to be pretty low quality, the threads were very rough and one even began tearing just from trying to tighten it up once, so I ran out and got the Moogs, thankfully a shop in town had them in stock.

The arms themselves though, otherwise, seem fairly good. I had a pretty bad camber going on prior to the install, that was due to the cheap lift I had done months prior (DIY 3/8th top plate and 3/8 clevis spacer on new OEM springs for 1.5" of lift up front), and even though it had sagged down to 19.5" upfront, i still had significant camber (I assume previous owner had it aligned some point when sitting at 17.5-18", so at even just 19.5" camber was way out).

My alignment actually appears a bit better now, tires seem less crooked than prior to the lift, ball joints angles are nearly perfect too. Overall, I'm pretty happy with these arms for only $150Usd, $250CAD, but anyone looking to buy them should consider swapping the ball joints for the Moog K6292. They drop right into these arms, as they would on JBA arms. CV angles are great too actually, almost flat. Sitting at 21.75" on each side right after install, no clevis or top plate right now, but may add some clevis lift depending on how much these OME 927 settle over the next week.
 

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bwood97

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For anyone wondering, finally got the Jeep aligned today and the seized cam bolts fixed. New Mevotech LCAs and lower ball joints went in too. It ride really nice and suspension angles are near perfect with the Deeke's arms with Moog K6292 ball joints.

The Deeke's arms let me get right into factory specs perfectly on everything basically. Strangely, last time I went in for an alignment (when I found out cam bolts were seized) the caster was way out, so they were unable to adjust the caster, but when I returned this week, the caster has actually come back into factory spec by itself?! A full degree or so of change on its own. I'm hoping this was just from the springs settling a little. I'll find out I guess if the jeep will hold an alignment with these cheaper UCAs when I go back in for new tires in a month or two. Assuming I don't knock it out of alignment off-road before then.

I should have done the clevis lift before bringing it in though, as I have wanted to lift the front another half inch or so. It sits almost perfectly level right now, but I want to add a little more lift, half inch or so, front and rear. I am using BDS springs in the rear, and OME 927s upfront, and it has worked out fairly well. For anyone considering the BDS kit, they do seem fairly good, spring wise at least. Mine have held up well and not sagged at all, after the initial settling from 22" to 21.25" inch.

These alignment specs are with the Deeke's arms, Moog K6292 ball joints up top, and Mevotech LCAa and ball joints, sitting at 21.75" last I measured.
 

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u2slow

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BTW, what is "level" on a KJ? The wheel wells are different heights and the body lines aren't parallel.
 

bwood97

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BTW, what is "level" on a KJ? The wheel wells are different heights and the body lines aren't parallel.
Mine looks pretty level, right now with around 21.5" in the front and 21" in the rear. It sits pretty flat front to back, as far as height looks. Most guys have OME 927s upfront and I believe 948s in the rear, but I've read that leaves some guys nose high a little bit. I have OME 927s upfront and BDS springs in the rear and this has it looking nice and quite level
 

ikuo78

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The service manual contains definitions that cannot be measured without a flat floor and a height gauge.

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