Replace front lower control arms, or...? - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Suspension / Lifts This is the place to discuss the suspension, lift systems, and other stuff underneath your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Replace front lower control arms, or...?

So I'm going to replace all four springs and shocks in the coming weeks - probably OME springs and Bilstein shocks (did the same combo on my Liberty when I first lifted it and was very satisfied.)

The dilemma is the frozen lower clevis bolts in the lower control arm bushing. Didn't have that issue with my Liberty (slightly different bushing that prevents the bolt from rusting to the bushing sleeve.) I don't have a problem cutting the clevis bolts and replacing the lower control arm bushing (other than the time and hassle) but I've seen threads detailing how to simplify the process by just getting new lower control arms and new lower clevis bolts & nuts. What I DON'T want to get into is having frozen control arm bolts in the lower mount and dealing with cutting them out along with the clevis bolt.

Anyone in a rust belt area replace their lower control arms? Did you have any issues with the LCA bolts? Is the additional $300 for replacement LCA's worth it to avoid cutting out the clevis bushing in my original control arms?

If I were doing a complete lift and modding my XK for offroad purposes I'd have a different attitude about the project - but since my KJ is my offroad vehicle and is heavily modded I'm trying to keep the XK as more of a comfort/offroad-capable vehicle. I'm saving my heavy work (and my bad back) for the KJ.

Your opinions and insight are welcomed


Bob

2006 Limited, 5.7 Hemi, Tow Package, SuperChips tuner, Full Skids, RER MyGIG Upgrade. OME HD Springs w/ Bilstein 4600 shocks

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 12:10 PM
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My California its whole life 2010 xk had absolutely no problems with the clevis bolt.

If you've got a lot of miles its probably worth replacing the LCA anyways though, might as well do it when its all apart. I need to disassemble mine again and replace the control arm bushings...

Just remember if it is frozen and you buy a LCA you will still need the clevis so youll have to cut it out anyways
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
My California its whole life 2010 xk had absolutely no problems with the clevis bolt.

If you've got a lot of miles its probably worth replacing the LCA anyways though, might as well do it when its all apart. I need to disassemble mine again and replace the control arm bushings...

Just remember if it is frozen and you buy a LCA you will still need the clevis so youll have to cut it out anyways
Good point. This new-to-me XK has been great so far but at 110,000 miles it needs some TLC to get it where I want it. Adding 30% to the cost of the springs and shocks doesn't thrill me but I may be happy to avoid the grief of changing the clevis bushing.

Anybody else change their LCA's? Any issue with removing the bolts?


Bob

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBobsXK View Post
Good point. This new-to-me XK has been great so far but at 110,000 miles it needs some TLC to get it where I want it. Adding 30% to the cost of the springs and shocks doesn't thrill me but I may be happy to avoid the grief of changing the clevis bushing.

Anybody else change their LCA's? Any issue with removing the bolts?


Bob
Also, my bushings @ ~100k looked fine. Now at 130k they are not. Wish I just spent the extra money the last time I had this thing in pieces.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
Also, my bushings @ ~100k looked fine. Now at 130k they are not. Wish I just spent the extra money the last time I had this thing in pieces.
Ya know, Lucky, the more I think about it the more inclined I am to do as you suggest and just replace the LCA's now. I'm going to be near 125K by the end of the year and who knows what shape the bushings will be in by then - and creating noises and issues. Might as well deal with it now.

I think I'm going to buy the LCA bolts for front & rear of the arms for both sides just in case I have to cut them out. If I don't I'll just return them.

Thanks for the feedback


Bob

2006 Limited, 5.7 Hemi, Tow Package, SuperChips tuner, Full Skids, RER MyGIG Upgrade. OME HD Springs w/ Bilstein 4600 shocks
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBobsXK View Post
Ya know, Lucky, the more I think about it the more inclined I am to do as you suggest and just replace the LCA's now. I'm going to be near 125K by the end of the year and who knows what shape the bushings will be in by then - and creating noises and issues. Might as well deal with it now.

I think I'm going to buy the LCA bolts for front & rear of the arms for both sides just in case I have to cut them out. If I don't I'll just return them.

Thanks for the feedback


Bob
Happy to be of service!

Sorry i convinced you to spend more $. I wish that I had done the bushings but I was in a time and $ crunch at the time and I couldn't have the darn thing on jackstands any longer in my driveway.
The wife was just complaining about the front end noise on mine yesterday... guess it doesn't ride as quiet as her escalade.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
Happy to be of service!

Sorry i convinced you to spend more $. I wish that I had done the bushings but I was in a time and $ crunch at the time and I couldn't have the darn thing on jackstands any longer in my driveway.
The wife was just complaining about the front end noise on mine yesterday... guess it doesn't ride as quiet as her escalade.
Just to give you an update... Pulled the trigger on OME HD springs, Bilstein 4600 shocks and new LCA's plus replacement clevis and front LCA bolts. Decided I didn't want to mess around with replacing the clevis bushing once I cut out the bolt - and the front LCA bolt is likely seized as well so that's another bushing I'd have to replace.

Anyway, pics to come once all the parts are here the project is completed - hopefully next weekend.

Bob

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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A further update to my update - with good news...

While waiting for my shocks to arrive I decided to mess around with the XK yesterday. Crawled underneath to do some general inspection and then thought I'd see if there was any chance I could loosen the LCA bolt (the one that usually rusts in the bushing sleeve.)

The bolt loosened right up!

No need to cut out the LCA bolt like I'll have to do with the clevis bolt so now the entire project has become dramatically easier. Even though the original LCA bolts will come out easily I'm going to replace them since I bought a set just in case they were rusted and needed cut out. Hope to have the entire suspension done tomorrow assuming the shocks get here today. Unless there's a roadblock I'm not aware of I should be able to get everything installed in a few hours and then take it for an alignment. Should be sporting a new suspension by the end of the week.

I'll post details of the project (and hopefully some pics) when she's all done.


Bob

2006 Limited, 5.7 Hemi, Tow Package, SuperChips tuner, Full Skids, RER MyGIG Upgrade. OME HD Springs w/ Bilstein 4600 shocks

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 04:42 PM
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Lightbulb Bolt replacement

COOL I'm glad they will come out are you thinking of using some nickel neverseize on the new ones? it can't hurt.

Swanny
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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COOL I'm glad they will come out are you thinking of using some nickel neverseize on the new ones? it can't hurt.

Swanny

Absolutely.

Bought some of that the other day - those bolts will be slathered in the stuff. Still amazing to me that Chrysler designed those bushings so poorly that they'd rust solid like that.

Appreciate it, Swanny


Bob

2006 Limited, 5.7 Hemi, Tow Package, SuperChips tuner, Full Skids, RER MyGIG Upgrade. OME HD Springs w/ Bilstein 4600 shocks
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