Before I pull my lower control arms... - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Before I pull my lower control arms...

I want to make sure that I'm not going to kill myself.

I have to replace the lower control arm bushings and I'd like to get some input before doing so.

The uppers are done. It was simple... pulled the wheels off, jacked up the axle and set it on jack stands, set the frame rails on jack stands, pulled out the uca's, replaced the bushings, and put em back in... done.

Obviously there was no load on the uppers so removing the uca bolts and the uca's themselves was easy.

On the lowers, I am concerned that the axle is going to want to wander or rotate. So... what happens when I pull the lca bolts out? I am planning to leave the axle under the jeep as I do this and I'm not going to completely remove the arms. I just want to drop them out of the brackets ( axle side) and pop the old bushings out and pop the new ones in.

Advice? How should I go about doing this job? I am planning to only un-bolt one side at a time.

I don't want to die.

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post #2 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 09:23 PM
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Just do one arm at a time. Jack up the axle a little bit and pull the wheel off. Jack stand as needed. Pull the arm.


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post #3 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 09:25 PM
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Easiest to do with the weight on the axle. Everything else should stay aligned


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post #4 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 09:29 PM
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When I welded up my Artec LCA skids, I just blocked the wheel on each side of the axle with 4x4's and dropped one side at a time.

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post #5 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 10:00 PM
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Put a jack under the pinion and do one arm at a time. Helps rotate the axle to wiggle the bolts in and out easily.

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post #6 of 32 Old 04-06-2014, 11:49 PM
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It will fall forward a bit even with the pinion supported. With help or a wheel chuck. A shove from the front of the tire will line up the holes. Solo I use a chuck to hold the position.


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post #7 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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I guess that's one of my concerns...

The plan is to remove one wheel as I do each side. I can chock the 3 other wheels as I go, but for each control arm I will have to remove the corresponding wheel because accessing the control arm bushings will be very difficult if I leave all wheels on. I know I'm not explaining myself very well but for example:

Lets say I start with the rear passenger side, then I am planning to have to remove the rear passenger side wheel and chock the other three wheels while I do that arm. Then put that wheel back on after the bushing is replaced and proceed to the next control arm.

So at any one time I will only be able to chock three wheels.

Another concern is that I have skids welded onto my lca brackets. I am afraid that I will actually need to rotate the axle a bit in order to get the end of each arm out of each bracket. My fear is that I'm not going to have much control of the axle in terms of it wanting to shift or turn on it's own. I also wonder at that point how difficult it will be to try to manipulate ( turn) the axle back in place in order to get the arm back into the bracket and the bolt back through the holes.

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post #8 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 03:42 AM
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When I drop mine they move a little. I connect a cargo strap to the axle and some other part of the Jeep that doesn't move and ratchet them back into place.

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post #9 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 05:22 AM
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I've had both lowers completely off with the frame on stands and the axle on stands. You'll just have to put a jack under the pinion to rotate it up and down to line up the bolt holes. The UCA's, track bar, drive shaft and drag link keep things from getting to out of whack. Just chock the rear wheels good and set the parking brake. I've actually had the rear axle completely unlinked except for the drive shaft(unbolting it would have actually made things easier) and still got it all bolted back up by myself without too much trouble.

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post #10 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 06:42 AM
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What others are saying about putting a jack under the pinion works great, you won't put yourself in harms way if you use that technique. I usually just pull both arms whenever changing them out whether it be upper or lower, especially if I'm gonna adjust the lengths (caster adjustments) that way all ya gotta do is measure for the adjusted length. Of course if no adjustment is necessary then you can simply change one side then the other...

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post #11 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 08:54 AM
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When I drop mine they move a little. I connect a cargo strap to the axle and some other part of the Jeep that doesn't move and ratchet them back into place.
I found this combined with jackstands on the frame and jack under the diff works pretty good when doing it solo. I ratchet strap the axle on both sides around the C's - just snug, not tight. Then jack up the jeep by the diff & rest the frame on the jackstands. Then drop one CA at a time.

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post #12 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 09:07 AM
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I was able to drop the whole lower arm out, on the ground, one at a time just by chocking the tires on that axle. Of course, my garage floor is level. I didn't need to jack the pumpkin or any of that jazz.

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post #13 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 09:17 AM
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I was able to drop the whole lower arm out, on the ground, one at a time just by chocking the tires on that axle. Of course, my garage floor is level. I didn't need to jack the pumpkin or any of that jazz.

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post #14 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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I really can't thank y'all enough for the tips.

Looks like I should be able to get this done without too much drama. I actually don't even want to say that for fear of jinxing myself lol.

I did completely remove both axles before but that was with a good deal of assistance from a buddy of mine and it was several years ago. This time it's going to be just me ( and maybe a stupid friend) so I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't something that I was forgetting or not considering logically.

I DO keep thinking that the pinion is going to want to slip off the jack-stand but hopefully with everything in place... wheel chock on other side, ratchet straps, etc... it won't flip down off the stand.

Again... a great deal of thanks to all that have offered their assistance. If I die then I'm going to need someone to take care of Chelsea. Stay tuned for updates and for a list of her features.


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post #15 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 10:32 AM
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You won't die, but if you somehow end up non-functional from the neck down I will be happy to take over...















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post #16 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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She loves hiding popsicles and squeezing bottles of ranch dressing.

Well... I guess I'll stand next to you and push all the buttons as we descend.

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Quote:
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I was able to drop the whole lower arm out, on the ground, one at a time just by chocking the tires on that axle. Of course, my garage floor is level. I didn't need to jack the pumpkin or any of that jazz.
He said he was going to remove the wheel, so I don't know if I would trust chocks on one side. I've done it with the wheels on the ground and
both arms off before also and just made sure everything was supported. It's just easier to get to the bolts without the wheels on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
I really can't thank y'all enough for the tips.

Looks like I should be able to get this done without too much drama. I actually don't even want to say that for fear of jinxing myself lol.

I did completely remove both axles before but that was with a good deal of assistance from a buddy of mine and it was several years ago. This time it's going to be just me ( and maybe a stupid friend) so I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't something that I was forgetting or not considering logically.

I DO keep thinking that the pinion is going to want to slip off the jack-stand but hopefully with everything in place... wheel chock on other side, ratchet straps, etc... it won't flip down off the stand.

Again... a great deal of thanks to all that have offered their assistance. If I die then I'm going to need someone to take care of Chelsea. Stay tuned for updates and for a list of her features.

My jack usually slips off the diff at some point, but nothing really goes anywhere. If the Jeep doesn't move the front doesn't really want to move. Just keep your stupid friend between yourself and the Jeep and you'll have a squish buffer.

Quote:
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Quote:
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 11:05 AM
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I don't get why he has to pull tires to drop LCA's, though...

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post #19 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 01:27 PM
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I don't get why he has to pull tires to drop LCA's, though...
He doesn't. He's probably just fat and out of shape and it's much easier to get to the bolts and remove the joints with the wheels off. He's not completely removing the arm, just the axle side, so it will also be easier to get the joint off without rolling around on the ground, especially if he's keeping his stupid friend between himself and the Jeep as a buffer.

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post #20 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 01:31 PM
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You'd think with that fit little minx playing with his mangurt dispenser that he'd be in better shape by now... What a lazy bastage!

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post #21 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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The reason that I am removing the wheels is because the lca's are a bitch to access unless I'm crawling underneath... which I don't want to do in case anything goes wrong.

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post #22 of 32 Old 04-07-2014, 11:29 PM
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Personally, putting a floor jack under the axle, loading it up with spring force, and no tires with both lower links out is more dangerous in my mind. At least with all four on the ground and three links, the chances of anything unloading is slim. You do what works best for you Stub and be safe.

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post #23 of 32 Old 04-08-2014, 05:28 AM
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Personally, putting a floor jack under the axle, loading it up with spring force, and no tires with both lower links out is more dangerous in my mind. At least with all four on the ground and three links, the chances of anything unloading is slim. You do what works best for you Stub and be safe.
Agreed, you have to support the frame and the axle with jack stands. I lift the front end high, then support the frame, so I can unload the springs and still have the tires off the ground high enough to remove them.

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post #24 of 32 Old 04-08-2014, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Well... I don't know what's going to work best. That's why I started this thread.

I never intended to remove both tires from each axle... only one tire in order to access that corresponding control arm. I also never intended to remove both lca's at the same time.

As I said before... If i'm doing the rear pass side then I was intending to remove the rear pass wheel and the rear pass arm ONLY. I intend to keep all other wheels and control arms in place.

IDK... this all may be moot because of my LCA skid plates. It appears that I might actually have to remove both LCA's ( passenger and drivers sides) in order to rotate the axle back enough to get the LCA ends out. What a bitch.

You can see what I'm dealing with in this picture...
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post #25 of 32 Old 04-08-2014, 08:31 AM
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After seeing what you're dealing with skid wise, on the rears you should have it up on stands, both tires off, and the rear axle drooped as much as possible before you try to rotate the axle housing to take those lower links out. The front you should be able to do one at a time on the ground without taking the tires off.

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