Installing RK front lower mid arms - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Installing RK front lower mid arms

Just got my mid arms in the mail that I got second hand from a forum member...

Got a few questions,...for installing front lower arms, can I simply jack up the front end and use the stands on the axle tubes as I would if I was removing my tires or do i need to use the frame for support, remove the stock arms then install the RK's?

Also, is some difficulty expected when installing them at the recommend length set by RK (longer than the stock arms to get 4.5-5.0 degrees of + caster, which is what I am aiming for obviously)? Considering the mounting locations are not changing....

I have never installed aftermarket arms before, I just want to assure myself I have the proper method before going at it. Thanks....

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RK 2.5 X-Factor | Synergy tie rod | 35x12.5 MTRK's | BFH front | Genright rear | Yukon 5.13's | ARB front locker | Warn M8000 w/MasterPull synthetic | Rigid 10'' E-series

Last edited by rdlynch2; 02-05-2012 at 11:41 AM.
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post #2 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 11:46 AM
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I would imagine you want to let the axle 'float' if possible, to be able to position it easier for the different length ca's.. have not done it personally, so please let others jump in and help.

a.k.a. Christian - 2011 Black Jeep Wrangler JKU Rubicon
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post #3 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 11:58 AM
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You can change 1 arm at a time with the jeep on the ground or put it on jackstands and remove tire/wheel for some more room to work. A ratchet strap can be used to move the axle so the longer arms will bolt it.
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post #4 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:01 PM
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Yeah, frame on jack stands. Jack under the axel.

If you have another jack stand, you might want it under the axle so you can use the jack on the diff to adjust the angle of the axle.

You may want a strap or 2 to reposition the axle if it gets out of whack.

I think this thing is finally coming together. Still Needed: drive shafts, frame mount rails...then done son! For a while...
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post #5 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:03 PM
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I would install them however it is easiest. Just make sure to tighten everything with it back on the ground and with the tires back on it.

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post #6 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:22 PM
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I did mine one at a time on the ground using a ratchet strap to move the axle as needed.

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post #7 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhrogMech46 View Post
I did mine one at a time on the ground using a ratchet strap to move the axle as needed.
how exactly did you configure the ratchet strap?

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RK 2.5 X-Factor | Synergy tie rod | 35x12.5 MTRK's | BFH front | Genright rear | Yukon 5.13's | ARB front locker | Warn M8000 w/MasterPull synthetic | Rigid 10'' E-series
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post #8 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlynch2 View Post
how exactly did you configure the ratchet strap?
Loop it around the axle closest to the arm being replaced then to the "crash bar to pull it forward or to the cross member by the transmission/transfer case to move it back. Its best to use a heavier duty strap to make ratcheting it easier. This will make better sense when you take a look at it.

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Last edited by PhrogMech46; 02-05-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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post #9 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PhrogMech46 View Post
Loop it around the axle closest to the arm being replaced then to the "crash bar to pull it forward or to the cross member by the transmission/transfer case to move it back. Its best to use a heavier duty strap to make ratcheting it easier. This will make better sense when you take a look at it.
yeah unfortunately I no longer have a crash bar due to installing my PSC BFH front bumper...

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post #10 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:45 PM
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Just find a place on the frame to attach it to. Or wrap it around the bumper
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post #11 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeloJeff View Post
Just find a place on the frame to attach it to. Or wrap it around the bumper
Yea any rigid frame like spot will work.

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post #12 of 93 Old 02-05-2012, 01:03 PM
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I just installed mine a couple of days ago. I left the jeep on the ground loosened both factory lower arms but left the bolts in on one side. Removed the other sides arm completely. Then I used the ratchet strap method to pull the axle forward and slid the bolts in but did not tighten. Repeat steps on the other side and then tighten all bolts to spec. I adjusted my arms to 23" center to center and with 3" of lift got almost 6* of caster. Try to tighten the jam nuts before you install the arms as they're hard to get to while installed. Just make sure the joints are in line with each other. Hope this makes since.
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post #13 of 93 Old 02-06-2012, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigb View Post
I just installed mine a couple of days ago. I left the jeep on the ground loosened both factory lower arms but left the bolts in on one side. Removed the other sides arm completely. Then I used the ratchet strap method to pull the axle forward and slid the bolts in but did not tighten. Repeat steps on the other side and then tighten all bolts to spec. I adjusted my arms to 23" center to center and with 3" of lift got almost 6* of caster. Try to tighten the jam nuts before you install the arms as they're hard to get to while installed. Just make sure the joints are in line with each other. Hope this makes since.

6 degrees sounds a little high. Factory is around 4.5-5.00 correct?

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post #14 of 93 Old 02-06-2012, 05:27 PM
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That's correct, but the RK'S instructions said to adjust them to 23"1/8. But I had heard that 23" was closer to correct for a 3" lift. So I tried that and the caster came out to 6*. Before I broke everything loose I decided to test drive to see if there would be any driveline vibrations. There was none and the jeep felt great so I decided to leave it this way for now.
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post #15 of 93 Old 02-06-2012, 05:58 PM
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You can definitly do the rachet strap method if you want to! Most of the time we tend to put the frame on jack stands and let the axle droop all the way out with the wheels off. This takes all the tension off of the axle and you dont haveto fight the spring so much. As for the measurements they are a basic starting point, they will be pretty close to what you run them at but each rig may have to adjust them slightly to get the caster they want. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
RK
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post #16 of 93 Old 02-06-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Krawler Suspension View Post
You can definitly do the rachet strap method if you want to! Most of the time we tend to put the frame on jack stands and let the axle droop all the way out with the wheels off. This takes all the tension off of the axle and you dont haveto fight the spring so much. As for the measurements they are a basic starting point, they will be pretty close to what you run them at but each rig may have to adjust them slightly to get the caster they want. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
RK
Thanks for the response. I'll set the lengths at what was stated in the earlier post, 22.8 and see how the ride is. I imagine it will make a world a difference in ride quality from where I am at now with the factory lower arms still in place and the caster being at only 1.6 degress. Considering I am only at 2.5 inches of lift, I don't imagine driveline vibes begin to much of an issue, but who knows, I am still learning the in's and out's.

BTW, the arms I bought didn't come with any stickers on em. You think I could swing by the shop and grab a few to represent proper? Hahaa...

Thanks again guys...

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post #17 of 93 Old 02-07-2012, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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RK bump? Haha...

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post #18 of 93 Old 02-08-2012, 10:50 PM
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Sorry missed your response, yeah stop on down! we can give you a set of the directions if you want and the starting measurements are all in there.

RK
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post #19 of 93 Old 02-10-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Just finished installing the arms today. I did the ratchet strap method. Passenger side first, had to push the axle forward slightly to be able to mount em up, but on the drivers side, for whatever reason, I had to pull the axle back, (much less than I had to pull the other side forward mind you) to get the arms to mount up. Should this be expected? I just wanted to make sure because I assumed that I would have had to move the axle forward for both sides....Both arms were measured out beforehand, center of eye to eye, at 23 1/8. What do you think? Even if my measurement were say off by an 1/8 of an inch for the drivers side, would that matter?

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post #20 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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bump

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post #21 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Also, my steering wheel is off center now. Not sure why that would be....

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post #22 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlynch2 View Post
Also, my steering wheel is off center now. Not sure why that would be....
You have moved the axle, that'll do it.

You can adjust your steering wheel by adjusting the drag link at the quick adjuster. With your wheels straight, loosen the two clamps on your drag link adjuster, turn the adjuster which will move the steering wheel(helps if someone is watching the wheel), when it looks straight tighten up and drive. Sometimes it takes a few times to get it just right after you drive it.


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post #23 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 08:57 AM
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Dont worry about how you had to move the axle while installing them. The axle can shift around a little each time you remove a control arm. As long as the jeep drives straight the arm lengths should be fine. My steering was off a little when I did my front lowers, I just recentered it and went for a test drive and all was good. I havnt even done an alignment after putting mine on it drives just fine.
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post #24 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Can the toe be affected by altering the control arm length? Should I assess to see if it is off at all or is not possible to alter toe by changing caster?

I just adjusted the steering wheel, first time I have done it, I never realized how friggin easy it is to do....

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post #25 of 93 Old 02-11-2012, 12:57 PM
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You haven't adjusted anything to affect your toe, so it should be fine.

Amazing difference isn't it?

Don't expect the steering wheel to be dead center after the first adjustment...if it is great, but it might take a couple of adjustments to dial it in just right.

Good job on knocking them out! Keep on learning!


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