Drill Out RK Rear Lower Control Arms? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Drill Out RK Rear Lower Control Arms?

I have a 2012 JK with a 3.5 X-factor lift from RK. I just put on some Synergy integrated rear lower shock mount and skid. These installed great but they use 9/16" bolts. The problem is the RK arms are a 14mm joint.

What's better, drill out the RK joint (How?) or just get some 10.9 Grade 14mm bolts and hope they aren't too loose in the Synergy brackets? The 9/16" bolt already fits through the axle bracket ironically.


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post #2 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 09:38 PM
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I would run the smaller bolts and put a bushing in there WAAAAAY before I'd dream of boring out the control arms. Think about it- what makes things stronger- adding metal, or taking it away? Now, think about it as a structural, load-bearing point, like a control arm mount. Yeah... bushings look PRETTY good, don't they? Mark W.

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post #3 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 10:12 PM
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Wouldn't welding some washers to the Synergy bracket work too?
If so I can imagine it to be easier than trying to drill out the control arm.
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post #4 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 10:34 PM
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I bet 9/16 bolts fit unless the RK arms are brand new. Even then all it took was a quick drill throughout them for me. You aren't taking much material off.

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post #5 of 29 Old 10-18-2013, 10:39 PM
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not to mention if you drill out the RK control arms, and they snap on the trail, i'm 99% sure they will not replace them because you modified their joint. I'd weld washers to the brackets. 2 washers each side should work.

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post #6 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 02:24 AM
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I thought RK had started shipping joints that accepted 9/16" hardware?



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post #7 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 04:15 AM
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If they are the older RK joints do NOT open them up to 9/16. While you are not removing a lot of material you are removing the hardened material. RK advises against opening up their joints to 9/16 for just this reason. There is a thread here where it is discussed. I would weld washers to the brackets or see if RK offers 9/16 joints.

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post #8 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 06:27 AM
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I've opened a few arms up before for people to run 9/16". It is a very small number, ~0.0114" approximately.

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post #9 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 01:27 PM
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i find it strange that RK uses 14mm in stead of 9/16. especially when stock bolt holes are 9/16

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post #10 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chknkatsu View Post
i find it strange that RK uses 14mm in stead of 9/16. especially when stock bolt holes are 9/16
They do it because stock bolts are 14mm. I have reamed a few sets out as well. No issues.


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post #11 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chknkatsu View Post
i find it strange that RK uses 14mm in stead of 9/16. especially when stock bolt holes are 9/16
No they aren't..OEM is 14mm.

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post #12 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 06:07 PM
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I had issues with mine after drilling them out. Your joints, your call.

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post #13 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 06:28 PM
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RK's new joint is 9/16

Just ream the 14mm joints ?
I wouldn't go drilling them. Id use a Bridgeport at work.


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post #14 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgall View Post
I had issues with mine after drilling them out. Your joints, your call.
What issues did you have?

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post #15 of 29 Old 10-19-2013, 09:28 PM
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I drilled mine out. Use a drill press, TAKE YOUR TIME!!! make sure they are lined up and straight in the press, and...... TAKE YOUR TIME! did it two years ago and it's been no issue at all. The size difference is so small, you are really just shaving them instead of "drilling" a larger hole.
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post #16 of 29 Old 10-20-2013, 06:54 PM
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I just upgraded from the old RK joints to the new. I'm now able to use 9/16ths hardware.


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post #17 of 29 Old 10-20-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholsmf View Post
What issues did you have?

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Joint was weakened and bent. To RK's credit, they replaced them since one of their reps had said it would work. They came back and said they did not advise doing it. If you do it on a press with a good bit and cutting fluid you may be fine. I would not suggest it though. Ask RK how deep the hardened material goes.

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post #18 of 29 Old 10-20-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgall View Post
Joint was weakened and bent.
What bent, the ball?


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post #19 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 04:08 AM
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The cylinder/ball portion bent.

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post #20 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 07:32 AM
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The flanges on the balls will be thin and could possibly fail with the old balls. The new Pro series joints are designed around the possibility of people upgrading the 9/16 hardware so it should not be an issue with the new ones! That was one of the reasons for the upgrade, besides more available misalignment, improved dampening and the fact that the new ones just plain old looked better!

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post #21 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 08:51 AM
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.011" less material is going to cause a failure? if that was the case I don't think I would want to run that joint in the first place.
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post #22 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spedly View Post
.011" less material is going to cause a failure? if that was the case I don't think I would want to run that joint in the first place.
You are taking out the case hardened surface on the inside leaving only ductile material. Keep that in mind. The new joints are designed around this anyway.

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post #23 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
No they aren't..OEM is 14mm.
OEM bolt size is 14mm. OEM hole size is about 9/16". There is a bit of slop with the stock bolts and is why most manufacturers use 9/16" bolts.

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post #24 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Krawler Suspension View Post
You are taking out the case hardened surface on the inside leaving only ductile material. Keep that in mind. The new joints are designed around this anyway.

RK
I don't understand why the inside of the bolt hole needs a hardened surface. As long it's installed properly, that part of the joint should be clamped in place by a bolt and shouldn't move/rotate relative to the bolt, right? No movement => no friction => no wear. Case hardening doesn't affect anything structurally, it's just for impact/wear resistance.

The part is case hardened so that the outside of the ball can resist wear... the inside of the bolt hole shouldn't matter, right?
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post #25 of 29 Old 10-21-2013, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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So I drilled them out last night with no real issues. The vice slightly marred the finish on the edge of the cylinder, but other than that it went fine. It barely took any real material off at all. I'm struggling to see how that might weaken the joint.

I went very slow with a sharp, new bit and used a lot of cutting fluid. The new 9/16" bolts fit snug with no slop.

If there are problems I'll order another set of joints that fit 9/16" from RK but otherwise it seemed to work fine.
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