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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is what some RockRunner control arm bushings looked like after 30k miles. All of the inserts were lose and all had free play ranging from 1/4" to 1/2".

These are the rubber bushing ends, the other ends are poly bushings and they were worn, but not as bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Were those originally torqued at ride height with the suspension loaded?

The pics look pretty typical for a rubber bushing failure where the bolts were tightened w/o the suspension loaded...
They were torqued with the suspension loaded, and checked regularly.

To be honest I'm not exactly worried about the fact they wore out after 30k miles, a lot of off-road use and flexing tends to do that, just wanted to point out that it is something that is worth checking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Might as well put poly performance arms on it and complete the 1 year+ lift kit conversion project ;):D
Already done it :D

I actually like the design of the RockRunner arms, but I like the ease of adjustment with the Poly ones even more, and they make great quality products.

My JK rides like a new vehicle, I knew the bushings were bad for a while, but didn't realize how much the ride and handling had deteriorated with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The pics look pretty typical for a rubber bushing failure where the bolts were tightened w/o the suspension loaded...
You bring up an interesting point though, as when wheeling it is very possible for the insert to get rotated somewhat due to flexing etc. This may put undue stress on the bushings, causing this type of failure. Do you think there is any benefit to be gained by loosening the control arm bolts and then re-torquing then after a wheeling trip?
 

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You bring up an interesting point though, as when wheeling it is very possible for the insert to get rotated somewhat due to flexing etc. This may put undue stress on the bushings, causing this type of failure. Do you think there is any benefit to be gained by loosening the control arm bolts and then re-torquing then after a wheeling trip?
i wouldn't think so. if they were loosened, they should re-center themselves. it doesn't seem to be producing the extra stress on the bolts (and bushings) in the same was as it would if they were torqued before being loaded - which would add even more load to them when the jeep is put back on the ground.
if they loosen while wheeling, and you re-torqued them afterwards, they would be loose while the vehicle is on the ground and re-torqued while they are loaded.

with the heim- or johnny-type joints at the axle-end, i would say it is a different story and i put the jeep on jacks and loosen those and make sure they are all straight/centered after wheeling trips.

i just don't think it would be necessary with the bushings at the frame-end.

i know you know this stuff phil, but just wanted to point it out to others that control arms should not be fully torqued until the jeep is lowered to the ground and the full load of the vehicle is on them.
 

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i wonder how much life can be expected out of the stock control arms when wheeling almost weekly...
 

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Phil, were you hearing a popping noise when accelerating or breaking quickly. I've been hearing it, and can't pinpoint it.

Looks like I will be checking mine this weekend.
 

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You bring up an interesting point though, as when wheeling it is very possible for the insert to get rotated somewhat due to flexing etc. This may put undue stress on the bushings, causing this type of failure. Do you think there is any benefit to be gained by loosening the control arm bolts and then re-torquing then after a wheeling trip?
Given that they were torqued on the ground, I think it's just a matter of time until this style of bushing fails if you flex the suspension out often.

I see your point in regards to loosening them after each trip. If the sleeve somehow rotated while flexing and didn't return all the way back to it's static position loosening the bolt after the trip certainly would help to take tension off the bushing. I wouldn't think that should happen with the bolts torqued properly, but in your case it looks like it may have.

Out of curiosity, what did you torque your arms to? I believe I did my uppers to 60 ft/lbs and my lowers to 90 ft/lbs.

Either way I think this is just an inherent problem with this style of bushing where the center sleeve is bonded to the rubber. That would certainly explain why the poly bushings held up better at the other end. Generally from my experience, rubber far outlasts poly. It doesn't look like the rubber wore out in your pics, it just looks like it tore due to twisting.

A rubber bushing where the center sleeves are allowed to spin freely is the best option in my opinion.
 

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That looks like crap. I wonder if Heim joints would last longer when you are wheeling hard every other weekend? I'm still using stock arms with an OME lift. I'll have to pull my stock arms to take a look out for curiosity sake.
 

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Everything I've seen run with heims or flex joints on both ends make the truck feel a little more unstable and transfer more noise to the frame(on Street); it will flex better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are other control arms failing like this i.e. tera flex, clayton etc.?
A lot will depend on how they get used, generally speaking the more flexing you do and the more you subject them to off-road abuse, the more likely this style of OEM rubber bushing is to fail.

Like I originally said, I don't have an issue with them wearing out after 30k miles as they've seen a far bit of work, but I wouldn't expect them to do that if all they saw was the street.
 

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Has anyone had any problem with the RE arms? I noticed they use a different bushing style that is still rubber.
 
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