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Old 12-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
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Broke my control arms, among other things

Driving down a hill and slid into a guys pickup plow truck!
Trying to fix the Control arms, brackets, steering Gearbox, and anything else that really comes up. Anyone know what kind of welding gear we'll need? I can post pictures later on once things start coming off. Any shopping advice helps too.

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Old 12-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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Currie/Savvy are going to get a bunch of recommendations as far as new parts go... I have TeraFlex's Monster Control arms and I really dig them. You'll probably need a pitman arm puller and possibly a tie rod end puller (local auto parts store. They're about $12 a piece, or you can rent them as part of a front end suspension package)

I'd think a good tig welder would get you what you need... Nothing nuts like a Hobart one. A lincoln electric would probably be good enough for the average person. But I believe there is an entire welding section of this forum if you're looking for good welding equipment.

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Old 12-21-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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I have a full set of stock arms from my 98 TJ. I replaced them when I lifted. Let me know if you are interested. They are fine, just went with all adjustables.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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What needs welding? That will dictate what size/type welder you might need. The max thickness that a typical 110 volt MIG welder can handle is 3/16" and that's only if it has a small surface area. Pay no attention to the fact most 110v MIG welder ads claim they can weld 1/4", that's only with a highly skilled welder and when the earth, moon, and stars are in alignment.

If you're going to be welding new brackets onto the frame, you're going to need a 220v 180 amp or better MIG welder. A 180 amp 220v MIG welder is up to any welding you'd ever need to do with a Jeep and most other needs as well.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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What exactly do you think you need a welder for? If your brackets and arms are trashed I would question the integrity of the axle. What front axle do you have? You can get a "new" D30 for a lot less than a welder.
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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work today

Did some work today, got the pitman arm off, got that in a vice to get the steering gear bits out of it. Got some homemade Liquid Wrench (Acetone and Auto tranny fluid) on all the nuts, snapped the head off of only one bolt today! Little achievements I guess. Looking at the new rims we got on thursday and they look amazing, cant wait to drive it when i get the arms replaced. Trying to figure out how to bend the front bumper we put on over the summer, similair to a rock crawler bumper, bent in a bit right into the signal lights. First thought was to hook a chain to the bumper and a tree and to back up really fast, but that sounds like i'll break something else. Any ideas for that? Hopefully the control arms will all come off in the morning so i can get the whole axle off and see how that looks.

We also got a 13 foot tall Christmas tree.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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I have a full set of stock arms from my 98 TJ. I replaced them when I lifted. Let me know if you are interested. They are fine, just went with all adjustables.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
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For welding on a new control arm bracket, is this the kind of bracket i'm looking for?

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Old 12-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #10
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Again, have you verified the axle is even straight? Do you actually wheel your Jeep to the point where you need added strength for the brackets? Is it really worth it to spend $500 bucks on a welder just for brackets? You can easily find a new D30 for about $100.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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Some photos would be helpful.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:23 PM   #12
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Again, have you verified the axle is even straight? Do you actually wheel your Jeep to the point where you need added strength for the brackets? Is it really worth it to spend $500 bucks on a welder just for brackets? You can easily find a new D30 for about $100.
Got one? well take it!. Junkyard price quotes we got were between $700 and $1500. Thought we got lucky on craigslist for $150 but it was from a cj.
The drivers side lower control arm bracket is crushed from the bottom,not replacing it for wheeling,looking to replace broken part with available aftermarket part.
Looks like the plow blade was tipped ,went under the jeep, sheared the pitman arm clean off the steering box went under the axle, crushed the bracket and twisted the control arms. Drivers side front wheel (popped and rim wrecked) sits about 2" back from where it should be most of the twist is left lower control arm,upper is twisted drivers side control arms opened up a bit.I think he got photos today.
He has the axle mostly out, Ill have some time off this week and we will get it out, then can see whats what.jeep is my DD in the winter, his in the summer. He is trying to help me get it back on the road before he has to head back to school
Welder would come in handy for some other stuff as well.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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Here's the bent control arm (Upper Driver Side) and Pitman arm
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:17 AM   #14
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Heres that lower bracket, did consider beating it flat but probably better to put new.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #15
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Looking in to this it looks like we need lower mounts for a 2.5" tube, not the 3" we were looking at. It appears the PO eliminated the cam bolts with heavy washers welded to the brackets. So I am looking at non cam bolt type setups.There seems to be a bit of debate about the cam bolts but I think its the way to go.

I think it has a suspension lift as well. Jeep sits a bit higher than most of the TJs I see around here. Dont know how to tell for sure though.

Going to have to cut a few bolts tommorow and will have the axle out.
Santa did bring a mig welder so we will be learning welding this week as well.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:04 PM   #16
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Santa did bring a mig welder so we will be learning welding this week as well.
Cool, what'd he bring you!??
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #17
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mig 180 harbor freight unit. I know, not top of the line but it should be adequate for the 3 of 4 jobs I want it for. Ive had good luck with thier tools if I dont work them too hard.
Not going to fit my 220 air compressor outlet so I have some wiring to do as well.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:50 PM   #18
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Good that you got the 180 amp model, that's what is needed for much of the welding associated with Jeeps.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Got the axle out. Looks like the damage is confined to the one bracket.
Wasnt able to get anyone to send me the non cam bolt brakets so ordered oem style from summit. Hope to see them early next week.
Lower control arm inner sleeves rust welded to the bolts so ended up cutting both brackets off. Even broke 2 bolts that were under a year old that were rusted stuck. Jeeps seem to aquire a special level of rust.
New power steering box installed yesterday.
Going to grind off the remainder of the brackets, clean everything up so its ready for welding and install the outlet for the welder today.
Going to change the oil in the front diff as long as its out.

Figure Ill cut one of the broken control arms into pieces then weld it back together to get a feel for it. Havent held a welder in 25 years.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:56 PM   #20
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Didnt realize ups closed yesterday so soonest Ill see the parts is tommorow. Scheduled to be delivered tommorow but we are expecting a major snowstorm. We got everything back together that we could. Got the outlet wired for the welder, needed a 220 outlet for my radial saw anyway so glad thats done.

Did some practice welding on scraps with the new welder. Took a few tries to get an acceptable weld. Then I cut a control arm in half and welded it bak together. Beat it agaist my anvil and bent the arm without danmaging the weld so Im calling it good.
Hopefully will be welding the brackets tommorow night.Really need it back as getting off my mountain to get to work is often not possible w/o 4wd or awd and my other car is a 01 mustang.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:23 PM   #21
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-1 out there froze my ass off plowing the driveway on the atv.
Really dont want to go out there and get the axle under the jeep in an unheated garage. But we are going to see how much we can get done.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:31 PM   #22
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-1 out there froze my ass off plowing the driveway on the atv.
Really dont want to go out there and get the axle under the jeep in an unheated garage. But we are going to see how much we can get done.
At least you have a garage! I had to replace my radiator in 15 degrees in a townhouse parking lot. That concrete felt like ICE
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:22 PM   #23
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Agreed! better inside than out. Got the brackets welded in place. Wasted quite a bit of time test fitting but thats always worth it.
Tommorow a heat wave up to 17! so it should be a bit better to finish putting it back together.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:05 PM   #24
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So got the Diff in yesterday,brakes bled steering box hooked up.
Got all the heavy work done before son had to leave for school this morning.
Today got the rack in swaybar in. One of the bolts that broke was a swaybar mount. So I drilled it out and welded in a stud. Im going to like that thing!
Took it for a test drive everthing works, nothing leaks, nothing fell off. So pretty much succesful repair I think.As long as my welds hold!
Toe is a little off so ill adjust that later this week.
We picked up a set of rims with new tires as one of the rims was wrecked.
With bn tires cheaper than just tires so I couldnt pass them up. Chrome with red chrome centers. Just finished dechroming and flat blacking the whole jeep last summer. So Ill have blingy rims till spring.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:20 PM   #25
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Almost forgot a handy tip! Saved the magnets from a pair of blown 10" subs we replaced last year. The magnets worked awesome for holding the parts in place while welding them in.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #26
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Almost forgot a handy tip! Saved the magnets from a pair of blown 10" subs we replaced last year. The magnets worked awesome for holding the parts in place while welding them in.
That sounds like a handy tip. Thanks. Glad the repairs got finished up.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #27
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Replacement fender flare on the front porch tonight. So now I have everything to finish repairs. Dont think I can get out of work till saturday so thats when ill finish.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:00 PM   #28
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Hold my beer and watch this lol! Drivers side front bumper had to come out about 3" so I could put the turn signal back in.


2 good yanks in 4wd bent it back to pretty close to straight!
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:07 PM   #29
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Well put over 200 miles on it this week and did not lose the front axle so Im hopeful my welding was adequate.Still have a look at those mounts every day lol

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