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Old 05-08-2014, 12:55 AM   #1
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Do I need adjustable control arms?

Purchased my used '97 TJ with a 4"Spring lift and 35s. I have it in for some maintenance as well as to be regeared. The guys at the shop recommended adjustable control arms be added because of the lift. Is this necessary? If so, what are the benefits? It's costing me $1,500 just for these to be added.

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naystcb View Post
Purchased my used '97 TJ with a 4"Spring lift and 35s. I have it in for some maintenance as well as to be regeared. The guys at the shop recommended adjustable control arms be added because of the lift. Is this necessary? If so, what are the benefits? It's costing me $1,500 just for these to be added.
The benefit is added strength, and being able to adjust the pinion angle. With a 4" lift, you probably have an SYE kit or else a pretty big transfer case drop kit. The control arms will allow you to point the pinion yoke at the transfer case and ease the driveshaft angle. Our driveshafts are pretty darn short so they could use all the help they can get to keep from binding and breaking.

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Old 05-08-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naystcb View Post
Purchased my used '97 TJ with a 4"Spring lift and 35s. I have it in for some maintenance as well as to be regeared. The guys at the shop recommended adjustable control arms be added because of the lift. Is this necessary? If so, what are the benefits? It's costing me $1,500 just for these to be added.
I wouldn't get adjustable Control Arms just for the sake of getting them. If you have a transfer case drop and want to switch to a slip yoke eliminator and CV drive shaft, then you'll need some adjustable to get the pinion angle correct. Other than that, if it aint broke don't fix it. But that's just my opinion!

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Old 05-08-2014, 11:17 PM   #4
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Here's a good reason to look closely at your upper control arms

My 11 yr upper control arms - you could probably buy a replacement set (new), but keep a close eye on their condition with the 35" tires you plan to run.

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Old 05-08-2014, 11:21 PM   #5
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$1500 seems high..if you were to get them id buy them yourself and install them yourself and save $500
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:06 AM   #6
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As mentioned, you only need to get adjustable control arms if you have a CV style rear driveshaft with slip yoke eliminator where the correct pinion angle is directly in line with the driveshaft or to correct caster angle on the front axle.

Also, $1500 is high depending on what control arms you get. Some control arms will run you $1,200 for all 8.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:47 AM   #7
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Adjustable control arms are not just for pinion angle, and you use the uppers for that. Adjustable control arms allow you to set the differentials to the correct position at full compression. For instance, to do the front. Remove coils and jack the diff up until its touching the bump stops, then adjust so the stops are touching in the center of the diff contact pad. This will keep the arch of the suspension in the best place, the fronts can also be used for alignment purposes as well. There are plenty of articles about setting up your suspension of optimum operation. Many of the fixed arms are close as each Jeep is different depending on springs as such. I say if you can afford it do it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Adjustable control arms are not just for pinion angle, and you use the uppers for that. Adjustable control arms allow you to set the differentials to the correct position at full compression. For instance, to do the front. Remove coils and jack the diff up until its touching the bump stops, then adjust so the stops are touching in the center of the diff contact pad. This will keep the arch of the suspension in the best place, the fronts can also be used for alignment purposes as well. There are plenty of articles about setting up your suspension of optimum operation. Many of the fixed arms are close as each Jeep is different depending on springs as such. I say if you can afford it do it.
Correct pinion angle and caster angle comes before lining the bump stops up. With a CV driveshaft in the back, you almost always have to relocate the upper spring perches to get the stops to line up like you mentioned. It's on my list of things to do before summer.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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Ok, so the jeep will be done hopefully Monday afternoon. I do have the SYE as well as the CV driveshaft and they are replacing all 8 control arms. It should be good to go after that. Thanks for all the input everyone.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by naystcb View Post
Ok, so the jeep will be done hopefully Monday afternoon. I do have the SYE as well as the CV driveshaft and they are replacing all 8 control arms. It should be good to go after that. Thanks for all the input everyone.
What control arms are you getting for $1500?
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:17 AM   #11
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What control arms are you getting for $1500?
Please say METAL CLOAK!?!?!

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Old 05-10-2014, 02:49 AM   #12
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I don't really know, it's whatever they recommended. I'll find out on Monday and post on here. The actually price was around $1,000 for all 8 but installed was $1,500...or at least I think that's what it was. I'm having a ton of work done so I could be wrong on the estimate. I'll post pics soon too.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:38 AM   #13
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:48 AM   #14
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I don't really know, it's whatever they recommended.
If I were you I'd call them right now and ask. If it's not MetalCloak or Currie for that price I'd tell them to wait until you can discuss it with them.

You can buy Currie for around $1200 or Metalclaok for around $960. Don't let a shop recommend something without you being able to research it before they move forward with the install. Imagine what you could do with the extra $5oo if you were to install it yourself! It's fairly simple and straight forward. You can find good write-ups on this and other sites.

There are lift kits out there that only cost $500....that would put a $1000 in their pocket for the install which is ABSURD!
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
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They are Rubicon Express Control arms.
I was wrong on the pricing.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:38 PM   #16
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Here is the pricing, actually I think I just read it wrong. It does come out to roughly $1,500 installed. Oh well, fuck it!
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:57 PM   #17
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I'd suggest you skip the rubicon express arms and put out ~$1100 for some quality parts, then install them yourself and be much better off.

Edit: 10 shop hours @ I assume $65 or more per, your money can be better spent.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #18
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Savvy, Currie, or metalcloak is what you want. I'm slowly replacing all my Rubicon express control arms with savvy control arms as they fail. Only 2 Rubicon express arms left on my jeep if that tells you anything...
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:27 PM   #19
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Currie sells a full set of control arms for $1100 or less. CE-9100 is the part number. Rubicon express uses basically stock bushings and when you think about it they are barely an upgrade from stock. You won't have problems with currie parts...

I know that I'm going to go with these arms soon. Can't beat em really.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:42 PM   #20
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Currie sells a full set of control arms for $1100 or less. CE-9100 is the part number. Rubicon express uses basically stock bushings and when you think about it they are barely an upgrade from stock. You won't have problems with currie parts...

I know that I'm going to go with these arms soon. Can't beat em really.
While I am not a fan of Rubicon express joints, I would hardly describe their flex joints as "basically stock". Have you ever seen or ran the Rubicon express flex bushings? They work just like Johnny Joints until they fail. Much better than stock rubber bushings.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:03 AM   #21
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Take a look at Metal Cloak control arms. They are low maintenance and work great on the street. The front end doesn't squat under hard braking. I plan on doing some trails soon, and I'll tell you how they function off road.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:58 AM   #22
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While I am not a fan of Rubicon express joints, I would hardly describe their flex joints as "basically stock". Have you ever seen or ran the Rubicon express flex bushings? They work just like Johnny Joints until they fail. Much better than stock rubber bushings.
I'm referring to the "super-ride" style bushing. The lift kits I have experience with were all pretty old and had this type of bushings installed.

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