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Old 02-01-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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LCA Brackets

Chrysler doesn't seem to believe in strength where it's needed. Often their welds are terrible - sometimes their automatic welder misses the joint! It runs a bead near the joint, but not where it's needed.

The control arm brackets are very weak. Even if the arms have not been strengthened, they bend from the twisting and flexing - and bend up from impacting rocks (even parking curbs in malls!)
Most kits with beefy arms still depend on the stock brackets - the next weak link after the stock arms.

The brackets are just thin little things - about 1/8 steel. Here's a picture of them. They bend and twist, eventually they break off the axle. Then that arm has no control over positioning the axle.

Notice the thin ears.

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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Oops - must have double clicked on that one.

Here's what I've been doing. It strengthens the brackets and gives a skid plate to take the impact - it distributes the load from the impact over more surface.

Look at most Jeeps that have seen much off roading - they all show signs of impact.

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
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It all starts with the inside support.
It's welded between the thin brackets, tying them together.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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It's mounted forward enough to get the arm out. And it distributes the load between the ears.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #5
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What thickness is the steel in the plate and in the skid that bolts to it? I am liking this idea...
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:15 PM   #6
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I've got the ones from Currie . . . they were only like 25 bucks and they are shaped so that you are able to remove the arm without them being in the way.

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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All of it is 1/4" mild steel. I tried 3/16" and was able to bend it - it probably would be fine, but I don't like things that bend.

Here's one off of mine - right after a nice run up Jackhammer. When I started out it wasn't scratched - still new. You can see it took a beating and kept on ticking.

The previous picture of the inside shows how it's fared through lots of abuse.

It's not just a skid plate.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
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What can you do to strengthen the actual weld between the LCA mounting bracket and the axle tube?
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:18 PM   #9
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I like your design whereas you can replace them as needed. Very smart my friend, very smart!
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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I'm not going to knock the ones from Curry. But I have replaced a couple of them with mine. There must be a reason.

There are also a couple of different "skid plates" that mount with U-bolts.

To each his own.

I've sold about 120 pairs of mine - at first I was charging $80, lately I've been getting $100 / pair. I have not advertised them or put them on a website. Most of them have been by word of mouth, a few shops have bought them and charged $50 or so to install them.

So far I've never had anyone take me up on my guarantee - if you break or bend one I'll replace it for free.

This is the first time I've posted it public. They are not difficult to make if you have a welder and a way to bend the plates.

I'm pretty much out of the business now, due to major heart problems. My doctors tell me I shouldn't weld with my pacemaker - I still do, but only when I have to.

They also work on the rear.

Here's the kit.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:40 PM   #11
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That's a cool design . . . I like how it wraps around the bottom. Didn't mean to hijack . . . didn't realize that you sold these and thought it was just something you'd done on your Jeep! What do you want to bet that now that you posted up pics, we'll soon see ShittyBilt offering something similar, just lower quality, made in China, with holes that won't line up!!!
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:59 PM   #12
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It seems the weld on the LCA "ear" and the axle tube hasn't been a failure point - until the bracket gets so bent that it actually tears, but it tears next to the weld, not the weld itself. Yes, I've seen a couple where the bracket was completely off!
But - you could easily weld a small piece alongside that joint as a gusset - on the outside.
Keep it low so as not to interfere with the plate.

Another weak point is the right upper control arm mount - front axle. It's like a little tower, the arm attaches to it. They can collapse in the middle - they fold over like a pretzel, then they can break. Most of those that I've repaired have been on the trail!

But it's an easy fix to prevent it. Simply box in that bracket - it's surprising how strong boxing in something like that can get. Don't weld too close to the bushing at the top, douse it with water immediately to keep the bushing cool. Don't let it extend all the way down to the axle tube - leave a gap of about 1/2" inch or more - else it can fill with mud and water - Rust!

Tip - cardboard and scissors help you make a pattern. I'll look somewhat like a stemmed Champagne glass.

Then, cut 2 oblique triangles to gusset the sides of it.

Weld the "champagne glass" from the front, weld the side gussets from the rear - easier access.

I know some folks will poo poo the ideas. That's OK - I know their Camaros can go where Jeeps are afraid to go.


"WHEN I HEAR A BANG FROM UNDERNEATH, I'D RATHER LAUGH THAN CRINGE!"
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #13
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Now you know the ideas - run with it! Good Luck! It's always been more of a hobby for me. I never intended to try to make money with it. It just grew. I'm retired, and love it!

Ha Ha - Seems like being retired, doing nothing, keeps me busier than if I had another business to run.

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