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Old 10-03-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
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Control arms with 2.5 kit, are they needed?

I would like opinions on whether or not control arms are needed after installing a 2.5" kit on a 2 door JK? I understand a little about why some get them and what they do but don't know if they are needed for this height? Opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations are appreciated.

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Old 10-03-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Yes, we recommend them. The 2dr's on the 2.5" lifts tend to get a litttle "flighty" on the front and seem to wonder. The front lower adjustable control arms seem to offset this. It is not as bad on the 4dr's since they have the longer wheel base.

-Jason

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Old 10-03-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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When you say wonder, do you mean the jeep pulls to one side as if it were out of alignment (like when letting go of the steering wheel) or do you mean the Jeep pulls to one side even when both hands are on the steering wheel holding it in place? The kit is a TF 2.5" coil spring kit.

From others on here that have this kit, did you install arms? How does your jeep handle now?
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123
When you say wonder, do you mean the jeep pulls to one side as if it were out of alignment (like when letting go of the steering wheel) or do you mean the Jeep pulls to one side even when both hands are on the steering wheel holding it in place? The kit in question will be a TF 2.5" coil spring kit. Thanks for the help -
That's the kit I was considering too, is that a definite for you, or are you still looking?
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by greenjeepgurl87 View Post
That's the kit I was considering too, is that a definite for you, or are you still looking?
Just ordered it from Dave at Northridge4x4.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123

Just ordered it from Dave at Northridge4x4.
Well let me know how you like it! Im having the worst time committing. Lol
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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No, doesn't pull to one side, just acts a little "flighty" and won't conform to corners without constant steering adjustment--

Krawloffs right, even my JKUR really benefited with the adj LCAs I installed, made all the difference in the world--tracking--hold straight at speed and corners like a race car now-

I don't know what the 2dr caster should be, but the JKU LCA sshould measure 23", bolt to bolt and thats with 2.5" lift and stock UCAs-

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Old 10-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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I'm looking online at the ones offered by TF but I'm not sure which I need. It looks as if they have brackets and actual replacement arms. I'm thinking I will need the arm right?
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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YUP, with mild lift--just the adj arms-


Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123 View Post
I'm looking online at the ones offered by TF but I'm not sure which I need. It looks as if they have brackets and actual replacement arms. I'm thinking I will need the arm right?
Mine are Rustys Greaseable spherical/preload arms and they will take more articulation/twist, than the axle can -

If you're gonna get some new LCAs--get the adj type, then you can change your lift/or adj your caster----at will !

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Old 10-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #10
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Should I get the LCAs to put on with the lift at the same time? Dave from northridge4x4 mentioned waiting to see if I liked the way the Jeep handled after the install. He said that if I didn't have a problem then not to worry about it but some do later down the line.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:10 PM   #11
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Yeah, do what Dave says, I didn't HAVE TO change mine, it just made a little difference and


Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123 View Post
Should I get the LCAs to put on with the lift at the same time? Dave from northridge4x4 mentioned waiting to see if I liked the way the Jeep handled after the install. He said that if I didn't have a problem then not to worry about it but some do later down the line.
Like he says, finish your lift, make sure everything is torqued/installed, then drive for 50 miles to settle everything--then you'll know if it needs any adjustments !!

Good luck

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Old 10-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #12
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I think that's the best way to go too. It looks like everything will arrive in a few days and then we'll put it on this weekend. I need to learn more about control arms and track bars.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:17 PM   #13
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Jimbox, I know the term "worth it" is relative, but for the 4d are the LCA's worth it for so little lift? I have the old man emu spring/shock lift which is a bit over 2 inchs, but budget is starting to become an issue i wanted to swing for some rock rails, head lights, and a new bumper with a winch first, and i dont have have my new tires! where on the list of priorities do the control arms fall? (and as usual its my DD but mostly city driving, and ive had no issues with it, in the mud, on the street or on the highway)
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:49 PM   #14
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Do just like the previous advice, from Dave--


Quote:
Originally Posted by sneck View Post
Jimbox, I know the term "worth it" is relative, but for the 4d are the LCA's worth it for so little lift? I have the old man emu spring/shock lift which is a bit over 2 inchs, but budget is starting to become an issue i wanted to swing for some rock rails, head lights, and a new bumper with a winch first, and i dont have have my new tires! where on the list of priorities do the control arms fall? (and as usual its my DD but mostly city driving, and ive had no issues with it, in the mud, on the street or on the highway)
As soon as you put on a new winch/bumper, your front end lift just went down , probably over an inch, so if you can live with that, you won't need LCAs--

You'll have to driveit after lift/winch/bumpers/tires--THEN YOU'LL have the impression that may require an alignment/adj LCAs, but only then--don't getem yet, you MAY not needem-

If it's your DD, then FINALLY--you want it safe at 70mph--so the LCAs may be the last step in your mods--

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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Found this on another forum regarding UCA/LCAs.

Front upper control arms are less expensive from most companies.
They will be made longer than stock to adjust the pinion and caster angles to the correct position without sacrificing wheel-base or approach angle.
They are a little harder to get to and the money you spend on them is not seen, only felt in the performance improvement.

Front lower control arms are a little more expensive from most companies.
They will be made shorter than stock to adjust the pinion and caster angles to the correct position thus sacrificing some wheel-base and approach angle.
They are easily accessible and clearly visible, anyone can see the upgraded aftermarket parts if they know what their looking at.
The handling characteristics are improved, though the performance is sacrificed in the reduced approach angle.

Either one will cure the steering shimmy caused by improper caster angle.
The stock JK lowers are good pieces unlike the older stamped steel ca's.
The lower ca's are more likely to be damaged by rocks and other obstacles thus requiring replacement for reasons other than handling characteristics.


Definitely want my jeep to be safe above all. I guess I was hoping to hear from those who have a 2.5" kit installed on their 2 doors to see if their ride quality was affected.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:21 PM   #16
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Sounds like true statements-

There are many choices-

--google "jeep JK LCAs"

Some more good dope !

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123 View Post
I think that's the best way to go too. It looks like everything will arrive in a few days and then we'll put it on this weekend. I need to learn more about control arms and track bars.
Let us know what you uncover...i'm interested to hear more about the control arms and trackbar upgrades and if they are really worth the time/money for a TF 2.5 lift.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:14 AM   #18
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Any time you lift a JK especially more than a BB lift, control arms are a good idea. They are not mandatory but help keep the JK pointed in the right direction by putting the axle back where it needs to be. The higher the lift, the more it "Gets out of wack". 2.5" is not as bad as a 5.5" but it is still effected.

So, worth the time/money is a tough call because not eveyone will get the same opinion. If your JK is on the dirt 90% of the time, then it would not be as big of a deal as if your JK was on the road 90% of the time.

Does that help any?

-Jason
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:19 AM   #19
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If your JK is on the dirt 90% of the time, then it would not be as big of a deal as if your JK was on the road 90% of the time.
so which one, 90% on road or 90% off road would be the recomendation for doing this?

Also, what type of maintenance is required for upgrading control arms & or trackbar? Do they have grease fitting or bushings that need to be attended to more or less frequently?
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #20
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Off road, you really would not see much of a advantage. So, the big difference comes from the on road handaling. That is one reason why it is more important on JK's over older Jeeps. Most of us drive ours as weekend warriors!

There is no major maintenance that needs to be done. Just make sure everything stays tight and in good condition. Some ends do have grease fittings that need to be checked. It is always a good idea to look over everything when you get off the trail and at regular oil changes. That way, you keep a eye on everything.

-Jason
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #21
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Thats everso true, but


Quote:
Originally Posted by KrawlOff-Road.com View Post
Any time you lift a JK especially more than a BB lift, control arms are a good idea. They are not mandatory but help keep the JK pointed in the right direction by putting the axle back where it needs to be. The higher the lift, the more it "Gets out of wack". 2.5" is not as bad as a 5.5" but it is still effected.

So, worth the time/money is a tough call because not eveyone will get the same opinion. If your JK is on the dirt 90% of the time, then it would not be as big of a deal as if your JK was on the road 90% of the time.

Does that help any?

-Jason
With my RC 2.5" lift, the addition of adj LCAs improved the hiwy handling, immeasureably !!

Because of the greasable spherical joints, the articulation is effortless and causes no fatigue in the control arm bushings-but

As KrawlOff says--individual choice !

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:42 AM   #22
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Lets say someone lifts their 2 door with a 2.5" lift and keeps the stock tires and wheels. I will not be doing this but many have. After installing the lift, they drive for a while on the 32" tires then upgrade to a 33" tire. Does this change in tire help or hinder the geometry underneath?
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:53 AM   #23
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Heh Heh, the driver alone changes the suspension geometry-


Quote:
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Lets say someone lifts their 2 door with a 2.5" lift and keeps the stock tires and wheels. I will not be doing this but many have. After installing the lift, they drive for a while on the 32" tires then upgrade to a 33" tire. Does this change in tire help or hinder the geometry underneath?
The most immediate changes are:

Looks/mileage drop/toe-in chg/speedo off/steering turn limitation//possible fender damage/˝" more diff clearance/probable loss of straightway stability and more, but


I gotta go to the bathroom !!

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123 View Post
Lets say someone lifts their 2 door with a 2.5" lift and keeps the stock tires and wheels. I will not be doing this but many have. After installing the lift, they drive for a while on the 32" tires then upgrade to a 33" tire. Does this change in tire help or hinder the geometry underneath?
It really doesnt change anything other than adding 1/2" diff clearance as Jimbo stated before he went to the bathroom...

-Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:52 PM   #25
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Is one preferred more (UCA,LCA,Trackbar) for this type of lift over the other/why? Its been hard to find out if I need one of these or not because everyone has a different answer and a different part recommendation for me. My 2010 has 33x12.5R15 and a 3/4 lift on it currently. I due wheel but no rock climbing or mudding. Light trails and hill climbs with the occasional creek bed/mud drive over.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:08 PM   #26
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If you install a 2.5" lift kit-NO MATTER WHOS and the jeep drives, fine, tracks fine, takes corners OK--


Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP123 View Post
Is one preferred more (UCA,LCA,Trackbar) for this type of lift over the other/why? Its been hard to find out if I need one of these or not because everyone has a different answer and a different part recommendation for me. My 2010 has 33x12.5R15 and a 3/4 lift on it currently. I due wheel but no rock climbing or mudding. Light trails and hill climbs with the occasional creek bed/mud drive over.
You don't need anything--usually the track bars are to recenter the axle in the frame and with a 2.5" lift thats just for the owner s visual presentation from the rear-

Usually adj-LCAs are the regular and easiest adjusted, to restore positive castor--IF YOU NEEDIT-

The length of the track bars and the addition of new LCAs will have no effect off-road, unless your in competition-

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Old 10-10-2011, 01:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrawlOff-Road.com View Post
Any time you lift a JK especially more than a BB lift, control arms are a good idea. They are not mandatory but help keep the JK pointed in the right direction by putting the axle back where it needs to be. The higher the lift, the more it "Gets out of wack". 2.5" is not as bad as a 5.5" but it is still effected.
-Jason

Upper and lower ca's?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:19 PM   #28
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The kit came in today and it has a rear track bar re locator. I don't think I mentioned this in previous replies. Does using this help keep the rear axle center and does it help the front too?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:32 PM   #29
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When you do your lift, the rear axle will slide over towar the PASSENGER side and be visable from the rear--as sticking out a little further than the drivers side--

Every jeep is a little different and sometimes , unless you're really looking JUST FOR THAT--it won't be noticeable--sometimes it'll be HUMONGOUS--


Quote:
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Jimbo,

The kit came in today and it has a rear track bar re locator. I don't think I mentioned this in previous replies. Does using this help keep the rear axle center and does it help the front too?
It has no effect on the front axle--

Don't relocate the rear trackbar, unless you have/want to and don't even loosen the track bolts--yet

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Old 10-10-2011, 01:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBOX
When you do your lift, the rear axle will slide over towar the PASSENGER side and be visable from the rear--as sticking out a little further than the drivers side--

Every jeep is a little different and sometimes , unless you're really looking JUST FOR THAT--it won't be noticeable--sometimes it'll be HUMONGOUS--

It has no effect on the front axle--

Don't relocate the rear trackbar, unless you have/want to and don't even loosen the track bolts--yet

JIMBO
So are you saying not to use the track bar relocation bracket that comes in the teraflex 2.5 kit? Just curious I have this lift. But no jeep to install it on yet. Just trying to line my ducks up.

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