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Old 07-24-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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Removed (1) Front Lower Control? Whoops!

Need help and direction? Less than year experience but trying! I am considering replacing or buffing/paint my 4" lift Skyjacker lower control arms. So for inspection purposes of one front lower control arm, I thought it would be no issues removing one arm. The nuts/bolts were fine and removal was easy. However, when began to unscrew bottom bolt on control arm. The oval/keyed washer dropped off the front axial bracket which slightly dropped or rotated the axial. Now control arm alignment is not correct to install arm back in place. Do I need to jack-up axial? or What? Thanks. Pics will show correct keyed washer and issues that I created.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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Those are cam eccentric bolts. The oblong washer is used to adjust caster in your alignment. The bolts have a flat side that turns the washers which rotates the axle. The front axle will rotate when the arms are removed. I have used a come-a-long and a chain wrapped around the upper portion of the ball joint to pull the axle back in place (not sure if the pics will help). It shouldn't need to move much. You might not have to jack it up, mine was on jack stands when I installed them. Once you get it lined up, you can turn the bolt to rotate the washer to match the other side.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Hm, I thought they did away with the cam bolts.. I know my 01 didn't have them.. odd your newer model does. On mine I just slapped the bolts back in the hole and called it good. But again different type on mine. In your case I would try to match its location to the one that is still no the jeep as best you can.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #5
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could have been an aftermarket purchase. my 02 didnt have them.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input! Man, thought lower controls arms were just physical length (ie length based on lift height!). Sounds like I screwed up my caster! Any other suggestions?
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Actually you're right... For some reason I failed to notice you're arms are aftermarket. I doubt the cam bolts are nesassary if you have the proper length arms, they both do the same thing by positioning the axle for proper caster. Perhaps you bought it like that? The PO may have had the cam bolts installed for a reason or was talked into buying them with the kit. I doubt you have to worry, you may not have screwed up the caster. The importance of having the proper caster setting is that it makes the steering wheel return to center after making a turn. It would have to be off by a bit to notice. BTW, I made a typo earlier... I pulled from the bottom of the steering knuckle, not the top of the ball joint, I must not be with it today!
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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Phil05LJ, thanks. I'm second owner. Previous owner had a 4" skyjacker lift w/ skyjacker lower control arms. I've been slowly replacing suspension. Lower control arms have cam bolts in-place, which I didn't realized until today. These cam bolts are doing something, cause when I removed front/passenger lower arm, the cam bolt washer removal forced the axle to rotate or dropped.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:58 PM   #9
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Gotcha, even if you didn't have cam bolts, the axle would have rotated. TJs only came from the factory with them in 97, maybe some 98s had them. There is a lot of tension on the lower arms bolts, afterall, they are holding the axle in the correct position. It dosent look like yours moved much. Here's a pic showing how much mine rotated after installing new springs. It looked like I was doomed but the come-along did the trick. I'm sure there are other methods, I can look up an old post I made if you need other suggestions so that you can re-seat the washers. Once they are seated you can turn the bolt to match the position of the washers with the drivers side. You will see the axle rotate as you turn the bolt. It is important that the drivers and passenger side match.
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