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How often does this happen.....

973 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  penguin25
Recently, I replaced all upper and lower control arms. That got rid of the torque steer issue, for I found the LCA's in the rear had very worn bushings and the bolt could pivot around about 1/8th to 1/4 inches. Also used adjustable upper arms so the pivot angle in the rear and the caster in front could be set properly.
Last week while making a typical right hand turn on a paved road, I hear mechanical noise and the Jeep is suddenly handling very poorly. I babied it home, mild acceleration and stops so as little stress placed on the suspension as possible.
Discovered the bracket welded to the axle that retains the control arm and drag link is cracked completely off! Curious if this is in any way common?

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2006 TJ Rubicon, 4.0, automatic
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I’ve seen posts and heard of it happening from wheeling. It could be metal fatigue, the youngest TJs are 16. What year and where in the us are you? My phone is acting up and not letting me view the picture properly, but looks like some rust there. Can you post a closeup pic of the metal where it sheared?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is a 2005 TJ currently located in Florida. Oddly, the title with the state says Wrangler Rubi, however this is not a Rubicon for the axle arrangement is D35/D30. Maybe a previous owner snatched the axles and put these lame units in there.

That surface rust is recent, this last year, from putting the jet ski in and out of salt water. I usually take it home and hose it off. The metal looks clean along the crack line. I'm suspecting metal fatigue because, perhaps, of the well worn bushings in the control arms. Probably somewhere along the life of the Jeep and or the axle saw some decent off road use. I do not know the extent of off road use from previous owners. This has a 4" lift of unknown origin with TeraFlex 9550 shocks. I also removed the drop pitman arm and drop track back arrangement, not that this affected the rear at all...

Now I'm thinking of accelerating the rear axle replacement, perhaps with a ECGS 8.8! Good time to check / change the gear ratio as well. Not sure what that is but have no problems going down the freeway at 65mph, 6 speed manual. Do not recall the tach rpm though and reluctant to go find out in this condition! Time to throw $$ at it.
 

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pretty common for the front ones to break not so much for the rear tho. My friend broke countless front upper control arm mounts and just started running his coil sprung jeeps 3 link in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
do the adj CA's have a flex joint or are they rubber/poly bushings?
The replaced lower CA in the rear and front were poly bushings, now clevite rubber. the old upper CA were stock with clevite bushings (replaced two on front axle). I put in Rough Country upper adjustable CA on there, they do have the flex joint / Johnny joints.
 

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it is common for solid arms with rubber/poly bushings to tear control arm mounts off as they dont flex enough and transfer stress to the mounts. the OEM arms can get away with rubber bushings as the arms allow for some flex, solid arms remove that ability.

there was likely some binding that caused the additional stress on the mount.

just a side note, johnny joints are flex joints but not all flex joints are johnny joints. RC does not use johnny joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"just a side note, johnny joints are flex joints but not all flex joints are johnny joints. RC does not use johnny joints....." Thanks, just learned something new... again.

I'm going to start another post re replacement axle with different questions.

Thank y'all for input.
 

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A true Rubicon is fairly distinctive, even without the hood decals. As you pointed out the F&R Axles are 4.10s and it would have 16" wheels from the factory (with LT245/75R16 tires). It would also have two air pumps sitting on the transfer case shield. It would not have any side steps nor the little flare extensions behind the front flares. It would have a steel sill guard that extends up to just below the door opening with screws along the top with a rubber seal along the top edge to keep water from getting behind that panel. There are plastic and stick on imitations of this panel, but the real one bolts to the underside and has screws along the top edge.You would also have a locker switch in the center console under the A/C_Heat controls.

The ultimate clue is the the 6th digit of the VIN which should be a 6. (1= Sport, 2=SE, 4=Sahara and 6=Rubicon).

You can use this link to print a build sheet for the way the Jeep left the factory.
FCA RAM

Detail of the Rubicon sill guard:
Automotive tire Grille Car Automotive lighting Hood
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, it is supposed to be a Rubi, however it absolutely appears to have been altered. VIN does have the 6th digit as 6. Axles are D35/30 not D44 and it is now a manual not automatic. Doors are full size not half doors. It does have the sill guards you show, driver tilt seat and a few Rubi options that are there. This is a FrankenJeep!
 

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I know it was that way when you got it, but wow, taking the guts out of a Rubi. The D44s in the TJ Rubicon are, from what I understand, fairly unique. While you can possibly put D44s back on it, getting the locking differential back to original would require a set of original axles. That may also mean that you have drum brakes on the rear rather than the original disc brakes.

I would prefer the manual (which I have) as well, but wouldn't gut a Jeep to swap in a manual. I wonder if they took out the NP241OR transfer case as well. If you can get under the Jeep, look for signs of the locking pumps on the skid plate and also the plate of the transfer case.

I am wondering if it is a Rubi body transferred onto a Sport frame and running gear. There should be a VIN stamped somewhere on the frame up front. I wonder if it matches the VIN on the body. I think that would be less work than transferring two new axles in and changing the transmission.

BTW - what county are you in down in Florida? I am in Lowindes County, Georgia (the southern border of the county is the GA/FL line. I am over in Jacksonville about once a month. If you are over near Tallahassee you are only about 90 minutes from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am in Treasure Island, mid west coast FL. Not been up to Jax yet but do plan on going on a bit of vacation to Savannah sometime. I'll get in touch with ya when I do...

OK, some good news, I did not pay Rubicon $ for this Jeep because I did notice the wrong axles when on site once I saw the "deal" of an ad in real time. Thought the price was too good to be true and it was. Even beat up the price a bit more and did buy during the high point of pricing. Jeep was $12,500

I took a few pictures that might help identify it was once a real Rubi, see attachments. The panel does look to be mounted to the underside of the frame and the skid plate has some additional holes in it on both sides that may have been used for the air system at one time. Does this seem correct?

I guess since I am upgrading the axle, well eventually both axles, the D44 I put in there will get it close to original. Think I'll use air lockers as well.
 

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