Heard some discomforting noises on the trail run today, and discovered that the bump stop plunger was hitting the front springs under certain conditions. This can only happen if the front axle either moves (forward or backward) or rotates (pinion angle rotation). Jim noticed that my front upper control arm on the passenger side is buckling, and the driver side has twisted presumably due to the other arm buckling. So, I need a new front upper control arms in short order.
Installation looks pretty simple, though I'd appreciate advice on whether I've selected appropriate parts, and welcome any assistance with installation.
For control arms, it looks like these will get the job done -- https://www.quadratec.com/p/jks-manu...tj-cherokee-xj
These appear to be much more stout than the stock upper control arms, which are some really cheesy ~1/8" steel in a U-shaped channel. These (https://www.quadratec.com/products/56015_005.htm) appear to the same construction as the currently installed (failed) upper control arms.
I imagine I also need to get some replacement bushings for the axle-side mount with the JKS part above? I found this (https://www.quadratec.com/products/56015_103.htm) on Quadratec, and assume it is compatible with the JKS control arms, though I'm not certain.
I lack an impact wrench, but I have a large breaker bar. I'm wondering how much pain I'm in for trying to remove the 15 year old bolts that hold these factory control arms in.
Thinking about how to replace the control arms, I understand the process to be:
1) Jack up the vehicle and put the frame on jack stands. Remove both front wheels.
2) Remove bolts at both ends of front upper control arm on one side, and replace. Jack up front or rear of front diff as necessary to adjust pinion if axle shifts when I remove the old control arm. Since both control arms that I have are bent, how should I set the new control arms to get the length correct?
3) Install new control arm and bolts. Repeat 1-3 for the other side
4) Lower vehicle and torque control arm bolts per spec, which appears to be 60 ft-lbs
5) Drink some beer.
What did I miss? Should I do something to secure the axle before trying to remove the control arm? I assume the axle will be in the wrong position when I jack up the vehicle owing to the broken upper control arms currently installed.