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Currie front control arms vs stock: vibration and wobble

1374 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  KingRubiconMan
Hi all,

I've posted this same text over on Jeepforum. Both this board and that one have been invaluable to me over the years so here's a tiny bit of info given back:

This is a short post with info on my personal experience replacing the stock control arms on my TJ with Curry johnny joint arms. My goal was to kill, once and for all, a recurring case of death wobble.

My Jeep has a 2" OME lift & had picked up death wobble. Replacing the steering stabilizer masked it for a while but it recurred. I'd already replaced the track bar bushing; no joy. I agonized over Currie vs JKS after reading all the postings I could find. Lots of folks were concerned about transmitted vibrations with the Currie arms.

In my case I went from all clevite OEM bushings straight to the Currie arms, both upper and lower on the front axle. Of course, the two OEM bushings on the upper control arms are retained but the other six are now johnny joints. I drove it stock one day, all Currie the next day.

So my take on the change in transmitted vibration, harsher ride: effectively none. Handling changes: effectively none. Death wobble: gone.

I say "effectively none" instead of "none" because I'm being hyper-sensitive right now. *Maybe* certain bumps of exactly the right size feel crisper when I hit 'em. *Maybe* the Jeep's response to steering inputs is a little crisper. But honestly, both impressions could easily be put down to me thinking there'd *have* to be a noticeable difference. If I didn't know the arms were different my likely impression would be no change, except for the death wobble being gone.

Once, in the past, I replaced worn out stock motor mounts with poly motor mounts. There was a *huge* difference for the worse. Lesson learned, never again. So based on that I though the arms would be noticeable. I was willing to put up with it in order to not have to fix things twice. But now what I've got is only change for the better and I still shouldn't have to fix this twice.

Installation tips:
It worked best for me when I put the front up on jackstands and pulled the wheels.

The lowers were easy to remove. I used a ratchet strap when I needed to move the axle backwards and my winch to nudge the axle forwards when installing the new arms; I wasn't able to position it by hand.

The uppers.. not so easy. They're harder to reach. Get a really good drillbit for drilling out the stock bushings for the new Currie hardware. Single biggest tip: When doing the uppers install the axle end first *then* install the frame end. That made all the difference in the world and knowing it ahead of time would have saved me a *lot* of time.

Hope this info helps someone out. Thanks to mrblaine for his advice and help here a while back when making up my mind!

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Nice report and tips. Next upgrade should be those axle mounted oem bushings replaced with the Currie axle kit. If, you don't have a welder then do the driver's side yourself and then take it to a good shop. The passenger side would take them 15 minutes.

You right about the DW, though. Don't rule it cured. On the road to recovery, though!
Good report. As mentioned, get rid of the two upper bushings and get the JJ kit from Currie for those too-the combination was the ONLY thing to eliminate a vibe/wobble I had in my front end several years ago, and still doing great today. They were one of the best upgrades I've done. When you get time, swap the rears out too!

Best of Luck,

You mentioned you felt there was basically no change other than the disappearance of death wobble.

Well, I'm hyper-sensitive to mechanical nuance too, and I agree that there were no negative effects
from going to Johnny Joints over the stock rubber bushings.

I did notice positive changes such as the improved steering sensitivity you mentioned and a more solid,
responsive feel to the suspension overall.

Anyway, great post - it's nice to see more and more people are realizing the benefits of cartridge style
joints over the stock stamped arms and rubber bushings.
Thanks all for the kind words and good suggestions.

:oops: I actually didn't realize until I got under there that bushings would remain. Usually I'm much more of a thorough researcher.

One 'o these days I'll both those front ones done and indeed swap out the rear ones. It looks like I get to keep the current arms with the front replacements. That'll be nice.

So to hijack my own thread - is there any way to get to a pure johnny joint trackbar? Looks like the Currie one has a bushing on one end still.

MikeW said:
.........So to hijack my own thread - is there any way to get to a pure johnny joint trackbar? Looks like the Currie one has a bushing on one end still.

Clayton has a double shear with a JJ on one end and a bushing on the other. Between Clayton and Currie is a bunch of experience. Maybe, it is is either unwise or impractical to market.

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Not much to add here, except for saying "me too". I basically did a "big bang" approach to my build and did everything all at once. Steering, track bars, sway bar, springs, Currie control arms, JJ housing, shocks, etc. So basically one day I was completely stock, and the next time I drove it, it was completely new. No downsides, and only up sides with the Currie stuff. Feels tight as new, and yet supple over cobblestone rocks. Couldn't be happier.
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