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Discussion Starter #1
Awhile back I posted a topic about a customer who had ripped his upper control arms in half. Well, he's back....but they are not ripped, they are bent!?! We put on a second set of upper control arms and our service manager told him he is on his own for a third set. IMO the upper controls are failing because something is putting too much stress on them. It is a bone stock Rubicon...I'm thinking something is out of alignment somewhere. I'm trying to get him to come wheelin' with me this weekend to see what is going on. Any thoughts?
 

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It might be a design induced problem. I was just removing the upper control arms today to install the RELA stuff and I was looking at the stock arms for a bit (okay, okay...I'm whimpin' out and I'm tired... but I digress...)

Some history: my rubicon was being driven by my bro and he hit the gas and brake at the same time in 4 low....the rubi shot off and down a steep gully and hit..."wham". The alignment was off.

So, today I'm trying to see if there was any real damage and I noticed the upper control arm has a very slight bend on the frame side, driver side (thinking it was from the hit). I doubt it was from a hit but a factory design for clearance. My point after all this is with an arm with an existing bend in it (even slight) would predispose it to ealier failure....right?

Plus those arms are the lightest little things...its hard to believe they control that heavy axle.

I'm tired...I'm droning on.....

I'm out.... :sleeping:
 
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I've seen both front UCA's bent on another 2002 TJ set up very similar to our Rubi's. In the case of this bend it happened during a sandy hill climb with lockers on for traction. He was on the throttle and the front end was bouncing, not really bad, just during the loss of traction. If you've ever run in sand you know what I mean. Kind of like a chatter on the front end. After he cleared the hill, you could here a metallic noise from the spring. We stopped and looked and both UCA's were bent. This is what we deduced. The front UCA's are part of the crush zone for the Jeep. Under forward motion they are under compression forces, while the lowers are under extension. Axle rotates opposite of tire rotation. With a 4:1 t-case, 4.88 gears and lockers the UCA's were unable to withstand the hammer blows from the loss of traction and they folded. We straightened them out by hooking the front bumper to a telephone pole and backing up. They straightened enough to be able to drive on the freeway back home.

Ron
 

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Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Now that Ron mentions sand and his story is the same thing that happened to me I never checked the uppers (yet) now there's another thing for the dealer to look at morry. In addition I remember being locked up and going up this nice waterfall and front jumpin. Thanks..


Mo
 

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Discussion Starter #5
this guy is pretty stressed out so I've come up with an idea. I too belive that when you are locked up and you allow the front end to chatter that you cause the uppers undue stress and they might fail. He is going wheelin this weekend and I'm gonna bet him a free set of upper control arms. My proposition is this, I want him to wheel his jeep as hard as he wants all weekend long and I will personally pay for a new set of uppers if his bend. My only requirement is that he doesn't use his front locker any time over the course of the weekend. I think that this guy is a locker newbie and he is over using it and the front upper control arms are the week link that fails. I will let you all know the out come of this deal next week.
 

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Yup

You'll be a winner, not sure that's a good thing but you'll be one.
 

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Axle bouncing most likely will not cause that...We do a lot winter runs and axle chatter/bouncing is normal and I have never seen a bent CA...

The one time that I have seen a bent set of UCA's is when my buddy put the front wheels in the air about 5ft. He is a 4 cylinder with little axles.

Sounds like abuse to me.
 
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