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Installation Report: Currie front LCAs on LJ

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by lynn, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Sep 26, 2012
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
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    3,437
    Installation report: Currie JJ front LCAs

    Hey guys
    This is a cut & paste from my post at JeepForum and Wrangler forum. I thought some of you might find it interesting...


    This is my report on the installation and initial impressions of one pair of Currie front LCAs.

    Saturday I finally got around to installing my new Currie single-adjustable johnny-joint front lower control arms. I bought these arms from Gerald through Savvy maybe 6 weeks ago (haven't had any garage time available).Good price from Gerald with the forum discount.
    I also installed Mr Blaine's johnny-joint washers (I painted them to prevent rust).

    My vehicle is an 05 LJ with 47K miles. Mostly my DD, but I do offroad the rig a few times each year. When the rig had 15K miles I installed a 3" spring lift, JKS front and rear adjustable track bars, OME stabilizer, and JKS quicker disconnects. I kept all stock control arms.
    Although the lift has worked well and been mostly problem free, I had a mild shake at 47 - 53 mph since the install, and a vagueness in the steering just before that, about 40 - 45 mph. I have had DW a few times, set off by swapping to smaller tires one time, and certain road conditions. Over the last year, the shake has gotten progressively worse at 47 - 53 on smooth road, and DW was set off a couple times on a gradual curve with some bumps at ~49 mph. I did upgrade the stock track bar bolt to a stronger 10mm grade 12.9 and torqued it to ~65 ft lbs... this helped a bit, but not much.

    Saturday I began the installation. I set the arms to 16", 1/4" longer than stock as suggested by Imped in a previous post. I did not make any other checks or adjustments because everything is square and working correctly on and off-road, BFG MTs are wearing evenly at 30K miles. I applied anti-seize to the threads.
    I used Gary2's suggestion of a bottle jack under the track bar axle mount to rotate the axle a bit counter-clockwise to allow the arms (now 1/4" longer than stock) to bolt in without tension on the bolts, and increasing caster a bit to compensate for the reduced caster caused by the lift. Mr Blaine's johnny-joint washers fit the slot in the mount perfectly, and aligned the bolt holes precisely. I installed one arm, leaving the fasteners finger tight, then installed the other arm. With everything in place I jounced the suspension a couple dozen times. I tightened all of the 9/16 bolts and used a click-type torque wrench to set them to 90 ft/lbs per the directions. When these were tight, I used an 18" adjustable wrench to tighten the jam nuts. The arms shifted on the JJs when I tightened the jam nuts hard... but as stated in other posts, this has no effect on the function of the arms or JJs.
    After tightening, I lubed all of the grease fittings but did not apply high pressure.

    The stock arms/bushings did not look nearly as bad as many I've seen posted. The rubber wasn't deformed but had plenty of dry-rot cracking. The steel sleeve wasn't deformed, but the bolts were sloppy in the sleeve, partly because of wear and partly because of the rolled piece of steel sleeve not being a solid piece and not formed exactly round. I'm sure this contributed to the axle not being completely restrained.

    So I took it for a test drive when everything was completed.
    I ran the same roads and same speeds that have been a problem in the past.

    The shakes are gone.
    The steering feels more precise. The vagueness is gone. Its is as smooth and controlled from 40 to 60 mph as it is from 20 to 30 mph.
    I notice a better road feel in the steering wheel, but no increase in NVH whatsoever.

    So although I've only got about 20 miles on the arms, I'm convinced this has been one of the best upgrades I've done on my rig. Edit: It's been a week now, and I no longer find myself going slow at those places in the road where the shakes were the worst at 47 - 53 mph and had the DW triggers. In fact I often look down and I'm surprised that I'm at 55 or 60 already, without the built-in "warning shakes" :D

    Many thanks to the members of JeepForum who have posted valuable information: Imped, Mr Blaine, Gerald, Gary2, UnlimitedLJ04, and others.

    __________________
    Lynn
    '05 LJ
     
  2. Sep 26, 2012
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Los Alamos, NM
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    Cool! I'll be getting some of Blaine's washers when I do LCA's. I already changed the front track bar bolt (welded a plate on the bracket, drilled new hole 5/8" over to re-center the axle) to a Gr.8 3/8X24.
     
  3. Sep 26, 2012
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
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    I stayed with the 10 mm bolt size because I'm running a JKS adjustable track bar. The sleeve is sized for 10 mm, and it is hardened, so I didn't want to fool with taking it off and trying to drill it. The grade 12.9 gives me a strong enough clamping force. You should get plenty of clamping force with your new set up too. What track bar are you running?

    Blaine's washers are absolutely sweet. Fit like a glove, a perfectly elegant solution.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2012
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Los Alamos, NM
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    I'm using the stock track bar, which is why I had to center the axle by drilling a new hole. Apparently most of the adjustable units require a lot of bump stop to keep them from hitting the diff cover. I'm going to try a raised track bar bracket for the rear (be here tomorrow). Oh, and new flares are on and new wheels ordered.:D
     
  5. Oct 1, 2012
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
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    11,876
    I'm guessing LCA's are long control arms? Guys, this kind of acronym can be very confusing for newbies or people who don't frequent those web sites.


    Sent from my iPhone
     
  6. Oct 2, 2012
    all4jpn

    all4jpn Member

    fredericksburg,va
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
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    363
    lower control arms
     
  7. Oct 2, 2012
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Los Alamos, NM
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    Yes, lower control arms. There's also UCA's..:D
     
  8. Oct 2, 2012
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
    Joined:
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    Ok, makes sense. I've been a tech most of my life and wasn't absolutely sure what you were talking about.....
     
  9. Oct 2, 2012
    cookieman

    cookieman Member

    Colton,Calif
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    Jan 31, 2005
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    X2
     
  10. Oct 2, 2012
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
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    So Nick, Cookie... I guess you guys aren't real "quitters"... R)

    ;) :)

    On another note, I did manage to install the front set of my new Rancho 9000XL shocks on the LJ. These are warranty replacements for the 5-year-old 9000XLs that the adjusters rusted and no longer worked. Hopefully I'll get the rear set installed next Monday or Tuesday evening, before I head out to the Tioga JeepKamp on Thursday morning.
    In removing the front shocks, the upper stud was rusted so badly that the stud top rounded off when using the stud/nut socket. I ended up putting a Vice Grip on the ring/cup attached to the shock rod, then putting the impack wrench on the nut... twisted the stud top right off below the nut :rofl:
    I was going to save them to give them away (forever stuck on setting #3) but this ruined one of them. The other came off OK, but I scrapped them both.
    I know the rear iuppper bolts sre always a problem. I'm sure I applied antiseize to those bolts when I put the shocks on 5-years ago. Hopefully I won't snap any of those... :shock:
    I applied antiseize to all fasteners in the front this time: lower bolts/nuts, and upper stud/nut.

    To resolve the problem of rusting 9000XL adjusters here in the salt belt, I disassembled the adjusters on the new ones, and liberally applied antiseize to the interior of the adjuster mechanism: the button and the retaining rings, then reassembled. I plan on cleaning and re-applying antiseize every spring after the winter road salt season is over. Hopefully, that will keep the rust away from the adjusters. Note that Rancho had NO recommendations or ideas on how to prevent these adjusters from rusting. In fact, one Rancho rep said "that is what the warranty is for"... Man I just don't understand that kind of thinking... :rofl:
     
  11. Oct 2, 2012
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Los Alamos, NM
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    Been thinking about those. I need gas shocks, and my front shocks are too long. I had to put 2 3/4" bump stops on the front. I could loose an inch and still be out of the front fenders on full compression.
    I got my new wheels on today but I didn't take any pics yet...
     
  12. Oct 3, 2012
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
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    What wheels did you get? What backspacing?
     
  13. Oct 3, 2012
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Los Alamos, NM
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    Blackrock 909, 4" back space.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Oct 4, 2012
    hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor

    North Texas...
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    Those look really good.
     
  15. Oct 4, 2012
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
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    Great looking wheels!!
     

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