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Old 05-23-2014, 09:17 AM
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Suspension/steering advice

Hey everyone!

This week, my 2007 Jeep GC Hemi with 106K miles went in for a transmission and transfer case service as well as an alignment at the dealership. The good news is that the driver side front is off by only 0.8 degrees. The bad news is that the technician broke the bolt holding the mount on the cross member when trying to make an adjustment. Now I am faced with a ~$300 bill for fixing the bolt and alignment, or replace the entire lower control arm, which will set me back ~$700. What a bargain .

My dilemma is whether to just fix the bolts, or begin a renovation of the entire front end. I already have new struts, but everything else appears to be OEM parts as far as I can tell. I was hoping someone would give me some advice on pricing and parts in case I decide to re-do the front. What would make the most sense to replace if I overhaul the front? And where to get the parts? I would like quality parts so that another tear down will not be in the near future. I plan on keeping the vehicle for another three or four years and I need it to be as dependable as a Chrysler can be .

Thanks guys for the help - I appreciate it!
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:38 AM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

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Originally Posted by WK2007 View Post
Hey everyone!

This week, my 2007 Jeep GC Hemi with 106K miles went in for a transmission and transfer case service as well as an alignment at the dealership. The good news is that the driver side front is off by only 0.8 degrees. The bad news is that the technician broke the bolt holding the mount on the cross member when trying to make an adjustment. Now I am faced with a ~$300 bill for fixing the bolt and alignment, or replace the entire lower control arm, which will set me back ~$700. What a bargain .

My dilemma is whether to just fix the bolts, or begin a renovation of the entire front end. I already have new struts, but everything else appears to be OEM parts as far as I can tell. I was hoping someone would give me some advice on pricing and parts in case I decide to re-do the front. What would make the most sense to replace if I overhaul the front? And where to get the parts? I would like quality parts so that another tear down will not be in the near future. I plan on keeping the vehicle for another three or four years and I need it to be as dependable as a Chrysler can be .

Thanks guys for the help - I appreciate it!
I've never heard of needing an entire front end replacement (piece by piece) after normal driving in that amount of time. My '05's front end is running mostly stock in terms of suspension, with the exception of the struts, which were replaced with Monroe Sensa-tracs at around 80k.

If you go Monroe, pick them up on Amazon. In terms of other places to buy parts, Amazon and Rockauto undercut even your local autoparts stores by more than 50% per part, especially those suspension related parts. The LCA's are typically pretty beefy and it's mainly only the lower ball joint on the LCA that requires maintenance. The upper balljoints are also known to go. There are about a billion writeups here regarding the upper control arms and whether to replace as a unit or press out the ball joint fitting, etc.

Have a look around and happy hunting.

Also, while you're at it, swap out the stock rotors and brakes because the OEM ones blow (they ALWAYS warp prematurely), and replace with R1 or EBC rotors and some Wagner ThermoQuiet pads.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:02 PM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

Thanks for the reply, Brent.

I looked for lower control arms on Amazon and a few other places, but I am not sure about the brands. The Raybestos ran about $115 per side, which is reasonable and a lot less than OEM. I am just not sure if the quality is up to par.

WK
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:15 PM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by WK2007 View Post
Thanks for the reply, Brent.

I looked for lower control arms on Amazon and a few other places, but I am not sure about the brands. The Raybestos ran about $115 per side, which is reasonable and a lot less than OEM. I am just not sure if the quality is up to par.

WK
I've seen pretty positive reviews on here for the Raybestos brand. I believe one member even called it "pro" quality. Suspension-wise, I usually buy MOOG when I can, but since I don't think they make LCA's, I'd probably go with Raybestos.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:29 PM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

Have the front diff. bushings ever been changed? If not, at 106K, they're probably either gone or near gone. When I did my front end I used factory diff. bushings and Moog ball joints, the top one being adjustable to compensate for lowering. Diff. bushing are a PITA, especially the top one.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:48 AM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

Thanks for the replies, guys.

Yesterday I received a $100 quote from Dobbs to remove the bolt. It helps that the store manager is my neighbor . I think I will try to have them remove the bolt first. If it works, I will wait until fall to change the control arms and surrounding parts.

I had the differential bushings changed a couple of years ago to alleviate a noticeable clunk in the transmission when I would go from Park to Drive. Since the bushings were replaced, no more problems. And you are right, Jeepgcoman, they were a pain in the butt to change

Thanks again for the input!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:10 AM
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Re: Suspension/steering advice

Just a quick update. We attempted to replace the broken bolt, but never made it that far. The suspension assembly would not budge and most of the bolts were badly corroded. Instead of spending money on labor to save the old control arm, we ended up replacing the entire lower front control arm to the tune of $600. I can't say I'm happy about the repair and the cost, but the Jeep drives significantly better than before. No more wobble when going over bumps and the Jeep is much more stable during turns.

Thanks for the help, guys!
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