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Old 02-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Upper and Lower control arm bolt fit

Hi, I am replacing the upper and lower control arms on my 2000 xj. I have bought new parts, however the fit of the stock bolts to the new parts is looser than even the parts I am replacing. Even the fit to the frame mounts is loose and they don't appear to be worn or ovaled. The stock bolts are 14mm and even with 9/16" bolts, the fit is loose (e.g. more than a slip fit). Shouldn't the control arm bolts be a fairly snug fit both to the bushing and the mounts?
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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This forum looks great....does anyone out there have an opinion or experience on the fit of these bolts??
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by stone5dad View Post
Hi, I am replacing the upper and lower control arms on my 2000 xj. I have bought new parts, however the fit of the stock bolts to the new parts is looser than even the parts I am replacing. Even the fit to the frame mounts is loose and they don't appear to be worn or ovaled. The stock bolts are 14mm and even with 9/16" bolts, the fit is loose (e.g. more than a slip fit). Shouldn't the control arm bolts be a fairly snug fit both to the bushing and the mounts?
Hi and welcome to CF from Tj in NJ. The control arms should NOT be loose...they all should be very tight. Something doesn't sound right...Tj
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Not sure about what bushings your using but if they are new poly ones I have seen people forget to put the steel sleeve in and that would cause the problem.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Hi and welcome to CF from Tj in NJ. The control arms should NOT be loose...they all should be very tight. Something doesn't sound right...Tj
Thank you for the welcome. I took some pictures however I don't know how to reduce their size on my wife's MAC to post to the forum. Basically I bought replacement arms (Dorman) with bushings installed for $25-$30. The bushings have a nice continuous inner sleeve that is not split so the diameter is machined consistent. When I removed the lower control arm and put the old bolt in the new Dorman arm the fit appears sloppy to me. If I slip in the 9/16 bolt which in theory is .016" larger in dia about half or less of the clearance is taken up. I also bought new Moog lower control arm bushings (split sleeve) and the fit with the 9/16" bolt is loose but tighter than the Dorman arm bushings.

It just seems like the fit between the stock bolts and the new bushings ought to a nice close slip fit, when what I have is .030-.040".

Has anybody else replaced their lower control arms and noticed this? I am thinking I should use the 9/16" bolts with the Moog bushings but I would have to install them in my old arms.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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I'm having a similer problem with new Rubicon lower arms. The original bolts are smaller than the holes in the new sleeves. Had to put in larger bolts to take up the play but they still make a banging noise.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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Thank you for the welcome. I took some pictures however I don't know how to reduce their size on my wife's MAC to post to the forum. Basically I bought replacement arms (Dorman) with bushings installed for $25-$30. The bushings have a nice continuous inner sleeve that is not split so the diameter is machined consistent. When I removed the lower control arm and put the old bolt in the new Dorman arm the fit appears sloppy to me. If I slip in the 9/16 bolt which in theory is .016" larger in dia about half or less of the clearance is taken up. I also bought new Moog lower control arm bushings (split sleeve) and the fit with the 9/16" bolt is loose but tighter than the Dorman arm bushings.

It just seems like the fit between the stock bolts and the new bushings ought to a nice close slip fit, when what I have is .030-.040".

Has anybody else replaced their lower control arms and noticed this? I am thinking I should use the 9/16" bolts with the Moog bushings but I would have to install them in my old arms.
You do it the same way everybody else does. You use a photo hosting site called Photo Bucket. Establish a free account and then upload the pic and then copy the image code and past it. The photo shows up.

There is a little slop in the bushing sleeves and the bolts. The idea is that once assembled, the nut tightens down on the edges of the sleeve and that keeps it from moving. Leaf spring bushings are like that too.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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You do it the same way everybody else does. You use a photo hosting site called Photo Bucket. Establish a free account and then upload the pic and then copy the image code and past it. The photo shows up.

There is a little slop in the bushing sleeves and the bolts. The idea is that once assembled, the nut tightens down on the edges of the sleeve and that keeps it from moving. Leaf spring bushings are like that too.
Yes, I know about leaf spring bolts....but it seems like that fit is tighter to the point that often the bolts will seize on the bushing sleeve forcing you to cut them out...been there. I don't see the fit I have ever seizing in the sleeve even with the larger 9/16" bolt. Thanks for your input. I guess I will try the larger bolts since it is a better fit and let you know how it works out.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Every time I try to remove bushing bolts on older vehicles they are ALWAYS rusted to the inner metal sleeve and either have to be cut off or pressed out with a Porta-Power.

This would lead me to believe the inital clearance when new was minimal. If it is loose enough to be banging back and forth then sooner or later that bolt is going to snap and the control arm is gonna flop out of the mount.
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