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Old 09-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default 96 Front Suspension Help

Hey folks! First post here.

Got into a fender bender w/my 4x4 ZJ(?). I'm fairly new to the Jeep world but to my untrained eye all I could see that needed (non-general maintenance) repairing was the lower suspension arm.





The rest of the suspension components, although articulated far left, seem ok. A new arm was $70 but I managed to junkyard one for $20. New bushings would have been nice but that's a project that will have to wait.



Here's my problem:



I'm obviously not lining up. The bolt holes are roughly 2 - 3" off. I'm unable to physically push the suspension at all to get it lined up. So here's my question: is it the dampener seen here that needs to contract back into itself to allow the give I need?



Aaaaaaand if so, could I place a scissor jack like this to push the sucker back in?



I appreciate your guys' help in advance. Really need to get this guy back on the road pronto! And I apologize about all the pictures but I figured the better picture I painted the better my little blunder here would get across.

Glad to have found a Cherokee forum!

Last edited by gus.; 09-10-2010 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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Any thoughts guys? Here's what it looks like on paper.

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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Does anyone else think his swar bar looks bent out of shape? Maybe it's just me...
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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can't tell if the sway bar is bent, but I did notice he's installing the LCA upside down. I've always used a come along to "wench" the axle forward or back what ever it my need.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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You have the arm upside down, and that one bushing looks pretty bad. I got two lower arms from ebay for abot 70 bucks. The upper arm might be tweaked too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bustedback View Post
You have the arm upside down, and that one bushing looks pretty bad. I got two lower arms from ebay for abot 70 bucks. The upper arm might be tweaked too.
Ha! You're right! I made sure it was good horizontal... but not vertical. I'll give that upper arm a good eye. Thanks man.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportrider View Post
can't tell if the sway bar is bent, but I did notice he's installing the LCA upside down. I've always used a come along to "wench" the axle forward or back what ever it my need.

Click the image to open in full size.

Ah, very cool. I've never seen one of these guys.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:47 PM   #8
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For how bent that LCA was, my guess is that the upper control arm is bent a little too, keeping the axle too far back to mount the LCA.

Edit: Upon looking at the pictures again, I'm almost 99% sure that your passenger side UCA is bent.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:55 AM   #9
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Hmm, I'll be sure to give the UCA a good inspection. Thanks Dan.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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Not a bad idea to replace all four arms with new arms just for the sake of knowing they will be straight.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:25 PM   #11
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^Busted, I really wish I could man but I have but a few bucks to get this thing driveable.

SO... You know, once there, w/the scissor jack in place and pushing away mm by mm I couldn't help but chuckle at the situation I was in.

Click the image to open in full size.

But it did the *job!

Click the image to open in full size.

UCA, thankfully, looks ok. Filthy, but straight.

Click the image to open in full size.

*I get the wheels back on ready for a quick around-the-block shakedown and... CLICK CLICK CLICK. Deaaaaaad battery. What luck! It's over at the auto parts store getting trickle-charged overnight. BLUGH. So uhh... I haven't driven it yet.

Thanks for all the input guys. Will let you know how it faired.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:05 PM   #12
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You might wanna replace the ps sway link.It looks pretty bent at the top bolt.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #13
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Crap. I didn't really think to check that. Kind of figured it was just flexing. I'll have to take it off and check it out. Thanks Troy.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #14
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The swaybar links on ZJs have some sorta ball joint on them, unless that flex ripped the joint apart it's probably fine.
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