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96 Front Suspension Help

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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:
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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.
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.



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.



But it did the *job!



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



*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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