Once you lift your JK over two and a half inches, the control arm geometry changes. These changes alter alignment angles that work against your suspension and keep it from reaching its potential.By Weston Chadwick – December 1, 2015
Contributors: Rough Country
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
Control arms tie the axles and frame together, providing the rigidity and control needed for easy steering and control. When you modify the working angles of the suspension with a lift, changes to alignment angles, such as castor, occur. These changes effect handling and stability, as well as operating angles, for important components such as drive shafts. Control arm correction brackets move the working angle more parallel to the ground, transferring more energy from the road into the coil spring. This improves traction with the road surface during braking and cornering.
- 1/2″ ratchet
- Pry bar
- Wrenches (14mm-21mm)
- Sockets (12mm-21mm)
- Die grinder with cut-off wheel (optional)
- 1/2″ torque wrench
- Front control arm correction kit
This how-to is based off the Rough Country front control arm relocation kit.
Step 1 – Remove heat shields over upper control arms
Remove the bolt holding the heat shields to the control arms. Pull the heat shield off the control arms once the bolt is removed.
Figure 1. The upper control arm heat shield.
Step 2 – Remove upper control arm bolt
This bolt is too long to be fully removed with the exhaust installed. You can remove the exhaust or use a die grinder/pneumatic saw to cut the head off the bolt. Make sure a replacement bolt is included with your kit or have a new one ready. Also, make sure the grade or strength of the bolt is the same as the original. When removing a bolt that is tightened with a nut on the thread, remember to hold the nut stationary, otherwise the nut may spin in place and not loosen.
Figure 2. The upper control arm bolt.
Step 3 – Remove lower control arm bolt
Remove the bolt using the same process used in Step 2. This bolt won’t need to be cut.
Figure 3. Removing the lower control arm bolt.
Step 4 – Remove second upper control arm bolt
Once removed, the upper control arm can be removed from the brackets. Get ready to install the drop brackets.
Figure 4. Removing the second upper control arm bolt.
Step 5 – Install frame side of the drop brackets
Slide the frame side of the drop bracket into place, and then slide the new bolts into the brackets. Install the bolt sleeves over the bolts between the frame side bracket and the outside bracket.
Figure 5. Installing the frame bracket and bolts into the outside bracket.
Step 6 – Install upper control arm
Hand-tighten the nuts holding the brackets to the frame. Slide the upper control arm into the new brackets and hand-tighten the mounting nuts. Slide the back portion of the lower control arm into the new brackets and hand-tighten this nut also.
Figure 6. Installing the control arms into the new brackets.
Step 7 – Install lower control arm into axle bracket
The control arm will need to be compressed slightly to line up the axle and control arm bolt holes. Place a pry bar against the coil bucket between the axle and spindle. Push forward on the coil bucket while pushing the bolt through the bolt holes.
Step 8 – Finish installation
Torque the lower control arm bolts to 125 ft/lbs and the upper control arms bolts to 75 ft/lbs.