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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Lower control arm bracket - how to replace/repair/upgrade?

OK so I got a little crazy this memorial day weekend and bent the drivers side trailing arm (lower control arm) mount (bracket). I can deal with the fact that It bent up pretty bad and even the cost of fixing it, but it seems like it will just happen again. I know there are after market trailing arms out there and I think I've seen some after market mounts before, but really don't know much about them. Any recommendations? Is there a way to protect this area? I tried searching, but I'm really not even sure this thing is called the trailing arm mount.

I really want some armor for underneath, but shipping to Alaska makes it cost prohibitive so I'm holding off until my ship goes to the shipyard in Bellingham this fall. I will order it then and just bring it up with me in the spring when the ship is out of the yard. The problem is that I really don't want to stop wheeling until next year so some advice on how to protect these mounts would be helpful. I think I am going to go with some UHMW for summer to help protect the rest of the underbody, this would be a short term solution that should get me through to next year.

Here's a pic of where it happened and the other 3 are pics of the damage. Interestingly, I really didn't see the damage until I got home and was washing the mud from underneath, but I definitely felt the stiffness in the suspension on the drivers side rear end. At the time I thought the slider had hit, but apparently I was wrong. Live and learn!!
 

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you can repair it by bending it bak with a crescent wrench, as for armour, allpro offroad sells a bolt on cover or you can get it boxed/reinforced with some stronger metal. check FJollies bugeater build up for an example of the welding and where to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
whenever I go to All Pro Off Road I get a page load error. FJ-Ollie has an interesting solution though. I'm guessing I could combine that with the body mount chop and kill two birds with one stone. Thanks for the info, what is the real name for this area. it doesn't seem to be trailing arm mount. :D
 

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Lower control arm is what many people calls it. While you checking them out there is also two types made by (man -a -fre).
 

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Here is a pic of the All Pro Link Mount Skids.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the pic. I checked Man-a-Fre's sight and couldn't find the link skids. There seem to be several options for the control arms though. After searching for lower control arm I was able to find many more posts. Just need to learn the lingo I guess. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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i also bent mine up not as bad as you but after i saw the damage i bought the all pro skid link. I believe its still on sale could be wrong though?
 

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The metal used to make the frame side capture for these links is quite thin. I don't think it's a good choice of material for the job. I had the All-Pro skid plates on mine and they took plenty of hits. The armor effectively reduced the contact damage, but in the end, it didn't address the mode in which these parts failed.

The vehicle is PHYSICALLY PUSHED FORWARD by the lower links, which are pushed forward by the axle. This is what makes the car move. The force transferred through these parts is tremendous!

Eventually the bolt holes wallow out and become ovals. This leads to a clunking sound in the moments of transition between drive and coast.

I cut the link captures off altogether and replaced them with quarter inch material. The leading edge of this construction is an integrated sloped skid surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So the real solution would be to have someone cut the old brackets off and replace them with stronger ones that are beveled at the front to help them slide over obstacles. That seems to be the solution FJ-Ollie ended up with also. It doesn't look like it would be that difficult/expensive for a welding shop to do this, so when I get back from work in a couple weeks I may start asking around. I have been meaning to get the body mount chop as well, so hopefully I can find someone willing to do both.

How about the HD adjustable control arms? Are they worth the $$$ or should I just keep the originals until they get bent?
 

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How about the HD adjustable control arms? Are they worth the $$$ or should I just keep the originals until they get bent? Man-a-fre offers two types of control arms, the ones that appear to be adjustable and another set that aren't. If I plan on getting a 3" lift in the future, would the adjustable ones be recommended? Pro's and Con's?
Upgraded lower links/trailing arms/whatever are almost a must. seeing the damage you got already you should think about it. If you are going to a welder to take care of the other issues just take your stock links and box them also with two lenghts of L bracket. It'll be cheaper, stronger, and you can run em till the grommets wear out. then you can think about the big bucks for a new set.
 

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I'll second everything said here... the All Pro skids are great, but the best possible long term solution is just replacing the horridly thin mounts with something beefier. While you're at it, make it ramp-shaped so they don't get busted again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sweet!, I just ordered the link brackets and will definitely look into having some angle iron welded to the stock control arms. Never really though of having them "boxed", but assuming the cost is reasonable it sounds like a great idea. Anyone have any pics of this? I've already saved SonicFJ's pic of the upgraded Link Brackets and a couple pics of the Body Mount Chop to take with me when I go on my hunt for a welder. Any pic's of boxed control arm links would be cool. Although I'm pretty sure It would be easy to get the point across.

FYI,
I ordered the brackets SonicFJ linked to, but it appears they also have a set specifically for the FJ for $36 including spacers. Ramped Rear Link Brackets - $36.00 I may have to call them Monday and cancel the first order and get the FJ specific ones instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
It kind of looks like he shortened them, but I'm betting the links are pretty close to stock length and he just moved the bracket back a bit to compensate for a lift. 6" perhaps?

After taking a closer look at mine, the brackets seem to be located pretty close to the same place, so maybe his lift is just making things look a bit different.
 

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If you move the stock link length back that far, then the wheel crashes into the rear of the wheel well on up-travel. The slip joint in the drive shaft would be in jeopardy too! I don't think it's that long.
 

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I think I'm just faking myself out. That grinder-ghost, forward of the link capture isn't the former link mount location. The eye of the frame end Johnny joint is pretty close to stock position in this picture.
 

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They would not.

The All-Pro skids assume the stock geometry of the link capture.

The stock configuration is slightly offset from the frame rail. The stock angle is steeper and shorter. There is a flat on the bottom of the stock part.

The All-Pro part is less than 1/4" thick. Why try to use it on top of quarter inch material?

Mine wrap the plating all the way down the slope and under the rod end.
 

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They would not.

The All-Pro skids assume the stock geometry of the link capture.

The stock configuration is slightly offset from the frame rail. The stock angle is steeper and shorter. There is a flat on the bottom of the stock part.

The All-Pro part is less than 1/4" thick. Why try to use it on top of quarter inch material?

Mine wrap the plating all the way down the slope and under the rod end.
Yeah, that's the only reason I wanted them was to cover the rod end.

Thanks Doc.
 
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