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Currie control arms creaking a lot, time to rebuild?

connor grimes

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Oct 24, 2018
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Lengthy post, have multiple questions for It's time to rebuild my Currie control arms that I've had on my Tj for about 5 years. They've never accepted grease (I've tried about once a year) but they're creaking now. I My plan is to buy the currie tool made specific for the upper and lowers job, as I think it's a worthy tool investment. I was considering cleaning and re-greasing or totally replacing. I've read that most often they are fine and just need to be cleaned/greased/checked. I'm also thinking that if I am taking the time to remove, I may as well replace them (thoughts?)

My next questions I have is that I'm looking for the most efficient way to do this job. Should I remove one control arm at a time ..rebuild/re-install each one at a time. Also looking to increase my caster slightly from 4.5 degrees to as much as possible without binding front DS as I feel it could do better on highway and Return-to-center. Running new Adam's front driveshaft as well. Looking to get 6-7 degrees of caster which I think will work as others have done.

suspension set up
35's on 3.5" lift
1" BL
1"MML
No t-case spacers


Any tips on adjusting caster with an angle finder, or is this something I cannot do at home? I have done multiple DIY toe in alignments which I learned years ago from this forum, so I am confident I can do the job correctly. Any tips on this control arm job would be greatly appreciated!
 
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ranger101

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I’m currently in the same position myself. I have 8yr old(potentially older) control arms and my JJ’s have been incredibly stiff since day one. I’m in the middle of an axle swap so my plan is to rebuild/clean the rear arms all at once before swapping in the new axle. Notice how my control arms are pushed up… it took way too much to get them into that position. Makes me wonder how it’s effecting my ride quality.

E78B1B16-60EE-45BF-831E-755D1570E267.jpeg
 
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taylormade73

Wobbles in My Rearview As I Look at My Silver TJ
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May 1, 2019
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I disassemble, clean, grease (CV-2) and reassemble mine regularly. The JJ’s are never in bad condition, just dry. I do one arm at a time. Maybe there is a better (more efficient/faster) way but it is actually therapeutic when I do them because it’s so repetitious. I get into a rhythm and am done before I know it.

I’ve built my own JJ tool and have bought the real ones. I would recommend buying the tool. I’ve tried cheap snap ring pliers and did more cussing than anything. So I tried these and have been impressed.

https://www.harborfreight.com/precision-snap-ring-pliers-8-piece-63841.html
 
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connor grimes

connor grimes

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Oct 24, 2018
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I'm hesitant to rely on thicker washers to compensate for worn material, but I can see how this would help tolerances. Will definitely get some quality snap ring pliers as I've struggled with a cheap-o set in the past on my SYE install. Good to know CV-2 is the ideal grease. I also figured 5 year service intervals aren't horrible either and may just buy a new set of bushings.
 

jjvw

quetzalcoatl created you
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I'm hesitant to rely on thicker washers to compensate for worn material, but I can see how this would help tolerances. Will definitely get some quality snap ring pliers as I've struggled with a cheap-o set in the past on my SYE install. Good to know CV-2 is the ideal grease. I also figured 5 year service intervals aren't horrible either and may just buy a new set of bushings.

Packing the races tighter is working quite well so far on my daily driver. In the odd event that this doesn't last another 30k miles of neglect, I have several boxes of rebuild kits waiting on the shelf.
 

rasband

Shit's about to go down in AZ
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I am finding I need to do mine every 18 months if I don't want to listen to the creaking, but from what I am aware - that's very dependent on the type of clay content in the soil you have. You guys in socal are fortunate in that!

I am glad to have the tool, but making one in moab was fine and easy enough. With a welder at home it would be even better and more permanent.

Similar to others, I do one at a time after I loosen all the jam nuts and measuring to make sure things to back together as they came off.

I have no preference of snapring pliers. I have these, and probably lost the optional tips - but they've done plenty fine.
 

taylormade73

Wobbles in My Rearview As I Look at My Silver TJ
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I am finding I need to do mine every 18 months if I don't want to listen to the creaking, but from what I am aware - that's very dependent on the type of clay content in the soil you have. You guys in socal are fortunate in that!

I am glad to have the tool, but making one in moab was fine and easy enough. With a welder at home it would be even better and more permanent.

Similar to others, I do one at a time after I loosen all the jam nuts and measuring to make sure things to back together as they came off.

I have no preference of snapring pliers. I have these, and probably lost the optional tips - but they've done plenty fine.

Those are the ones that had me cussing lol.
 
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Mall'er

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May 3, 2021
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Portland
They've never accepted grease

This is the issue. When I did my lift, the joints wouldn't take grease. I took out the zerks, and the bushing was blocking the grease from getting into the joint. I had to disassemble the joints to rotate the bushings so the zerks weren't blocked.

Take the zerk out. Poke the hole. Is the bushing flush with the body, or is there room for grease to go into the joint? It will be very obvious.
 

Jerry Bransford

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The races inside a Johnny Joint are designed with a very (!) tight fit and do not readily accept a significant amount of grease through the zerk fitting. When they do, which has been never in my 12 year experience with mine, it's time for a rebuild. Creaking is perfectly normal, it's not a sign of being too dry inside. Mine creaked when they were still new.
 
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freedom_in_4low

Sacred Order of the Coil Spring
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Sep 26, 2019
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Edmond, OK
I do an arm at a time. I don't loosen the jam nuts, I just rebuild the joints on the arm.

I'm currently running an experiment on grease. My lowers are running cv2, uppers are energy suspension formula 5 prelube. Whichever starts creaking first will get redone with the other one. I do have something creaking but I think it's the axle ends of the front uppers, which I haven't touched since installing in 2019.
 
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ranger101

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Dec 30, 2018
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Winchester, VA
It took me about 5 mins to get the joint to this stage yesterday. Didn’t use the Currie tool, just two sockets with a nut/bolt to compress the washers and remove the snap ring.

Assembly was just as easy. I set the rubber bushing over the ball after cleaning/greasing them both and tapped the bushing into place using the closed end of a 1” wrench, then pushed the assembly back into the joint and reinstalled the snap ring. While I’m certain the Currie tool could’ve made this a little easier, I was very surprised at how smooth things went with this setup. And @jjvw is correct about those snap ring pliers. You need the 90* pliers to get a better grip on the snap ring, otherwise you’ll struggle to keep the pliers in position while putting things back in place.
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