TJ Enthusiast
Aug 24, 2018
Hurricane, UT
I'm sure people will think I'm an idiot for what I am about to ask but here it goes...

I have an OME lift which is a very nice ride. I also have JKS J-Flex adjustable control arms and track bars. These arms have a ball joint at the one end. This ball joint makes a clicking noise in certain circumstances, going over speed bumps, sometimes pulling into a parking spot and stopping etc...
I thought this odd and had a shop that does a lot of off road stuff look at it. They went over it and made sure everything was set right and tight. The guy told me those control arms will make that clicking sound. He said the reality is you have a heck of an offroad suspension that is over kill and it's going to be irritating as a daily driver if you don't like that clicking.
I bought the LJ with this on it. I'm going f'ing mental. Between this and the Detroit Locker I'm not digging the daily driver aspect. I know the Detroit Locker is a whole other discussion.
So I thought I could sell the JKS LCA arms and just get regular adjustable arms that don't have that ball joint at the end. Is this a dumb idea, I'm a TJ noob but I figure it's got to be quieter and still OK for off roading trails and some rock crawling.
Why do you think it might be a dumb idea? Because the arms you have are more expensive? They clearly don't work for you and annoy you, so why not? I say it is up to you to decide what works and what doesn't work as far as what annoys and what doesn't, so "me no thing it a stupid" ;)
Not a stupid idea at all. I wouldn't recommend a Detroit locker for daily driving, and if those control arms are as noisy as you say, then by all means, switch to another (less noisy) control arm. My Savvy control arms don't make this noise at all. They use Johnny Joints on both ends.
Thanks guys. I figured it was dumb because I am talking about taking more expensive arms and putting in less expensive ones. I do have a question. Will I be losing any serious flex or added articulation by going with traditional arms vs. Johnny Joints?

Yeah the Detroit is a PITA for daily but kicked arse on the trails yesterday. I powered right up this rock filed plowing right up and over 2' and a few 3' rocks. I am tossing around the idea of a geared LSD vs. a clutch pack LSD. I can't afford a traditional electric locker right now.
Not a stupid idea at all. I wouldn't recommend a Detroit locker for daily driving, and if those control arms are as noisy as you say, then by all means, switch to another (less noisy) control arm. My Savvy control arms don't make this noise at all. They use Johnny Joints on both ends.
X2. I have been daily driving Johnny Joints for about two years. They don't click and they are part of a "hardcore" suspension.
What do you mean by a traditional arm?

One without a Johnny Joint.


You guys are telling me you have johnny joint arms and there is NO clicking at all? When I'm cruising down the road it's fine. Hit a pothole or bump... quiet. But going slow like over a speed bump, pulling into parking spaces and stopping.... clickety click.
But I see that control arms aren't cheap. I know RC are poo poo'd on but they got great reviews and are $200 per pair. I'm assuming control arms like the ones pictured will be quieter.
I'm assuming the Johnny Joints allow more flex/articulation?????
JJs are silent. They offer more misalignment than most will ever physically need or even use.

Rubber bushings can be fine if the required misalignment, flex and rotations don't exceed their limits. With some caveats, they should be restricted to stock shock travels.
When you say stock shock travels you are referring to the stock LCAs. I would assume that aftermarket adjustable LCAs would be fine even without a johnny joint.
I don't know what else could be making the clicking if everything is tight and well greased.
Shocks define the amount of suspension travel. Stock shock travels are roughly 4" up, 4" down. The further away from that and rubber bushings start to wear more quickly, as a result of being twisted and turned beyond their normal range of motion.

The control arms control the path of the movements.

The detail that I left out is that the factory arms are designed to twist in a way that most other arms cannot. That is what JKS is replicating with their (unnecessarily complicated) design. But it becomes an entirely moot point with a flex joint like a Johnny Joint.
OK, I follow what you are saying. I find it interesting that there are plenty of aftermarket non-johnny joint arms available. I need to get back under and poke around as well. I don't feel like dropping $ on new arms if I don't have to. I read to take a soft mallet and hit the arms ,etc... and reproduce the click. The speed bump is a good test because it's a uniform compression and release. Just need to figure out which components are causing this.
Anyone want to buy a JKS J-Flex LCA set? LOL
Make sure your control arm bolts are tight. Even knowing what it was, I chased that for a while getting rid of an occasional click.

The big difference between the JJ copies and the real thing is durability and longevity. It may be safe to say that mine will last as long as the Jeep will.
Check out Metal Cloak. Their control arms are beefy monsters and are significantly better than the rc. They also have great tech support and will work with you on your project.

I just installed a 3.5" lift this past weekend and I am seriously impressed with the product. Smooth and quiet too.

My LJ came with a rc lift and the entire thing was complete crap:demon7:. I invested a little more for quality parts that I feel will last a long time as well as give great performance on the trails.

Mine is a daily driver as well so the things that you're talking about driving you nuts......I feel your pain. Well I did before I upgraded. :neng2kb:
Are you sure the control arms are what is making the noise? A Detroit Locker uses a geared clutch pack type of locking mechanism, when one wheel must turn at a different speed (ie. going around a corner, going over a speed bump at an angle or with only one side of the axle) then one tire must turn faster than the other. A Detroit (much like a "lunch box" locker such as a LockRite) will allow a wheel to turn faster than the driving force but not slower there by giving both wheels the ability to push/pull your Jeep..... when you go around a corner (or pull into a parking spot) the outside wheel is turning faster than the inside wheel. The inside wheel is receiving all the power and the outside is "allowed" to ratchet faster than the drive speed, many times this make an audible clicking or ratcheting noise as the clutch pack is allowing the wheel to turn faster..... just my simple minded opinion..... also, I agree, a full time locker sucks for a daily driver, my old CJ5 had a lock rite in it and it was entertaining to drive to say the least.........
Great post . Not dumb at all.

Get that sucker set up for how you're going to drive it the majority of the time and you're going to love it.