Project WJ: Rear Control Arm Replacement
My 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee had developed a problem. It seemed to be wobbly and loose when driving at speeds. After dealing with it for a while, I really started to really pay attention to it. One day, while driving home from work, I realized what was actually happening. What it was, was while on the gas (accelerating) the truck pulled to the left. When I let off, it would pull to the right.
Once I realized this, I Googled it. This turned up a post on jeepforum.com of a person that had the exact same issue. The person said that it was the rear control arm bushings, and that replacing the rear control arms (because the bushings are not replaceable) fixed the issue. Checking around, Quadratec had replacement control arms for $54.99 each. So for $110.00 I figured it would be worth the shot to try it.
I picked a Saturday that I had free to do some wrenching and replace the control arms. I was a little worried that the bolts wouldn’t come loose. Using the handle of my hi-lift jack as a breaker bar and a ratchet let me easily break the four bolts free. Overall, it was pretty easy job to do in the garage with hand tools, jack, and jackstands. After getting the old arms off, and putting the new ones on, I just had to torque them to the specs listed in the factory service manual.
After replacing the lower rear control arms on my Grand Cherokee, and getting the tires back on, it was time for the test drive. As soon as I backed out of the driveway and got out into the street, I could immediately tell that the issue was gone. The truck just seemed more firm and solid. If your truck develops this issue, this is an easy fix that any shady tree mechanic can perform in their garage or driveway.