Zorba's JeepThis job was a bitch from start to finish, and the photographs were far worse to get than the rear ones were. Here's the blow by blow:
Front Upper Control Arms and Main Ground Upgrade
Passenger's side front Upper Control Arm, from above...
Driver's side front UCA...
Driver's side axle mounted bushing in its holder.
Removing bolt on passenger side front UCA, showing axle mounted bushing.
An attempt to pull passenger side bushing. See text.
Passenger side bushing replaced.
Driver's side bushing replaced.
New Driver side front UCA, from above.
New Passenger side front UCA, from above.
Unlike the other six control arms on this thing, the front uppers only have bushings in one end - the rear most. The front ends of the front UCAs attach to bushings that are mounted in holders on the axle. Why Jeep thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Regardless, they are notoriously difficult to remove!
The passenger side is the easier of the two, replacing that particular control arm was probably the easiest one to do on the entire Jeep. But despite "heroic" attempts, I couldn't get the bushing to budge. I probably could have gotten it out with a "SawzAll" and a hammer; but it was very tight, I don't have a lift, and there was NO way I'd be able to get the much more difficult to get at driver's side bushing that sits on top of the axle "pumpkin". So there it was with the passenger side front UCA installed, but neither bushing was going anywhere.
I forgot to take a picture, here's a stock photo of the front UCAs!
So I formed a committee of one, and elected myself chairman. After careful review by the committee, the chair motioned that somebody else needed to do this particular job. The motion was seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor! So I took it off to a local shop. They weren't cheap, but they did a good job - they replaced both bushings and installed the remaining UCA while they were at it. They charged me 1 hour for each side - the report back was that the passenger side that I had been trying to get out "came out like butter". I'm wondering if that was due to my efforts to press it out myself, or was simple luck. So they made money on that side - BUT - they earned it on the inaccessible driver's side bushing. They ended up having to hand saw it out with a hacksaw - which is pretty typical of these from what I'm reading on the Internet.
"A man's gotta know his limitations..." - and I was glad to pay to have somebody else deal with this one!
I upgraded the main ground. The ground stud on the engine block was a bitch. I first put a ½" wrench on the nut. Instead of coming off the stud, the entire stud started coming out of the block - and the attached wires were rotating with it. I then tried to hold the nut still and thread the stud out through it - not knowing there was a shoulder behind the wiring ring terminals which was preventing that from happening as can be seen in the above photo. Not even the TJ forum could tell me why this was happening, although several said "I had this problem too, just cut it out". So I did. Knowing now what I didn't know then may or may not would have helped. In any event, I had to re-terminate no less than 7 little wires that found their ground at this location, and create a new ground stack-up. I used a new stainless steel 5/16" bolt as the new ground stud.
'48 Willys pickup at the auto shop. The wheels don't excite me...
Nice engine, the automatic transmission is unfortunate.
This model truck is what first got me interested in Jeeps.
Tools all over the place...
#2 jumper wire at RH motor mount, with front UCA visible below.
The main ground stud on engine.
Was a bitch to remove. See text.
New ground stack mockup. Note star washer on far side.
Stripped all seven (!!) of the little wires that need grounding.
Now all reterminated...
... and bolted down. Main negative from battery at bottom, extension to firewall on left.
Main ground and winch negative leads.
Main ground next to the much smaller looking starter positive lead!
Buttoned back up in the original looming.
Firewall ground cable (circled).
There are any number of ways to configure this circuit - the original had dual wires (apparently #6 AWG) running from the battery, one to this engine block stud, the other to a bolt in the firewall. I chose to run a #2 AWG wire from the battery to the block, then another one from the block to the firewall. A third #2 AWG jumper connects the block to the frame at the RH engine mount. This last one is probably the one that does the most good. Nobody seems to know if there is an "official" ground connection between the frame and the body/engine block which are already tied together. Rather than worry about it, I just installed one. Star washers were used throughout. UPDATE: From what one of the Jeep forum gurus found when he was trying to find the answer to the "official ground between frame and body" question was that the only ground between the two is an incidental connection through the brake lines - I'd rather have something a bit more solid.
This was done primarily to add a second ground path through the frame et al for the winch in addition to its direct-to-battery connection. As the ampacity of whatever the existing frame ground tie-in was unknown (or even if it officially exists), the jumper at the motor mount makes sure that the winch won't blow a tiny wire somewhere and is the standard way to connect frame to motor grounds from what I've seen. Beefing up the battery to block/firewall to a #2 AWG from the existing (apparent) #6 AWG completed the upgrade. In theory this gives me a very low impedance on the ground side of the winch circuit, and as a bonus, improves the ground for the starter as well. Probably overkill, but it was cheap enough and gives peace of mind.
Purchased a bit more than a year ago, so 3K miles in the last year.
Read on for the next part!