Bent control arms - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Bent control arms

I don't know if you have ever had this problem, but I just came back from the local Jeep dealer where my TH awaits about almost $1800 in repairs. It seems that possibly my off-road excursions have resulted in some "problems" under the vehicle.

I noticed recently that my steering wheel was off-center by about 10° to the left. I dropped the car off at my local private mechanic to get it repositioned and was told when I went to pick it up that 1) he hadn't fixed it and 2) I needed to contact my insurance company. It seems that the rear wheels were both out of kilter so that the tops of the wheels were a couple inches closer together than the bottoms. That is when it was on the ground, on a lift the effect was more pronounced. Don, the shop owner, suggested that I take the TH to the local dealer as they would have both expertise and access to Jeep parts to fix it.

At the dealer they found a number of things wrong. Both L & R control arms were bent, there is a minor leak around the center drive shaft (warranty item) and there is a dent in the exhaust pipe where it is unprotected coming down from the manifold. The dent reduces the exhaust diameter by almost half. Whatever is causing the steering wheel to be offset is unknown but they guess it will be fixed with a four wheel alignment after the rear end is repaired. Oh, also the oil pan is dented adjacent to the drain plug and will also need repair at next oil change.

Total estimate from York Chrysler Jeep for repairs is $1780. I called USAA insurance and have filed a claim but I have no idea if they will cover it as a "comprehensive claim" rather than an "accident" since there was no other vehicle involved. I haven't been off-road since the Lake Pleasant to Crown King run back in November and have since put about 2500 miles on the car, including a 1,000 mile round trip to San Diego, so I have no idea when/where such damage could have occurred. I never noticed the wheel problem until Don pointed it out to me even though I have checked tire air pressure a couple times, especially before the SD trip.

I wanted to let you know so that you could keep an eye on your TH's undercarriage and wheel alignment. I searched the forum but couldn't find any similar damage topics.

Great vehicle, goes anywhere but eventually lives up to the name JEEP for Just Empty Every Pocket.

Has anyone else had similar problems? The control arms are the only real exposed part of the undercarriage and take off-road rock hits all the time, but I can't imagine them getting hit and bent without immediate problems nor can I see how I wouldn't feel (not hear, as I'm really impaired in that respect) a more recent shock in the past 2500 miles since off-roading in November
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:07 PM
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With regards to the rear camber, mine is way out also but it's fairly normal. But if the dealer says it's broke, I guess it's broke. I don't know how hard you'd have to wheel to break them but they are steel I think. Fronts are cast aluminum I think. So they'll break before they bend.

I haven't had a problem with mine yet but tomorrow I go in for an estimate to replace my front bumper and fix my alignment. So when it's at the dealer getting the alignment done I'll know more.

But either way, my rig weighs in at nearly 6000lbs with all my gear and I haven't had a problem other than low ground clearance. I did crush a skid plate pretty good but it's still functional.

I'd have to say if you managed to do that on a stock TH maybe you were going a little too fast offroad.


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:13 PM
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Check the front end. This is my damage after driving over rocks.
http://jeepcherokeeclub.com/attachme...0&d=1483048085
Also, the threaded end of the front resonator clamp points down and can catch on rocks.
Look in the center of the picture. http://jeepcherokeeclub.com/attachme...2&d=1417291119
Have a Jeep dealer check the alignment. Many alignment issues require replacing parts.
Also check the resonator hanger bushings. There is one for each front pipe.
They are cast aluminum and break easily.
Dents in the exhaust pipes doesn't seem to be a problem.
Leaks are a problem.
Apparently the drill is break the car, get it fixed, and keep on trucking.
You are obviously having too much fun.
My rear control arms flex at the inboard attachment point and scrape against the frame.
So far it hasn't bent anything.
Since the Cherokee TH isn't a REAL Jeep I rebadged it as a Fiat, as in "fix it again Tony".
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Last edited by sanghill; 01-11-2017 at 05:33 PM. Reason: add info
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanghill View Post
Since the Cherokee TH isn't a REAL Jeep I rebadged it as a Fiat, as in "fix it again Tony".
Actually, our Jeep is an Alfa Romeo; excellent DNA!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 01:54 PM
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@warzim
I will take some pictures of my undercarriage. I have plenty of dents and dings on the skid plates, LCA's, exhaust pipe, exhaust hangers, etc.
And it just went through a scheduled maintenance at the dealer (free!) with only the note "off-road use" put onto the work order. (separate thread about that)

Obviously, if your LCA is broken, then that's that and repair away. And I don't think you can claim it's a warranty failure.
As discussed in the other thread, I think that's why they marked mine as off-road use, so if I try to say something failed then they have an argument to not cover it.

If I smash something on a rock, I just know I'm the one that has to fix it.


But since you and I did that trail together, I didn't think we were pushing the TH's beyond their limit and causing damage. (unless you did something I didn't see you do... in which case, share the photos!)
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:05 PM
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I get soooo frustrated when a Jeep dealer even notes that their vehicles have been used off road. I mean, of course! It's why we bought a Jeep instead of a honda or something else.

If Jeep doesn't want or even expect people to use them off road, then perhaps they shouldn't slap a badge on it an call it "Trail Rated" and market them for this use. When is the last time you say a Jeep commercial by Jeep and not a local dealer where they didn't showcase them off-road?

I like to direct them toward Jeep's marketing videos and say "I wasn't using it any harder then Jeep did here." They really don't have a leg to stand on..... Having said this, you could be in for a fight and chances are they have better lawyers than you can afford.

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To the OP... Are oyu sure the camber adjustment bolts haven't just come loose? If the arm is in fact bent, I'd like to see pics because the rear is actually a fairly stout piece. The front is a concern of mine though and one of the reasons I am fabbing skid plates for them.

Sorry you're dealing with this...
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS_Syndicate View Post
To the OP... Are oyu sure the camber adjustment bolts haven't just come loose? If the arm is in fact bent, I'd like to see pics because the rear is actually a fairly stout piece. The front is a concern of mine though and one of the reasons I am fabbing skid plates for them
Agreed - it would have to take a pretty good wack to bend the rear arm. Agreed on the fronts as well.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 09:13 PM
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And bending arms making them longer?? Would normally expect a bent arm to be shorter end to end pulling the wheel in at the bottom not pushing it out.

Although they are curved so I guess it may be possible to land hard on it and reduce the curve efeectively straightening it and making it longer.

Still sound suss

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:46 AM
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@warzim I was behind you the majority of the trail and do remember seeing a few whacks on your rear LCA's, but they honestly looked minor. Mostly just large rocks that were pushed out of the way by the arms.

As the other stock TH out there I only had 2 "minor" damage issues: stock Firestone tire sidewall damage (replaced with KO2's) and a torn up bushing on the exhaust (probably from when I high centered on that **** rock).

Good luck with the repairs, keep us posted!


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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 03:34 AM
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Rear camber is adjustable too, have they checked the holes havent elongated or bolts come loose?

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