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