Any Jeep Wrangler needs control arms for better performance. Perfect directional stability and proper handles improve how one controls their vehicle even in poor road conditions. With an excellent set of control arms, one can reach where they are going safely and hassle-free. Now, because control arms wear out easily, experts advise that you replace them from time to time.
But, getting the best adjustable control arms for JK is difficult. With so many models available, determining which one matches your vehicle can be tricky. That’s why we’ve written this guide to help you purchase suitable models available for your car. Here are the best control arms systems for JK
Top 5 Best Adjustable Control Arms for JK Review In 2021
If you have a Chevy or GMC truck, this kit is best for you. It features everything that one needs for replacing your suspension system fully. Parts include inside and outside rods, sway bar links, lower control arms and ball joints, and a 4-groove pitman idler assembly.
All parts in this kit match OEM standards in terms of design. So, the kit will also meet your expectations and better the performance of your vehicle. Detroit company usually tests its products first to ensure durability. The price is affordable even for those who’re on tight budgets.
What We Like:
- Complete kit for replacing your control arms
- You’re given a 10-year warranty
- Parts designed to OEM standards
- Reasonably priced
- Will fit in most Jeep models
What Could Be Better:
- Low ball joints quality
Those who’re looking for a pair that’ll perfectly fit their Jeep should consider this product. Its design is made to improve your lifted Jeep handling. This pair is designed to fit all JK Wrangles therefore regardless of which door model yours is, it’ll not let you down. Its arms are Clevite, a leading company that produces high performing engines. You not only get a long-lasting pair to absorb impact, but it also has rubber bushings of factory style, something that all car owners look for.
As with all other products of Rough Country, it includes X-Flex joints, which are greaseable and measure a diameter of 2.5 inches. These joints allow unmatchable suspension of 20 and 30 degrees on the upper and lower joints respectively. Putting all these features together, this pair gives drivers smooth silent rides no matter which road you’re driving on.
What We Like:
- Engineered for all JK models
- Includes X-flex joints
- Affordable price
- Includes rubber bushings of factory style
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
What Could Be Better:
- It needs regular greasing and high maintenance
Detroit has for over 30 years been manufacturing high quality and reliable models. And this 13pc model is not different. It includes a 3 Groove Pitman Arm. But, confirm first that your Jeep Wrangler doesn’t use a 4 Groove Pitman Arm.
Apart from that, this kit comes with two front upper control arms and a pair of front lower ball joints. One thing we love about this kit is that it allows one to complete full control arm replacement. Additionally, all parts meet the original equipment standards hence you’re assured of high performance.
Again, it’s among the most affordable models considering that you get so many functionality features. Also, because it’s easy to install, you don’t need to hire an expert for installation. This saves you so much money. Plus, this product can also fit other models including Hummer, GMC, and Chevrolet, not to mention it is lightweight. It only weighs 22 lbs.
What We Like:
- You can install it yourself
- Reasonably priced
- Manufactured to meet original requirement standards
- Versatile to fit different models
What Could Be Better:
- Compared to other models it is not as durable
Rough Country is a well-known company in the automotive market. This company has been manufacturing automotive parts since 1986 and each of its products has received many positive reviews. So we know that this product will surely live up to the company’s reputation.
Although it is designed specifically for Jeep Wranglers, it can also feet Cherokee, Comanche, and Wrangler TJ. Control arms are designed by Clevite, so users are assured of quality, reliability, and heavy-duty.
Where this product stands out is on its rubber bushings. A smooth ride is something that all car enthusiasts want. And these rubber bushings will ensure that. This model allows you to give your Jeep Wrangler JK 4 inches of lift. Therefore, even if you are riding off-road or on any terrain, you’re assured of smooth comfortable rides.
Six hours is all you need for installation then you can start using this product. Also, its price is very affordable even for persons who’re on a tight budget.
What We Like:
- Quality and sturdy control arms
- Fully greaseable
- Easy and quick to install kit
- Greater articulation off-road
- Features rubber bushings of high quality
- Flex joints can be rebuilt
- Adjustable retainer ring
What Could Be Better:
- At times it can be squeaky
If you love Rough Country’s previous model, then you will love this one even more. This set is perfect for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK. Upper and lower joints can pivot 20 degrees and 35 degrees respectively.
Once installed in your Jeep, this model will give you great off-road articulations. Plus, being a Rough Country product, X-flex joints are included too. One can do complete arm replacement with this model and since it’s fully greaseable, it allows you to give the maintenance it deserves.
Its massive body absorbs impact to give users a smooth driving experience. And thanks to the rebuildable joints, its durability is very high. If you’re looking for control arms that’ll give your car strength, range, and safety, we recommend that you go with this model.
What We Like:
- A massive body that helps absorb impact
- Superb quality
- Durable because of the rebuildable joints
- Requires low maintenance
What Could Be Better:
- Can be squeaky sometimes
- It’s a bit expensive
Things to Look for When Best Adjustable Control Arms for JK
After knowing you need your control arm(s) replaced, don’t be quick to accept the quote your mechanic is giving you. Here are some factors to consider when choosing control arms.
Price and brand
Control arms play a significant role in your car. Therefore, buying the cheapest models may not be a great idea. Invest in something that will serve you for years. But also note that very high prices don’t automatically indicate quality. So go for control arms that are moderately priced as they’ll offer good service without hurting your pockets. But, remember that prices vary depending on the material and other aspects. Additionally, go for trusted and reliable brands like Detroit Axle or Rough Country.
Control arm material
Control arms are made using three different materials: iron, stamped steel, and cast aluminum. You should consider your driving conditions before deciding which material to buy. Note that harsh weather conditions need specific control arms. For instance, aluminum control arms are best for tough conditions since they’re sturdy and robust. Plus, they don’t rust hence can resist corrosion. But aluminum, cracks instead of bending when it gets damaged. Cast iron, on the other hand, is sturdy and performs well in harsh driving conditions. Steel control arms are also strong and can be used in different conditions. But they rust easily hence corrode if you’re driving mostly in wet conditions.
Vehicle type, the model, and year of manufacture
This information is crucial when purchasing control arms. Remember that you’ll need to choose a model that fits your car. If you’re buying online, it’s easy to find the right type and model because many websites for auto parts allow you to put your car information. You should also know where your control arms are to be placed since they vary depending on where they’ll be used in a vehicle. There are lower and upper control arms and those used in the rear.
OEM Vs. Aftermarket
Many vehicle owners face this dilemma when purchasing vehicle parts. OEM control arms match original ones in terms of performance and style. Therefore, they’ll have no additional benefits and are pricey compared to their counterparts. In most cases, aftermarkets offer better performance. They may be more sturdy, durable, and functional in different conditions. Aftermarket manufacturers tend to make cheaper parts by compromising some features. You’ll, therefore, get affordable control arms and many options to choose from.
Single Control or Full Kit
Decide whether you want a single control arm kit or a full one. Experts always recommend that you opt for a full kit as replacing control arms on both sides is convenient. With a full kit, it’ll take some time before you worry about these suspension parts again. Plus, considering how expensive control arm replacement is, a full kit is more economical. Additionally, it comes with all parts required for fastening so one doesn’t need to purchase any extra tool needed for replacing control arms of their car.
Features of the Control Arms
One should check other things the control arm comes with. Depending on the manufacturer, they can make their models durable or to be easily installed. You should consider which technologies were used. For instance, powder-covered control arms resist corrosion hence will last for a very long time.
One should also consider the ease of installation. It’s always best that you opt for control arms that are easy to install even if you’re an expert in this area. A complicated set up will waste your time and you’ll be forced to hire a professional.
Also, you should think of the bushing quality. This is what connects the control arms and your vehicle. It’s therefore imperative that you ensure it is of high quality. Opt for bushing made of rubber.
How We Picked the Best Adjustable Control Arms for JK
Buying control arms for JK is not as easy as many people think. Therefore, if you’re not a seasoned mechanic who’s been working with such systems for years, it’s best that you have a professional inspect your current setup to determine the best control arms kit that will work for you. We considered the following things when choosing the best control arms for JK.
Ease of Installation
In most cases, experts recommend that you let a professional do the installation. However, you can easily install some lift kits for JK if you follow the directions properly. Our selection includes easy-to-install control arms. But, ensure that you have an extra pair of hands.
Price is a factor that cannot be overlooked when purchasing control arms for any vehicle. While the highest priced pair doesn’t automatically mean that they’re the best, you should also not go for the cheapest models as they may not be durable. We picked moderately priced control arms that will serve you for a long time without breaking your pocket.
A pair of control arms should also come with other features for improved functionality. The models we’ve reviewed all come with other features to offer you excellent service. For instance, the Rough country models come with X-Flex joints that are grease able and allow great suspension. Also Detroit control arms kit includes tools that’ll help you make a full control arm replacement.
Experts advise that you opt for control arms that can fit different models. Well, although our list contains control arms for JK, we tried to pick units that can fit other car types as well. For instance, Detroit Axle-13 pc front can also fit other models like GMC, Hummer, and Chevrolet. Also, Rough Country 1071 although designed specifically for Jeep Wranglers can also fit Cherokee, Comanche, and Wrangler TJ models.
Durability and Sturdiness
It’ll be a waste of time and effort to buy control arms that’ll need replacement after a short while. That’s why we picked the study and durable models that will give you years of service. We also were considerate of the bushing’s material. As such, we went for models made with rubber to give one a smooth ride. Additionally, we considered how many inches of lift control arms can give your Jeep Wrangler. And we went with those that offered higher inches to improve your ride even when off-road or any terrain.
All You Need to Know about Control Arms for JK
Control arms also called A-arm are essential components of a vehicle’s suspension system. They control the up and down suspension movements when one is driving on the roads or over terrains. As they allow your tires to go smoothly, without them you’ll not have a fun ride. They’re common parts that get strengthen on Jeep Wranglers especially when one has lifted their car or plans to drive it on trails. Jeep Wrangler’s front control arms are two and connect from the frame or unibody of your car to different housing.
As with any other car, control arms for JK are of two basic kinds: fixed and adjustable. For fixed position control arms, their ends are fixed on the tube portion while for adjustable pairs, their ends can rotate to cause further adjustments on lifted vehicles.
Now, control arms alter your Jeep’s wheelbase. For instance, if your control arms are long, it causes the differential to be pushed forward more. With a lifted jeep, this keeps tires centered in the wheel hence reduce rubbing or interference. The wheelbase is the distance from centers of the rear wheel to that of the front wheel. If you move the differential forward or backward, it interferes with this measurement.
Additionally, control arms affect your differential pitch or pinion angle. It is therefore essential that you get the correct angle, especially in a lifted Jeep to reduce vibration in the driveshaft or drive train. A small vibration can suddenly cause a big problem. In such a case, it’ll be wise that you often check your control arms.
Also note that control arms if in stock for long, their bushings can get fatigued. It’s therefore wise that one does a visual inspection frequently.
Important Q/A about Adjustable Control Arms for JK
What Are Wrangler Control Arms?
These are what connect your car wheels to the steering rack. They keep your tires intact to the Wrangler’s frame without affecting rotation and handling of your vehicle. When a vehicle encounters different levels on the road, control arms provide support to vertical axle’s motions and keep your axle from front-to-back. Once you lift your Jeep, its tires start sinking towards its frame. You, therefore, need a long enough control arm to help your tires contact the frame when off-road or during hard wheeling.
Should I Buy Aftermarket Control Arm Set?
Yes. Although they may not be like OEM, aftermarket control arm set still offer excellent service. An aftermarket arms control system can improve stability, hard wheeling performance, traction, and torque, last for long since it’s made from durable materials, offer protection to a Wrangler’s newly installed frame, etc.
What Is a Caster Angle?
Caster angle affects one’s vertical axis of steering. It is calibrated during suspension alignment such that your tiles self-center in straight line navigation. A positive caster angle is when lower and upper control arms are extended and retracted respectively. One should ensure that their caster angle extends from in front where a tire contacts the road so that tires straighten out when you release steering. If you decrease your caster angle, it can cause tighter steering.
What Are the Cons of Keeping My Stock Control Arm System with an Entry Level Kit?
If your lift kit is aggressive, it can interfere with your car’s drive train angles and cause damage. It’s why many experts recommend that individuals purchase an aftermarket control arm set if their car lift is above 3 inches. This removes torque while preventing axle wrap from occurring. Now a stock control arm set can cause your caster angle to decrease hence slowly tweak your alignment. But, fortunately, aftermarket models keep these mechanics in place while bettering torque and traction controls. Here’s why one shouldn’t keep their control arm system with an entry-level kit:
- It affects track bar performance hence can cause side-to-side momentum when taking sharp turns
- If you raise your lift, it causes a decrease in straight-line navigation performance
- These arms can put your axle at grater binding risk or your vehicle at wheel hops risk
- OEM rubber bushings have a low shelf life and poor performance at high speeds
Should I Opt for Adjustable or Non-Adjustable Control Arms?
An adjustable suspension system is essential for lowered Jeeps or rigs that have high ground clearance. It allows one to calibrate the caster and pinion angles properly hence improving how the axle performs. Non-adjustable suspension systems are for higher suspension lifts. But if you don’t calibrate or fit well, they can be counter intuitive. Also, non-adjustable control arms when lowered cannot eliminate deflections in pinion angle and this can damage your entire suspension system as well as the drive train.
What Tools Do I Need for Control Arm Installation?
Easy to install control arms require a few tools for the job. But, if you’re installing an adjustable control arm on an entry-level lift kit, you may require some assistance from an expert to avoid compromising your springs accidentally. That said, you’ll need a wrench, tire jack, some wheel chocks, and basic tools for installing your new control arms. This work shouldn’t take many hours, although you’ll spend a significant amount of time removing the bushings. After completion, one should make sure that they measure their caster angle using a camber angle gauge.
Control arms are fundamental parts of any auto. Because these suspension frameworks are available in different types, shapes, sizes, and brands, deciding which one is a perfect fit for your vehicle can be difficult. But if you’re looking for control arms for your JK, we advise that you consider the model of your car. Note that while some control arms can fit any model, others are designed for specific models. We hope that this guide helped you find the best control arms for JK. If you’re still in doubt about which model to buy, consider any of the five above. They guarantee durability, strength and they all come with a warranty.