Control Arm Brackets

It was going to be an OK day for a Saturday, with a night run schedule for early evening.  A small group of us were going to do Tax Collector, a local trail west of Phoenix that has its share of boulders and a nasty waterfall at the very end.  I had decided it was time to put on the rock light I had picked up at the auto parts store a while back when I was getting my extended brake hoses for Lady.  I had not mounted anything for the rear axle area and I wanted to get some lighting back there for tonight’s run. 

I backed the TJ into the garage so I could be in the shade while working.  The Arizona summers are not all that great for doing maintenance work on your Jeep.  I usually try to get any major projects started really early so I can wrap up before lunch and call it a day.  After finding some appropriate sized red and black wire for the rock light, I crawled underneath to see just where would be the best place to mount the light.  I need a place that offered relatively good protection from the rocks but yet provided adequate illumination under the axle.  As I was check out possible locations, I noticed a failing weld on the driver’s side upper control arm (UCA) where it attaches to the frame.

The red circle in the above pic is around the failed weld area.

Here is a close up of the area and you can see where the bracket has broken away from the weld. It appears that there is a small amount of bracket metal failure as well (the rusty area).

So….remember to take some time after a good trail run and give your underside the once over. I’ve always checked for loose bolts, hoses, wiring, etc. that might have been damaged or was getting loose, but I never paid much attention to the welds. I’ll be taking a much closer look at those from this point on.