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How to Install Rough Country Front Upper Adjustable Control Arms (97-06 Wrangler TJ) on your Jeep Wrangler

Installation Time

2 hours

Extreme Terrain
Shop Parts in this Guide

Manufacture recommends raising the vehicle on jack stands, removing the wheels, unbolting the shocks, disconnecting the track bar from the axle, lower the axles and removing the suspension springs before removing the stock upper control arms. These steps are not necessary for instillations. If the Jeep is on a flat surface, the upper control arms can be removed and replaced without the above steps. 

1. Park vehicle on flat level surface. Set Parking Brake and chock rear wheels for safety.

2. Use 15 mm Socket/wrench to loosen Driver’s Side front upper control arm bolts on the axle. Leave the bolt in place. Retain 15 mm nut. If needed, a pair of vice grip plyers can be used to hold the flag welded to the head of the 15 mm bolt (as shown in picture). 


3. Use 15 mm socket or wrench to loosen Driver Side front upper control arm frame bolt. A socket extension may be needed for clearance around the exhaust. A flag on the nut should hold the nut in place until completely loose. If the flag brakes off, a 15 mm wrench can be used to hold the nut. Leave bolt in place and retain the flag nut. The nut can also be accessed through the frame.


4. Repeat Step 1 to loosen Passenger Side front upper control arm axle bolt. Leave the bolt in place. Retain 15 mm nut. Repeat Step 2 to loosen Passenger Side front upper control arm frame bolt. Leave the bolt in place. Retain 15 mm flag nut.

NOTE: All bolts should spin freely at this point. If not, spay bolts with penetrating oil and continue to rotate them until the bolts spin freely. The controls should not be under tension or binding if the vehicle is on a flat surface.

5. Remove 15 mm axle bolt from Driver Side front upper control arm, then remove the 15mm frame bolt. The frame bolt can be pushed through with a punch or extension through the access hole in the frame.


6. Assemble Driver Side Rough Country front upper control arm. Remove orange protective netting and thread the Jam nut up the shaft of the flexible joint. Thread the flexible joint into the body of the front upper control arm. 


NOTE: New design does not require building the joint end. Control arm is delivered as identified above. The Zerk grease fitting can be adjusted with a 9 mm wrench.

7. Adjust new control arm to match the length of the stock control arm. TIP: Place the 15 mm bolts through the stock control arm bushings and use as a guide to match with the new control arm. Ensure the Zerk grease fitting is facing down and toward the rear of the vehicle. 




NOTE: Manufacture recommends greasing joint before install.

8. Install new Driver Side front upper control arm with original 15 mm frame bolt and 15 mm nut/flag nut first. Install the 15 mm axle bolt second. The tip of the axle bolt is designed to assist with guiding the bolt through the bushing. The axle should not require any adjustments but a hammer might be needed to drive the bolt through. Leave nuts loose at this time.

TIP: Apply Anti-Seize compound to the bolts prior to install to prevent the bolts from seizing to the inner bushing sleeve.  



9. Remove Passenger Side stock front upper control arm following Step 4 (Note: The front axle breather hose will be attached to the control arm and the tie will need to be removed). Build new Rough Country front upper control arm following Step 6. Adjust length of new Rough Country front upper control arm following Step 6.

10 Install new Passenger Side front upper control arm following Step 7.

NOTE: Ensure to check pinion angles if large adjustments are needed.

11. Tighten Driver Side and Passenger Side 15 mm bolts and nuts to 55 ft/lbs of torque at both the axle and the frame.

12. Tighten Jam nut with adjustable crescent wrench.

TIP: Use a thread lock compound (such as Locktite Blue) to prevent the Jam nut from loosening. Secure axle differential breather hose to control arm.



NOTE: Recommended to have a professional alignment completed after making modification to suspension.

NOTE: Check all bolts and nuts (including Jam nut) for tightness after 500 miles and every 3,000 miles. Grease flexible joints as needed to prevent premature failure.

Installation Instructions Written by ExtremeTerrain Customer Tim Hoffecker 4/13/2018.