At the beginning of this year’s Tuff Truck season at Buck Motorsports Park, I threw together a 91 XJ Cherokee to compete with. It didn’t do too bad for the first couple races, aside from the motor being tired (175,000 miles). On the third race of the season, I was coming around the outside turn when I heard a pop and the wheel got really squirrely. Once I got back to the pits, I began inspecting the front end (tie rods, ball joints, etc.) but found nothing out of the ordinary. Upon further inspection I noticed that the front axle seemed to be rotated towards the back of the vehicle. My upper control arms were bent in a “U” form, forcing my outer knuckles to point to the sky and throwing my steering out of whack.
To remedy this problem, I removed another set of stock upper control arms from a donor XJ. Decided they needed to be reinforced if I was going to get any kind of longevity out of them. I went to Tractor Supply Co. and picked up a bar of 1”x1” square tubing. I cut the tubing to lengths and pressed them inside the stamped steel control arms. I then laid a bead of weld down both sides to fasten the tubing to the arms themselves.
After running the rest of the season, the reinforced control arms are still straight and seem to be holding up fine. After running these in a tuff truck, knowing the abuse that consistent jumping and turning in 4 wheel low at wide open throttle puts on components, I would highly recommend this upgrade for anyone running an XJ, TJ, or ZJ with the same style control arms.