Protecting our lower control arm mounts is something most of us don’t think about, or at least it’s something that I rarely thought about.
That changed when a good friend of mine tore his control arm mount off of his axle housing on the trail. This prompted me to look at the condition of the mounts on the TJ I was driving and I found that mine were bent out of shape and missing a significant amount of metal. I ended up pulling out the welder and fabricating some sliders to reinforce my current mounts, but never again will I forget about the importance of protecting a critical part of my suspension that is in a vulnerably low location.
With the JL I wanted to be proactive rather than reactive so I immediately looked into options to protect my control arms. I decided on Rock Hard 4×4’s lower control arm skid plates because they appeared to be an easy bolt-on project and since they were made of 1/4 steel I was confident they would add the strength I was looking for.
Cost and Installation
If you’re wondering if this a DIY project the answer is yes. For approximately $155 and less than an hour of installation time, you can install these anywhere with level ground. Essentially you will work on one control arm at a time, removing the factory bolt on the lower control arm mount, installing the new skid, and bolting it all back together. With an impact, this only takes a few minutes and minimal effort, although it can still be done fairly easily with common hand tools and a bit more time. $155 is the price for the kit of all four but if you only want the fronts or the rears they can be purchased separately for approximately half the price.
These lower control arm skids arrived exactly as advertised and are a good long-term investment for those that wheel hard. While the factory location of the lower control arm mounts will always be a likely hang-up point when wheeling the design of these skids makes it easier to slide over obstacles preventing you from getting stuck. If you’re a fan of the “bump” method of getting over obstacles and enjoy liberal use of the skinny pedal then you can be confident that no matter how hard of impacts you control arm mounts are taking the 1/4 thick steel skids will keep you protected. Another bonus is on the rear these protect your shocks, something that commonly gets dented or crushed when rock crawling in JLs. This definitely wouldn’t be my first upgrade but I’d recommend putting it on the list if you enjoy playing in the rocks.