WJ Grand Cherokee Control arms
I have used WJ lower control arms instead of replacing my worn stock XJ ones as they offer some extra benefits. They are much stronger being a full rectangular tube rather than a channel and also have a S shape to them to offer more clearance to your tyres at full lock. So this gives you more steering lock without rubbing on the control arms so any washes placed under the steering stop bolts can be removed. Another thing is that they have a much large oval shaped bush at the frame end. This was design to reduce NVH or Noise, Vibration and Harshness. I really found it was a noticeable improvement and more than I expected really smoothing out the sharpness of the bumps.
The length between the eyes is exactly the same even though it does not look like it in the shot. The problem though is that the bushes are wider at each end than the XJ. The XJ measures 66.5 mm at both ends but the WJ is 72.5 mm at the axle end and 79 mm at the frame end. When other use these arms in XJ's they just cut the bush back until it is the same as the XJ. But I didn't like that idea as heating the rubber while cutting the steel is not that good for it and also you can never just quickly replace the arm without modifying it first. The axle end is really easy to fix as I just tapped the bracket a bit wider as shown.
Then placed the arm up inside and then simply did the bolt up which pulled the bracket around the bush and it is done. This also leaves more room each side of the arm preventing any possible bind that you might get if you had cut the bush down instead. This is even more important at the frame end as that larger bush has a lot more flexibility than the stock bush along with having a bigger arm in there in the first place.
The frame end is harder as there is a 12.5 mm difference in the stock the WJ bush width. With the stock frame bracket you maybe able to get some 1/2 - 9/16" all thread and put it through the bracket with two nuts and washes on the inside. Then wind them outwards to spread the bracket enough. Worth a try. With the drop brackets I run there was no chance of that being 6 mm thick to get that much out of them. So if you have the same you can cut away the sides leaving a 10 mm along the top and back of what hangs below the stock control arm bracket. Then weld a new slightly larger piece than what was cut away over the top of the 10 mm remaining. This gives you the extra width needed. I was not worried about loosing my adjustment for the caster as not changing my ride height so leaving the adjustment bracket out on the inside gave me enough room after a little spreading. If you have adjustable upper arms you can always adjust the caster that way if needed. I cut away the inside of the bracket as noticed that the arm was offset more to that side as shown in the left picture above.
I am very pleased with the results and they were better than I had expected. I expected more results from my drop brackets but these gave way more than what I thought possible. Any reduction in transmission of vibration is also better for the body structure as a whole. This will lessen the fatigue and cracking over time. I have only found these for sale at the dealers and no aftermarket ones. As the WJ are not that old you maybe able to use second-hand ones but could not locate any here in Australia. Let me know should you ever find a cheaper source for them.