TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, ZJ Front Axle Bracket Reinforcement Kit – Installation Instructions

TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Front Axle Bracket Reinforcement Kit

Installation instructions for the Trail Forged TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Axle Bracket Reinforcement Kit:

Installation should only be performed by an experienced mechanic. If you do not have all the necessary tools, experience, or confidence to undertake this project, please seek help before beginning.

Notes before starting: Installation is relatively simple, but does require welding. The skids and gusset are intended for factory unmodified lower and upper control arm brackets, and are not guaranteed to fit any aftermarket brackets, or the stock brackets if they are excessively damaged.

This installation covers the TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Front Upper Control Arm Bracket Gusset and TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Front Control Arm Skids.


  • Sharpie / paint pen
  • Sanding Disc
  • Welder (MIG preferred)

TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Front Control Arm Skid:

  1. To begin, hold the new front lower control arm skids up to your axle for intended alignment. The left and right side are mirrored and not identical, so note the tapered front flange should have its highest point toward the center of the vehicle. In preparation for cleaning, use a sharpie or paint pen to trace all perimeters and weld areas on your factory control arm brackets and axle tube.
  2. Sand all paint from weld areas. The objective is to have clean bare metal within 1/2″ of weld area in all directions to minimize weld contamination.
  3. Double check skid alignment to ensure all weld areas are completely free of paint and rust, finalize position and tack in place.
  4. Before finish welding, note the heat that will be going into your control arm brackets. There will be enough heat to shorten the life of the control arm bushings if they are still bolted into the axle. Option one, unbolt the control arms from the axle allowing the bushing to be slid out of place. Option two, leave the control arms bolted in, but mitigate the heat input by welding in short stitches and cooling the bracket with air or a damp rag between each section. The choice is yours.
  5. Proceed with finish welding, let cool, and paint as desired.
  6. If the control arms were unbolted for welding, reinstall them and torque bolts to proper spec.

TJ, LJ, MJ, XJ, and ZJ Front Upper Control Arm Bracket Gusset:

  1. Hold the new front upper control arm bracket gusset up to factory bracket for intended alignment. Trace perimeter to define weld areas for cleaning.
  2. Repeat steps 2 and 3 from above.
  3. Because the upper control arm bushing is pressed into the bracket, we strongly recommend you mitigate the heat input of final welding by welding short stitches and cooling the bracket with air or a damp rag between each section. This will help avoid overheating and damaging the bushing.
  4. Allow to cool and paint as desired.

Great job, you’re done!  Go forth and bash your axle against rocks without fear of buckling those exposed factory lower control arm brackets or ripping the upper control arm bracket off the axle.


Factory lower control arm mount prepared for skid installation

Trail Forged control arm skid tacked in place

Control arm skids final welded into place

Upper control arm bracket cleaned for bracket gusset installation

Trail Forged upper control arm bracket gusset fully welded, ready for paint

Notes: These instructions are meant to be a general guideline and not a factory certified service procedure. We are not responsible for any failures or issues that may arise in others’ installs. This product is intended for offroad use only, vehicle owner assumes all responsibility by purchasing and/or installing this product.

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