I went into the dealer for an ECU flash update and they kindly told me my front axle bushing was shot and the cause of a BANG when put into gear. My wife is the primary driver so I think the bushing gradual wearing didn't really raise a flag. The dealer wanted around $550 to do the deal. I bought the bushing for $20 online and a $55 ball joint press kit at Harbor Freight.
There are 3 bushings: one in front, passenger side and the last is on top.
From my research the front and side bushings don't fail often. We have 88,000 miles on this pig and they were fine. The TOP bushing was ruined.
I lifted the Jeep, placed it on jack stands.
Dropped the splash pan.
Removed the passenger side bushing nut and bolt.
Removed the front bushing assy (that mounts between frame and diff cover).
Removed the harmonic balancer on the back of the diff, by the driveshaft propeller mount.
Marked the position of the driveshaft-to-propeller.
Removed the 4 driveshaft-to-propeller bolts.
Removed top bushing nut and bolt.
Disconnected diff vent hose (top of diff; not pictured)
Swiveled the entire unit downward.
Pressed out the old bushing's center section which was completed deteriorated.
Used a SawsAll to cut thru the side of the old bushing's outter shell. The bushing then literally fell into my hands.
Using a ball joint press kit I pressed the new bushing into place.
Reattach everything in reverse order.
Have a complete compliment of sockets, extensions, wobblers, breaker bars, etc to removed bolts. Mostly to access the driveshaft-to-propeller bolts and the top bushing.
Have a helper put Trans in Neutral and work the brake while you remove driveshaft-to-propeller bolts. This is because you'll need to rotate the prop shaft to get to all the bolts.
Perhaps see about renting a ball joint press kit at the local auto parts store. My cheapo kit didn't have enough or long enough spacers to make pressing-in the new bushing that easy. You'd be golden if you could find a hydraulic, portable, small press! Hand tightening a ball joint press is a hard.
Would I do this again? Sure, given what I know now. I saved $450 but spent 6 hours under the pig. I had the part off in 2 hours but messing with a crappy press kit and stripping a bolt (I accidentally used a standard instead of a metric socket on one propeller shaft bolt and spent a ton of time getting it out and finding a replacement bolt in my box-o-bolts!) caused me a 2 hour penalty. This is a tough job but not impossible. I'd rate difficulty at 3-1/2-out-of-5 wrenches.
06 Commander 4.7 LTD... fine Corinthian leather! And a hacked REC-Nav.
Last edited by elgineddie; 10-23-2011 at 05:05 PM.
2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
2 in Daystar lift, 255.75.17 BFG Muds, 1.25 " Spidertrax wheel spacers, 4x Guard front Guard & Side Guards, Optima Red Top, Bilstein 5150 Rear shocks, Robby's front leveling spacer, Pinch weld mod and trimming!
I'll be doing this this weekend if FedEx shows up with the parts. I'm surpised they don't sell these bushings locally other than the dealer. I was able to get 2 online for almost less than one at the dealer. From what I read these dont last long, hopefully an aftermarket company will make an upgrade but not soon enough.
2006 Midnight Blue 4.7 Trail Rated, Rough Country 2" lift, Rough Country 1.5" Spacers, MOAB 17" Rims with 255/75/17 BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tires, Mopar tubular bull bar, Old Man Emu n190 rear shocks, Front Tow Hooks, Port and polished Throttle body,Flowmaster 50 Exhaust, Gunmetal AEM Brute Force cold air intake, Custom Grab Handles, SRT/8 Badge, Stage One Jet Chip, Royal Purple front and rear differential, Royal Purple 5w30 full synthetic oil and Filter
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.