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Regular Service / Maintenance This section contains discussion about regular service and maintenance (upkeep) of your Jeep Commander

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  #1  
Old 10-23-2011, 09:55 AM
elgineddie elgineddie is offline
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Changing the front axle bushing

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.
  1. I lifted the Jeep, placed it on jack stands.
  2. Dropped the splash pan.
  3. Removed the passenger side bushing nut and bolt.
  4. Removed the front bushing assy (that mounts between frame and diff cover).
  5. Removed the harmonic balancer on the back of the diff, by the driveshaft propeller mount.
  6. Marked the position of the driveshaft-to-propeller.
  7. Removed the 4 driveshaft-to-propeller bolts.
  8. Removed top bushing nut and bolt.
  9. Disconnected diff vent hose (top of diff; not pictured)
  10. Swiveled the entire unit downward.
  11. Pressed out the old bushing's center section which was completed deteriorated.
  12. Used a SawsAll to cut thru the side of the old bushing's outter shell. The bushing then literally fell into my hands.
  13. Using a ball joint press kit I pressed the new bushing into place.
  14. Reattach everything in reverse order.

Tips:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



















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Last edited by elgineddie; 10-23-2011 at 05:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2011, 09:56 AM
elgineddie elgineddie is offline
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Here is a shot of the new and old bushings.

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Old 10-23-2011, 10:00 AM
elgineddie elgineddie is offline
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Here is another pic... when the diff is facing downward (thanks to gravity) I continued swiveling it forward and strapped it in a position so I could get a more clear shot at the offending bushing.

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Old 10-23-2011, 10:59 AM
Walterkilo Walterkilo is offline
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Elgineddie,

Another very interesting writeup !
Just never know when it will be needed but for sure it will !

Thank you !
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:05 PM
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:59 PM
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Holaday07 4.7 Holaday07 4.7 is offline
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Thank you for the write up! This is awesome and extremely helpful. I will be doing my own soon, so all the pics and advice are very much appreciated
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:49 PM
elgineddie elgineddie is offline
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Hope it helps! Message me if you need help.
BTW, I have an extra bushing I'd send ya for what I paid if you need one... $21 shipped.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Holaday07 4.7 View Post
Thank you for the write up! This is awesome and extremely helpful. I will be doing my own soon, so all the pics and advice are very much appreciated
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Last edited by elgineddie; 10-24-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:04 PM
bretto bretto is offline
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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.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:47 PM
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very nice write up.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:21 PM
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Got it done today. Took me about 3hrs. Not bad at all. Ordered 2 so I got a spare so I can do this in another 30K.
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