Differential Axle Bushings & Mount - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Regular Service / Maintenance This section contains discussion about regular service and maintenance (upkeep) of your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Differential Axle Bushings & Mount

I watched a few videos on this and I think this one is great! On a different video, a guy used an air chisel to help get the old bushings out. Ordered Dorman bushings and Westar mount from Rock Auto.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kemmer View Post
I watched a few videos on this and I think this one is great! On a different video, a guy used an air chisel to help get the old bushings out. Ordered Dorman bushings and Westar mount from Rock Auto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXzUVS58y8
Pretty good video. This however CAN be done without dropping the differential completely, just need to rotate it so it's upside down and you can access the bushings. Saves you from taking apart the suspension.

Just did mine about a month ago. I went with a tougher bushing from creative steel for the top pinion bushing. Nice to no longer have that clunking when I go from R to D!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 09:15 AM
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I too replaced mine without dropping the diff, just rotated it like GTF. Also replaced all three bushings with creative steel black ones. I had to cut the pass side out with recip saw and was able to hammer out the driver side. I pressed both in with a balljoint press. A lift makes the job a lot easier.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kemmer View Post
I watched a few videos on this and I think this one is great! On a different video, a guy used an air chisel to help get the old bushings out. Ordered Dorman bushings and Westar mount from Rock Auto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXzUVS58y8
Pretty good video. This however CAN be done without dropping the differential completely, just need to rotate it so it's upside down and you can access the bushings. Saves you from taking apart the suspension.

Just did mine about a month ago. I went with a tougher bushing from creative steel for the top pinion bushing. Nice to no longer have that clunking when I go from R to D!
Hey, I’ve just purchased the pinion bushing from creative steel. How is the noise and vibration? I am still really worried about that rather than going for Mopar.

Also are Dorman/ Westar as good as getting Mopar?

5.7 V8 Hemi!!!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilCommanderPayne View Post
Hey, I’ve just purchased the pinion bushing from creative steel. How is the noise and vibration? I am still really worried about that rather than going for Mopar.

Also are Dorman/ Westar as good as getting Mopar?
The Creative Steel black pinion bushing does have a little more noise than the original bushing, but not much. Mostly seems like it just transmits slightly more of the gear noise/whine from the differential, but probably not anything anybody but you is going to notice or complain about. The Mopar bushing that I removed was trashed, only about 20% of the rubber was still attached which was allowing the differential to flex wherever it wanted, so it really wasn't doing much of anything anymore. So, it's entirely possible that a new Mopar bushing would transmit more noise as well, so there may not be that much of a difference.

For the amount of torque that gets put on that pinion bushing, I don't understand why they didn't put a tougher bushing in there. The stock bushings work fine in the other two locations, but using the exact same bushing for the pinion as the passenger side which obviously takes much less abuse seems absurd to me. The fact that seemingly ALL Commanders have this bushing fail at relatively low miles should be a clue that the factory bushing is inadequate.

I'm not sure about Westar, but the Dorman bushing that I got for the passenger side looked the same as OEM, but had a lot more little bits of rubber hanging off of it. Essentially it just didn't look as nicely finished, but I doubt that would affect its performance or longevity.

Knowing what I know now, I think I made the right choice with the CS black pinion bushing, and OEM style for the other two (I think Dorman/Westar are probably on par with Mopar bushings). The CS bushing seemed MUCH tougher, and with luck, I'll never touch it again!

Last edited by GTF; 12-04-2018 at 03:26 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilCommanderPayne View Post
Hey, I’ve just purchased the pinion bushing from creative steel. How is the noise and vibration? I am still really worried about that rather than going for Mopar.

Also are Dorman/ Westar as good as getting Mopar?
The Creative Steel black pinion bushing does have a little more noise than the original bushing, but not much. Mostly seems like it just transmits slightly more of the gear noise/whine from the differential, but probably not anything anybody but you is going to notice or complain about. The Mopar bushing that I removed was trashed, only about 20% of the rubber was still attached which was allowing the differential to flex wherever it wanted, so it really wasn't doing much of anything anymore. So, it's entirely possible that a new Mopar bushing would transmit more noise as well, so there may not be that much of a difference.

For the amount of torque that gets put on that pinion bushing, I don't understand why they didn't put a tougher bushing in there. The stock bushings work fine in the other two locations, but using the exact same bushing for the pinion as the passenger side which obviously takes much less abuse seems absurd to me. The fact that seemingly ALL Commanders have this bushing fail at relatively low miles should be a clue that the factory bushing is inadequate.

I'm not sure about Westar, but the Dorman bushing that I got for the passenger side looked the same as OEM, but had a lot more little bits of rubber hanging off of it. Essentially it just didn't look as nicely finished, but I doubt that would affect its performance or longevity.

Knowing what I know now, I think I made the right choice with the CS black pinion bushing, and OEM style for the other two (I think Dorman/Westar are probably on par with Mopar bushings). The CS bushing seemed MUCH tougher, and with luck, I'll never touch it again!
Cheers GTF, appreciate the insight! Think I’m going to go for it, I’m already hearing wining from the rear diff so just really didn’t want any new wining but the ball ache of changing it again would be more annoying I think.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilCommanderPayne View Post
Cheers GTF, appreciate the insight! Think Iím going to go for it, Iím already hearing wining from the rear diff so just really didnít want any new wining but the ball ache of changing it again would be more annoying I think.
I think you'll like it. If you keep the vehicle, you would probably have to do it again in a few years if you stayed with OEM. Sure is nice to be able to switch gears and not have that loud clunk!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 07:58 PM
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I need to change mine since it has the clunk when shifting into gear. Guess I need to go ahead and order some. Are the Jeep steel ones poly or rubber?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
Pretty good video. This however CAN be done without dropping the differential completely, just need to rotate it so it's upside down and you can access the bushings. Saves you from taking apart the suspension.

Just did mine about a month ago. I went with a tougher bushing from creative steel for the top pinion bushing. Nice to no longer have that clunking when I go from R to D!
That's good to know. Unfortunately, it's winter and we don't have a garage. So, I ordered the right and left seals and the front pinion seal from NAPA, $25 cheaper than Dodge and SPF seals, and will have Dodge replace the bushings, mount and seals at the same time. We're not comfortable driving it with the clunking. Don't want to wait until spring time. Bought it for $5k and budgeted for some TLC. It's not going to be a daily driver. A back up and summer recreation. Hubby bought a 2001 Jeep TJ this summer and took our 3 kids to B.C. for a few weeks. Now selling it. It does't accommodate Mama.
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