Struts, Strut Mount, Lower ball joint - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Suspension / Lifts This is the place to discuss the suspension, lift systems, and other stuff underneath your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Struts, Strut Mount, Lower ball joint

Brought Commander to shop, appears I need to replace front struts, mounts, lower ball joint. Anyone have a diagram of this? Where is a good place to purchase these? Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 10:42 PM
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Any auto store, brick & motor or online, can get you those parts, as well as the dealer and dealer parts are sold online for a reduced price as well.

Strut Mounts should be changed with the struts, struts will wear out, so that makes sense. Lower ball joints? That is NOT a common wear out part.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 01:35 PM
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Upper ball joints tend to go out before the lowers. Luckily the lower ball joint is replaceable.

front lower ball joint
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...id=419&jpid=11


Is your XK lifted?

How the heck is the strut mount damaged? The rubber isolator sure, but the mount should be fine.

lower front strut isolator
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=418&jpid=3

upper strut isolator
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=418&jpid=2



Front shocks for stock height:
http://www.amazon.com/Bilstein-BE5D721H0-Front-Absorber-Cherokee/dp/B00BD3G2IC

Last edited by luckyse7ens; 06-16-2015 at 01:51 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
How the heck is the strut mount damaged? The rubber isolator sure, but the mount should be fine.
The rubber isolator for the strut is integral in the strut mount. Even if the rubber looks fine, i.e. no cracking, chunking or tearing, the rubber can soften and become more pliable with all the stress and force its exposed to over 100k miles. Its generally a prudent step to just replace the strut mount with the strut (or a shock that is put together much like a strut in the case of the Commander).

If the strut mount ever did go bad, it requires redoing the entire job of replacing the strut to get the old strut mount out and a new one in. So to avoid the chance of having to do the job twice, its prudent to replace the other part that could be close to wearing out while you're doing the job.

The other, like I said, the rubber bushing in the strut does wear (even if it looks ok), it arguably does make a difference in performance to replace the strut mount with the strut.

I just did my shock/struts on my Commander, and replaced the strut mounts with it. I noticed I've gained some ride height in the front, and likely my front had sagged some. I don't know for sure, I would have to see a cross-section diagram of the strut mount, but it could be the fresh strut mount that got me the ride height back. Wish I had measured before and after, so I could tell and report for sure, instead of just guessing, well, it looks higher than before. It could be the bilstein shock itself (maybe a slightly higher spring perch or lower clevis mount) or just the new rubber isolators as well.


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Last edited by Mongo; 06-16-2015 at 02:20 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
The rubber isolator for the strut is integral in the strut mount. Even if the rubber looks fine, i.e. no cracking, chunking or tearing, the rubber can soften and become more pliable with all the stress and force its exposed to over 100k miles. Its generally a prudent step to just replace the strut mount with the strut (or a shock that is put together much like a strut in the case of the Commander).

If the strut mount ever did go bad, it requires redoing the entire job of replacing the strut to get the old strut mount out and a new one in. So to avoid the chance of having to do the job twice, its prudent to replace the other part that could be close to wearing out while you're doing the job.

The other, like I said, the rubber bushing in the strut does wear (even if it looks ok), it arguably does make a difference in performance to replace the strut mount with the strut.

I just did my shock/struts on my Commander, and replaced the strut mounts with it. I noticed I've gained some ride height in the front, and likely my front had sagged some. I don't know for sure, I would have to see a cross-section diagram of the strut mount, but it could be the fresh strut mount that got me the ride height back. Wish I had measured before and after, so I could tell and report for sure, instead of just guessing, well, it looks higher than before. It could be the bilstein shock itself (maybe a slightly higher spring perch or lower clevis mount) or just the new rubber isolators as well.
You can't just replace the upper rubber strut isolator? I can't fathom a situation where the strut mount itself is completely worn out. It's not a wearable item unless the studs are stripped, in which case you can press them out and replace those, which wouldn't make sense due to the relatively cheap price to replace the mount.

Its only like $25 for the whole mount so I suppose you could have some peace of mind to replace the whole strut mount assembly instead of simply replacing the bushings.


I didn't replace mine when I installed my bilstein 5100's. OEM spring isolators appeared fine so I left them.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 05:29 PM
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No the bushing is NOT sold separately, and although it doesn't look like its in there that hard of a press fit, the bolt compresses them.

I've seen it and I've compared old and new in strut mounts and engine mounts. The stress makes the rubber softer and more pliable, there is less resistance and thus less isolation then a new one.

On macpherson strut suspensions, re-using old strut mounts have resulted in decreased ride and performance. On the Commander, where the strut is just a shock and NOT a structural piece of the suspension, perhaps the impact is NOT that great, regardless, I replaced them with the shock/strut.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 05:31 PM
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Oh, I went back and looked at the photos of the Commanders strut mount, the rubber isolator is just for the shock, the spring mounts on metal portion of the strut mount. The rubber spring isolators only effect ride height. which I replaced, perhaps its just the bilstein shock body itself that gave me the 1/2" or more that it appears my front has climbed up.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
No the bushing is NOT sold separately, and although it doesn't look like its in there that hard of a press fit, the bolt compresses them.
We must be talking about different things.

Upper spring isolator, definitely sold seperately
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=418&jpid=2

strut mount & isolator:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=416&jpid=2



Are you thinking of the strut bushings or something? These come with the strut.



The bolt on top of the strut goes through the hole in the metal strut mount and tightening down the nut compresses the upper strut bushings.

Last edited by luckyse7ens; 06-16-2015 at 07:38 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
We must be talking about different things.
I'm re-using terms and it is getting confusing. I am talking about the strut mount, it is in the photo you posted.

There is a rubber bushing within that strutmount, you can see the rubber cylinder sticking up through the center of it, it has a hole in the center of it, for the strut rod to go through and be bolted down over it.

These should be replaced with the Strut/Shock because the big rubber bushing in the center of the strut mount can and does wear out. Even if it looks fine, if you compared it with a new one, you would see it isn't.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
I'm re-using terms and it is getting confusing. I am talking about the strut mount, it is in the photo you posted.

There is a rubber bushing within that strutmount, you can see the rubber cylinder sticking up through the center of it, it has a hole in the center of it, for the strut rod to go through and be bolted down over it.

These should be replaced with the Strut/Shock because the big rubber bushing in the center of the strut mount can and does wear out. Even if it looks fine, if you compared it with a new one, you would see it isn't.
What your thinking of is the strut bushing. Comes with the strut. I replaced that. It is a 2 piece bushing with a metal sleeve. It is in the picture with the bilstein strut/shock above.

This is the only rubber component that comes with the strut mount. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...nid=418&jpid=2

Last edited by luckyse7ens; 06-17-2015 at 12:23 PM.
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