Post Lift Never-ending Clunk - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Post Lift Never-ending Clunk

It's been over a month now since I had my OME HD lift installed and I'm finally at the point where I can say that I love this lift; it feels just right, as it should from the factory. This isn't going to be a review of the lift, you can find plenty of them here, but rather I wanted to share my experience post-install so that hopefully it helps others deal with clunking.

First of all, I want to say that I did not install the OME lift myself. Though it seemed rather simple I do not have the time for a major project. The Commander being my primary vehicle and daily driver I needed it to be done rather quickly so I ended up taking it to my trusted mechanic. Since my XK had 84K miles at the moment I wanted to change a lot of parts as preventative maintenance while it was going to be in the shop. Along with the kit I purchased the JBA upper control arms, all new Moog parts (lower ball joints, sway bar bushings, strut mount kit, coil isolators), and new Crown bump stops. After the lift was installed, I immediately got my alignment done too.

That week I was experiencing some clunking and I decided to take it back to the mechanic to torque everything down again. He torqued down what he could and said everything was fine. The following weekend I decided to go off-roading. Unfortunately, during off-roading I ended up hitting a ditch pretty hard with the passenger side front tire which created a new more prominent clunk. Since I was having my performance exhaust system installed the week after I decided to wait until it was in the shop to tell my mechanic about this new clunk.

Once I got to the shop I explained what happened and he said he didnít find anything wrong with the suspension, he suggested possibly something in the bumper that was rattling around since it has been a bit loose due to a minor fender bender from the previous owner or possibly the sway bar end links. During that week I did more research and found a few threads saying that sometimes the strut nut isnít tight enough or mightíve backed out a bit causing the strut to make noise. I decided to cut the top of the strut nut open through the inside of the hood so that a socket would fit without having to remove the strut assembly just to get to the strut nut. They were tightened again and it did help a bit but I was still hearing the clunking.

On the following weekend I replaced the bumper bracket myself along with a few broken rivets, replaced the sway bar end links with Moog replacement parts, and the clunking was still there. Out of frustration I started kicking the passenger front tire to see if I can hear the clunk and I was surprised that I did. I realized that if I kicked it hard enough near the brake I could hear the sound. I then hit the caliper itself and I was able to make it move.

I crawled underneath to look at the caliper bolts and sure enough I could see the slide pin boot was torn, indicating something was wrong. I then took the Commander back during the week to the shop and explained my findings. Turns out the boot had ripped and the slide pin had seized. Apparently a bushing was also missing. This mustíve happened when I hit the ditch while off-roading. All the slide pins were replaced on the front wheel and this took care of the loudest clunk. I drove it around and still heard a milder clunk that was felt through the accelerator. Not as bad as before but I was willing to live with it.

I was already set on living with this mild clunk until I realized that I never addressed the lower control arm bushings. All other bushings, isolators, and ball joints were new and all that was left were the lower control arm bushings. I placed an order for all six bushings and took it to the shop where I get my alignment since they do suspension too. I would need to get it realigned after replacing the bushings anyways. While it was there they told me that the sway bar had lateral movement. Since the end links and sway bar bushings were new they said the bushings might not be the right ones. I explained they were new Moog parts and I believe they were the right ones. They ended up placing a shim to prevent the sway bar from moving laterally since it was hitting the bushings causing a slight clunk. They also replaced the three lower control arm bushings on each side and performed the alignment.

Once I drove it home I was happy that I finally addressed everything and I no longer have any clunking from the front end, itís nice and quiet, the way it should be. My point is so clichťd- never give up, never surrender. Haha, just kidding. I guess the takeaway is- everything has a solution. Since my Commander has 85K miles now it was worth replacing everything. At one point I was told by my trusted mechanic that maybe itís the nature of the lift but I refused to believe that. I still trust him but I just donít think we looked in the right places. Since he installed the lift we were more concerned about any of those bolts having come loose.

Just thought Iíd share this experience in case anywhere else out there is experiencing clunking after having installed a lift. Iím glad it was all related to the suspension and not part of the driveline. I have read cases where the differential or transfer case bushings have gone bad and causing clunking but usually you can hear that when you put it in gear too. I wasnít experiencing that which is why I didnít go that route. I hope this helps and good luck with your clunking.

2008 Commander Limited 5.7L HEMI QDII
Mods: AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 CAI, OME HD Lift w/OME Shocks and Struts, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains w/Kevlar 255/70R17, JBA Gen 6.7 Upper Control Arms, Hypertech Speedo Calibrator, Magnaflow cat-back system, Custom Retrofit HID Projectors, LED Conversion Kit for Fog Lights, Rigid Industries D2 LED Driving Lights


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Last edited by LuvMyCommander; 11-13-2015 at 11:29 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 11:16 AM
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Can you elaborate on and/or post a picture of the shim you're talking about on the sway bar bushings? I replaced my sway bar bushings with Moog due to a clunk and the Moogs didn't fix the clunk. After further inspection, I verified they were the correct bushings, but replaced them with Raybestos, which fixed my clunk for about 5k miles, but it has returned. Since both the Moog and Raybestos were thermoplastic (harder) I ordered up rubber Mopar bushings that I'll be installing this weekend and expect it to once again silence the clunk, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how it's clunking since the Moogs looked perfect and so do the Raybestos.

2007 Red Rock Crystal Pearl Overland
- 2" Daystar lift - 245/75/17 Revo 2s - 1.5" Spidertrax Spacers -
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlotzky View Post
Can you elaborate on and/or post a picture of the shim you're talking about on the sway bar bushings? I replaced my sway bar bushings with Moog due to a clunk and the Moogs didn't fix the clunk. After further inspection, I verified they were the correct bushings, but replaced them with Raybestos, which fixed my clunk for about 5k miles, but it has returned. Since both the Moog and Raybestos were thermoplastic (harder) I ordered up rubber Mopar bushings that I'll be installing this weekend and expect it to once again silence the clunk, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how it's clunking since the Moogs looked perfect and so do the Raybestos.
What he explained is that the sway bar was still able to move side to side. If you notice, the sway bar has a form which surrounds the bushing on both sides so if the sway bar moves side to side then it'll hit the bushing causing a clunk. The trick is to prevent it from moving side to side. They did tell me that maybe the OEM bushings might work best but they managed to fix it using a shim on the Moog bushings. I'm not exactly sure how they did it but when I get a chance over the weekend I'll take pictures to see exactly what they put in there. I was just happy that it was finally gone. I imagine it was a combination of that and replacing the lower control arm bushings helped in my case. They said the LCA strut fork bushings were bad and the others were already starting to dry up and crack.

2008 Commander Limited 5.7L HEMI QDII
Mods: AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 CAI, OME HD Lift w/OME Shocks and Struts, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains w/Kevlar 255/70R17, JBA Gen 6.7 Upper Control Arms, Hypertech Speedo Calibrator, Magnaflow cat-back system, Custom Retrofit HID Projectors, LED Conversion Kit for Fog Lights, Rigid Industries D2 LED Driving Lights


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 01:22 PM
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The factory bar actually has little metal tabs that sit on the bar next to the bushing brackets to keep it from moving laterally. My best guess is that these tabs are part of the clunk because perhaps the above described condition is occurring, and the aftermarket bushings don't have the correct casting to interface with these tabs. This is all speculation of course, until I dig into it this weekend and see if I can glean any more light. I'm just hoping the factory bushings take care of it for more than 5k miles.

2007 Red Rock Crystal Pearl Overland
- 2" Daystar lift - 245/75/17 Revo 2s - 1.5" Spidertrax Spacers -
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlotzky View Post
The factory bar actually has little metal tabs that sit on the bar next to the bushing brackets to keep it from moving laterally. My best guess is that these tabs are part of the clunk because perhaps the above described condition is occurring, and the aftermarket bushings don't have the correct casting to interface with these tabs. This is all speculation of course, until I dig into it this weekend and see if I can gleam any more light. I'm just hoping the factory bushings take care of it for more than 5k miles.
Yep, sorry, that's what I meant. They have little metal tabs like you described and if they sway bar moves laterally it would cause a clunk. That's what I thought too about aftermarket bushings. Let me know if the Mopar bushings have a better fit. I'll still post a pic sometime this weekend once I can get to it.

2008 Commander Limited 5.7L HEMI QDII
Mods: AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 CAI, OME HD Lift w/OME Shocks and Struts, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains w/Kevlar 255/70R17, JBA Gen 6.7 Upper Control Arms, Hypertech Speedo Calibrator, Magnaflow cat-back system, Custom Retrofit HID Projectors, LED Conversion Kit for Fog Lights, Rigid Industries D2 LED Driving Lights


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2015, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got a chance to upload the pic and honestly, after looking at it, it doesn't seem like anything was done to it. I could be wrong but the dry mud from off-roading a few weeks ago is still there. Unless they placed a shim under the flat side of the bushing? What do you think?


2008 Commander Limited 5.7L HEMI QDII
Mods: AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 CAI, OME HD Lift w/OME Shocks and Struts, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains w/Kevlar 255/70R17, JBA Gen 6.7 Upper Control Arms, Hypertech Speedo Calibrator, Magnaflow cat-back system, Custom Retrofit HID Projectors, LED Conversion Kit for Fog Lights, Rigid Industries D2 LED Driving Lights


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 09:46 AM
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Interesting. I don't see anything I would call a shim, but your lateral movement prevention tabs look quite a bit different than mine. You're almost look welded on or cast into the bar. Mine look more like the tabs that slide on the piston of a screen door. So either Jeep changed that for '08 from '07 or perhaps that was their modification. I'll throw up a picture of mine so you can see what I'm talking about.

2007 Red Rock Crystal Pearl Overland
- 2" Daystar lift - 245/75/17 Revo 2s - 1.5" Spidertrax Spacers -
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 11:10 PM
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Here you can see what I was talking about with my tabs. Unless you're picture is disguising them, that may have been the modification they made. You can see where I tapped mine inwards a bit after having to displace the entire sway bar to equalize the gap on either side.


And here is a shot of the Raybestos bushing next to the Mopar. You can see the Mopar have a much larger lip on the edges, which I think helps cushion the tabs from hitting the bushing brackets, which potentially could cause a clunk. The bushings looked brand new still, and the bolts were still torqued, and in fact the clunk is now gone.


Last edited by Schlotzky; 11-20-2015 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Autocorrect
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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You're right, my sway bar appears to have the ring molded into the bar itself while your tabs are not. I can see where you managed to move it slightly towards the middle.

I honestly don't think they did anything to my bushings and probably just wanted to sell me something I didn't need. Regardless if they did something to them or not the new bushings on my LCA solved my problem.

Have you tried the new Mopar bushings yet? Did it help for your clunking? Have you checked your lower control arm bushings? I would especially check the one that goes on the lower strut fork.

2008 Commander Limited 5.7L HEMI QDII
Mods: AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 CAI, OME HD Lift w/OME Shocks and Struts, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrains w/Kevlar 255/70R17, JBA Gen 6.7 Upper Control Arms, Hypertech Speedo Calibrator, Magnaflow cat-back system, Custom Retrofit HID Projectors, LED Conversion Kit for Fog Lights, Rigid Industries D2 LED Driving Lights


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 01:07 PM
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Yep, I installed the Mopar sway bar bushings on Monday and the clunk is entirely gone. I inspected all the bushings I had access to without taking anything apart and everything looked peachy, which is what led me back to the sway bar. I'm still not entirely sure what the clunk was caused by; it could have in fact been just the very fact that the entire sway bar had displaced about an inch to the passenger side so it was contacting the body somehow and re-centering it was all it needed and the old bushings were fine.

2007 Red Rock Crystal Pearl Overland
- 2" Daystar lift - 245/75/17 Revo 2s - 1.5" Spidertrax Spacers -
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