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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, Just bought a used 2008 Commander Limited in Stone White with a 5.7L Hemi. I'm pretty much going to be building and using the rig for overlanding in the southwestern portion of the rocky's and hopefully more once I get out of the lovely land of entrapment, otherwise known as New Mexico. I travel with a buddy of mine in his '88 Toyota Pickup in a group we call Ignite Adventure.

As she stands as of 6/14/16:
  • STOCK...
  • Smittybilt Overlander RTT on OEM Roof Rack
  • OEM Slush Mats
  • OEM Mudflaps
  • Rough Country 2.25" Leveling Kit (TBI*)
  • Bilstein 4600 Series Shocks & Struts (TBI)
  • AEV Savegre Wheels (TBI)
  • 265/70/17 BFG KO2's (TBI)
*TBI meaning "to be installed". I have the parts but just haven't installed them; for, well... reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Discussion Starter #4
New Wheels Tomorrow!

So tomorrow I will be driving to Flagstaff where I will be picking up a set of AEV Savegre wheels for the XK! I am so stoked! If all goes well, the leveling kit, shocks & struts, wheels and tires will all be done by Monday! I will keep you guys updated with photos. Here is a picture of the wheels I'm going to be picking up, scored all 5 of them for $500! (Sorry for the crappy quality, it was stolen from the Craigslist ad)

ALSO! I was having some AC problems and took it to the dealership to see what was wrong; I was over half a pound low on Freon and the HVAC head unit needed a software update, dealer took care of everything free of charge and thank god because driving into Flagstaff with no AC would be no fun with the temperatures they're going to be seeing!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Build Update

So I finally got all of my stuff installed, so far I've had to remove the front bumper valance and mud flaps to accommodate the new tires and wheels, the 4600 Bilstein replacements ride smooth but I am hearing a little bit of a clunking noise coming from the front end, I'm off the next two days so I guess I will be diagnosing that this weekend. Here is a Picture of how she currently sits.
 

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So I finally got all of my stuff installed, so far I've had to remove the front bumper valance and mud flaps to accommodate the new tires and wheels, the 4600 Bilstein replacements ride smooth but I am hearing a little bit of a clunking noise coming from the front end, I'm off the next two days so I guess I will be diagnosing that this weekend. Here is a Picture of how she currently sits.
There are several threads about front end noise/clunking with Commanders that will give you several different things that you can check or try to correct the problem.

I am running with the 2 inch Rough Country lift kit & Bilstein HD 4600 shocks & struts like you, and fortunately, I have no clunking issues going on.

One thing I did on my Commander and one thing you may want to check is your front upper differential bushing.

They are notorious for wearing prematurely on Commanders & Grand Cherokees alike and if it's worn, that will give you some slop in your suspension up front which could be causing - or at the very least contributing to the front end clunking you are experiencing.

Best of luck with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are several threads about front end noise/clunking with Commanders that will give you several different things that you can check or try to correct the problem.

I am running with the 2 inch Rough Country lift kit & Bilstein HD 4600 shocks & struts like you, and fortunately, I have no clunking issues going on.

One thing I did on my Commander and one thing you may want to check is your front upper differential bushing.

They are notorious for wearing prematurely on Commanders & Grand Cherokees alike and if it's worn, that will give you some slop in your suspension up front which could be causing - or at the very least contributing to the front end clunking you are experiencing.

Best of luck with her.
Thank you for the advice, I will definitely have to look into that. I noticed today that the upper control arm ball joint on my passenger side looks like the boot blew out and I'm sure that will inevitably occur on the driver's side as well. Looks like I might have to drop some money down the road on some upgrades, maybe the 4xgaurd uca's?
 
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Thank you for the advice, I will definitely have to look into that. I noticed today that the upper control arm ball joint on my passenger side looks like the boot blew out and I'm sure that will inevitably occur on the driver's side as well. Looks like I might have to drop some money down the road on some upgrades, maybe the 4xgaurd uca's?
Honestly I think it has alot to do with how the vehicle was driven before you bought it, as well as how you drive it.

I have not had any UCA issues as of yet, but, I believe the previous owner was not a big off-road enthusiast and I'm certainly not what I'd consider to be a big off-roader either.

While I do take mine off-road, I don't do any intentional mudding and I am what I consider to be "pretty careful" when I am driving off-road, meaning that I don't abuse my Commander and I'll normally try to avoid obstacles, as opposed to driving through or over them - unless I absolutely have to.

All I do is pull my small utility trailer around with my camping, hiking & fishing gear into various state forests/campgrounds and try to avoid getting stuck - which I haven't yet (knock wood).
 

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make sure that the nut on top of the struts are super tight. Its not easy to torque em down and they rattle/clunk if they are loose at all.

Did you have an alignment done? check that the LCA bolts are torqued to spec... mine weren't. Thanks a lot alignment shop...

Next is the steering rack. It often needs to be tightened after a lift.

Failing ball joints can be noisy, and catastrophic if they let go while driving. get that changed. I installed MOOG ball joints in my UCA. I should have got the adjustable ones...

Sway bar bushings make noise when they are worn. Cheap, super easy to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
make sure that the nut on top of the struts are super tight. Its not easy to torque em down and they rattle/clunk if they are loose at all.

Did you have an alignment done? check that the LCA bolts are torqued to spec... mine weren't. Thanks a lot alignment shop...

Next is the steering rack. It often needs to be tightened after a lift.

Failing ball joints can be noisy, and catastrophic if they let go while driving. get that changed. I installed MOOG ball joints in my UCA. I should have got the adjustable ones...

Sway bar bushings make noise when they are worn. Cheap, super easy to replace.
Thank you! I'm going to diagnose in pretty much this exact order, I will let you guys know if I find anything!
 
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Discussion Starter #11
4th of July Adventure

So over the 4th of July weekend, I took a rather quick overnight camping trip to the Durango/Silverton area.
During that time I took the XK up Hurricane Pass, over to California Pass, and then down through the Animas
Forks area and back down into Silverton where I drove to the northern trail head for the Old Lime Creek trail where I spent the night.
Here are a few pics of the Jeep up there. The Jeep tackled the trails flawlessly and comfortably.​
 

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gorgeous.

Love the roof top tent.
Thanks! I forgot to tell you that I found out where 90% of the clunking was coming from. It was actually the nuts on the upper control arms not being torqued all the way, could've been disastrous if they would've come undone driving down the road.
 
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Thanks! I forgot to tell you that I found out where 90% of the clunking was coming from. It was actually the nuts on the upper control arms not being torqued all the way, could've been disastrous if they would've come undone driving down the road.
I ran into that too. Not easy to get to all of them.

Glad to hear you've found most of the noise! Still got 10% left?
 

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Love the roof top tent.
Yep, I like that roof top tent also.

I have kicked around getting one but they aren't cheap and alot of the places I camp don't have enough open space where using one would be practical.

They are definitely cool though.
 

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Yep, I like that roof top tent also.

I have kicked around getting one but they aren't cheap and alot of the places I camp don't have enough open space where using one would be practical.

They are definitely cool though.
Thanks, I think it's well worth the investment and it's not too terribly priced compared to some other soft shell tents on the market.

I plan on selling this one towards the end of the year so that I can get the XL version of it. But I need to upgrade the rack before that happens.

There will be a Front Runner rack somewhere in my future, just have to find the funds first.
 

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Thanks, I think it's well worth the investment and it's not too terribly priced compared to some other soft shell tents on the market.

I plan on selling this one towards the end of the year so that I can get the XL version of it. But I need to upgrade the rack before that happens.

There will be a Front Runner rack somewhere in my future, just have to find the funds first.
How much did that one run you - and where did you buy it?
 

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How much did that one run you - and where did you buy it?
It ran me about $800 and I ordered one through my local 4 Wheel Parts so that I wouldn't have to pay any kind of shipping for it.
 

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"Update" With Pictures

Figured I hadn't posted anything in some time so here are some pictures in the meantime! I haven't done any modifications recently but have been looking into suspension alternatives over this leveling kit, I feel like the front end of the vehicle is under a decent amount of geometrical stress due to the spacers and it makes the ride pretty stiff. Eventually I want to look at doing something like the CB Engineering coilover kit and maybe the JBA Uppers? I don't know yet.
 

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Figured I hadn't posted anything in some time so here are some pictures in the meantime! I haven't done any modifications recently but have been looking into suspension alternatives over this leveling kit, I feel like the front end of the vehicle is under a decent amount of geometrical stress due to the spacers and it makes the ride pretty stiff. Eventually I want to look at doing something like the CB Engineering coilover kit and maybe the JBA Uppers? I don't know yet.
The easiest way to fix that would be a superlift.

Those coilovers look slick and they would go great with the cb engineering uniball uppers.

2005-2010 Jeep WK Grand Cherokee and 2006-2010 Commander Front Upper Control Arm kit. When lifting your Jeep, the stock upper arms become the limiting factor during wheel travel and limit your wheel travel. Our CB Engineering upper arms address these issues. Replacing the stock ball-joint and improving upper control arm geometry angles we're able to gain wheel travel with a part that is stronger and will last longer under extreme conditions. Must specify if this will be used at a stock height lift or a 2"-3" height lift. This kit cannot be run with the stock shock and spring system as it will contact the spring during suspension travel, it must be run with the 2.0 coilover kit. This kit is made to order, expect 2-4 week lead time.

Thanks for sharing the pictures! Your Jeep looks great!
 
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