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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #3
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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Elgineddie,

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

Thank you !
 

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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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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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.


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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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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very nice write up.
 

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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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im getting a loud clunk in and out of drive reverse and so on will this fix that
Lots of things can cause clunks when shifting in/out drive/reverse. Just don't start replacing things because you have a clunk. Inspect common things that can cause the clunks and replace the ones that you find are bad.

Don't you have another post about bad u-joints? Bad u-joints will cause clunks shifting in/out drive/reverse.

Inspect the drive shafts and look for play/lash. Differentials and xfr cases for the same thing. Then go on to mounts for the engine/transmissions/axles. Replace or fix the ones you find bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
im getting a loud clunk in and out of drive reverse and so on will this fix that
You should crawl underneath your Jeep with a high-powered led flashlight and take a peek at that bushing after you remove the splash shield. It's actually possible to see if it's in a deteriorated state. If you trust someone, you could have them put it into gear (F & R) while you're under there looking. That's what I did and it was pretty obvious it was a destroyed bushing (aside from the dealer telling me it was bad).
 

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I just did mine too. Took about 2.5 hours w/air tools in my garage. Doing it again on a lift I think I could do it in about 1.5hours.

You dont need to take off the harmonic balancer from the front diff.

My Ball joint press too was just a touch too small, so i ended up using one of the cups to hammer the bushing in the first half inch or so so that I could then use the ball joint press the rest of the way.

-Jared
 

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Thanks for the link!
 
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