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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been noticing my Commander is bouncing around a lot when driving thru the streets in my neighborhood. The streets aren't perfect here, but not bad enough to cause the bouncing that's happening. I also noticed the front shocks look like fluid is / has leaked out of them. And as far as I know the shocks have never been replaced. So, I figured I'd look into working w/ my brother to replace all 4 of the shocks over the next few weeks or so.

I have a family member that works at Auto Zone and I can get a 20% discount on parts there. So I've mostly been looking on the Auto Zone site for options. Figured I'd also check here to get some opinions on brands & pricing for stock shocks since I've never bought shocks before. I did search the site, but most of the posts were about lifted Commanders and shocks and I'm just needing stock shocks. This is a daily driver and never goes off road.

I'm thinking I'd get a set of "quick struts" (even though they're shocks) in the front to avoid having to deal w/ using additional tools to compress, remove and replace the shocks in them. The options I find at Auto Zone are listed below. Any suggestions for front and rear socks from those listed?? I'm thinking the L & R Duralast Strut Assembly and 2 Duralast Twin Tube Shock Absorbers for $374 - 20%. So right around $300 out the door!! But again, I dont know the first thing about brands, etc.

Any suggestions, opinions or other places to look??

Thanks in advance.


Front
Duralast Loaded Strut Assembly LS53-90201L - $152 (will need a L & R)
Sensen Shocks & Struts Loaded Strut Assembly 92140147 - $196 (will need a L & R)

Rear
Gabriel Ultra Shock Absorber G64012 - $38 x 2
Duralast TwinTube Shock Absorber TS34-31992B - $35 x 2
KYB Excel-G Shock Absorber 349230 - $57 x 2
Rancho RS5000 Shock Absorber RS5398 - $83 x 2
Bilstein B6 4600 Shock Absorber 24186803 - $77 x 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bilstein B6 4600 front shock absorbers (Part # 24-186797) are a direct replacement for the factory shocks. I have them in the front but you could run them in the rear too, if you have no plans on installing a lift.
Yep, no plans for a lift. Maybe a spacer / leveling kit while swapping the front shocks, but no lift. I looked up the Blistein's and found these. But I'd like to get the fronts as "quick struts so I don't need to remove the old shocks from the springs and reinstall the new ones in the springs. Trying to make things a bit quicker / easier on the day of the install and I'm also pretty sure we don't have the tools to swap them in and out of the springs.
 

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Yep, no plans for a lift. Maybe a spacer / leveling kit while swapping the front shocks, but no lift. I looked up the Blistein's and found these. But I'd like to get the fronts as "quick struts so I don't need to remove the old shocks from the springs and reinstall the new ones in the springs. Trying to make things a bit quicker / easier on the day of the install and I'm also pretty sure we don't have the tools to swap them in and out of the springs.
Those are the ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
This is a bit of a Rabbit Hole here!! The more I search the more options I come across!!

I found these Detroit Axel brand. 2 front quick struts and 2 rear shocks for $197. 4 out of 5 stars w/ 57 reviews. Seems decent too. Will save me $100 from Auto Zone, but not sure on the brand / quality??


Edit: After looking into Detroit Axel a bit, I'm seeing a lot of bad info posted about the brand. I think I'll stay away from them. I'd rather pay a bit more for better quality!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I decided to go with the Duralast Quick Struts for the front and also a set of Duralast shocks for the back from Auto Zone. I was pleasantly suprised that they had a 30% off 4th of July Sale for employees going on (instead of the normal 20% employee discount). So they rang up for $400 and with the discount I walked out paying $280!! Definitely helped the budget!!

Still trying to decide if I should install a set of these Rusty's Spacers as a leveling kit?? This would be the perfect time to do it since both front shocks will be out.

I'll post back with some pics when my brother and I get everything installed.
 

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@dar124 Sounds like you got a great deal!

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I decided to go with the Duralast Quick Struts for the front and also a set of Duralast shocks for the back from Auto Zone. I was pleasantly suprised that they had a 30% off 4th of July Sale for employees going on (instead of the normal 20% employee discount). So they rang up for $400 and with the discount I walked out paying $280!! Definitely helped the budget!!

Still trying to decide if I should install a set of these Rusty's Spacers as a leveling kit?? This would be the perfect time to do it since both front shocks will be out.

I'll post back with some pics when my brother and I get everything installed.
Looking forward to seeing them.
 

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I've got a little update here and will hopefully be able to get some advice.

My brother and I worked on the shocks yesterday. Started in the front and got the passenger side 95% done. But we realized that I needed new sway bar end links as the rubber was cracked and brittle. Perfect time to swap them out!! So we left the end link off and moved to the drivers side. And the fun began!! The bolt in the strut fork wouldn't come out. I had been spraying all the bolts this past week to make sure they'd come out. But still no luck.

We used a breaker bar and a long pipe and ended up breaking the bolt. And of course the bolt was still in the little tab at the bottom of the shock, so we couldn't remove the shock. Next we tried to remove the bolt that goes thru the bottom of the fork and thru the lower control arm so we could just remove the shock and fork together. We got the nut off, but the bolt wont come out?? Even banging on it w/ a mallet (with the nut on the end) it won't move at all. It's almost like it's pressed in?? So I'd like to see if anyone knows how to remove that bolt holding the strut fork on the lower control arm?? We thought maybe that bolt was threaded all the way thru, but even w/ an impact it wont "unscrew" from the lower control arm. Also not sure why there is that little clip on the one end of that bolt?? I attached a couple pics below of the bolt holding the strut fork to the lower control arm. When we get that out we can look at either removing the broken bolt from the fork or getting a new strut fork. We did end up cutting the shock to remove the upper portion. Figured it'd give us more room in there to try to work on the broken bolt. We also tried to weld a nut on the other end of the broken bolt a couple times, but it just spun off each time.

We did replace one of the rear shocks, but it got to be too late to use the impact on the other side. My parents neighbors loose their minds if there's "noise" after 10pm!! The bottom bolts on the rears were on there good and needed to be heated up a bit to come off. So after about 8 hours of work, I have 1 rear shock replaced!!! Ahh, good times!!


Auto part Tire Automotive wheel system Automotive tire Rim . . Wheel Hand Leg Spoke Tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A little update here. Yesterday I went to Jeep and got a new bolt for the strut fork (which they called a clevis) and also the bolt that goes thru the bottom of the strut fork / clevis and the lower control arm. Figured it'd be good to have both of them just in case we need to cut that lower bolt off. I also got a price for a new strut fork / clevis .... it's $700!!! If we cant get the broken bolt out and I end up needing a new one, I'm definitely going to the Pull a Part lot to get one there!! I'm going to head back out to my parents place today after work to do a bit more. Going to try to finish up the rear shocks and then we'll look a bit more at the front drivers side.

The guy at Jeep did confirm that the lower bolt going thru the fork and lower control arm is just a bolt and nut. He said there is a metal sleeve in the lower control arm and the bolt is probably seized up in there. He also said there is no reason for that clip, the bolts they sell don't have it. Was just on there from the factory for some reason.

So a couple parts, a bit of info and we'll be back at it!!
 

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A little update here. Yesterday I went to Jeep and got a new bolt for the strut fork (which they called a clevis) and also the bolt that goes thru the bottom of the strut fork / clevis and the lower control arm. Figured it'd be good to have both of them just in case we need to cut that lower bolt off. I also got a price for a new strut fork / clevis .... it's $700!!! If we cant get the broken bolt out and I end up needing a new one, I'm definitely going to the Pull a Part lot to get one there!! I'm going to head back out to my parents place today after work to do a bit more. Going to try to finish up the rear shocks and then we'll look a bit more at the front drivers side.

The guy at Jeep did confirm that the lower bolt going thru the fork and lower control arm is just a bolt and nut. He said there is a metal sleeve in the lower control arm and the bolt is probably seized up in there. He also said there is no reason for that clip, the bolts they sell don't have it. Was just on there from the factory for some reason.

So a couple parts, a bit of info and we'll be back at it!!
Sounds good, I thought it was the Clevis bolt you were talking about;

It's pretty well-documented if you do some searches here, that they are notoriously difficult & tricky to get out; Some guys have had to resort to cutting them out;




 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks @Big Blue !! Yea, I guess searching would have made sense!! I just figured I'd add to my post and also ask about it. We'll work on that bolt a bit more this evening. Spray it up w/ PB Blaster and work on it w/ the mini sledge hammer. We were also using an electric impact wrench because the air impacts we had weren't that good. So I might look into getting a better / newer air impact to see if that'll help with the removal. From reading those posts we may have to just replace the lower control arm.

If we do replace it the lower control arm, will I need to replace both the driver and passenger sides?? Or need an alignment after??

Thanks.
 

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Thanks @Big Blue !! Yea, I guess searching would have made sense!! I just figured I'd add to my post and also ask about it. We'll work on that bolt a bit more this evening. Spray it up w/ PB Blaster and work on it w/ the mini sledge hammer. We were also using an electric impact wrench because the air impacts we had weren't that good. So I might look into getting a better / newer air impact to see if that'll help with the removal. From reading those posts we may have to just replace the lower control arm.

If we do replace it the lower control arm, will I need to replace both the driver and passenger sides?? Or need an alignment after??

Thanks.
@dar124; If it was me, I wouldn't replace one, without replacing the other; but, if your finances are tight, you don't have to.

Yes, I would definitely have an alignment done when your work is complete.

Keep us posted with your progress.
 

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Thanks @Big Blue
If we do replace it the lower control arm, will I need to replace both the driver and passenger sides?? Or need an alignment after??
You don't need to change both control arms, but you should always get an alignment after doing suspension work.

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Just wondering why you felt the need to jump in with a contradiction??

What's the purpose?
I didn't contradict you. You said if it were you, you would do it. But it not necessary at all to replace control arms in pairs, so i was letting him know that. And also your post was not there when I started writing mine. But it would have made no difference, I would still have responded the same.

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I didn't contradict you. You said if it were you, you would do it. But it not necessary at all to replace control arms in pairs, so i was letting him know that. And also your post was not there when I started writing mine. But it would have made no difference, I would still have responded the same.

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Of course you would have.
 
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