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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting to hear some popping in the front end when I cut the wheel at low speeds. Just a single pop in a low speed or stopped wheel turn to the left. It seems to be coming from the front driver side. 166k miles and never replaced any suspension parts. Any ideas what it could be?

Super lift may be coming quicker than expected.
 

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I'm starting to hear some popping in the front end when I cut the wheel at low speeds. Just a single pop in a low speed or stopped wheel turn to the left. It seems to be coming from the front driver side. 166k miles and never replaced any suspension parts. Any ideas what it could be?

Super lift may be coming quicker than expected.
My educated guess would be your upper front differential bushing - a very common point of wear on Commanders & Grand Cherokees alike - and it will cause symptoms along the lines of what you are experiencing.

And just an FYI - If I'm correct, getting a Super lift won't solve your problem.

You have to get that upper front differential bushing replaced.

You are actually pretty lucky that you got 166,000 miles out of the original bushing.

I had a 2008 Grand Cherokee prior to my 2008 Commander and I had the upper front differential bushing replaced on both vehicles by the 80,000 mile mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My educated guess would be your upper front differential bushing - a very common point of wear on Commanders & Grand Cherokees alike - and it will cause symptoms along the lines of what you are experiencing.

And just an FYI - If I'm correct, getting a Super lift won't solve your problem.

You have to get that upper front differential bushing replaced.

You are actually pretty lucky that you got 166,000 miles out of the original bushing.

I had a 2008 Grand Cherokee prior to my 2008 Commander and I had the upper front differential bushing replaced on both vehicles by the 80,000 mile mark.
That's good news. I'll have them checked when the manifolds are replaced Monday.

Was thinking the pop was a suspension issue after lifting the XK as it just started recently and was factory until the lift was put on.

Truck has been in a garage except during normal ATL commutes to and from office. Only in the snow / ice twice and I imagine that's the reason I've yet to have any issues like this.
 

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That's good news. I'll have them checked when the manifolds are replaced Monday.

Was thinking the pop was a suspension issue after lifting the XK as it just started recently and was factory until the lift was put on.

Truck has been in a garage except during normal ATL commutes to and from office. Only in the snow / ice twice and I imagine that's the reason I've yet to have any issues like this.
I think the changes in the suspension geometry created by the new ride height from your lift, tends to put a little more stress on the front upper differential bushing.

So because everything in your suspension was stock, your upper front differential bushing was nice and quiet.

As soon as you added the extra stress of a lift to it, the bushing (which was surely very worn already) is now letting you know it's worn - and it would do the same thing with the Super Lift I'm quite certain.

If my diagnosis is correct, replace that upper front differential bushing now, before it becomes a bigger problem later.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely will have them replaced if that is the issue Monday. Is it bad that I wanted something to be wrong with the factory shocks / struts so I had an excuse to go big now? HAHA!! Still a little over a month away from getting my steel bumper completed and installed. Wanted to have that and the winch mounted to see how it looked before choosing which suspension lift to go with, or if I was going to keep it as it sits. 35's are calling out to me though... However, loving the Nitto Ridge Grapplers on the XK now. Might run them bald before I go bigger. All will depend on how the truck looks with the steel bumper / winch.

Stay tuned...
 

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Definitely will have them replaced if that is the issue Monday. Is it bad that I wanted something to be wrong with the factory shocks / struts so I had an excuse to go big now? HAHA!!
At 166,000 miles - your shocks and struts definitely have enough wear and tear to justify being replaced - and probably need to be, whether you realize it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's coming. Been looking at different threads on that other site. Let me know your thoughts on a big lift on the XK vs something modest like another inch or two.
 

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It's coming. Been looking at different threads on that other site. Let me know your thoughts on a big lift on the XK vs something modest like another inch or two.
If you go with the 4 inch Super lift it comes with everything - shocks, struts, springs, the whole 9 yards.

That's why it's so expensive.
 

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When you shift gears (park to drive, etc.) do you feel a big jump in your transmission ? As well as noise? I just replaced all 3 of my differential bushings. They are completely shot!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When you shift gears (park to drive, etc.) do you feel a big jump in your transmission ? As well as noise? I just replaced all 3 of my differential bushings. They are completely shot!


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No. Just when the wheel is turned. It's my understanding that the jump when the truck is shifted is definitely the diff bushing which is why I was curious as to what this pop could be. XK is at the shop now and lets just say they're having a tough time as they weren't able to finish replacing both manifolds today because of so many broken bolts. He seemed frustrated on the phone at 4:45 this afternoon as he had 2 guys on it trying to get it done. As for the popping issue, he said "we pulled back the boot and power steering fluid poured out." Please understand I have no idea what the hell he was referencing / talking about, but will be sure to get a write up and more info tomorrow when I pick up the truck. Didn't want to pry about the issue as he was obviously on their shop phone and not in the office.
 

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No. Just when the wheel is turned. It's my understanding that the jump when the truck is shifted is definitely the diff bushing which is why I was curious as to what this pop could be. XK is at the shop now and lets just say they're having a tough time as they weren't able to finish replacing both manifolds today because of so many broken bolts. He seemed frustrated on the phone at 4:45 this afternoon as he had 2 guys on it trying to get it done. As for the popping issue, he said "we pulled back the boot and power steering fluid poured out." Please understand I have no idea what the hell he was referencing / talking about, but will be sure to get a write up and more info tomorrow when I pick up the truck. Didn't want to pry about the issue as he was obviously on their shop phone and not in the office.
Sorry to hear your mechanic is having trouble with your XK, looking forward to the follow up to hear what was actually wrong.

Not really sure about the power steering fluid remark and how that figures into all of this.
 

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No. Just when the wheel is turned. It's my understanding that the jump when the truck is shifted is definitely the diff bushing which is why I was curious as to what this pop could be. XK is at the shop now and lets just say they're having a tough time as they weren't able to finish replacing both manifolds today because of so many broken bolts. He seemed frustrated on the phone at 4:45 this afternoon as he had 2 guys on it trying to get it done. As for the popping issue, he said "we pulled back the boot and power steering fluid poured out." Please understand I have no idea what the hell he was referencing / talking about, but will be sure to get a write up and more info tomorrow when I pick up the truck. Didn't want to pry about the issue as he was obviously on their shop phone and not in the office.
That sounds like he's referencing the power steering rack and that he pulled the inner tie rod boot back from the rack and fluid leaked out.

The fluid is retained in the rack by an inner seal, which if it is leaking would allow power steering fluid to pool in the boot; when he pulled the boot back that leaked fluid came out of the boot. The noise you're hearing could be symptoms of a failing steering rack. I had to replace mine in my KJ due to a failed seal on the passenger side - wasn't a technically difficult job but required a lot of twisting and turning to get the rack out of the passenger side wheel well. Not familiar enough yet with the XK to know how much of a project the rack R&R would be.

Bob
 

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That sounds like he's referencing the power steering rack and that he pulled the inner tie rod boot back from the rack and fluid leaked out.

The fluid is retained in the rack by an inner seal, which if it is leaking would allow power steering fluid to pool in the boot; when he pulled the boot back that leaked fluid came out of the boot. The noise you're hearing could be symptoms of a failing steering rack. I had to replace mine in my KJ due to a failed seal on the passenger side - wasn't a technically difficult job but required a lot of twisting and turning to get the rack out of the passenger side wheel well. Not familiar enough yet with the XK to know how much of a project the rack R&R would be.

Bob
Thanks for making sense of that for me Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Okay, so Bob nailed it. Auto care write up states the following:

"Power steering rack leaking at inner tie rod ends, recommend replacing rack and pinion unit."

Anyone ever had this same issue / done this job? Would that cause the popping when turning the wheel? Don't really trust these guys after this experience and want to be sure.

Still pretty furious their estimate was so far off. I told the damn guy these were notorious for broken bolts and wanted them replaced with all new bolts before I even dropped the XK off. Labor was $636 as they had to "extract 6 broken bolts." No ****, ya ****!! I told you that would most-likely be the case. Had to pay extra labor because of their lack of comprehension abilities. Dorks...

He quoted me $152.28 a side for the parts including all new bolts and then after the job was completed, he said the $152.28 didn't include the bolts. Took them 2 days to complete the job, so I imagine they just got their asses taken behind the woodshed and absolutely kicked by my XK and I had to cover all the extra costs.

To top it off, they charged me $120.00 to install the Flowmaster I provided. Pretty sure I could have found a shop to supply the muffler and install it for pretty close to that figure... Again, probably to help cover the extra labor his guys had to do on the manifolds. After about 20 minutes of negotiation, I left on an agreed amount that was still WAY too high and nearly double their original "estimate." Luckily, they have a large brand name on their door and I'll simply climb the ladder until I am compensated for their inability to comprehend the English language / and lie right to my face.

Back on topic. What should I expect to pay to have this rack and pinion issue fixed? Does the entire system need to be replaced? Also, they told me that the "vehicle has spindle rubbing on the strut" and tried to charge me a labor hour to "go over the trucks issues." Yeah, okay, bruh...

Thanks so much!
 

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Sorry to hear of your troubles with that shop - especially when they don't listen to you when you leave the vehicle with them. I'm particular about my Jeeps and it takes quite a while before I trust others to work on them.

As for the rack & pinion... The factory service manual for my KJ said the front differential needed to be dropped to remove and replace the rack. However, ,there is a way to extract it out of the passenger side wheel well without touching the front diff. I'm not familiar enough yet with the XK to be able to tell you whether the removal and replacement is easy or a job for a mechanic, but I do know that Detroit Axle sells quality remanned rack & pinion systems. I got the KJ's rack from them and have put over 100,000 miles on it and it's still working fine. I paid $125 with free shipping and core return; the XK rack from Detroit Axle is $225 according to their current eBay listing.

P.S. Just looked up the R&R procedure in the Factory Service Manual. It states that the front diff needs removed but like the KJ it may be that with the proper twisting and turning the rack can be removed without taking the diff out of the Jeep. The manual does say the rack is removed through the passenger side wheel well.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's funny... I wrote up a complete break down of the XK's history and exactly what I knew was wrong and what all to replace. The lead tech said he really enjoyed the write-up and was going to take it home for his wife to read, so how they came up with charging extra for the bolts means only one thing... Truly feel like I paid for their inability to quickly / efficiently extract the broken bolts. I hear you about being particular with who you allow to work on your truck. My fathers shop has always done work on all of my vehicles. Except this one. He just refuses to "work on that piece of ****" as they deal in Toyota / Lexus and he's afraid to admit they don't know **** about the Jeep line. Ass...

Good info, thanks! I'll look into this this week and figure out what my best option is.

Going to lift this thing another 3 inches at least, so I want to have everything major fixed before I do. Hopefully this will be the last major issue I have to address. Sucks when you have a "toy" that you need to dump a bunch of money in that isn't any fun, ha! Lastly, would a small plate boost cause this to happen? Seems odd that we made it 167,000 miles with no issue with the power steering and then suddenly have a problem shortly after the boost. Thanks so much!
 

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Hopefully this will be the last major issue I have to address. Sucks when you have a "toy" that you need to dump a bunch of money in that isn't any fun, ha!
Yes, it does suck - but that's what happens with used vehicles if they are not properly maintained.

Not just Commanders - but any used vehicle from any auto maker - Ford, Toyota, Nissan or whichever.

I had a bunch of issues with my XK in the first year or so that I owned it - but it's worth it to iron everything out if you plan on keeping it for the long haul.

You can read about all the issues I had with mine here - if you're interested;

http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/5-general-commander-discussion/56546-looking-buy.html#post410426
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Owned the truck from day one. Just strange we never had this issue with the steering until the boost when on. Dealer has always done every service until the exhaust manifold / flowmaster job last week. They have been good with preventative maintenance suggestions and we've done most of them, but never anything about the rack and pinion. It does have 167k on it, so I get it, just figured I'd ask if anyone had the same thing happen to their XK after lifting it slightly and adding beefier tires.

Now to figure out what this job is going to cost which will severely sway my decisions on a super lift.
 

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Owned the truck from day one. Just strange we never had this issue with the steering until the boost when on. Dealer has always done every service until the exhaust manifold / flowmaster job last week. They have been good with preventative maintenance suggestions and we've done most of them, but never anything about the rack and pinion. It does have 167k on it, so I get it, just figured I'd ask if anyone had the same thing happen to their XK after lifting it slightly and adding beefier tires.

Now to figure out what this job is going to cost which will severely sway my decisions on a super lift.
My lift didn't cause me any issues - but obviously, I don't speak for everybody.

But, I also replaced my front upper differential bushing, front shocks with Bilstein 4600's, rear shocks with Bilstein 5100's & upgraded my rear springs to Hemi-rated rear coil springs which are slightly heavier then the stock 4.7L rear springs.

Could that be the reason I haven't had any problems?

Maybe, but, there is no way to know for sure one way or the other - we can only speculate.
 

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Owned the truck from day one. Just strange we never had this issue with the steering until the boost when on. Dealer has always done every service until the exhaust manifold / flowmaster job last week. They have been good with preventative maintenance suggestions and we've done most of them, but never anything about the rack and pinion. It does have 167k on it, so I get it, just figured I'd ask if anyone had the same thing happen to their XK after lifting it slightly and adding beefier tires.

Now to figure out what this job is going to cost which will severely sway my decisions on a super lift.
Budget boost does put extra stress on the steering rack, I had to tighten mine. It's not out of the question to assume that there is some wear on a 167k mile steering rack and that a budget boost could increase wear or make previously existing wear more noticeable.
 
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