Just ordered my front CA bushings for $10 from my local guy at Crown Automotive. I have also ordered as set of IRO front spring perches to be welded in place as mine have rusted away.
I am weighing the purchase of engine mounts, as mine are cracking. I am not sure how bad they actually are. As things look now, I will be saving to replace all my CA's in the near future with an all IRO adjustable setup.
Also in the upcoming week, I will be following Yardman Harry's write-up on tightening your steering box.
Update: Here is what happened over the last week or so. (pics to come soon, camera died.)
RUST PREVENTION: i undercoated most of the jeep with silver (aluminum fleck) POR-15. Prior to applying the POR-15, I decreased and scored (also ground down rust) most of the underside. I have applied two coats thus far and have plenty left over for a couple more coats. I still need to finish some of the engine compartment uni-body. I plan to remove the gas tank skid plate and hitch to allow better access to the rear uni-body. When the hitch is off, I will remove any rust and repaint.
Waited for my bushing to come in.
STEERING GEAR BOX SLOP: I could wiggle my pitman arm because of the play in the gear box. I planned a few hours with a friend helping and we followed the FSM. It was easy to do, but I do not think the removal of the gear box is necessary. The FSM calls for the removal and drainage of the gear box. Following the box removal, adjustment of the pitman shaft adjuster nut is needed while measuring rotational resistance of the input shaft with a good pointer style or digital torque wrench. I say, do not waste your time removing the gear box at all.
IF I HAD TO DO THIS AGAIN: I would disconnect the tie-rod from pitman arm and make the adjustments to the screw while using the steering wheel to turn the system. Make small changes to the adjuster screw (clockwise, tightens the system) and then check for feel. Drive it for a bit and then repeat if necessary.
The FSM calls for backing out the adjuster screw all the way and then make many measurements to find the correct setting. Unscrewing the adjuster allows for more slack or play in the system, which I was attempting to fix. I find this unnecessary and a waste of time since my goal was to tighten the system. I should have made small adjustments to the adjuster with all components in place and test drove from there.
Also during this steering gear project, I realized my PS system was filled with ATF and not the correct PS hydraulic fluid. I will be flushing what is left in the system tomorrow. Our year jeeps should have the Mopar 5932 fluid. Valvoline makes this fluid and is less expensive than buying it from a dealer.
ROCK SLIDERS: I finished painting my rock sliders this week and purchased new hardware for the install. I also painted my rocker panels with a hard undercoating to protect them from chips and rust. Rusted rockers was the death of my old ZJ. I do not want that again.
Installed the new upper control arm bushing today with my special Miller tool. It was fairly easy to do with the correct tool. I am unimpressed however with the long bolt, which I have already bent. Luckily it is brand new and under warranty. I have spoken with customer service at Service Solutions, and a new one in on its way. I do appreciate their great service.
Also to combat DW, we reinforced my TB brackets, both at the axel and frame, to eliminate any possible movement of the bolts.
Lastly, I used some old pucks and extra hardware to create my own extended coil retainers. We welded a nut to the upper coil perch and drilled holes through some pucks. When installing the coil, I placed the puck and bolt assembly inside the spring to be installed once the coil was in place. they look good and cost me nothing.
I will have pictures posted soon.
Still getting some DW, i notice it when I change throttle input. example: more throttle, jeep moves left, releasing throttle, jeep moves right. I wonder if my rear upper a-arm ball-joint is bad. I will look into that this weekend. Any thoughts?
Erik Just wanted to compliment you on your attention to detail and follow through on this thread. I too have just retired my ZJ after many years of loyal service and never an issue with handling... I take that back. I had the same issue with pitman arm and steering box. Slop in the box was easily adjusted exactly as you recommend. Don't waste time with the unnecessary procedure steps. I did have a problem getting the nut on the pitman arm to stay tight until I torqued it with a BA bar and used lock-tight. Once set it never moved again. The rockers finally gave way on the trusty ZJ though and I'm sad to see her go. For the price of repair I can exchange for a model 7 years newer.
I have just purchased an '04 Overland and have the 2.5 " lift components on their way. Your rust issues and DW problem has me very worried though. I'll pay close attention to the condition of the remaining stock components as I do the lift. I do wish that my rock rails were salvageable but they are rusted through. The rockers and all body panels are excellent so they will be getting the undercoating treatment you are doing.
Caster Angle - Did you ever get a print out of what the caster angle is on your Jeep?
Track bar - I had to get KOR hard track bar bushings for my JKS bar. The red poly from JKS was too soft.
Miller Tool - Where did you get the tool from? How much?
Steering box Adjustment - Did this make any difference? Worth the time?
Oh and my spring perch was rotted out like that too.
No I have not made it back to get a print out of my caster angle. I used my angle finder and I believe it to be around 6*.
I have the JKS TB and will be purchasing the KOR bushings as soon as the budget permits.
I purchased some of the miller tool on ebay for $40. I did purchase the special bolt from a Miller supplier for $40 shipped, but it has already bent. On a positive note, they will be replacing the bolt but not until march.
I liked the IRO spring towers, nice and solid. grind down the surface and weld right in!
You do not need to take the steering box out, just loosen the lock nut on top of the SB and turn the tension screw clockwise 1/4. Tighten up the lock nut and test drive. continue to adjust as necessary. I have noticed a difference in the steering.
Lastly I make my own extended spring retainers out of some old hockey pucks I have. I drilled a hole for the bold to pass through and a larger hole in the top puck to accommodate the nut that is welded to the upper mount.
I used my old upper control arm hardware for this application and the bold fit perfectly into the hole on the upper mount.
I admit, I need one more pic of the finished product.
My apologizes for the dark photos, my camera flash has died and needs fixing.