Has anyone changed the front differential isolators themselves? I had some excessive play when I hit bumps and put the car in gear, and after looking around, I can clearly see the drivers bushing is wasted. I checked with the stealer and they want $640 to drop the diff and replace the bushings. I know they are pressed in, but I find it hard to believe that it takes a tech 6 hours with a lift to swap the bushings, nor that the diff has to come completely out. I have read in several places that you can unbolt the mount bolts and drive shaft and spin the diff to get access. They didn't mention, however, how difficult it was to bust the old one's out and press the new ones in. Anyone had any fun with these?
They are rubber. I have looked around and haven't been able to to find any made of anything else such as polyurethane. These are one of 3 bushings that hold the front differential in place, so they receive a good amount of torque stress. I don't think shoving more rubber in there will have any beneficial impact.
Agree with LimitedHemi, you wont be able to put anything in there that will extend your situation. It will feel night and day different when they are changed though. I don't think you can manually push them out but I don't know for sure. I had someone else do it for me because of time.
if you look in the factory jeep service manual (you can find it on Scribd, just search for wk jeep), they say to drop the whole diff out of the car then they show using "Press C-4212F" which actually is just a ball joint separator kit you can rent at an auto zone. I plan on doing this bushing replacement this weekend. Although I'm going to try doing it with out removing the diff from the car first. I'll let you know how it goes.
I did this today and what a PITA! I actually had to replace the rear pinion bushing, not the front or pass side. It was very difficult. I opted to unbolt the front driveshaft and the three diff mounting bushings and rotate it around rather than pulling out the half shafts. That was the easy part. Getting out the old bushing, another story. I rented a huge ball joint press kit to try to press it out. It would not budge. I had to beat the crap out of it with a pry bar and after about an hour and a half of that it popped out, totally mangled. The ball joint press worked well to press in the new one. The pass side bushing was in fine shape as was the front so I left those. In total it took about 4 hours with a few breaks, lying on my back with my 14yo son helping out. Thanks Michael!!!!!
Drives so well now, very quiet front end, no more clunking so far. I will test more tomorrow and follow up then. If you take this on, Good Luck!
Sorry no pics of the job itself, spaced that. Here are a couple of pics of the old, worn bushing after removal:
Sorry it took so long to reply, i did this project last weekend, my bushings looked identical to the pictures above when i was done getting them out. the rotating the diff idea does work, but there wasn't any way to press those old bushings out, i wound up using a saw and cutting the rubber out and then using a saws-all with a metal cutting blade, and cutting through the bushing while trying not to cut the differential its self, i jsut went really slow... the actuall pressing of the new bushings in was quite easy using a ball joint press from orielly auto parts. all in all i would never do this laying on the ground again and i would never recomend doing it if you have to lay on the ground (i.e. jack stands holding the car). If you have the ability to lift the car way up in the air on a lift this project would be a million times better and easier i have a feeling. on a side note, having 4 hands was helpfull too.
My WK has a ton of vibration at highway speeds and while changing the oil today I took a look around and could see that the bushing at the top of my front diff. is indeed worn out...Did anyone else on here have vibrations at highway speeds before replacing this bushing and after replacing did it take care of it?
I'll replace it either way, but just checking to see if I hsould try anything else out as well.