I found something that going be a game changer in this big f*cking mess. This is going to make everyone’s day. I know it made mine. I just wish I had found it sooner. There is one fundamental difference between the 05-06 units and the earlier models. The unit bodies are DIFFERENT in the area underneath the block mounting flange. The bushings in the earlier models are actually receiving oil from the camshaft gear via a lubrication channel/hole.
Here's a picture:
The 05-06 units don't have it:
Here are more shots:
Here's a side by side:
Notice the flat spot cut into the body... That allows for gap positioned right next to the cam gear. Look at this shot that I borrowed from Willydigger's post. I'm pretty sure that this is a pic of a pre 05-06 unit. The blue arrow shows the gap created by the flat spot. Oil gets flung into the opening by the cam gear. The oil then gets into that hole in the side of the body.
The one thing that kept bothering me was the oil groove on the shaft going downwards, or the "wrong" way. I also kept wondering why was that oil seal needed on the top of the older units. See pics:
That groove was actually going the right way. Oil goes into the unit via the hole, and gets evacuated downwards via the groove. The oil does not travel up the shaft past the thrust bearing like we all thought. And the seal was needed to keep the engine oil out that was getting to BOTH bushings.
Because the 05-06 bushing sticks out, it would be really tough to put on a seal, so the FOGMOD would still be the way to go for the top bushing.
With this new information, for those of us who want to modify the original units, hopefully we can now address the lower bushing issue.
Right now, the 05-06 lower bushing is a bit too long. It needs to be shortened so it clears the new oil hole. Also, a groove needs to be machined into everyones shaft. Last, the unit bodies are a little different, so depending on how anal you want to get, you might want to do some work there too. If you can find a machine shop that can weld aluminum, that would be good.
I would suggest everyone get your hands on an older unit so you can see the differences.
One thing is pretty clear if you ask me....05-06 Jeep owners now have solid proof that the factory messed up big time.