Replacing Old Suspension Parts -
  • 1 Post By TheBoogieman
  • 2 Post By CJ7-Tim
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-21-2020, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Replacing Old Suspension Parts

Hey guys, I got an XJ a few weeks back, I drove about 6 hours away to get one that was in my price range and was in pretty decent shape. I got it for $2,200 and it has 230k miles and made the drive back home like a champ. I really want to make it my DD, and take it on occasional light trails, since my current car is getting less and less reliable every month. I know very little about cars, the most extensive work I’ve done is changing out an alternator in my current car. Anyways, I want to get some of the rust knocked off of the bottom of the jeep, it is not terrible, no holes through the floor boards or anything, just the rocker panels. Many of the suspension parts are very old and rusty, and I was wondering if it is a fairly simple job to do. I’ve got a budget of about $700 as of right now, and want to replace as much of the suspension and rusty front end parts as I can. I wanted to lift it 3 inches but I may wait and get everything solid before I spend the money to do so. My main question is, is it worth trying to do all myself, or should I take it to a shop. If I did take it to a shop, how much would it, on average, be to replace the front end and suspension parts. These might be dumb questions but I really want to get things rolling on this jeep. I do have an entire socket and screwdriver set from autozone, and I bought a 3 ton jack stands, as well as a pair of 6 ton, double locking jack stands for height. Any info would be great! Thanks!

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-21-2020, 08:18 PM
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When you get into rusty parts, save yourself the grief and find a good shade tree home mechanic familiar with Jeeps to do lift work/suspension stuff. It was worth the money for me. Without compressed air, you are going to get in over your head very quick. As for parts, $700 ain’t a lot. I’d shop Facebook marketplace for some gently used stuff, namely springs, and the like. Spend money on new motor mounts, u-joints, brakes, and shocks. Keep in mind that “rust” on surface areas of control arms, sway bars, and such is pretty normal. Rot is what should concern you.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-22-2020, 12:01 AM
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If you're going to replace suspension parts and might lift it later on, do it all at once. Otherwise you'll be replacing the same parts twice. I replaced springs, shocks, tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel hub bearings, axle u-joints when everything was apart while lifting it.

p.s. If you're going to pay someone to do the work for you, get a quote first. I got quotes of $1400-1700 (parts and labor) to replace all four struts on my GF's Hyundai. I did it myself in 2 hours at a total cost of $250.
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Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
GOT IT BACK 6/17. 03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift with 4" lift coils up front/Zone hydro shocks/5.13 gears/35" Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 tires/Black Magic brakes. Jeep #17 & 19.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-22-2020, 03:38 AM
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There are some technical aspects of doing the suspension, but an XJ is a great vehicle to learn on. If the suspension is safe, I would suggest ensuring other components are not near failing. Brake system, power steering system, cooling system, and electrical system all went on me after I lifted at 180k and blew my budget. All were easy enough to replace with a few specialty tools you can rent, support from the forum (and YouTube) and a mid range socket set.

PB Blast everything 2 days, 1 day, and 1 hour before you even touch it with a wrench.

Welcome to the wonderful life of XJ ownership.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-22-2020, 06:06 AM
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Instead of spending money for a mechanic, do some research on JeepFourm, watch some videos, and buy some good quality tools. Your budget will go farther, and when you are done you will have tools for future modifications and repairs. You will also have a greater understanding about how your Jeep works, and how to fix it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-22-2020, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all of the information!
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-27-2020, 08:32 AM
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PB Blaster is your friend. Heat, and knowing how to safely use it is your friend. Do fluids first. Assume that nothing the PO said they did was done and start replacing fluids and filters. They are relatively cheap and you will start to get an idea for how much mechanicking you want to bite off.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-04-2020, 04:58 AM
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surface rust on suspension components can disappear with a rub down, degrease and a rattle can. No rot, no woories.

More worrying is split or rotten rubbers on joints. As soon as they start to let in water and grime, you should be thinking of replacing them. Track rod ends are well within your skill set, ball joints are best tackled with the right tool, not expensive.

Have a friend waggle the steering wheel whilst you have a look for movement within joints. Jack it up and waggle the wheels side to side and up and down, you will need a long bar to see if those ball joints are moving internally.

If they all look tight and unperished then you need to get a grease gun and have a real good go at all the grease nipples. Poor greasing practice lets the joints wear prematurely, remember the driveshaft nipples as well.

i bought a discounted set of arms, ball joints and TREs a few years back and did all of them at once. It transformed the driving!

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-09-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Instead of spending money for a mechanic, do some research and buy good quality tools. You budget will go farther, and when you are done you will have tools for future modifications and repairs. You will also have a greater understanding about how your Jeep works, and how to fix it.
Good, sound advice (which is not to say that what went before wasn't) - & $700 doesn't buy much shop time!
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