Too Many Struts on the Dance Floor - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-15-2021, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
brandongohsman
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Too Many Struts on the Dance Floor

Happy Saturday!

So, I need new shocks. I have a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the 5.7L Hemi and Quadralift. You would think that would be enough to know which parts I need. That’s what I thought, and I was wrong.

I’ve been using Rock Auto for Jeep parts for almost 20 years. And it has traditionally been a pretty straightforward process. But, with this vehicle, even looking at only Mopar parts, I have multiple options. And unlike the shocks for my 1999 Grand Cherokee, this thing was built on a Mercedes platform. So the price difference is…significant.

So what I need to do is figure out the exact parts that are currently on it. And, so far, I haven’t come up with a reliable way of doing that short of taking them off and looking at the part numbers stamped in them.

So, before I do that, I thought I’d see who else has already gone through this process, what you did and how it went. Also, any cautionary tales, gotchas or other advice are welcome. I knew my last Jeep inside and out. But this is a completely different beast.

Now, the air system isn’t leaking. So I should be able to rebuild the assemblies with new shocks. The rear shocks appear slightly simpler as they don’t have the air springs. I’m not looking to change the ride or do anything fancy. Just take old, worn shocks and replace them with equivalent new ones.

Anywho, the parts are pricey enough that the consequences for getting it wrong are a bit high. I can tackle the work, I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing first. Never thought I’d miss good old coil springs.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-15-2021, 11:05 PM
ColdCase
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I have a 2011 parts book, when I get back I can look it up. If I recall correctly there was just one part number for air suspension shocks. The MOPAR sites will ask for your VIN so that they can get you the right part.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-16-2021, 07:38 AM
ColdCase
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The rear shock is 68069676A*, where * is the rev level. About $74 at discount.

https://parts.moparonlineparts.com/o...02ODA2OTY3NkFD


The front spring and shock assemblies are 68029902A* and 68029903A*.

The strut is $1400 + at a discount dealer:

https://parts.moparonlineparts.com/o...02ODAyOTkwMkFD


You can also buy these rebuilt or off of eBay for much less.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-18-2021, 12:39 PM
edotddot
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I just received the "immediate service" for the air suspension on my recently purchased 2011 Overland and I have just started researching. What I have found is that the air suspension is a closed, pre-pressurized, nitrogen filled system that stays pressurized at around 220 psi. I'm going to have my mechanic look over everything to see if the issue is obvious but I can tell I'm also going to be looking at doing a coil spring conversion swap at some point as there seems to issues even troubleshooting these systems. I've read where some people had their vehicle at the dealership for 3 weeks-2 months for the repairs. We both need a little good luck!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-18-2021, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edotddot View Post
I just received the "immediate service" for the air suspension on my recently purchased 2011 Overland and I have just started researching. What I have found is that the air suspension is a closed, pre-pressurized, nitrogen filled system that stays pressurized at around 220 psi. I'm going to have my mechanic look over everything to see if the issue is obvious but I can tell I'm also going to be looking at doing a coil spring conversion swap at some point as there seems to issues even troubleshooting these systems. I've read where some people had their vehicle at the dealership for 3 weeks-2 months for the repairs. We both need a little good luck!
Bummer of a first post, but my tip would be to get it scanned and get all the codes. Then post them here and do some searches. Don't spend 1 penny unless you agree and it fixes the issue. Most issues aren't that bad and any 1 part isn't horrible, but when they start with something that fixed the last one, then try other stuff, and next thing you know, THOUSANDS of dollars is wasted...
Figure if it isn't electrical, anything will have a purge added on, and that is over $200 I think.

2012 Overland 4X4 Mineral Gray/New Saddle, HEMI , 24p (ACC,BSM, FCW)
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-18-2021, 06:09 PM
ColdCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edotddot View Post
I just received the "immediate service" for the air suspension on my recently purchased 2011 Overland and I have just started researching. What I have found is that the air suspension is a closed, pre-pressurized, nitrogen filled system that stays pressurized at around 220 psi. I'm going to have my mechanic look over everything to see if the issue is obvious but I can tell I'm also going to be looking at doing a coil spring conversion swap at some point as there seems to issues even troubleshooting these systems. I've read where some people had their vehicle at the dealership for 3 weeks-2 months for the repairs. We both need a little good luck!
These suspensions have been around for over a decade and there is a lot of info on them. So before you spin your wheels, there is tons of information here, plenty of threads on the subject. You may want to read through the three of four air suspension threads indexed in the maintenance sticky before jumping to conclusions. It is rare to find an independent mechanic that is familiar with the WK2 suspension.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f309...index-3478986/

At least get the codes read. Often this is a leak and the compressor is overheating. So you may not want to drive it much until you can verify there is no leak as the compressor won't take much punishment. Its pretty big bucks to replace.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-19-2021, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
brandongohsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edotddot View Post
I just received the "immediate service" for the air suspension on my recently purchased 2011 Overland and I have just started researching. What I have found is that the air suspension is a closed, pre-pressurized, nitrogen filled system that stays pressurized at around 220 psi. I'm going to have my mechanic look over everything to see if the issue is obvious but I can tell I'm also going to be looking at doing a coil spring conversion swap at some point as there seems to issues even troubleshooting these systems. I've read where some people had their vehicle at the dealership for 3 weeks-2 months for the repairs. We both need a little good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by edotddot View Post
I just received the "immediate service" for the air suspension on my recently purchased 2011 Overland and I have just started researching. What I have found is that the air suspension is a closed, pre-pressurized, nitrogen filled system that stays pressurized at around 220 psi. I'm going to have my mechanic look over everything to see if the issue is obvious but I can tell I'm also going to be looking at doing a coil spring conversion swap at some point as there seems to issues even troubleshooting these systems. I've read where some people had their vehicle at the dealership for 3 weeks-2 months for the repairs. We both need a little good luck!
When my Jeep first arrived at the dealership (before I found/purchased it), it had this same alert. The dealership wouldn't even let me test drive it until they fixed it. However, "fixed" clearly doesn't mean that they replaced the entire $1,300+ part. They didn't give me an itemized service list, because the service was all pre-ownership. But I suspect that they repaired/rebuilt one of the front struts rather than fully replacing one, which is why I still have work to do. Rock Auto sells the individual Mopar strut components (as well as aftermarket) such as the shock, air spring, etc. So, if you have the tools (and know what you are doing), it is possible to rebuild these. Unfortunately, I am currently still in the camp of not yet knowing what I'm doing. I mean, I have replaced tie rod ends, ball joints, rebuilt differentials, replaced intake manifold gaskets, water pumps, alternators, pulled an engine out of a 1970 Eldorado (which I had NO business doing), etc. I will boldly go where wise men fear to tread. This particular part is just still new to me and the consequences for screwing it up are potentially large, both in terms of cost and safety. My 7 year old daughter rides in this vehicle and it is amazing how much that changes my approach to things like this (when I was 25, YOLO!)

Of course, I'd love to avoid paying the OBSCENE price for complete Mopar struts (I think the shocks on the front of my 1999 Grand Cherokee were about $36/ea.) But I've heard some horror stories around after market part catastrophic failures as well as the number of ways one can potentially screw up rebuilding them. And I really don't want to put the time, money and effort into something cheaper only to have to redo it again in the near future or get stranded several hours from home (I've seen me do it).

I've watched videos of mechanics replacing these struts. That process, while not necessarily simple/easy, is reasonably straight forward in that it's just time, nuts and bolts. And that process should not take weeks (definitely not months). However, delays in getting parts may be a thing as Covid has nuked supply chains from orbit. It took the dealership a week to get this Jeep into service due to their current backlog, and it was at the top of the list due to a pending sale. I've also seen a video of a mechanic disassembling and reassembling the strut assembly, which is effectively the same process for rebuilding one. Again, with a qualified [certified] mechanic, the right tools, a lift, etc., that took minutes rather than days or weeks. But it did require a special puller to separate the shock from the assembly, retaining ring removal, etc. It isn't the kind of repair you'd want to do in the wild while crawling over rocks.

My gut tells me that I should probably suck it up, hemorrhage the cash for the OEM strut assemblies and go through the work of swapping them out. It's just painful that I bought my first Jeep Grand Wagoneer for less than what 2 of these struts will cost. lol When did Jeeps become luxury vehicles with Mercedes parts? Don't answer that, it's rhetorical.

NOTE:
I've been told that there really are no aftermarket parts for my specific Jeep suspension. Looking on Rock Auto, several aftermarket options are presented to me, but with a whole lot of caveats and exclusions. And it can be difficult to discern what, exactly, is meant by things like "Normal Duty Suspension" or "Without Sport Suspension" when looking at, what appears to be, a photo of an air shock. My favorite so far is:

"Front; RWD; Overland; Air Spring; Exc. Air Suspension"

I'm fairly confident that there are no rear-wheel drive Grand Cherokees (could be wrong). And how can it be an "air spring" but "excluding air suspension"? Apart from the word "Overland", none of this really instills confidence that this part would actually fit/function on my Jeep. So I'm inclined to agree that, in reality, there aren't any [proper] aftermarket options for the Quadralift system in my Overland.

Crap.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-19-2021, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
The rear shock is 68069676A*, where * is the rev level. About $74 at discount.

The front spring and shock assemblies are 68029902A* and 68029903A*...about $1,400
Coldcase: Thank you!

For anyone else here, who may be interested, Rock Auto does carry these parts. The rear shocks look to be a bit more expensive than what Coldcase listed ($83.79). So the link he shared is probably a better option. The front assemblies are $1,391.79 and $1,390.89 (no idea why the left/right aren't the same price). Still pretty close to the above $1,400 so, unless you have some loyalty/nostalgia for Rock Auto and the free magnets you get with each purchase (which, I do), it's probably a wash. All of the above are actual Mopar parts listed for "Normal Duty Suspension". There are over a dozen Mopar options that show up for my Jeep, which was SUPER confusing, especially since most of them use the exact same image and have nearly identical prices. So, I owe Coldcase a beer for sharing the actual part numbers out.
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