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Replaced all 3 diff isolators less than 1 year ago...front axle (most expensive) shot

16300 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  fast916
I replaced all three isolators around 11/12 months ago after I started getting the P,N,D clunking noise. I was just up under the Jeep today and noticed the most expensive of the three (front axle housing mount) is already on its way out. The "rubber" has started to rip within the bushing and it's starting to separate itself along the outer edge.

Anyone have any idea what could cause this premature wear outside of manufacturer defect? All front suspension bushings except for (lower control arm and lower strut) were replaced prior to the new diff isolators installation when I did the 2" lift. Brand new steering rack is also in there though I don't think any of this would make a difference for the diff bushings.

As far as I know the only option is to replace this with a whole new mount as I don't think there is a way to just replace the bushing from within. I just need to narrow down what could of caused this so I don't have to replace again in another year.

Image of the part I am referencing is attached.

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Did you get an alignment done after the lift? I don't think that would be the cause, but it's worth noting.

Did you use aftermarket bushings or Mopar?

Also, from what I've read across other forums is that you can use the black 3m window urethane in a caulk gun to fill in the gaps on the bushing to make it more rigid. It seems to have pretty good success. But I have not had any experience using that method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I've read about the urethane method which might be a step I may take first. The main thing I would like to do is figure out what could of caused this, it might just be I got a defective part.

One thing that I thought about that someone might be able to provide more insight on is what if I just had the inner metal part welded to the outer portion. Just get a couple of 2" strips of steel and weld it to both sides of the outer housing. What sort of damage (long term) would this do?

Also, the replacement bushings are aftermarket (Crown).
 

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One thing that I thought about that someone might be able to provide more insight on is what if I just had the inner metal part welded to the outer portion. Just get a couple of 2" strips of steel and weld it to both sides of the outer housing. What sort of damage (long term) would this do?
I'd think the axle still needs to be able to flex. If it was welded solid, it could put extra strain on the mounting tab on the axle, and it may eventually break it.
I don't know if that would ever happen, but why risk it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anyone recommend a better isolator/bushing over Crown besides Mopar?

Another option I've been thinking about is to fill in the remaining gaps within the bushing itself with some pourable urethane compound. Only thing I'm unsure of is if this "new" compound will adhere to the existing rubber inside the isolator.

The link shows what I'm referring to. http://www.mcmaster.com/#8644k11/=vbou3e
 

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I would personally use the Mopar bushings, but that's just my personal preference. Dorman is another aftermarket manufacturer that makes the same kind of bushings. But I would probably use Crown over the Dorman. Actually, get ahold of Kolak, he can get you what you need and he's a straight up guy. Great service and great pricing.

As far as going through bushings prematurely, something is definitely wrong. There's a few things to check that may or may not contribute to the problem you're having. Double check your alignment. Maybe try a different shop for the alignment. Did you install your drive shaft in the same position? You're supposed to mark it before you remove it so you can re-install it in the same orientation. Did you torque everything down properly? I believe you're supposed to have the full weight of the vehicle on the ground before you torque the bushings. Otherwise you'll end up over tightening them and cause them to fail prematurely.

Like I said before, I don't have any experience using the urethane, but from what I can tell, it's fully compatible with the rubber bushings and it seems to hold up nicely. There was a whole thread on a Honda forum I was reading and it explained in pretty good detail on how to use the urethane and get great results. You still get the flexibility you need, just makes it more rigid. I wouldn't weld it solid though. IMO, that's just asking for trouble and may cause severe damage to your drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alignment was done prior to the isolators going in.

After rotating the tires a couples weeks ago, the only tire that was wearing unevenly was the driver side rear (negative camber).

I'll double check the drive shaft, had someone else install a new steering rack (after isolator install) as we were in the process of moving to California. Another alignment was done after this installation.

Defender2000 - You mentioned torquing down the bushings on all fours. I tightened them down on a lift with all fours hanging. This could be the reason if it was supposed to be weight bearing.
 

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Window weld didn't work for me. I read of some people putting it in to reinforce bushings,etc. It eneded up just hardening and forming a ring that did nothing. Wish they made a upgraded bushing bracket...
 

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Also having all kinds of clunking that shocks and new bushings didn't fix - so I'm guessing I'm having this same issue. Do you have any other info on how you went about these repairs or a write-up or pics? I have limited tools and no lift but know I need to tackle this myself or take it in.

+1 on getting stuff from Kolak.
 

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Mopar does sell just the front bushing. It was under $30.00 with my discount. So, maybe 35.00 list price?
There's 2 bushings and the front mounting bracket. The 2 Mopar bushings are about $30 a piece and the front mount is over $100. I was under the impression that you cannot rebuild the front mounting bracket. You have to buy it as one assembly like the picture above. Do you have a link?
 

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Also having all kinds of clunking that shocks and new bushings didn't fix - so I'm guessing I'm having this same issue. Do you have any other info on how you went about these repairs or a write-up or pics? I have limited tools and no lift but know I need to tackle this myself or take it in.

+1 on getting stuff from Kolak.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/how-differential-pinion-mount-bushing-replacement-1299567/

Here's a thread that will give you an idea what's involved. Just do a search, there's a bunch of info on this topic. This guy had a lift and air tools and all that good stuff. You can do it in your driveway without removing the differential. If you do it right, you can tilt the diff forward to gain access to the mounts. You'll need a jack and jack stands. Torque wrench and your standard assortment of sockets and hand tools. You'll definitely need a ball joint press kit with assorted attachments. You can usually rent those at the autoparts store. You'll have to get creative when it comes time to remove and reinstall the bushings.
 

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There's 2 bushings and the front mounting bracket. The 2 Mopar bushings are about $30 a piece and the front mount is over $100. I was under the impression that you cannot rebuild the front mounting bracket. You have to buy it as one assembly like the picture above. Do you have a link?
52089516AB is the Mopar part# for the front bushing, no bracket. List price is around $35.00 from any Jeep dealer.
 

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Those are the 2 bushings, like was stated, but there's also the front mount 52114354AA , which is around $100.
I bought that bushing myself, and installed it myself it is the front bushing......
What else can I say..........
If you don't believe me, that waste $70.00 and buy the bracket also I don't care. :confused:
 

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So you removed the isolator from the front mount and replaced it with one of the other bushings?
I'd like to see a pic to see how this was done!
 

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