I tried to purge this one from my memory, but came across the pictures on the camera, so figured I post it up. I haven’t updated the blog much over the last couple of hell weeks as the moment I walked out the door at night, I didn’t want to think about it until the next morning….very unlike me. So here it is:
Unfortunately due to the unforeseen setbacks with this project, I didn’t get many pictures taken of the job. Kind of one of those projects that I just wanted to get rid of. Typically Jeeps are very easy to work on. I enjoy working on our 00 JGC also known as “Squeaks,” and other Jeeps in general. It just happened to be this one wanted to kick us in the face, then the side of the head, then the…….you get the point. Just the way some jobs go sometimes, you have to take the good with the bad.
Anyway, first thing we wanted to do was to replace the blown OEM shocks and struts with new stiffer Bilsteins. IMHO, one of the best upgrades you can make to a Grand Cherokee. It gets rid of that floating SUV feel and makes the ride much less bouncy and more stable in general.
Fresh Bilsteins ready to go on
The rears are pretty self explanatory, drop the top bolt out, the bottom bolt out and replace the shock. No biggie.
The fronts are a little different. Up through the WJ’s (2004), the jeeps used a front shock separate from the spring itself, so again, it was a simple replacement. On the WK’s (05+), they switched to a strut on the front, which means removal of the strut, swapping the springs to the new struts, and reinstall. A little more in depth. On the driver side you remove the electrical boxes to get to the top mount nuts, and on the passenger side move the coolant tank out of the way.
Here we can see the old strut in place.
On the passenger side, the lower strut bolt fought me, but with enough Kroil, I was able to get it out. Nasty looking.
Unfortunately, the driver side did not come out so easy. 6 hours later, we had a lower shock bolt in many pieces, along with the bushing everything inserts into in even more pieces. We had broken a few press tools, and gone through many cutting discs and sawzall blades. Finally the bolt snapped and we were able to wiggle everything out of the lower control arm. The bad part when you hit jobs like this……it books for 1 hour of labor.
Here you can see the lower bushing (new) in place in the control arm.
After that escapade was over, we moved on to more simple things….right? The alternator had also gone bad in this jeep, so I needed to pull that. A Mercedes diesel motor in a Jeep chassis = not much room to work. This is a real bugger to get in and out, but finally got it accomplished. Later inspection revealed that the oil filler cap was not making a tight seal, and oil was spewing out the cap and running on to the alternator, which caused it’s demise.
After that came diff fluid changes, and an EGR valve cleaning, which I highly recommend with the strut bar removed (luckliy it was loose when doing the struts).