2014 Jeep rear bushing swap (a pictorial guide on how to abuse your socket collection)

Runs With Scissors

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So my daughter had to get a tire replaced a few weeks ago and they told her that one of her rear tires was "wearing funny".

So I put it in the air and sure enough, the left tire had more wear on the inner tread than it had on the outer.

I inspected it, but could not find a "smoking gun" Hmmmm.........

After some 'Duck Duck Go'ing it appears that it's not uncommon for Jeeps to have to replace the rear steering knuckles due to bad bushings.

Well let me tell you mister....Those fu@@@ng things must have 24K gold in them somewhere, cause the dealer wants like $700 for one. After market ones are about half that.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I started searching and found that MOOG makes replacement bushings specifically for this problem.

https://www.moogparts.com/technologies/articles/jeep-cherokee-knuckle-bushings.html

They are 50 bucks each on Amazon, and I have never done this before, but I guess that's just the "cost of doin business".

There was surprisingly few videos on how to do this, but I'm pretty sure I can make it happen. If not, well she is out 700 bones for the aftermarket ones, and I'll suck up the "$200 experiment".

Taking the the knuckle off was pretty simple and straight forward.

Step one. A little trick I learned about 30 years ago working on aircraft was to use liquid nitrogen to freeze a bushing, thus "shrinking" it to make it easier to press in.

Well I'm 'fresh out' of liquid nitrogen, so in the freezer they go. hahaha

20230824_085304[1].jpg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Taking the knuckle off is pretty straight forward. No special tools or anything, but having some jack stands or another person to help "wiggle" things into place is/are helpful.

They 'crimped' the CV joint nut on, instead of cotter pinning it, so I had to "jam" a punch in there to open it up. I guess I could have just used the impact to "muscle" it off but I did not want to screw up the threads and thus create another problem for myself.

20230824_093949[1].jpg


Oh and BTW, before I forget to say it, I would just like to give a big "FU@@ YOU" shout out to Jeep for not using wheel studs anymore... It makes putting the wheels on a real PITA.

One day I'm gonna make 2 "wheel installation studs" to keep the tire aligned while putting it on, but that's a fight for a different day.

Then I removed the splash shield.

OMG, I cannot tell you how many times I have put something back together and forgotten to put that damn splash shield on, and then had to rip it back apart to install it. (there is more than one car out there "missing" their splash shield. )

So now I place it "on top" of the rotor, or zip tie it, so I cant put the hub back on without it being in my way.
20230824_094242[1].jpg


It appears that the ABS sensor is gonna have to come out and I don't wanna break it, so after a wee bit of PB blaster and some finessing it, I get it out and "plug" the hole to keep debris out and remove the 10mm bolt securing the brake hose.
20230824_094541[1].jpg


20230824_094804[1].jpg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Then I take off these three "trailing arm" bolts, which turn out to be "frozen in place". It turns out to be a "pucker factor 7" operation. I sprayed the hell out all the bolts previous to starting this, and during the job at various points, but it took some doing.

I had to "tweek" that line a bit to get my socket on it too, but I have had to "tweek" things far worse before.

20230824_094952[1].jpg


Success finally......And the bonus is that I will not have to repair the holes.

20230824_095239[1].jpg



At some point while removing the rear brakes, I supported the caliper and install some jack stands cause I have never removed one of these and would like to try and prevent it from falling.

20230824_090334[1].jpg


The 4 "main bolts" are very straight forward and came off quite easily. Now the easy part is done.


Here's a pic of the of the other side, and my "most hated tool" in my tool box, the dreaded "ball joint/u-joint press".

I've had it for probably 35 years, and I f'ing hate that thing. It takes 5 hands to operate, never works for a damn, slings grease all over me and the shop and is just an all together "pain in the a$$" to use.

And again; it never fails to "not work" and this time the threads stripped out. "Fu@@ you" and good riddance to that thing.

20230824_073409[1].jpg


Off to the press we go!
 
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Runs With Scissors

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I have a small number of "actual bushing press tools" ; however I must admit that I "use and abuse" my sockets on a regular basis.

I have found any number of things to be useful for pressing bushings/bearings in and out. The creativity and combinations are almost endless.

Sockets are just very handy and accessible, and seem to work well in many cases.



Before it crapped out on me, I tried using that hand press a number of ways, and it took a "special combination" of sockets to meet the height requirements.

I also tried to "quickly heat" the Aluminum part so that it would expand a little, but Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat, so I'm not sure how much it actually helps.

20230824_100640[1].jpg
 

will721

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I find with aluminum, heat does nothing. I think it heats to evenly and thus expands also grabbing the part instead. I have had various results of heat cycling aluminum parts in an attempt to break the corrosions grip but can't say whether it worked or just by luck it let go.
 

Runs With Scissors

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One of the bushings was quite simple to "rig up" as it was "out in the open"

So I decided to pick the "low hanging fruit" first.

Since the press has such a wide opening, height is not too much of a concern, so this socket combination was fairly straight forward.


20230824_073401[1].jpg


Before

20230824_074304[1].jpg


a few strokes of the handle and Waaalaa.

20230824_074613[1].jpg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Off to the fridge to grab the "frozen bushing" and I do heat the aluminum casting with a torch slightly, hoping that that the combo of a hot'ish knuckle(expanded) and a frozen (shrunken) bushing will help.

It worked great!

BAM!

Its in.

Since the ends protrude from each side, I have to "massage it a little to get it even on both sides. (I must have forgotten to take pics of that)




Now the the "hard side"

Since I am no longer a "professional" my "press-ology" skills have waned somewhat.

Coming up with a viable solution to this "Tetris" style problem takes me much longer than it should have.

The knuckle is shaped such that basically no matter how I set it up, it is either canted, or will damage the knuckle in some way.

So the following are "simple snapshots" of my various tries.

The "straight up" aka "missionary" method

20230824_095857[1].jpg


The "straddle the gap" method (The steel tube, blocks the bushing)

20230824_102706[1].jpg


The "Straddle the gap with a camel toe" method (nothing to support the piece)

20230824_102733[1].jpg


The next 3 are different angles of the "Over the shoulder boulder holder W/ a Camel toe" method
(my personal favorites) but of course it failed miserably.


20230824_103600[1].jpg


20230824_103606[1].jpg


20230824_103613[1].jpg






But it's the the infamous "Double covered camel toe" for the win. Again I stuck with heating the knuckle and a frozen bushing. (why mess with success)

20230824_104614[1].jpg



Then I just slapped her back together and life is good.

The End

Paul
 
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Runs With Scissors

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I find with aluminum, heat does nothing. I think it heats to evenly and thus expands also grabbing the part instead. I have had various results of heat cycling aluminum parts in an attempt to break the corrosions grip but can't say whether it worked or just by luck it let go.
Will, I have not kept track, so I can't say either way.

Theoretically it should work, but there might be some "expansion coefficient" that tells a different story.

There is no question that the old "flame wrench" works very well on steel though.
 

06B3030

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Gotta love the HF 20 Ton Press!!!! I have one and it never failed to get the job done. I bought it when I had to rebuild a transfer case in my 91 YJ Renegade. Welded up a bender for it to do some metal fab work. The Jeep was a project vehicle for my son and I to work on. Taught him auto repair skills and fabrication.

91 YJ.jpeg
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Gotta love the HF 20 Ton Press!!!! I have one and it never failed to get the job done. I bought it when I had to rebuild a transfer case in my 91 YJ Renegade. Welded up a bender for it to do some metal fab work. The Jeep was a project vehicle for my son and I to work on. Taught him auto repair skills and fabrication.

View attachment 110979
Yes sir, I agree.

I gotta make a press brake one day. That would be handy as hell.

Nice father son project for sure!!! (y)
 
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Benhameen

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Nice work.
I’ve used the bearings in the freezer trick on my Yamaha FJR for the steering stem bearings. Worked like a charm.
On a side note, does your daughters jeep have the “tick”. My wife bought a 14 jeep wrangler as a second vehicle and it’s developed the freaking lifter tick. Guess I’ll be diving into the fix once it cools down a bit.
 

Runs With Scissors

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On a side note, does your daughters jeep have the “tick”. My wife bought a 14 jeep wrangler as a second vehicle and it’s developed the freaking lifter tick. Guess I’ll be diving into the fix once it cools down a bit.
She has not mentioned it to me.

However, I am quite sure the radio drowns out most noises, so it might actually have it.

I got in my other daughters car 2 weeks ago and it went like this.......

Paul after 30 feet of driving: "Holy Sh!t, how long have your wheel bearings been making noise?"

Daughter : "Huh? What noise?"

Paul's reaction:

1694438964581.png
 
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Benhameen

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She has not mentioned it to me.

However, I am quite sure the radio drowns out most noises, so it might actually have it.

I got in my other daughters car 2 weeks ago and it went like this.......

Paul after 30 feet of driving: "Holy Sh!t, how long have your wheel bearings been making noise?"

Daughter : "Huh? What noise?"

Paul's reaction:

View attachment 111335
I know that feeling all too well. Just a couple months ago I stopped by to see my daughter at work. She said, can you take a look at my brakes, I think they need replaced. I jumped in her car to take a spin around the block to assess the situation and didn’t make it out of the parking lot. Went to put on the brake and right to the floor the pedal went. I mean no feeling in the pedal at all. After the lecture, off to the parts store I went. Rotors and pads all the way around. One of the rears didn’t have any pads left at all and that caliper was shot. Got all that replaced and she now stops on a dime. While I had it I figured I better see why it sounds like there’s no muffler left on it. Turns out one of the two mufflers had the flange broken off. Back to the parts store to get a couple slit flanges and fixed that too. certainly not the most technical repair work I’ve done but it was the most rewarding.
 
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Ktrim

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That tick is just that chrysler noise. They started it with the k car and decided to keep it. 🤣🤣🤣
 
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6869704x4

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What time is the venison roast going to be done. I'll bring a side.
 
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NorthwoodsLife

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I read it twice and but can't quite get past these sentences:

"After some 'Duck Duck Go'ing it appears that it's not uncommon for Jeeps to have to replace the rear steering knuckles due to bad bushings."

"Oh and BTW, before I forget to say it, I would just like to give a big "FU@@ YOU" shout out to Jeep for not using wheel studs anymore... It makes putting the wheels on a real PITA."

Cherokees have rear steer!?
Cherokees have no lugs, but went Euro with wheel bolts!!?

I always considered the Lesser-Than -Wrangler, little unibody Jeeps simply throw away vehicles. And your excellent write up of your battle with a cheap jeep just confirmed it.
 

Runs With Scissors

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I read it twice and but can't quite get past these sentences:

"After some 'Duck Duck Go'ing it appears that it's not uncommon for Jeeps to have to replace the rear steering knuckles due to bad bushings."

"Oh and BTW, before I forget to say it, I would just like to give a big "FU@@ YOU" shout out to Jeep for not using wheel studs anymore... It makes putting the wheels on a real PITA."

Cherokees have rear steer!?
Cherokees have no lugs, but went Euro with wheel bolts!!?

I always considered the Lesser-Than -Wrangler, little unibody Jeeps simply throw away vehicles. And your excellent write up of your battle with a cheap jeep just confirmed it.

There is no "steering function" in the rear, but the rear suspension does have these bushings that go bad. Her car has 140'ish on it so I suppose nothing lasts forever.

I do hate the "no wheel studs" thing though. My wifes Jetta had no studs and I always hated that.
 

ve9aa

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Great writeup Paul! 🥇