TOUGHEN UP YOUR JK'S BODYMOUNTS

Story & Photos by Trent Riddle
ENERGY SUSPENSION Components for the Jeep Wrangler
Even in stock trim, a 2007-11 Jeep Wrangler JK can benefit from the upgrade to Energy Suspension bushings and body mounts.

Here"s the array of different bushings that Energy Suspension offers for the JK. As of press time, they do not offer a Master Set kit with all these components in it and the 1-inch taller than stock body mounts together.

Energy Suspension marketing materials will tell you that your OEM rubber bushings will “wear quickly and cause a mushy ride”. While this is true in the long run, the brand new, stock rubber components are mushier than the replacement urethane parts from Energy Suspension. While the Wrangler JK, 2007-up, is well designed to tackle rough terrain on the off days, and commuting to work other days, it can be improved on.
Even off the showroom floor the stock suspension components, body mounts and other rubber parts are already beginning to deteriorate. Ozone, dirt, oil and other nasty things are hard at work from day one, trying to eat away at your Jeep"s isolation components. (All rubber parts on a vehicle are there to isolate you from vibrations, bumps and jarring as you go down the road). Sure, this can take years of normal use, but if you were a normal vehicle owner, you wouldn"t own a Jeep.
Besides improving long-term durability, there are two other main reasons to upgrade to Energy"s urethane components. First, they stiffen up the ride. Second, if you want, you can make all the new components RED, for a cool, non-stock look. Oh, one other thing, the body mounts are available in stock and 1-inch longer than stock lengths. The longer than stock will allow for a slightly taller tire without modifying the suspension height or factory spring rate. These are complete body mounts, not body mount spacers. A set of Energy Suspension body mounts and some coil spacers can give you enough space to go a full plus-one on your tire size without any other modifications. Check with your local 4 Wheel Parts or 4WD Hardware specialists for more information on this.
So, you want to know how hard it is to install a complete Energy Suspension bushing and mount kit on your JK? The answer is quite easy if you are a DIY type and have about half-a-day and all the correct tools. Take a look here and we"ll show you the highlights of what it takes, and offer some trips and tricks for those who want to do the wrenching themselves.


1. When installing the new Energy body mounts, first loosen the stock body mount bolts so that they are holding on by a few turns, but show a gap like this in all locations.

2. Once the stock body mount bolts are loose, use a jack to raise the body on one side at a time. Be sure to use a steel bar or 2x4 to distribute the body weight.

3. The body needs to be raised enough to remove the stock mount and then insert the new Energy urethane mount in its place. If installing taller than stock mounts, the body will need to be raised a little more than what was needed to remove the stock units. Also, the stock body bolts will need to be replaced with new bolts in some instances.

4. The stock swaybar bushings are pushed out of the end-links and replaced with the new Energy bushings and center sleeves. This is one area where you will notice a tightening of the suspension the first time you take a corner after the install.

5. The swaybar to frame bushings should be replaced at the same time as the end-link bushings. Here, a black bushing is being installed. There"s no difference in the black vs. red material, other than color.

6. One item to note on all JK suspension upgrades is seen here. When removing the passenger side front upper suspension arm, it"s best to cut off the head of the upper bolt, and replace it with a 10.9 (Grade 8) metric bolt of the same diameter and length. The other option is to drop the exhaust on that side, which is more work than you want to do.

7. An Arbor Press is needed to push out most of the stock bushings from the suspension arms, end-links, and track-bars. You will also need a sleeve or piece of tubing to push on the old part and a larger one for it to drop into. Most bench vices will not open wide enough to do this task.

8. Here"s the stock suspension bushing for the frame side next to the new two-piece urethane parts from Energy. Note the sleeve, it is a separate part and is replaceable.

9. The bell mouth of the suspension bushings and the bushing faces are lubricated with the provided silicone grease, as is the inside of the frame flanges. This aids in free movement of the suspension and reduces bushing wear.

10. When installing the suspension arm on the passenger side upper-front, the new bolt is installed from the outside of the frame. Using a magnetic pickup is a good way to keep from dropping it into the frame.

11. To ease the re-installation of the suspension arms, raise or lower the axles a little on the jacks. If this still doesn"t align the frame holes and the arms, another trick is to use a ratchet strap to pull the axle forward or rearward as needed — one end to the axle and the other to the frame. Take care to not pull the vehicle off the jack stands.

12. The stock suspension bumpers are replaced with new Energy urethane units. The stock white bumpers simply pop-out, the new units slip back into the mount, with a little work. Liquid dish soap will help and is preferable to the grease used for the bushing ends.

13. The front axle bumpers are a little difficult to install, as they are located inside the springs. Here, a socket extension and a larger washer are being used to push on the bumper as the axle is raised with a jack. This makes the task much easier.

14. Each of the track bar ends has a bushing that is bonded to the steel. For these you will need to gently warm the rubber until it begins to smoke, and then push them out. DO NOT get the steel red hot, you only need to warm it up.

15. With the bonded bushing removed, a wire brush is needed to remove the last of the rubber residue. Without this step, the new Energy bushings will be harder to install.


16. Once the stock bonded bushings have been removed from the track bar ends, the new Energy bushing and sleeves are simply pushed in. Then reinstall the track bars.

17. Besides the track bar bushings, the front upper axle housing bushings are also bonded into place. A propane torch can be used to warm them enough for removal. As always, when using flame around a vehicle, use caution, look for fuel or oil leaks first and have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Click here to see a wide selection of ENERGY SUSPENSION bushings available for purchase from 4WP!


Share


To view this entire issue subscribe to our virtual issue. It´s FREE!
http://www.offroadadventures.com/digital/subscription

 

 

 

 

Page: 1