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AC0QR 09-23-2012 02:20 PM

Bushing Replacement Advice
I'm pretty sure my '98 Sahara still has all original suspension bushings. Every time I crawl under it (which is often), I see another one cracked & deteriorating. I don't think I've seen a new-looking one yet.

I'm used to the various rattles and truck-like handling. I don't expect it to drive like a BMW. But could it drive better? I don't know - I don't know how it drove when it was new.

So here are my questions:

1.) How can I tell if a bushing is worn out? (ie, visually)

2.) Which bushings are the most important from a safety and drive-ability perspective, and which ones matter less?

3.) For a given worn-out bushing, what symptoms would I get?

4.) Who makes good replacement bushings?

I don't expect any one person to answer every question. Except for maybe Jerry. But I think this would be nice to have all in one thread, given that so many of us drive well-used but new-to-us Jeeps. Thanks!

gmabry75 09-23-2012 02:44 PM

All bushings are important and all will affect handling. Have someone turn steering back and forth while you watch everything under frontend. If it moves, replace it.
I just replaced my control arm bushings a month ago. Used energy suspension poly bushings.

TNSarge 09-24-2012 10:51 AM

I have seen complete bushing kits. Bascially replace everything. Is it worth it?

Imped 09-24-2012 11:12 AM

1) Cracks, easy deflection, wobbles are a good sign that the bushing isn't doing its job

2) Control arms and track bars, ie the constraining links

3) For any constraining link, a wobble, clunk, loose/vague steering feel

4) For control arms, I'd recommend moving away from bushings alltogether but it's not exactly cheap. Currie Johnny Joints are the best option. Otherwise, get some new or gently used stock replacement arms. I practically give them away. For track bars, Currie is the best option there as well. Otherwise, stock replacements will suffice.

Here's one recent testimonial, and that's only the lower arms:

You'd be amazed at how much better the handling and drivability of your Jeep can be. It's probably terrible right now.

TNSarge 09-26-2012 08:08 AM

So, thoughts on the complete poly bushing kits?

Imped 09-26-2012 08:17 AM


Originally Posted by TNSarge (Post 2830962)
So, thoughts on the complete poly bushing kits?

Unless your rig stays strictly on the road, no.

TNSarge 09-26-2012 08:43 AM

Road, moderate trails, and used hunting. Gonna put a 2" BDS suspension lift and some 32" tires on it.

AC0QR 09-26-2012 02:46 PM

Thanks for the responses, Imped!

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