Steering Stabilizer Remove & Replace (WJ)


Replacing the steering stabilizer on your WJ.

This is really only a one banana job, but mine seemed to be more like 1 1/2 to 2 bananas - only because the axle bracket for my stabilizer was tweaked at some point during it's lifetime.  I don't know HOW that could have happened....HONEST.

I ordered a Rancho 5409 Stabilizer from Summit Racing (for those of you with ZJ's, the Rancho part number is 5401).  I think it was $53.90 shipped - it got to me in 2 days.  I love Summit!

There's really no need to jack up the vehicle since you can reach right under there to the fasteners quite easily.  I have a BB, so that might have made it easier...  Be sure you have the vehicle postioned/secured so it doesn't roll over you and squash your melon.

Here's what you get for your money.  I found that the box says Tenneco on it - more info from the members here indicated that Rancho is owned by Monroe.  Monroe is owned by Tenneco.

The Rancho Kit
 
Here I layed out the parts with the diagram to make sure everything was sent.  The diagram is pretty simple.
 
Overlayed on the Installation Diagram
 
Here's the OE unit.
 
OEM Unit
 
Hit the bolts with some PB Blaster a little while before you start if you live in the rust belt like me.  This will make life easier on you.

The tierod end of the stabilizer is a 15mm nut and you need a 19mm (3/4) wrench on the opposite side of the tierod (between the stabilizer and the tierod) to hold it while you loosen the nut.  This one came off easy for me.  The axle side is where I had an issue - as mentioned, my braket is a little tweaked.  The nut is an 18mm and the top of the bolt is 15mm.  I used my [url=http://toolandfab.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181]impact wrench[/url] on it for a good 5 minutes before it finally freed itself.  It almost seemed like the nut was weakly tacked to the bracket.

Pull the old out and get ready to put the new one in.  Fit the boot on the new stabilizer with the "cut" ends toward the cylinder body.  There is a small groove in the rod end of the boot - this corresponds to the flange near the rod end eye.  Seat the boot on this flange and secure the body end of the boot with the provided wire tie.

Slip the axle side (stabilzer body end) into the bracket.  Since mine was tweaked, this required some persuasion.  If your bracket is unmolested, it should slip right in.  Finger tighten this side.

Thread the provided bolt throught the rod end eye, then through the thick washer, then through the bracket on the tie rod and finally add the nut.  This nut/bolt takes a 15mm on either end.

Torque the bolts.  Axle side should be 65 ft lbs.  Tie rod side should be 30 ft lbs.  30 ft lbs doesn't seem like much, so I gave it an extra turn for good measure...

Here's the finished product.  This is pre-Rancho sticker... 
 
The Rancho Stabilizer installed
 
My steering felt better immediately - it is definitely a noticable difference.  I give two thumbs up!

Gallery: Steering Stabilizer (WJ)

   

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