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This is more of a cautionary tale of my battle with a front end clunking noise. I have an 06 WK and around 60,000 miles began to notice a lot more front end noise. The noise occurred when driving over rough roads, man hole covers, road seems, pot hole etc... The noise was mostly heard with speeds under 35 MPH. It really was just a low speed noise and sounded fine on the highway.

I had a dealer coupon for free inspection with oil change. I figured they would advise me what was in need of repair and I would just do the work myself. They did not recommend anything needing replaced.

Researching online told me it common on 05-10 Grand Cheokees and Commanders. It was most likely the front sway bar bushings, end links, or front shocks.

To test I unhooked one of my sway bar end links and the noise was greatly reduced. My test was on a gravel driveway and roads as that is where my Dad's shop is. I started with the sway bar bushings and purchased them at NAPA. These were of a much firmer rubber compound and were blue. These appear to be manufactured for NAPA by Moog or Raybestos. Once installed the noise was all but gone. $22 solution to what sounded like a $1000 problem.

Over the next month the noise slowly returned. It sounded as if it was coming from my passenger side and that shock appeared to have a small oil leak. I had already intended to order Bilstein replacement shocks. I installed them next, but the noise remained. (This installation has a whole different cautionary story about rusted bolts.) $320 spent, problem not solved.

I assumed then that it had to be the end links. I removed and inspected them, and the bolt holes were a little out of round. One of the bolts was showing some wear on the threads by where the sway bar may have been rubbing. I purchased two new end links and two new bolts. $75 later the noise remained.

I tightened every nut and bolt that I could that had anything to do with the front suspension. Nothing fixed it. This brings me back to the sway bar bushings. Less than 2000 miles and 4 months later, they were the problem. The looked fine, but must have been too hard of a rubber compound. I purchased part number 52089465AF at my dealer and installed them this weekend. The ride is so quiet now, I feel like I have a brand new Jeep. I test drove through our freshly mowed hay field, over gravel road washboards, and seeked out every manhole cover I could find. This thing is very quiet now. It may be too soon to declare this a permanent fix, but I am very confident this time will solve it. $24 later, problem solved.

I may have had some shock noise or end link noise, but overall it was those bushings.

Moral to this story is buy factory sway bar bushings if you have this problem. It is an easy job and I can provide pictures if anyone has any questions.
 

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Good report.
OEM rubber is the way to go...usually...but toward the end, Daimler used some really cheap bushings.
Bob can tell some horror stories about the Liberty front end bushings.
Many aftermarket bushings are polyurethane and are worse! There are several sources of aftermarket replacement bushings that are OEM spec rubber or better and they make a world of difference.
 

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For the part number, I know the AF does not necessarily mean the 6th production revision but I wish I still had my old bushings and could compare.

As for the NAPA being polyurethane, I think they were just some hard rubber. That hardness would not allow movement without popping and driving me crazy.
 

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The NAPA bushings are likely rubber.
OEM replacements parts are usually similar to OEM. "Aftermarket" is not to be confused with OEM replacement parts.
Aftermarket would be a similar but changed spec part like from Energy Suspension Systems or Daystar.
Quality Aftermarket companies like AEV use high quality rubber and not polyurethane in most of their suspension replacement parts, in order to maintain factory like performance or better.
 

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Ahh, I remember that front end clunking on my WK. It started around 18,000 miles.

I don't miss it (the noise). Took it to the dealer and they said everything was fine. (Duh, they always say that).

I eventually just started ignoring it, *and* the highway rear axle whine.
 

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Ahh, I remember that front end clunking on my WK. It started around 18,000 miles.

I don't miss it (the noise). Took it to the dealer and they said everything was fine. (Duh, they always say that).

I eventually just started ignoring it, *and* the highway rear axle whine.
Aren't you the front bushing installer? :lol:
 

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OK, my first post here. I just got an 09 GC and I was noticing the noise you have heard, or so it seems, when I have been on the dirt roads at the hunting club. Do you think the same fix would help my 09?? Thanks.
 
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