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I'm going to be doing some routine maintenance this weekend. It seems pretty straightforward but was still wondering if there was anything I might need to watch out for.

I have a 98 ZJ with 132k miles on a 4.0L.

Here's what I plan on doing:

-- Replace front sway bar links (one is totally broken and the other is loosening)
-- Replace all four shocks
-- Repair the adjustable belt tensioner pulley

The first two items I'm not really concerned about. Here's the situation with the belt tensioner:

When trying to tighten the tension on the belt last summer, neither myself or my mechanically inclined friend realized you had to loosen the bolt on the pulley itself before adjusting the tension. The top half of the bolt snapped off. I'm fairly certain the bottom half of the bolt is still intact in the adjuster slide, rendering it immovable.

The bracket the adjustable pulley is mounted on also holds the power steering pump. I think I can just remove that from the mount and move it aside without messing with the power steering system (much like you can detach the AC compressor and move it aside to service the alternator underneath it.

I'm wondering if I have to remove the bracket totally to install the new bolt and adjuster slide, will there be any surprises? To my untrained eye, it all seems pretty easy but I don't want to get caught with my pants down.
 

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The P/S pump bolts can be removed and the pump set aside. Then you can assess the bracket situation. The idler pulley adjusting bolt and idler pulley lockdown bolt both thread into a threaded collar (part # 53010149).
At this age and mileage, I would inspect and possibly replace the sway bushings as well as the links. They are a wear item.
The track bar ball joint was also a wear item that caused road wander when worn. Many times folks blamed the steering gear for the looseness that wasn't the problem.
A factory ZJ service manual may be a good tool investment if you will be doing your own work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ImperialCrown said:
The P/S pump bolts can be removed and the pump set aside. Then you can assess the bracket situation. The idler pulley adjusting bolt and idler pulley lockdown bolt both thread into a threaded collar (part # 53010149).
At this age and mileage, I would inspect and possibly replace the sway bushings as well as the links. They are a wear item.
The track bar ball joint was also a wear item that caused road wander when worn. Many times folks blamed the steering gear for the looseness that wasn't the problem.
A factory ZJ service manual may be a good tool investment if you will be doing your own work.
Thanks! I do have a new threaded collar and new bolt. I was able to find both locally for only $15 total.

I'll inspect those other items as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both links were so rusted on I had to cut them and drill them out at the sway bar. It looks like the previous owner had some work done since the links did not match and one of the star head bolts had been replaced with a normal hex head bolt.

Shocks were pretty easy to replace, just had to buy an 18mm impact socket since my set didn't have one. Trickiest part was the front drivers side shock. The top nut on the inside is tucked nicely under the brake line distribution block and I didn't want to mess with that. I borrowed a closed end ratcheting socket and was able to tighten it, about a quarter of a rotation at a time.

I ended up not having to remove the bracket that holds the PS pump and the adjustable pulley. When I removed the pulley the broken bolt and thread collar just fell out. I was able to get the new bolt and collar in place easily, ended up being a 15 minute job.

Sway bar bushings looked fine, did not replace.

Track bar had maybe 1/8" of play when turning the wheel so I didn't address that either. I had looked at some videos on YouTube where people had closer to a full inch of play, so this is something I'll keep an eye on. The ZJ is up north for the summer so I'm not too concerned right now.
 
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