Replacing sway bar bushings on your Jeep Cherokee will help to tighten the suspension and improve its handling. New bushing are available as rubber OEM replacement or polyurethane bushings from aftermarket manufacturers. The polyurethane will make the suspension tighter and the ride may be a bit stiffer than with rubber, but they will last longer. If you are looking for longer life, better handling, and a tight front end, poly bushings may be the way to go. Whether you choose rubber or poly, the installation is the same.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Penetrating oil
- SAE and metric socket set
- New bushings
- Torque wrench
Place a jack under the front of the Jeep and raise it until the tires are off the ground. Place a set of jack stands under the frame to support it while you are working under it.
Remove the front tires and wheels from the Jeep, using a lug wrench to remove the lug nuts. Set the lug nuts aside in a safe place for reuse later.
Locate the sway bar bushing under the wheel well of the Jeep. There is a bushing that holds the sway bar to the frame and a set of bushings on the top of the sway bar end link that need to be replaced.
Spray the top of the sway bar end link with penetrating oil to make removing the nut easier. Remove the 1/2-inch nut on the top of the end link, with a deep socket and ratchet. Save the nut for reuse.
Remove the large washer and rubber top bushing from the end link. Move to the opposite wheel well and remove the nut, washer, and top bushing on the second end link. You can now rotate the sway bar up and off the end links.
Move under the front of the Jeep and locate the two brackets and the bushing that attach the sway bar to the frame of the Jeep. Remove the two bolts on each mount and remove the mount, sway bar, and bushing as a unit.
Pull the metal strap or bracket off the sway bar bushing and set it aside. Slide the bushing out to the end of the sway bar and remove it.
Slide the new bushings and brackets onto the bar, reversing the steps you took to remove the old ones. Lay the bar aside for now and move back to the wheel well. Remove the bottom bushing and large washer from the end link.
Place a new washer and the new bottom bushing on the sway bar end link on both sides of the Jeep. Slide the ends of the sway bar back onto the end links and push the bar up to the frame.
Install the bolts that support the sway bar bushing on the frame at the original mounting points. Tighten them with a 1/2-inch socket and ratchet. Torque the bolts to 40 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.
Install the new top bushing, washer, and the retaining nut on the sway bar end links on both sides of the Jeep. Tighten the nuts with a 1/2-inch wrench or deep socket until snug. Torque the nuts to 36 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.
Install the wheels and tires. Remove the jack stands and lower the jeep to the ground. Torque the lug nuts to the manufacturer's specification.
Tips and warnings
- Do not over-torque the bolts, as this may damage the sway bar bushing. The torque specifications are very specific and should be followed for the best performance of your new bushing.
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