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  1. #1
    Bald Tire
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    Angry Help: Steering, BallJoints & Front Diff Bushing

    I am absolutly pissed what I just found after finally crawling under the truck from a squeek that started two weeks ago and now since the steering wheel grabbed to the right when i was turning and didnt want to go back to center; squeek started really soft now its very noticable. Ive had my truck in one shop for the front end upgrades (there was some attemted ****ery then with the tech saying i drove the truck in with a broken ABS sensor wire). Im not going to name the shop yet, but it is nation wide.
    Please tell me what you all see wrong in these photos and how you think it happened. -I am schedueld for them to do rear end upgrades this coming Friday, I told the sales rep yesterday that I want them to look at the front for a squeek. And now I am preparing for a battle.

    Questions I have:
    1. Looking at the front diff; should I be concerned about the oil leak out / is my diff damaged possibly? Does this indicate the seals are bad?
    2. The ball joints' zerks point at the wheel (WTF), isnt there suppose to be a boot installed on these? are these still good?
    3. Tie rod out ends still good?
    4. Steering rack, its shot isnt it / is that a crack on the rack? Would a zip tie on a boot cover just magically fall off?
    5. Front Diff Bushing....how the **** does the bushing just explode? These poly bushings are harder than the OEM rubber ones...


    List of Front End upgrades installed-
    May 2015: Outfitter Design Tie Rods
    June 2015: Scorpion Steering Bracket & Differential Bracket Bushing
    February 2020: Moog Upper Control Arms, Moog Ball Joints, Leveled and Aligned. Took three days b/c their tech cut the driver ABS sensor, then claimed I drove it in like that

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atggncbi3WI Im cringing now after waching this, @7:40 after seeing how my ball joints are installed.


    I need all the help our HUMMER comunity can give me on how to approach the shop on this one.

  2. #2
    Super Swamper
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    The axle seals on the diff will wear out over time. They are cheap to replace but make sure the axle stubs aren't grooved/pitted where the seal rides or they'll just start leaking again soon. You can get speedy/redi sleeves to put over the worn part of the axle to give it a new sealing surface if they are damaged but the rest of the axle is in good shape. Your diff is probably fine.

    Moog lower ball joints have a more compact boot than standard, there are boots on there. However, whoever installed them is an idiot and didn't orient the zerk fitting properly, and if something has a zerk then you HAVE to regularly grease it, it's not a lifetime greased part.

    Tie rod ends should probably last more than 5 years, but it depends on how hard you drive it and bigger tires and offroading will wear them out faster. If they have zerks then you have to regularly lube them to keep them from wearing out prematurely.

    That steering rack boot needs a new clamp, should have been a metal crimp clamp, not a zip tie, but a zip tie works in a pinch on the trail. You probably need a new rack if you never replaced it. They wear out, though nothing in your pics look like an actual crack.

    As for the diff bushing, poly can break down and crumble just like rubber will. How long that takes depends on a number of factors, but it will happen eventually. It is supposed to be much, much, much longer than rubber though, so it was probably from a bad batch or something affected the bushing and caused it to fail early. Personally I'd replace the diff bushings with the delrin ones from Outfitter Design. You'd be hard pressed to get the delrin to fail in the lifetime of the truck. Otherwise look around on here, I think someone figured out a part number for the side diff bushings from Energy Suspension or something.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    2008 H3 Alpha

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

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  4. #3
    El Diablo
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    1. Looking at the front diff; should I be concerned about the oil leak out / is my diff damaged possibly? Does this indicate the seals are bad?
      1. Yes, you need new seals. Normal wear and tear. Diff should be fine

    2. The ball joints' zerks point at the wheel (WTF), isnt there suppose to be a boot installed on these? are these still good?
      1. I can't tell from the pics but you shouldn't need to have greased them between Feb and now. However, did they grease them when they installed them? And why is there so much grease on the outside now?

    3. Tie rod out ends still good?
      1. Talk to Outfitter and get their opinion

    4. Steering rack, its shot isnt it / is that a crack on the rack? Would a zip tie on a boot cover just magically fall off?
      1. It ain't magic because it should not be a zip tie. Additionally, there are good nylon zip ties and crappy plastic ones. Both will fail but the plastic ones more quickly. It should have been properly banded.

    5. Front Diff Bushing....how the **** does the bushing just explode? These poly bushings are harder than the OEM rubber ones...
      1. Curious on this one. Did you receive a whole side diff support or just the bushing, sleeve etc. when you ordered this? These look similar to ones where the metal sleeve is not installed within the bushing. I have the third set he ever made on the passenger side (passenger side gets the worst of it as the engine twists under torque) and it's still in good condition, but anything can break or wear out.

  5. #4
    Yosemite Sam

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    "Front Diff Bushing....how the **** does the bushing just explode? These poly bushings are harder than the OEM rubber ones...

    1. Curious on this one. Did you receive a whole side diff support or just the bushing, sleeve etc. when you ordered this? These look similar to ones where the metal sleeve is not installed within the bushing. I have the third set he ever made on the passenger side (passenger side gets the worst of it as the engine twists under torque) and it's still in good condition, but anything can break or wear out."

    One issue i have seen is that jacking the front of the vehicle with the jack/floor jack under the front differential carrier can and will cause the end supports to fail. The end supports are not designed to support the whole front vehicles weight, they are designed to support the "hanging" of the front differential/axle assy.





    Dwaine Jungen
    Preferred Chassis Fabrication Inc.
    Home of the Scorpion
    520-975-6498www.scorpion4x4.com

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  7. #5
    Bald Tire
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    Hi Dwaine,
    Yes I received the whole support with the bushings installed. I dont know about metal sleeves in it or not, a shop installed it and I havent had any problem with it ever until after having my truck leveled out in February. To me it looks like soething sheared the bushing shoulder off, and it looks fresh too; which leads me to believe something the shop did caused this failure.

  8. #6
    Bald Tire
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    Quote Originally Posted by alrock View Post
    1. Looking at the front diff; should I be concerned about the oil leak out / is my diff damaged possibly? Does this indicate the seals are bad?
      1. Yes, you need new seals. Normal wear and tear. Diff should be fine Okay

    2. The ball joints' zerks point at the wheel (WTF), isnt there suppose to be a boot installed on these? are these still good?
      1. I can't tell from the pics but you shouldn't need to have greased them between Feb and now. However, did they grease them when they installed them? And why is there so much grease on the outside now? The installed these, I dont know if they greased them, i assumed they would since there are zerk fittings. BUT they instaled them where the zerk points at the wheel....so no way to grease them like they are installed. AND I have no idea why so much grease has squirted out; I have only done on road driving this whole time.

    3. Tie rod out ends still good?
      1. Talk to Outfitter and get their opinionWill do

    4. Steering rack, its shot isnt it / is that a crack on the rack? Would a zip tie on a boot cover just magically fall off?
      1. It ain't magic because it should not be a zip tie. Additionally, there are good nylon zip ties and crappy plastic ones. Both will fail but the plastic ones more quickly. It should have been properly banded. Yes thank you for this point.

    5. Front Diff Bushing....how the **** does the bushing just explode? These poly bushings are harder than the OEM rubber ones...
      1. Curious on this one. Did you receive a whole side diff support or just the bushing, sleeve etc. when you ordered this? These look similar to ones where the metal sleeve is not installed within the bushing. I have the third set he ever made on the passenger side (passenger side gets the worst of it as the engine twists under torque) and it's still in good condition, but anything can break or wear out. Yes I did, I sent my core back to Dwaine after getting the one with red bushings installed from him; I dont know about the sleeves, but I imagine these were there when it was installed on the truck.
    All these problems happened after the last shop installed the new upper a-arms, lower ball joints, and leveled the truck. It took 3 days b/c they cut into the driver ABS sensor wire and gave it back to me with out saying anything. I had to get in and see the ABS light on to tell them something was up; whereby they initially blamed me for driving it in this way. Cant make this up! As its my only ride, I had to learn how to drive it back by turning the engine off at a red light and then back on to stop the system from locking the brakes. Such BS. And then they couldnt find the sensor and actually sent me on a wild goose chase confusing the parts warehouse with requesting a TPS sensor I had to find the ABS sensor in the end while....I m pissed and worn out from this.

  9. #7
    Street Tire
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    What a bad bout of luck. I have a set of gently used Outfitter Designs diff bushings I can let you have for a fair price. PM me if interested.

    09 H3 Alpha / Adventure / Lux

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  11. #8
    Bald Tire
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    Thank I already am ordering from Outfitter.

  12. #9
    Bald Tire
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    Dwaine of Prefered Chassis Fab said the diff crossmember bushing could be damaged from "jacking the front of the vehicle with the jack/floor jack under the front differential carrier can and will cause the end supports to fail. The end supports are not designed to support the whole front vehicles weight, they are designed to support the "hanging" of the front differential/axle assy."

    So how likely would it be that the 4x4 shop in February did that while leveling the front and replacing an ASB sensor, lower ball joints and Upper control arms?
    Would an audio install shop lift the front of the truck to run wire to a new amp-subwoofer combo and a new head unit? The audio shop was the last to touch any part of the truck just a week ago to add direct power to the head unit and replace the new head unit (that wasnt working); and twice before that for the first new head unit install.

  13. #10
    Bald Tire
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    Spoke with the shop manager. He appologized for his Tech installing the lower ball joints backwards (in the way they couldnt be serviced) and provided some photos showing the steering rack is actually not cracked. He kinda took responsibility for the steering rack boots not installed with metal clamps, but his shop didnt install the Outfitter tie rods. He said the tie rods are fine and the grease squeeze out is normal. He further said the tie rods should be easily rotated in the hand (is this true?).
    He thinks the diff bushing had been cracked in the back for a while and there was dry rot (It was installed in 2015 & not by his shop). He said b/c they did the front end leveling, by 2", this changed how the load goes to the differential which most likely caused the bushing to completly fail.
    I dunno, I dont think this shouldn't have happened but its not as bad as I first thought. He assured me its safe to drive until i get new bushings.

    A few questions I have are: whats causing the squeek, is this from the diff bushing? (I know the clunking on acceloration is from the bushing.)
    Im gonna have them install the Outfitter bushing kit when I get it.

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  14. #11
    El Diablo
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    I"m not clear as to what is the source of the squeak.

  15. #12
    Super Swamper
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    The Moog ball joints for the lower control arms must be pointed facing forward or rearward. If they are facing inward the pinch clamp will hit the zerk fitting. I know from past experience because I did it the wrong way.
    2006 H3 Adventure & modified Rancho with SOA

  16. #13
    Street Tire
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    The cause to my squeaking was control arm bushings. Both lower and uppers. I replaced them with polyurethane.


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    I use mine.


 

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