Today we’re underneath a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Now we have two concerns that we wanted to address that we’ve heard from our viewers. One is that you often go to a Denver mechanic and the price that you get told is just too high. You’ll call around, shop around and you find a cheaper price so you want to go there because you think you’re getting a good deal. That might be the case in some situations and we encourage you to shop around. Here at Soul’s AUTOTEK, we will meet or beat any written quote, no questions asked. However, we also guarantee a complete repair which comes down to the number two complaint that we hear from clients is, an incomplete repair or a repair that didn’t hold up. As we call it, the bandaid on the broken leg.
Our job is to keep you safe and keep you reliable on Denver’s roads and highways.
Often times that means that we’ll inspect a vehicle, we’ll find what’s wrong with it and when we present those problems to the owner, the owner may say, “That’s too much. It’s too expensive. I can’t do that.” And ask us, “Is there a Plan B is there a cheaper solution? Is there another way to do it?” Well, often times in the case of vehicle repairs there’s really not. Maintenance, we may be able to look at a different option or find a more cost-effective solution. But by the time the vehicle and it’s gone from a maintenance item to a repair item, typically we have to service whatever component has failed and physically replace it and there’s not really a lot of negotiating in that respect because the car doesn’t let us negotiate with it. The part’s broken, we have to replace what it needs to keep it rolling. However, there are some cases where we have options.
Now in the case of the Grand Cherokee that I’m underneath right now. This vehicle has a lift. It’s lifted about 4″ up. When the owner made the decision to put that lift on there were lots of choices that they had. When they look on-line they’ll find lift kits from $200 to $8,000 and everywhere in the middle. Our job here at Sol’s AutoTech always is to keep you safe so we’re always going to recommend what product we know is going to be the most consistent, not breakdown and more than likely not come apart on you, let alone in a modified vehicle. Anytime you lift a vehicle’s suspension you are increasing its center of gravity. You’re increasing the potential to roll the vehicle and you are potentially increasing the wear and tear on all kinds of suspension components.
In the case of the one that we’re underneath right now, we’re going to take a look at part of the suspension because there is some major concerns here. When this vehicle came in the axle shaft that would normally be residing out the passenger side was completely deteriorated. We’ve got it sitting here on the floor and it’s physically broken apart into pieces and if we actually look inside this, we can see that there are three balls inside this joint.
Well, I’ve got a couple of concerns here. First off when this vehicle was lifted, rather than buy a true coil-over design to support the suspension properly and keep these arms parallel to ride height so that the vehicle will still ride, handle and drive appropriately, the lift kit that was installed simply pushed the suspension down. So instead of the arms sitting parallel to the ground and hitting a bump and going up or going down, the arms are constantly on an angle and, even though they had more up-travel now, their down-travel is very limited. So any time the vehicle goes over a large bump but the suspension needs to extend down, it maxes out very, very quickly. As a result, the suspension sees a lot of wear and tear.
In this case, the actual CV Axle that we were just looking at blew apart because the angles on that CV were so harsh. So today we’re going to take this vehicle and we’re going to perform a bandaid on a broken leg because that’s what the customer has requested of us and we always have to keep your request as our number one priority.
Now we presented the true solution, which is to put a coil over and custom control arms in the vehicle and that’s about $7,500 in parts, very cost prohibitive in this case. What we’re going to do is we’re going to drop the center of the vehicle, where this differential sits, down an inch and a half. We’ve actually got our first bracket bolted up right now. Where you can see, we’ve lowered this carrier down which will, in turn, lessen the angle on these axle shafts and allow them to live a happier, longer and smoother life.
The joints that are in them work very well spinning in a straight line but have to work really hard when they’re on a big tight bind out angle. In this case, the owner opted originally to do a middle of the road lift, right down the center and as a result, about eight months down the road, started to have problems with that CV axle shaft. It was binding because of how much tightness and angle was being pushed on to it. At that point, rather than opt to go to the true repair and put the correct components in, they put in an aftermarket CV axle shaft.
That aftermarket shaft we’re looking at only has three balls in its perimeter to keep it rotating. The factory one has 12. Now oftentimes people will ask us and say why is that part so much money? Well if you bought a new axle shaft from the folks at Jeep it’s about $500 or $600. If you buy a new one from the folks at NAPA, like this one, it’s about $65. Unfortunately, in this case, the owner opted to find the cheapest solution, grabbed a $65 axle shaft and threw it in there. That axle shaft didn’t last one day and blew right back apart and that brand new shaft is on the floor right now and that’s why we’re here doing some suspension corrective geometry so that we can make sure it works as best as possible.
Now we’ll always give the option and we’ll always recommend what we feel is the best solution. But in this case, we will always do what we need to do keep you happy, keep your budget-friendly and keep you consistent. So if you’ve been told before that this is the repair and it’s your only option and you’re scared of that price, please come and see us at Saul’s AUTOTEK. We’ll always try and give you every opportunity to see every perspective on your Denver suspension repair so that you can make an informed decision.
If you’ve been told that the vehicle needs the repair and you have the repair performed but the repair doesn’t hold up it may be because somebody used inferior componentry like in the case of this CV shaft that simply couldn’t take the force. Whereas the original one lasted eight months after lifting it the aftermarket one didn’t even make it 24 hours. So we’re going to get the suspension geometry corrected, we’re going to get a new axle shaft in here and get that corrected and then this will be a much more reliable vehicle.
Now it’s not going to be perfect because it still doesn’t have the proper control arms in it to do what it needs to do. But, we’ll have worked with the owners budget, we’ll have kept them happy and we’ll have put their vehicle into the safest most consistent and most reliable state it can be. If you’ve been told that a repair is too costly, too prohibitive and there’s one option. Or, if you’ve been told that we need to do a bandaid on to a broken leg because there isn’t any other option, we would love to see your vehicle and we’d love to hear from you.
Give us a shout at Saul’s AUTOTEK, 303-919-7769. Seven days a week, 365 days a year. We would love to find that problem child car that you’ve been dealing with and help you solve that problem.