Hi everyone. I need some advice. I bought my first Jeep just a couple months ago. A 2011 Sport 2-door
with 15k miles on it. It has 18" Rockstar wheels with Falken Wild Peak A/T 285/65/R18 tires, custom front bumper with 10k lb winch and Warn fog lights.
Carfax report showed it as a one owner and never been in a collision (or at least reported). I flew to Florida to test drive it and have it inspected. Wheels and tires were brand new... just been put on it. I drove it... drove perfect. Had it inspected at a local shop in Miami and they said it all looked fine.
I drove it home to Tennessee and it drove great. I really like the Falken tires. My buddy has a 2012 Rubicon and his stock tires are way more louder than these.
After driving it for about 3k miles (had 18k total at this point), I noticed both front tires were beginning to wear way too fast so I took it in for an alignment at my local Jeep dealership.
Pic of tire wear as of today at just over 20k miles (5k on tires)...
They checked the alignment and it was way out of wack. Once they got it on the rack, they noticed the front axle housing has been welded back and the differential has a slight leak. They say it had to have been in an accident or someone hit something underneath right where the axle housing mounts on the front left side. Everything else looks fine and is stock. Great not covered by the warranty!
Not a good pic but you can see where it is bent some and been welded...
Obviously, this is something the person inspecting it in Florida didn't notice and I even took it to NTB here once the dealership noticed the axle housing issue and they didn't even notice it until I pointed it out to them.
Here is the print out of the alignment
... guy said he never seen a vehicle with less than 20K be so out of alignment at almost every angle. Weird to me because when I drive it... it doesn't pull or vibrate at all.
NTB Alignment Print Out
The guys at NTB and the dealership both said not to mess with the alignment until the axle is fixed.
The dealership gave me this quote on parts and labor...
New Front Axle Housing 68004069AC 186MM + $1665
New Left Front Knuckle 68004087AA + $375
New Front Left Axle Shaft 68145055AA + $360
Fluid + $65
Alignment + $89.95
2 new Falken tires + $550
8 Hours Labor + $784
Sub-total = $3888.95
minus a 10% discount - $388.90
plus tax + $326.26
Total = $3826.31
This seems like a lot to me. Yes... $700 of it is just tires and alignment. I have found the parts for less online.
My biggest question here is...
for you that have did some mods... if I am going to spend this money on a 186MM front axle, what is out there that I should look at getting to upgrade the front suspension on this Jeep vs stock?
What would the cost be to upgrade it to a TeraFlex or something more durable than what I have?
What all would need to be replace- diff, etc? If I do a lift, will I need to upgrade the rims and tires also?
By the way... this is a daily driver vehicle and I may occasionally take it offroad. Also, I'm in the Nashville TN area for anyone that knows a good, not expensive mechanic.
Thanks for any advice!