Originally Published in Issue 35 of 4Low Magazine
By Christian Sturtz, AZFreedom4x4@gmail.com
Photos by Christian Sturtz
Broken parts can ruin any off-road adventure. Motor mounts take a beating, and when they fail, it is often catastrophic. When motor mounts fail, the motor can drop, causing the oil filter to crush and the engine to pump all the oil out in a matter of seconds. The engine falling can also break the fan, shroud, and ruin the radiator.
On the flip side, a broken motor mount can also cause the engine to torque upwards. That exact scenario happened recently while out on the trail with a CJ-7. Sometime during the trip, the driver’s side motor mount broke. This break allowed the motor to lift 1″-3″, even under moderate load, on the driver’s side. The trails involved pretty rough terrain, which didn’t help the problem. The CJ was equipped with an electric fan setup, which relieved one of the potential problems. However, torque of the motor, due to the broken motor mount, was causing the automatic transmission to change gears under load. The torqueing of the engine also kept breaking the vacuum hose on the brake booster, causing a massive vacuum leak, which made the engine die. Due to the rough terrain, this could have put us in some compromising situations.
In this article, we will install heavy-duty motor mounts and a block bracket kit (Part # C2883-1) by Brown Dog Offroad. Brown Dog Offroad products are built in Queen Creek, AZ, and when you call you, you actually talk to the owner in person, which is a huge deal these days! Brown Dog Offroad makes motor mounts and block brackets for YJ, XJ, MJ, and TJ models. They also offer their motor mount in several heights and options; the two different mount constructions are rubber or polyurethane. Brown Dog Offroad also makes OEM height/lifted replacement motor mounts if the bracket system is not in your budget.
The directions suggest you begin on the driver’s side, which locates the engine position. We started by supporting the engine with a floor jack and small piece of wood to spread the load of the jack’s pad across the width of the pan (so the pan doesn’t dent). Then, we loosened all of the bolts on both of the original motor mounts to give us more free play. Next, the mounting bolts (block to bracket and bolt/nut for motor mount) were completely removed. You also have to remove a short bolt that holds the O2 sensor harness bracket. Finally, the driver side motor mount was removed as an assembly.
Both sides use different bolts in different locations. We took a moment to look at the directions and mark the new bolt locations.
Brown Dog Offroad
19349 E. Germann Rd, Ste 3
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Brown Dog Part # C2883-1
Apex Tool Group
910 Ridgebrook Rd, Ste 200
Sparkes, MD 21152