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Old 05-09-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
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Last words before I tackle the lift?

Thanks to this board, and a big thanks to Jerry for his advice I am getting ready to install the lift.

I face this with excitement but more anxiety and fear.
I have very little mechanic know-how.
I have recruited two guys whose expertise limit out at oil changes.

We plan to tackle the bulk of the lift next Sunday but I will start this tomorrow night. I am going to get her on jack stands, remove the well liners and start drenching everything in liquid wrench, PB Blaster, and prayers.

I am going to tackle as much of the removal of stock parts as I can over the next week or so and use the help for trouble spots and installs.

I have watched countless videos and read tons of thread and now flinch when I look at the rear shocks.

I expect this to be a battle.
I have a socket set, pickle fork, renting a coil compressor, torque wrench and some wrench extensions.

Any last words of wisdom is appreciated.

1997 TJ Sahara
Zone 3" S lift

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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Get a crow bar, works just as well as a coil compressor. I did this exact lift without one. Focus your pb blaster/ whatever on the shock bolts, and If you can get an air compressor and impact driver.

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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Rent a strut compressor not a coil spring compressor. Also look into purchasing an electric impact wrench, which will save you hours of working removing/installing bolts manually.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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Well i have never put a lift kit on anything but in do know about mechanics and i want to give you some words of advice

1.- use locktite
2.- when you finish check all your bolts
3.- take piks before and after.
4.- after the lift check your tire alignment
And the most important of all

HAVE FUN!!!! If you are doing this by yourself you will be more closer to your vehicle.
If you aren't having FUN it doesn't count and dont be afraid everything in this world can be fixed! hahahaha good luck buddy happy wheeling
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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I've done a lift. MSG me if you have any issues. I live in Sykesville, Md. If you let me know your town, I might be able to come over and provide guidance. There are plenty of others in MD that would lend a hand. Post up on Maryland Jeeps/Element Offroad (Facebook).

The only other tool I needed was a come along to pull the frame back into alignment when reconnecting the track bar.

http://www.mfrexpress.com/1-ton-6-st...FUFo4AodqE8AGQ

I used a cable version instead of this strap model, simply because that's what was provided to me. Again if you are nearby, you can use mine.

Keep us posted on how you are doing, and any other details you may need. Lots of YouTube videos out there too! (Note- I didn't watch this video, wouldn't work from my mobile app)

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Zl81q...%3DZl81qQcnhAQ
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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As mentioned the guys on MD jeeps/element offroad FB group would definitely offer a hand ^ check it out if you use facebook.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Definitely hitting up the facebook page.
I live in Phoenix, MD. 20 minutes from 695 and Exit 27 Dulaney Valley Road.

4wheelin, what's your beer of choice?
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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I just did this same exact lift, everything went very smoothly. I would recommend getting a shock tool for the front shocks as well so that putting the top nut on is much easier.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Definitely hitting up the facebook page.
I live in Phoenix, MD. 20 minutes from 695 and Exit 27 Dulaney Valley Road.

4wheelin, what's your beer of choice?
Sam Adams seasonals. But, lets wait to see what I can help with first! :-)

You'll be ine with the lift kit install. Holler if you need help!
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wheelin

Sam Adams seasonals. But, lets wait to see what I can help with first! :-)

You'll be ine with the lift kit install. Holler if you need help!
Damn!! I wish I lived closer! Not just to help with the lift, but to enjoy those delicious Sam's!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:02 PM   #11
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Good luck man.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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Noticed your post stating you we're taking the wheel wells out. I don't think that will be necessary. Just jack it up high at the frame, and start disconnecting the shocks.
Disconnect the track bar at the axle.
Remove the connections for the swaybar.
Remove the spring bolts where they exist, which is only one side of the jeep. Might need to use a jack in between the frame and the axle in order to spread it apart far enough to get the new springs into place.

Put things back in reverse order. It's that easy.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
Knows a couple things...

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No need to remove the fender well liners, they are a PITA to remove anyway. I can't think of a single connection that would benefit from the use of a pickle fork, I don't even own one. Pickle forks have probably done more damage than we'd guess.

Even with 4" lifts I don't use/need a spring compressor. I unbolt enough of what holds the axle up so it can droop more than enough than is needed to insert the new springs. You do have to support the Jeep by the frame & not the axles for that to work though. Once the Jeep frame is supported by jack stands, place a floor jack under the axle to support it until it is unbolted, then lower it down enough to install the springs.

To remove the front shock, if the top nut is seemingly impossible to get off, remove the bottom two bolts & then pull the shock out until the top strut snaps. The remaining part of the top mount will just lift out of its holder.

Remember to do the toe-in once the lift is installed.

One last hint... I don't know if you are replacing any of the front steering components but if you do, they are put together using tapered joints which can be VERY tight and sometimes seemingly impossible to separate. No, do NOT use a pickle fork on them, you'll just damage one side or the other.

The below photo shows the time-honored way to pop a tapered joint loose... several HEALTHY smacks with a good heavy hammer. I can get a tapered joint popped loose in a few seconds using this method. If it doesn't work for you, it will if you just hit it again hard enough & squarely enough. I can get an entire steering system apart in just a minute or two using that method.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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I don't get gushy very often, but all praise the Geezer Jeeper.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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make sure u have either a spring compressor or a floor jack lmao :P
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Kudos to Jerry. Forgot about advising the alignment on the front. You will definitely get a toe in and need it corrected. Yes, you can drive it to a nearby shop, but take eit slow and don't go too far.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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So I got through steps 1 and 2 fairly easy. I parked the Jeep on a flat surface and secured it. Than I was instructed to remove the torx bolt on the front track bar....snag. The torx bolt stripped. It moved a 1/16th of a turn and that was that, took about 3 seconds....

So outside of dealing with a stripped bolt with little tools am I supposed to do anything with the tab or attempt to grab to the bolt from the backside?

I am soaking it in LW PO.

It turns back and forth a smidge but that's about it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #18
Knows a couple things...

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If I recall correctly, that torx-bolt in the track bar requires a T-55, it commonly strips when the next size torx bit is accidentally used. T-50 is as big as most torx-bit sets include, you generally have to buy a T-55 separately. The nut on the backside of that bolt has a flag welded to it, the flag prevents it from turning when you loosen or tighten the bolt.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:41 PM   #19
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I had the same issue with removal of that exact bolt. Stripped out with the 55 torx... I welded a nut to it and used channel locks to move it a little at a time until I got it out... Then I replaced it with a grade 8 replacement bolt from ace hardware...
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:25 PM   #20
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You only need to disconnect one side of the track bar. If you have messed up the torx bolt fairly good and can no longer remove it with a proper 55 size torx bit, you can try with vice grips, or try your luck with the other end of the track bar.

Make sure you clean the socket of the torx bolt before attempting to loose it. You might have too much lubricant in the socket, which is contributing to the rounding out of the socket. Brake cleaner or any soap based cleaner will help with this. Make sure your contact with the torx bit is secure.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #21
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Where are you located, if close, I would be willing to help or maybe someone else might be close and willing to help. It's a semi quick job w proper equipment and tools........never mind, you are far. I just read the post. Good luck
U sure u have to remove track bar? I usually just remove sway bar and shocks after undoing brake lines and the differential is ready to drop. You can then access springs and remove shocks.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:00 PM   #22
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I went for the RE adjustable track bar.
I am about 5-6 hours in trying to get bolts loose.
For my efforts I have two stripped and 2 out.
FML.... but I am not giving up.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #23
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Ouch, I wish you the best. Nothing worse than a stripped or broken bolt and u have two. Good luck man
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:36 PM   #24
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And now the T55 bit cracked in half. I'm done for the day...
Can't tell you how much a hate Torx bolts right now.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #25
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I understand the frustration. Leave the stripped ends for later when someone can come help you. For now, you sound like you have one end free at each axle. Tackle the shock removal next and then the spring removal.

When you replace the bolts for the track. Bar, make sure you use a high grade bolt, typically grade 8 at the track bar. Did your RE's come with a new bolt?

Hang in there!
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #26
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I posted up on the FB forum I mentioned to see if someone can come out to help you. If you want to post some contact information here, it would help get some helpful folks in touch with you. I would drive up, but I can't get away this weekend.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by 4wheelin
I posted up on the FB forum I mentioned to see if someone can come out to help you. If you want to post some contact information here, it would help get some helpful folks in touch with you. I would drive up, but I can't get away this weekend.
Kudos to this guy^! This is what this forum is all about. Just goes to show that the Wrangler community is so strong that a total stranger is willing to drive out and help someone wrench on their Jeep. Awesome!!
In a couple weeks, I'm going to be snapping bolts, crunching knuckles, and sputtering out curse words myself. I hope there are guys up here in the North East to talk me down off the roof!
To the OP... Good luck brother!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:04 AM   #28
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Kudos to this guy^! This is what this forum is all about. Just goes to show that the Wrangler community is so strong that a total stranger is willing to drive out and help someone wrench on their Jeep. Awesome!!
In a couple weeks, I'm going to be snapping bolts, crunching knuckles, and sputtering out curse words myself. I hope there are guys up here in the North East to talk me down off the roof!
To the OP... Good luck brother!!
Thanks, cchartrand. I agree, this is what we do- help each other out. I have been the recipient of assistance from folks on this forum. In return, I want to do what i can for others. Good luck with your wrenching as well!
~Chuck
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #29
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Hey 1997, where are you at with the lift? What do you need help with?
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:41 PM   #30
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Hey '97, don't give up now!! All us novice wrench jocks are pulling for you, I will be lifting my TJ once I get the knowledge, oh and the cash!!!

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