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Old 04-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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Installing 4" RC lift

Hopefully installing the 4" Rough Country lift this weekend on a 1997 TJ...any tips or suggestions? Ive heard hardest part is getting stock bolts and such off? Any special tools needed? I bought the adjustable front trac bar. What about the drop pitman arm, leave off?

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:08 AM   #2
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Did you get the adjustable control arms? When I got them for mine it made the ride alot nicer. I've read that you should leave the factory pitman arm on with a lift of four inches or less. Any way, good luck with the install.

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Old 04-15-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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Start spraying it down with PB Blaster!
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:20 AM   #4
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lay out all the parts somewhere and seperate them into 2 piles, front and back. that way you don't accidentally use the wrong parts
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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a lot of people complain about how bad of a ride you get with a rouch country lift, but be sure to get it aligned and balanced after its all said and done with and your golden. I'm more than happy with mine!
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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If you got the adjustable control arms, check all the grease fittings. Mine were all jacked up. Busted, smashed, different sizes, or they looked ok but wouldn't accept grease. Out of the 16 grease fittings on the control arms, 4 were usable and the rest had to be replaced. Regardless of whether they are working or not, replace the fitting on the frame mount side of the lower control arms with 90 degree fittings. It makes greasing them a lot easier.

Assemble your control arms/bushings the night before to save time on lift install day.

All the hardware with my lift came mixed in one bag. It was a PITA deciphering what hardware went to what parts. You might want to figure it out ahead of time to save time during installation. The instructions lack the detail photos needed for some hardware so you're left to figure it out.

If you're going to drill/tap the lower spring mounts for bumpstops (not included in the lift), do it while the springs are out.

The vent tube on the front diff has a plastic nipple attaching it to the diff. Remove the vent tube from the nipple or you risk breaking the plastic nipple when installing the springs. Ask me how I know Lets just say that my nipple is metal now.

The extended brake lines are a press fit into the brackets that mount them to the frame. I used a vise, socket, and hammer to get the brackets onto the line. Make sure you have the brackets on the right way because they look like they'd be a beast to get off if you put them on backwards.

The axle mount for the rear extended brake line is about 1/2-3/4" narrower than the factory line. That made it a HUGE pain to get the rear brake lines into the bracket. Very surprisingly, this was the hardest part of the lift for me. It would have been a little easier if I had a second set of hands to help me. I did the lift install alone.

If you have access to them, an impact wrench and air ratchet will become your best friends. Soak the bolts in PB blaster (starting three days ago!). At the very least, have a good 1/2" breaker bar on hand.

Know how to do a basic front end alignment. It WILL need to be done.

Be prepared to deal with driveshaft vibration, whether its a TC case drop, SYE, MML, whatever.

Ratchet straps came in VERY handy when it came time to center axles and get control arms lined up with their brackets. I used up to two at a time. Remember...I was by myself, your experience may be different.

If you have anything heavy on the front end of your jeep, you will probably want to install 3/4" spring spacers in the front to keep things level. I don't have anything heavy in the front and still used a 3/4" spacer to keep it level. Your install might not need it, mine did.

If you use the drop mount bracket for the front track bar, use the drop pitman arm. If you don't use a drop mount bracket, don't use the drop pitman arm. After seeing the rough country track bar, I bought a JKS track bar and sold the RC track bar.

Have fun, take your time, and be prepared for something to go wrong....
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies!! I do not have adjustable control arms yet, budget didn't allow.

What bumpstop(s) do I need to buy? These?
And I wouldn't be able to get them until next week...so should I wait to do the lift then? Or can they be added on later? Lift will be on Saturday, but it will be sitting in the shop until tires come in Wednesday.

And I will have at least 1 other guy helping me, so shouldn't be too much trouble.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGridDLe View Post
a lot of people complain about how bad of a ride you get with a rouch country lift, but be sure to get it aligned and balanced after its all said and done with and your golden. I'm more than happy with mine!
I don't really think that it is the balance or alignment that makes it ride rough. I mean I guess it could give a bad ride and it still needs to be done, but the real reason people complain about the lift riding rough are the shocks. I have that exact lift and trust me, the shocks are really rough. I think when I replace mine I'm going to get the Skyjacker Hydro's. From what I have heard and read, those should give me a smoother ride.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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and everyones jeep will react a little different, mine pulled to the right pretty bad and had a bad steering wheel wobble from 40-45 mph after the lift. But the alignment and balance took care of both of those. I'm still thinking about new shocks, you won't absolutely NEED them, but after driving it for a while you will probably want some. so if money is the issue then don't worry about that right away.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
Knows a couple things...

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Don't forget that you absolutely positively must set your toe-in after installing the lift. Doing that on your own is easy, fast, and with just minimal care will produce results every bit as good (really) as an alignment shop can produce. A toe-in is as much as can be done where an "alignment" is concerned on a TJ so there is no reason to pay a shop to do your alignment. On your TJ, toe-in is the only thing that is adjustable... neither the caster angle nor the camber angle is adjustable.

Plus you'll need to straighten the steering wheel too after doing the toe-in but that is just as easy.

Here's a writeup on how to do both but below are photos on how to produce a better toe-in measurement. Set your toe-in to 1/16" to 1/8" max. Which means the tires need to be 1/16" to 1/8" closer together at the front than at the rear.

Basic Jeep Front End Alignment

All you need for the below is some 1" square tubing (aluminum or steel) and some spring-clamps like you see in the photos. Place marks on the tubing equal to the diameter of your tires & measure between the sides from those marks. It's very easy and, again, will produce a toe-in setting every bit as accurate as the most advanced laser high-zoot alignment rack can produce.
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