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Old 04-04-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 44
Unhappy Jeep Wins - I Quit


I decided to start lifting my 97 TJ 2.5l and thought while I was at it I would do some basic maintenance. I have access to a lift and shop space but have very little experience doing any work. I ordered the DPG Ultimate OME kit with the upgrade to Brown Dog motor mounts. I also bought an OME steering stabilizer so they would all match. Ordered Riddler diff covers and painted them. Started with self etching primer, then 4 coats of a Metallic Nickle(jeep is silver), then about 10 coats of non gloss clear. They look great.

Once on the lift I noticed my exhaust looked like someone may have changed it. It also was the only rust under the jeep. I used a high temp brush on paint and put several coats from the down pipe all the way to the exhaust tip. No one will ever see it but me, but it made me feel better.

Started removing the front shocks and springs. The upper shock bolts would not loosen even after PB Blaster. Used a dremel to cut the nut and was able to remove them. Springs off both sides no problem. Took longer than I expected but I got it.

While I had wheels and shocks/springs off I decided to try and change the motor mounts and add the body lift. I was able to get the drivers MM off but just cannot get the passenger side. read on here, tried the tricks I could find. just cant get it.

Frustrated now by the passenger MM, I decided to move on to something else and come back to it...

The rear D35 I noticed was leaking. Fount it had a bent cover. When I removed the plug dark thick black oil came out. Gross. Who knows when it has been changed. I ordered a Riddler cover to replace and it is beefy. Very impressive. However, the bolts they supply suck. When torquing it down to 30lbs as directed, several bolts crushed the lock washer and 1, high up, snapped off in the diff! Cant access it because of the gas tank.

Passenger MM cant get off, broken bolt in rear diff. Im done.

I put the springs back on to support the front and now plan to take it to my local offroad shop to finish it off. Just so frustrated.

Long story short, these lifts are not as easy as they seem. 8-10 hours is crazy for a novice/first time installer. Riddler bolts suck.

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2008
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doing your own work can be a bumpy frustrating road but for us under paid people its our only option

I just looked at my motor mounts,It doesnt look too hard to get to,im assuming your bolts are just very tight

if the motor bolts are the stuck ones spray it with pb blaster warm the engine up to normal temp and then try,Its an over and over process until it comes out.

try putting a wrench on from the bottom hold the wrench and tap the wrench with a hammer,a hammer tap can put out far more than your arms

hang in there and take breaks....have a Beer man.Sometimes we just have to walk away and take a cool though that you now know why the shops charge so much.

Goodluck and please try again,let us know exactly what your problems are
maybe you have the wrong tooling

as far as that broken bolt I would drop the rear axle instead of the tank,use an easy out extractor.Hopefully the bolt broke due to stress and not cause it bottomed out,if it broke from stress sometimes a center punch can unscrew it cause its hand tight.Ive used the left handed drill bit alot too,just start small and slow

also make sure the bolts are tightened to the correct torque,sometimes people confuse inch pounds with foot pounds

Pincho De Lapiz
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Location: Bloomfield, CT
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30ft-lbs sounds excessive for the diff but I could be wrong
2002 TJ Sport 4.0
33x12.5r15 MTZ
3" AEV/OME lifted

Usually posting on my Samsung Captivate Android
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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Location: Boulder,CO
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30lbs is the fsm spec. Talking to riddler they said 20lbs is fine. Lubelocker gaskets specify 35lbs, so i compromise somewhere between 20-25 if using factory bolts or grade 8.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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You dont wanna change motor mounts with the jeep up on a lift. Its better/easier to do while its on the ground. This way you can get a floorjack under the engine and lower or raise the engine whenever needed. And a big pry bar helps to move the motor around when it gets a little stubborn.

As far as the broken bolt in the said its on the top of the cover right? Just leave it for now, and finish the rest of your lift. Its not gonna leak or fall off or anything. Don't wanna sound like I'm telling you to never fix it but even if you forgot about it... probably would never cause a problem.

The upper shock nuts seizing up is just something that comes along with the Jeep.

Get the rest of the lift in the Jeep. Then do the body lift, then the motor mounts, and then worry about the broken diff bolt last.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 878
stright from the repair manual heres the torque specs
Tighten the cover bolts to 41 N-m (30 ft. lbs .) torque.
as KB stated its not gonna hurt anything for now
Pincho De Lapiz
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
Welcom to the mod world. Jeep parts in my experience are pretty easy to get at in my experience. I have a couple Mystangs you cant get your hand in anywhere. With that said, I agree with the others, if you get frustrated just take a break, get a drink. Move onto the next item on your list and come back to the problem later. It will give you time to cool down, give you time to consider other options to accomplish your goal, and if you complete another item on your list the sense of accomplishment will restore you positive attitude.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: powder springs ga
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never quit. maybe walk away, have a couple of beers.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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Oh BTW...I think a big part of your problem is that you overwhelmed yourself with quite a few different projects all at one time, and tried to do a little of each.
Just focus one one thing at a time. If you get annoyed take a break...not a break doing something else on the jeep...I mean a break from the jeep completely..go have a sandwhich, drink a beer, walk the dog, boff the wife or GF....just something to get your mind a way. Come back clear headed and relaxed and re-assess the situation.

When I did my motor mount spacers the one side when it fine..I spent the next 3 hours playing around with the opposite side. I decided to quit and try again the next day.
Took me about 10 minutes to get it in the next day.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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Location: Texas
Posts: 396
I agree with everyone here, take a break, some deep breaths, and try again later. You will appreciate it that much more after overcoming the "obstacles"!!
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Ralph Waldo Emerson OlllllllO
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
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yep just keep tryin, one step at a time. make sure to look things over. another set of eyes and hands are nice to. and always remeber people are here to help goodluck!
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:19 PM   #12
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 44
Thanks for the encouragement. On a positive note, things did go back together easier and much faster than coming apart.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #13
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well that is a good thing. glad to here. are you goin to attemp to do it again?
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #14
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Just take this as a lesson that nothing will go as planned when you do new things on your Jeep. Always budget extra times and maybe enlist the help of some Jeep buddies.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #15
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 144
I always tell my fiancee it will only be a couple hours but ends up all day. Better to take longer and know it's right than just throw it together. Also look at the broken bolt as an opportunity to learn how to use an extractor, which is a very useful tool when owning a Jeep.

Try and finish, worst case after you are done take it to a shop for a double check. Also when in doubt ask, easier than breaking and fixing, I did when I did a shackle lift. I left it for the day asked the people on here and got some of the best advice I could ever get. My lift is on and the Jeep runs great best of all labor only cost me a few bloody knuckles,lol.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #16
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man44a, I agree that the pass side of the 2.5 is a big PITA. The driver side on the 4.0 is the PITA (I've done both). The hard part is the way the bolt faces. There are things in the way.

What I did - I didn't remove the bolt on the mount. I left it in place, but VERY loose. I had not done the driver side yet, but I loosened it too. I also loosened the transmission mount from the skid plate and removed the fan shroud and left it hanging on the fan loosely. With everything loose (and the TJ on the ground!), I jacked up the engine/transmission enough so that I could rotate the passenger side mount up, add the bolt extension, then fit it through the MML block (I'm assuming you have the MML blocks from Dirk since you mentioned DPG). Yeah, it jacks the engine up a bit, but just rotating it up high enough lets the bolt go in. With it up that high, I set the driver side MML block in place too. I lowered the engine just a tiny bit at a time to ensure everything lined up properly (had a hand watching one side while I did the other and controlled the jack's down speed.

Worked fine.

Just think it through slowly. There IS more than one way to get that stuff together.


-97 TJ with a few mods. PM with questions.
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