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Old 05-28-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Rough Country, 2.5" lift on a 87 YJ

I was disappointed to not be able to find a write-up on installation of the Rough Country 2.5" lift. Maybe one could have helped me avoid some of the problems I've run into. So, I'll put in a few comments here that will hopefully help the next guy.

For starters, the day before you start the install, hit all of the bolts you'll be removing with some PB Blaster. Many of the bolts are rusted on tight and a little PB will save a lot of time later.

There are 2 different sizes of metal tubes that go inside the bushings. You can't tell by the naked eye, but you will notice when you try to force the bigger bolt into the smaller tube. Trust me on this one. I had to remove the front springs from the shackles and swap out the tubes while I was trying to put the rear springs on. Before putting the tubes into the bushings, take a minute to make sure the appropriate bolts fit through the tubes.

The pictures of the shock installation on the instructions are difficult to see. It's hard to figure out the configuration of the different components. Basically, on top of the white washer on the shocks, put the concave washer, concave side up, then a bushing, then through the mount, then another bushing, then a concave washer, concave down, then the nut.

When attaching the new springs to the axle, we found it was easier to put the axle on jack stands, then put a jack under the springs and lift them up to the axle. This saved stress on the brake lines.

Looking back, I wish I had taken pictures of the install, but we made so many mistakes, they would have been useless anyway.

I'm still not done with the installation. I have one stinking bolt seized up that nothing has worked on. I've tried the PB, heat, hammer etc. I've finally got it turning a little, but not coming out at all. I even broke my only saws-all blade on it. I've sprayed it once more with PB and will let it set over night. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring success along with pics of my lifted jeep!

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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how long did it take u

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Old 05-29-2010, 12:29 AM   #3
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My father and i had to replae a leaf spring on my jeep a few weeks ago. I live in illinois so cars get pretty rusty. One of the bolts just wouldn't budge, we had been spraying it with pb blaster for a week, used a cheater bar, had my dad stand on it (my dads a good 300lbs) and nothing worked. Then the guy at auto zone told use to heat it for a few minutes then spray the pb on it. When it cools its sucks the pb blaster in. It actually worked for us. We did that twice and i was able to budge it loose with no cheater bar using only my arm(didnt stand on it). Try that a few times, and if it still doesn't work... then idk what to tell you.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:04 AM   #4
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When a buddy of mine did mine we PB blasted everything a week before but,still had to torch off the front top bolt to the shocks to get them off.I also read up on this lift a good month before I ordered it.Still took us 5 hours to get it done.Not bad for our first lift.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:34 AM   #5
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When we did th elift on mine, we ran into the same issue with sleeves & bushings.
At that time I told the folks at Rough Country that their hardware should be clearly marked. It wouldn't take much to mark the packages to indicate what is what.

Evidently, they didn't listen.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:06 AM   #6
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There are plenty of write-ups about RC lift installations in this forum. Just doesn't get into detail about keeping the correct parts in their respective place. I just finished installing a 4" RC. Many here have stress using PB Blaster or some other penetrating oils days before the install. It has also been mentioned that it may be wise to order the replacement spring eye bolts as the old ones may have seized to the sleeve and will have to be cut. I made sure to have several good quality sawzall blades for this purpose. Cutting them was not easy but I got thru them nevertheless. Just figure at least one blade per bolt end (8). I guess the only thing that should have been mentioned was*to mate up your hardware before you begin installation. This would keep from putting the wrong sleeve in the spring eye. Ill have to say that I had to take loose the end of one spring at the front because of this. but thankfully I caught it early on. Use plenty of water proof grease during the install so the parts will be easy to take apart later . My install went thru two weekends as I addressed some surface rust and the right rear shackle end of of the frame was rusted thru and I had to make the repair. If you have to relocate your brake lines be prepared to replace them I did not think mine were that bad. But when I loosened the strap bolt a leak began.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:53 PM   #7
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yup heat heat and more heat that's what it takes to get this stuff apart up here in the rust belt. when we did mine we didn't care about the old leaves seeing as they were all shot and one broke. so we cut the end of the spring and cut through the bushing so we could heat the sleeve inside and then they came out easy as pie.the real pain is when the skid plate bolts dont loosen then be prepared to cuss fight and take a break. really the 2.5 lift is no different then the 4 except the t case drop bracket and higher arched springs.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
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I was finally able to cut through the bolt using an angle grinder. If not for all of the mistakes and difficult bolts, it would have taken us about 6 hours or so to do the whole thing. I don't mind the extra time though, it was quality time spent with my 14-year-old son.

So here's how it looks after the lift was installed.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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Just finished a Rubicon Express lift install last week. Sounds like a replay of my experieince. Including the use of sawzall to cut one frame spring eye bolt that was siezed to the bushing tube. Caught the different spring bushing sizes as well. But alls well that ends well.

Add the importance of having good flare wrenches for the brake line connections.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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2.5" and a vibration

I had the same issues with the main spring eyes on the frame side. The chewed up blade after blade. It would have been nice if the hardware was marked but 10 minutes before the install lining it all up takes care of any questions. My issue was the drive line vibes. It was VIOLENT to say the least taking off in 1st and 2nd gear. I checked Tom Wood's site and according to his drawings, the way RC shims the rear, it angled my shaft up too much. I removed the shims and it was 75% better with a vibe at 50mph. Now they recommend dropping the TC! Time for more broken bolts. Not too happy...
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #11
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The best investment I've made for my jeep is an angle grinder. Saves a lot of time and stress.

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