All right, so you finally broke down and bought that lift kit you’ve been wanting. Time to get rid of that 3” BL! Sweet! Problem is, you’ve never even attempted something this complex on your jeep. Sure you’ve changed your oil all the time, maybe done a water pump or did your brakes a time or two, but nothing major when it comes to the suspension. Well, the good news is, on a YJ, lifting it is fairly simple. Read on.
Update: After about 2 weeks of running the lift without touching the rear brake line, it finally decided to let loose. One big bump too many I guess since it didn’t look like it was stretched when I drooped the axle during the install. Oh well. Since extended lines run almost double what a set of stock lines goes for I decided to look for a stock line that was longer then the jeep’s but still had the same sized fittings. Well, as luck would have it, I found one! It comes off a Dodge D250 pickup, years 82-89. This line is also found on the D100, 150 and the Ramcharger pickups. It’s a Raybestos line, part number BH38243 and is about 8 inches longer then the stock line. The fittings all around the hose are 3/8”-24 UNF threads. The T-fitting on the axle end of the hose isn’t quite perfect though. You’ll need to bend the hard lines to a bit of an angle (not a major issue but something to think about if your lines look like they’re in danger of crumbling). The other issue is the mounting bolt for the fitting. The jeep bolt acts as a plug in the axle tube (keeping gear oil in and dirt out) but it’s much smaller then the hole in the Dodge fitting. I made it work by using a washer on the top of the fitting and tightening things up good and tight so that’s easily fixed. If I wanted to I could weld a nut to the tube for a bolt the same size as the hole in the fitting and just plug the old hole in the tube. If you have the means this is probably the better idea since the fitting isn’t curved to form to the axle tube like the stock one is, but again, this is a small price for an extended line that I can probably find a replacement for from most parts stores, regardless of where it breaks on me. And at only 10 bucks more then the stock line, it’s a much cheaper replacement part then the stainless steel lines that will snag on brush just as easily as this one. There may be other lines out there that are longer and use the same 3/8”-24 threads, this just happens to be the one I found first. If you do find a longer stock line, preferably from a more recent model, that will work with our fittings, do share so we have more options when a we get ours caught on a rock.
Note: This write up is specifically for the BDS 2” lift kit however most of the YJ kits are virtually identical and most of the instructions here will be the same for other kits as well as different heights. Author takes no responsibility for accidents occuring while following these instructions. Use at your own risk! (just covering my @$$ )
First thing to do, even before you get your lift is start spraying those bolts with PBlaster. No, liquid wrench and WD 40 will not do the same thing. Ask specifically for PB. This stuff will simplify your life more then you can imagine if you’ve never used it. Spray all the bolts you’ll be removing for a good week (yeah you can do it like me and just do two days or so, but a the longer the better. You’ll see why later) before you’re ready to attempt the install. That means all your shackle bolts (2 per shackle front and rear), your main eye bolts (the bolt that holds the fixed end of the spring to the frame), and your u-bolts (4 per axle). Don’t forget the shock bolts too. The front shocks have one bolt on the bottom and a stem on top while the rears are bolts on the bottom and studs welded to the frame on top. Be sure to get the top studs on the rear head because if those studs break loose from the frame, they’re a pain to either replace or re-weld. Also, if you have your track bars in still, do both bars (2 bolts per bar. Do this even if you plan on leaving them in after the lift as they interfere with spring alignment later on) and also your sway bar link bolts (two bolts per link.) You might want to spray the mounting bolts of the sway bar itself since taking out the whole bar is sometimes the only way to remove the links from the upper stud. If you’re going to add a drop pitman arm (DPA) then spray that nut too and try to get the splines of the arm as well. Do your drag link ends and the tie rod ends too while your there so your mechanic has an easier time doing the alignment when the lift is done. And don’t forget the 6 bolts that hold the transfer case skid plate to the frame so you can install the t-case drop kit at the end if you find you need it. If you’ve never had the tires off, do the lug nuts too since you’ll be pulling the tires too. Lots of bolts huh? Be sure to get them all because a single bolt can add an hour to your install time if it has to be removed forcefully. Got’em, all? Good, now on to tools.
All in all, about the only tools you really need are some good sockets, corresponding ratchet (preferably ½” drive), wrenches and a breaker bar (or long pipe fitted to the ratchet) plus the floor jack and stands. Maybe a BFH (big f’ing hammer.) That’s the bare minimum. To make things simpler and to handle any problems, have a grinder handy with corresponding cutting and grinding wheels (4” is fine). A strong impact gun and deep sockets (air or electric) will speed things up. (Mine was rated for about 200 ft-lbs maxed out and couldn’t budge some bolts so the stronger the better, but you PB’ed for a week right ). A Dremel or other rotary tool with some cutting and grinding wheels is also handy for more delicate work (I’ll let you know where later) and a hacksaw or sawzall can also be used to cut out stubborn bolts. A small cat’s claw pry bar (the wide, flat kind) helped me out as did the more standard crow bar. A big flathead screwdriver or pry bar will come in handy too. If you have a second set of jack stands (the taller the better) or can borrow some do so as it makes it easier to holdup the frame and axle together. A medium diameter pin punch (5/16 dia) or a long rod of similar size is good for driving out some of the bolts you’ll be taking out. You’ll need a T55 Torx bit to remove the bolts on the track bars as well as a T-40 for the front brake line extension brackets if you’re putting them in. I strongly recommend getting a quality set bits that fit a ratchet for these bits. Preferably impact bits. The larger sizes should be for a ½” drive. Believe me you’ll be putting some muscle on these things and cheap, little Allen key style bits just don’t cut it. As with most auto work a good heat source such as propane, MAPP, or oxy-acetylene torches will often free up stuck bolts when nothing else will work. In my case, I also found a use for the Craftsman Bolt-out sockets that I got last Christmas. These sockets are designed to bite down on the corners of a rounded head of a bolt or nut so that as you turn the fastener off, the teeth of the socket bite deeper providing the grip you need. The added bonus is that you can use a larger wrench or socket then the one that rounded off the head in the first place. They’re good up to a ¾” sized head or nut (there may be more but ¾” was the largest in my set) and I found that they worked will with the nuts on the stem of my front shocks. Wait until you round off a head or nut before going out to buy the set though as you may not need it. Just remember it’s an option. Big channel lock pliers and/or vice grips are good to have as well.
Ok, so you’ve got the tools, (had to beg, borrow and steal to get everything you thought you might possibly need but you got it), the kit’s arrived and you’ve gone though the parts list to make sure every thing is there. Not much to it is there? Read through the instructions twice and found that they’re pretty vague, and now you’re reading this to find out what really goes into it. All right, let’s get to work then.
First off, let me say that I opted to run extended 1” lift shackles along with the BDS kit. BDS specifically recommends running extended shackles to clear the military wrap of their springs. The wrap is accomplished by curling the second leaf of the spring pack around the eyes of the main leaf so that in the event of a main leaf break, the second leaf will fall onto the eyes and thus the shackle bolts, preventing the whole jeep from crashing down on the frame, giving you time to get out of the jeep and put the stands under the frame to prevent any major damage. (Yeah I never knew what military wrap meant either till I saw it). The shackles I got from E-bay are really beefy and are very well made, however they rub on the military wrap of the springs. I emailed the guy selling them to warn him of the problem and he may or may not remedy the problem by the time you read this. In any event, double check to make sure your shackles of choice will work. The stock shackles can work in the event you want to change shackles later on. Second of all, everything I’ve read says that track bars are unnecessary in YJ’s, sway bars are hit and miss, and DPA’s are dependant on your specific jeep. In my case, I’m running without either of the track bars (rear was removed prior to the lift, front during the lift) with the sway bar and without a DPA. I’ve also heard that DPA’s may be needed if you keep the front track bar but not if you remove it. My suggestion is to do this: remove the rear track bar (will improve the ride and doesn’t really effect handling), remove the front track bar, leaving the sway bar connected for now. Do the lift, leaving the DPA out for now. Test drive the jeep this way. If you don’t like the handling or notice excessive wandering or bump steer install either the DPA or the front track bar and test again. If it corrects the problem you can either leave it alone at this point (DPA) or get a quick disconnect for the track bar (the bar WILL limit flex off road so you want a way to take it out quick). If it doesn’t help handling, try removing the component and installing the other one you left out. If this still doesn’t help try running both. If nothing you do seems to correct the problem, you may have some other issue that the lift has made more noticeable. Have it aligned and check the tie rod ends, drag links, steering stabilizer, ball joints, and all the other components that can effect steering. DO NOT buy into the mentality that all jeeps handle funny. This is just not true.
OK, OK, now for the actual install. There are already some good write ups on removing the shackle bolts (the rears can be a big PITA in the factory setup so read up on them) so I’ll run on the assumption that you’ve already got them out. Mine were already flipped so the heads were toward the inside of the frame (opposite of factory) so I can’t really make a good write up on this anyway. Just be sure to reinstall your bolts with the heads inside for an easy removal later on (only took me 2 hours to do all 4 shackles as opposed to some guys taking all day).
First, pick an end to start on. I picked the front since I knew I’d have to deal with the sway bar and the track bar as opposed to just the springs in the rear. Crack the lugs loose a ¼ turn (no sense fighting the spinning of the tire while trying to un-torque the lugs) and jack up the front end with the jack under the axle (I used the u-bolt plates). Place your stands just behind the main eye shackles as high as you can get it (maxed on standard height stands. If you have extended stands you don’t need to go all the way. Just enough to let the axle fall to full droop.) Remove the tires (I did one side at a time but feel free to take off the other tire as well. I felt safer with it on though.) and let the jack down. Here’s where the second set of stands comes in handy. You don’t want to let the axle droop all the way just yet. Use the extra stands or if you don’t have them, get the little spare tire jack out and use that (knew it was there for something). You really don’t want to just leave your main jack under the axle since it will be easier to manipulate the axle later on if you have the second jack.
Here’s a shot of the main components up front just so you don’t confused with all the different names.
Open the hood and look for the hard brake line for the tire you’re working on. It’ll go under the fenders and you’ll find a Torx head screw holding the hard line to the frame right where it meets the rubber brake hose. If you’re installing extended brake hoses, you can undo the rubber line and install the extended line now. If you’re using the extender brackets, undo the screw to free up the line.
Carefully bend the hard line to push the junction and the bracket further into the fender well. Use the old screw to attach the longer side of the extension bracket to the frame and then use the included hardware to attach the hard line to other end of the extender bracket. We’re doing this first so you don’t accidentally snap the hose letting the axle droop like I almost did (guess I didn’t read the instructions too well first). Do both sides before moving on.
With the brake lines done, it’s time to loosen up that front track bar. Seems easy enough, only two bolts. A ¾” socket takes the axle bolt off but the top one is a little different. It’s one of the dreaded Torx head bolts. Time to use your T55 bit. These things will strip if you just look at them wrong so be extra careful. It’s not an easy place to get a drill into to drill out a stripped bolt so we want this thing to come out on its own. Make sure you’ve got good engagement on the tips of the bit before putting any kind of load on it. Clean out the head of the bolt with a wire brush or similar if you have to. If you’re using a socket on a ratchet, try to do it without using any extension since it will be less likely to rock to the side that way. If you PB’ed these bolts well enough it should come out ok. Mine did so you’re on your own if you strip this thing. If you’re not planning on running the front track bar after the lift, feel free to just cut the bar, grind the perch off, or any other destructive method to get rid of this flex limiter. On to the sway bar.
We’re really not taking the bar off here, just the links. With the 3 inches of total lift, my bar was pulled pretty far down putting the old, stock links back on. You may want to consider picking up a set of extended links (with disconnects of course) but they’re not truly necessary. Anyway, there are two nuts that have to come off here. Both are ¾” (I’m starting to see a trend here) Pull the cotter pin out of the top nut and remove the nut, and then pull the bottom nut off. Here’s the tricky part. The bottom is attached to the spring plate with a shoulder stud that’s actually part of the plate itself. It should come off relatively easily as there’s no sleeve for the stud to rust weld to. Just take a hammer to it and knock it off. The top, however, is a tapered carriage style bolt. These things can be a B**** to get off. You can try a pitman arm or ball joint puller here to grab the main bar and force the threaded part of the bolt out, or try a tie rod separator (use an air hammer powered version if you’ve got it). If all else fails, undo the 4 bolts that hold the main bar to the frame. (see first pic) This will remove the bar from the jeep so you can put it somewhere on blocks and get a really good swing at that bolt with a BFH. Replace the bolt with a standard version with lock nuts and fender washers for easy removal later on.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Time to tackle those old shocks. The front shocks are the stem type at the top, so have a pair of big pliers or vice grips handy to hold onto the stem while you try turning the nuts if it starts to spin. For me, I found the Bolt out sockets I mentioned earlier handy here. The nuts themselves are 15 mm (probably varies by shock manufacturer though. Mine were from the “Old, Rusted Red Shocks and Struts Co.” so don’t ask ) and don’t offer much of a lever arm to turn them off. Once I put the Bolt outs on there I was able to turn them with a 7/8” wrench without worrying about rounding the nut off. You can see it at work here.
Once I got them backed off a bit, I took the grinder and cut the stems below the nuts to make things quicker. Feel free to cut at the start though. The lower bolts are ¾” so just back them off and out. My kit came with the BDS shocks and I decided I didn’t want shock boots (I like the look, but not the idea of everything getting trapped inside them). If you do want the boots, slip them on now and then place the BDS sticker on there (optional and dependant on using BDS shocks obviously.) Add the new bushings and sleeves (a vice is handy for this so you don’t go scratching the shock’s paint). I found it easier to extend the shocks out further then I would need and then install the bottom bolt first. If it’s too long you’ll find it easier to compress the shock after it’s been extended then trying to extend it once it’s in the fender well. Don’t forget the anti-seize on both the threads of the bolt and also the shaft so it doesn’t weld itself to the sleeve over time. Don’t tighten things yet. Fit the upper stem into the upper mount and put the larger of the two nuts on there first. Tighten the bottom up to 45 ft-lbs and the top to 9 ft-lbs (Though Haynes suggests 45 ft-lbs for this too). Place the second, thinner nut on the stem and run it down to the lower nut as a stop. A ¼ to ½ turn past finger tight is all you need.
Since we’re on the shocks I’ll cover the back ones here too. Here both ends of the shocks have eye holes. The lower bolt is the same as the front, but the upper one is actually just a stud with a shoulder for the bushing to sit on (unless my old sleeves stayed on the studs when I pulled the old shocks off. lol.) Be very careful with the upper nuts because you don’t want to have to deal with a spinning stud.
As long as the PB blaster did its work you shouldn’t have to worry though. Install is pretty much the same as the front except you don’t use a sleeve for the top (at least I didn’t). BDS tells you to run the piston of the shock on the upper half and since you can’t flip them up front you might as well match them. If you have different, invertible shocks, feel free to run them any way you want. Torque both ends to 45 ft-lbs.
Nothing special here, just a 13/16” bolt with a 7/8” nut. Just make sure your jack or stands are still supporting the axle. You don’t want the whole thing crashing down when you remove the bolt. But don’t jack the axle up any. You only want it supported, not putting tension on the spring if you can help it. This will make driving the bolts out of their holes much easier in the end. If a bolt comes out hard, try letting the axle droop a bit more. The main eye bolts for the rear springs was where I ran into the most trouble with my lift. The rear bolts were really welded to the bushing sleeves. Nothing I did could get them to budge. To get them out, I cut the head of the bolt off and cut the other end flush with the frame shackle. Taking a Dremel with a cutting wheel, I hollowed out as much of the bolt shaft left as I could get without cutting into the shackle metal. A grinding stone would work too. Once I went as far as I could, I took the cat’s claw and slipped it between the spring and the shackle and pried the metal side of the shackle away from the spring to the point that the bolt shaft was out of the hole. Slip a screwdriver between the bolt and the shackle so it doesn’t just slide back into the hole when you let off pressure. Repeat the process on the other side of the shackle. Once the bolt is out of the holes, use the big pry bar to force the spring to swing down out of the shackle. But you won’t have this problem right? Good. I do recommend bending the sides of the shackle out a little bit before removing the spring though. The new bushings make it a very tight fit and it’s easier to pry now with the old spring still in there.
Shackle bolts. Since I’m assuming you already did your extended shackles this should be self explanatory by this point. Pull the bolt out and remove the spring. If you didn’t change the shackles yet, the same principles for the main eye bolts apply here. ¾” bolts BTW.
Time to take off those u-bolts. The BDS kit comes with brand new ones so the fastest way to get rid of these is cut them off. Make sure your kit has the right ones first though. There are two different size hoops up front with only one size for the rear. The two larger sized hoops go on the inside of the front axle. Take a good look at the old ones before removing them and you’ll see they go around a slightly larger axle tube on the inside. If you’re unbolting the old ones, it’s a ¾” socket you’ll need. (Again?) For those of you cheating like me, just take your grinder with the cutting wheel and start cutting the bolts right at the peak of the arch on the very top of the axle.
(You can cut them lower if you want, but you’ll be cutting twice). Be very careful not to cut into the axle tube when you get to the end of the bolt. Those walls are thin enough as it is. The way I found to avoid this was to cut as deep as I dared, and then I took a pry bar and pried the bolt halves apart until they snapped that last 1/16th of an inch. If you’re good with a grinder you can just cut until you hear the snap (made me jump each time it happened so you won’t miss it.) Once the bolts are cut, take your wrench or socket and spin the bolts in the plate using the nuts. With the tension removed, they may turn easy enough to back off, but if not, just spin the cut ends enough to clear the axle tube and drop the whole plate down, taking the spring with it. Remove the old bolts and toss them. Alright! Out with the old, in with the new.
The 2” kit springs are interchangeable front and rear and there’s no difference in the ends of the springs themselves either. I believe the 3.5” kit has different springs front and rear so double check your instructions for your kit if you’re doing something other then the 2” BDS and make sure you’ve got the right spring for where you’re working. Take your new spring and put the new bushings into the eyes. A little white lithium grease, WD-40, or similar will help them slip in. There are two sizes of bushing sleeves that come with the BDS kit. One is slightly longer and has a thicker wall. This is for the shackle end of the spring. Easiest way to tell them apart is stand them up on end on a level surface. You’ll be able to see the 0.04” difference in length when they’re side by side. (Human eye really is amazing huh?). The slightly shorter sleeve is for the main eye end of the spring. Make sure you remember what end you have each bushing in (though I have my doubts about whether or not it makes much of a difference. We’ll just assume BDS knows what they’re doing.). Once you’ve got the bushings and sleeves in, slide the main eye end into the frame shackle. Install the bolt (ANTI-SEIZE!) and tighten the nut finger tight. With the axle in the stock position (you didn’t lower it any did you?), you should have enough room to swing the other end up to the shackle without interfering with the axle. Slide the bolt through and finger tighten the nut. Now the tricky part. That centering pin (kingpin) has to slip into the axle tube for the axle to be correctly located. This is where it’s actually better to have both wheels and both springs removed so that the axle is free floating. It would make it much easier to maneuver it over the pins. However, I did it one side at a time and it really wasn’t that hard (at least after I remembered to take off the front track bar so it wasn’t fighting me anymore. D’oh!). To do it my way, let the jack supporting the axle down until the axle is resting on the spring. With luck you’ll drop down over the pin, but if not, place your jack under spring, close to the clamp holding the leaves together about midway between the center and the eye holes.
The idea here is to jack on side of the spring up so the tension pushes it in the direction you need it to go to get the centering pin to line up with the axle. Tipping the jack by placing a board under one side (at least with the spare tire jack that I used here) can help do this as well if you need lateral movement too. Or a ratchet strap looped around the new spring and the spring still connected can take care of the lateral movement. Just be very careful not to jack so much that you raise the jeep off the main support stands holding up the frame. If you get to this point, something is binding up WAY too much, so back off on everything and see what’s holding you up. You may have the wrong spring or something. Once you’ve got the spring lined up, slip the spring plate into position and drop the new bolts down from the top. Remember, there’s two different sizes so don’t fight trying to get a small one where a larger one should be. You may need to spread the u-bolts a bit to get them to align with the holes in the plate, but they should be very close. If not, measure the middle of the hoop to be sure you got the right ones. Once you’ve got them through the plate, put the nuts and washers on the bottom of the plate and begin tightening them up together with that ¾” socket again. Torque them to 90 ft-lbs and then do both the main eye bolt to 105 ft-lbs and the shackle bolt to 95 ft-lbs. As a note, if you use lock nuts on the shackle bolts and tighten them up to only 40 ft-lbs, you can soften up your ride quite a bit. DO NOT do this without lock nuts! (nylon insert type).
That’s it! One wheel done. Now do the other side the same way. Once you have both sides done, the only thing left to do (at least for my setup) is to reconnect the sway bar links. If you have disconnects, great, disconnect them and install each end first. These are my homemade ones I’m working on. (Edit: Ended up not running these. the cotter pin isn't strong enough to keep the link together on hard turns. found it easier just to not run a sway bar.)
For those of you who are reusing the stock links, or is your jeep isn’t quite level and your discos won’t line up, this gets a little tricky. Since the bar is there to prevent body roll, an unleveled jeep means one side of the bar will go on easy, but the other will be tough to line up. I’ve found the easiest way to combat this, is to connect the passenger side first and try to make it slightly lower then the driver side. You can accomplish this even on a gentle slope by using a ratchet strap to pull the sway bar down on the high side so that you can do the pass side first. The reason I say that side is because there’s a better pry point on the driver side. With the passenger side on, do the top of the driver side first and then try the bottom. With luck it will be slightly too short to get the bushing to seat on the shoulder of the spring plate. Take a pry bar and put it between the frame mount for the front track bar and the sway bar itself.
This should give you enough leverage to push the link down far enough to get it to slip on the shoulder of the plate. Hmm, it almost sounds like I know what I’m doing here, lol. Once they’re on, torque the upper nut to 45 ft-lbs and the lower one to 70 ft-lbs.
If you’re going to run the track bar, you’ll have to install the BDS relocation bracket but since I’m running without it, you’ll have to follow the BDS instructions on that one. Sorry. Again, I’d suggest trying it without the track bars first as the ride is much better and you probably won’t notice they’re gone, but that’s up to you. Same thing for running a DPA. None on my rig, so I can’t help you with that. (Though it’s just a nut holding it on there so you shouldn’t have any trouble with that actual mechanics of removing and installing it. Maybe just the grunt work.)
The rear is basically the exact same thing except you only have the track bar to deal with.
Do the brake line extension first (See my update up top if you haven’t already).
Both ends of the rear track bar have the Torx head bolt unlike the single bolt in the front but the process to remove it is the same. Do the shocks first as I covered above. Support the axle and remove the eye bolts of the spring. Cut or unbolt the u-bolts and remove the old springs. Do the main eyes of the springs first, then the shackles. Lower the axle down onto the centering pins, using the jack and/or ratchet strap to maneuver the spring as necessary. Install the u-bolts (they’re all the same back here) and torque everything to spec.
With both ends done it’s finally time to test it out! Most likely, you’ll need to run the t-case drop kit that comes with the lift. I know I did as any speed over 30 mph wanted to shake the jeep apart. To install this, just support the cross member with the floor jack (a bottle jack can be used, but don’t take off more then one side at a time.) and remove the 6 bolts holding the member to the frame. These bolts have a tendency to break off in the frame (two of mine were already broken off so I’ll need to drill them out as soon as I get a chance) so be careful. Slowly lower the member enough to fit the larger half of the spaces between the frame and the upper side of the plate.
Don’t go too far or you’ll stress the drive train. Place the chamfered washers on the lower side of plate, angled side to the plate and install the new, longer bolts. Torque them to 30 ft-lbs. All done! Go get it aligned and enjoy!
Mine still has a vibe right at 60 mph and I’m hoping that some degree shims on the back will take care of this so we’ll see. I’ll update when I figure out what to do with it. Other than that I’ve very pleased with the lift. It rides MUCH better than the springs and shocks that were on there, but they were totally shot so I can’t really comment on how the ride compared to a stock jeep. But I’m no longer bouncing all over the road so it’s a definite improvement. No bump steer to mention. I just have to turn out the end of the drag link to straighten out my steering wheel again. Other then that I couldn’t be happier.
UPDATE: After a few months of driving around with my vibe at 60 mph, I ended up having to replace the slave cylinder for the clutch. Now I don't know for sure if the vibe had any direct impact on what made the slave fail, but I do know that it was less than a year and a half old with less than 15K miles on it. It also happened out on the highway where I was moving back and forth through the speed zone where the vibe occured. It might be coincidence, but it might not. Anyway, I've since added 4° shims and have been vibe free since. I'm still running the t-case drop for now, but may try removing it at some point. Incidently, I did try 2° shims before the 4° and theyt lessened the vibe, but didn't eliminate it entirely. 4° was my magic number. My advice is stick with aluminum shims until you get the ones that will eliminate your vibe and then get steel. no sense spending big money on something that you'll be replacing. Also, don't do like i did and wait months dealing with the vibe. Doing so cost me $400 in parts and tow bills to get back home from where i broke down and to replace the clutch myself. The shims I put in only cost 13 after tax and shipping. (haven't gotten steel shims yet as I'm still poor from the repair). Not good sense money wise huh?
Hi! Just a message to thank you for your write up. I'm following your instructions to install my RE4" and everything is working fine.
Thanks a lot!
[COLOR=Yellow]1988 YJ 6I 4.2 Lt 4" Rubicon Express Suspension Lift, 33"x12.50x15" Goodyear MT/R on black steel Cragar wheels. Tuffy security glove box. Hi-Lift Jack 48". Racing Seats with Sparco 4 pts harness.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red]And a lot more waiting to be done!!![/COLOR]
[COLOR=Yellow]2002 WJ V8 4.7 Lt Stock[/COLOR]
[COLOR=Cyan]Folgore: Per l'Onore d'Italia![/COLOR]
First of all i would like to say thanks because i might be doing this in the near future. Also i would like to say WOW, you have alot of detail. I copied and pasted this into word and it is like 18 pages (with pics). Thanks again
What an awesome write-up. Without this I couldn't have come as far along as I have.
BDS has a great quality product but their instructions SUCK.
Some mid-install thoughts:
1. Rear shackle removal was the WORST.
2. Remember to try and do the brake lines first so you don't snap them--but don't underestimate them because they round off pretty easy.
3. If you strip the Torx bolt on the Trac Bar on the front, you can grind off the weld holding the nut on the back and get it off that way. Worked for me.
4. BDS includes big center pins in their kits. The later YJ's had different spring mounts and the pins BDS includes will bottom out on the axle. I went to Lowes and bought 4 Grade 8 bolts and matching nuts--then ground the extra threads down to nut-level on the bolts. Works great and now I have the BDS pins too in case I want to use them later. It would have been nice if they had mentioned the need to grind the pins in the instructions, I had to email them for that info. Not something I had allowed time for.
5. Dremel = mandatory. Even though an angle grinder is more manly, the Dremel can get to places the grinder can't.
6. The main eye bolts can be a real pain, but about 7 seconds with an electric impact gun will fix that. Got one at Pep Boys for $85.