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Unread 04-11-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
Bubbie
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Old Man Emu Lift Kit - Installation and thoughts

***UPDATE #2***

I have since installed the T-case drop, as you will see later in this thread. It solved the problems I had in the "UPDATE" below. Suspension feels wonderful, the Jeep handles obstacles beautifully. I also removed my rear trac bar. Didn't notice a big difference on the road, but I can see better articulation off road. Removing the rear trac bar seems to be all benefit, no downside (for me).

***UPDATE***
After driving to work and back (hitting 75), I started noticing a slight vibe between 20-25mph. I also noticed a strange feeling/sounding "rotation" when I either lay of the gas, or clutch when travelling above 35mph. I can hear what I think is my drive shaft spinning and it sounds like there is some friction.

I plan to grease or possibly replace my U-Joints and possibly install the T-case drop. SYE and new DS would be nice, but not really interestied in dropping the coin/spending the time. SYE seems to be overkill with 2.5-3" of lift. I will post before and after shots of my DS angle if I decide to go wth the TC drop.



The time finally came to install my ARB Old Man Emu (OME) suspension kit this weekend.

Running stock leaf springs and cheap replacement shocks on my 1989 YJ (2.5L, soft-top). I installed the ARB Quadratec Edition Stubby Bull Bar with M8000 winch last fall which casued significant sag in my front end. Researched lift kits, narrowed it down to OME and BDS very quickly. Ultimately decided to go with OME.

NET LIFT Measured day after lift, may settle some.

Front: 2.5" - 2.75"
Rear: 3" - 3.25"

PARTS LIST

Springs:
(4) CS036R OME leaf springs. These are the HD, 5 leaf varietal.
37R's in the rear were considered. I run a soft top/no top, and have no accessories in the rear.

Shocks:
(2) N33 OME Shocks, (2) N34 OME Shocks

U-Bolts: (custom bent at a local spring shop)
(6) .5" x 2.5" x 7"
(2) .5" x 3" x 7.75"
These were all way too long. I had to go back and cust them all down with a Sawz-all, which was a bit of a PITA. Could probably get away with 1 - 1.5" shorter on all 8 U-Bolts.

Bushings:
(4) MOOG SB 373 Rubber Bushings
(8) MOOG SB 376 Rubber Bushings
I went with rubber bushings because (a) I got them for free - I used to work for Federal-Mogul, the manufacturer, and (b) I was told they would be smoother and quieter (by Dirk at DPG).

Steering Stabilizer:
(1) MOOG SSD107 Heavy Duty

TOOLS

(2) 3-ton jack stands
(1) 2-ton bottle jack
(1) Floor Jack
18V Dewalt Impact Drill
1/2" Ratchet with deep sockets (3/4", and 7/8" were most used)
3/8" Ratchet with sockets
Crescent wrench
Torque wrench
Cheater bar (1" x 18" steel pipe) - COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THIS!
Steel pry bar (probably the 2nd most important tool)
PB Blaster
(2) Friends


INSTALLATION

Total installation took ~8 hours (from start through clean-up).

My Jeep is a very rare and endangered YJ - it's rust free. This helped a ton with removing bolts, but the U-Bolts and frame side (not shackle side) spring mounts were VERY stubborn. I hit everything with PB Blaster three times - 2 weeks out, 1 week out, morning of.

Started with the rear, removed springs and shocks, realized there was no way I could get my Moog bushings into the springs using the "threaded rod with two big washers and two nuts" method. Brought the springs and bushings to a local shop, had them pressed in for $44 and a six-pack. NOTE: The guy at the shop showed me the 20-ton bottle jack he broke in the process. He said it was a HUGE PITA installing these... Remember, these were MOOG rubber bushings, not the poly bushings most people use.

I would heavily reccomend taking your springs and bushings (especially if you are going rubber) to a shop and have them press them in. Save yourself the headache.

Installed the springs and shocks, did the same to the front, and we were done.

Rough Country installation instructions are pretty helpful (although we didnt consult them).

TORQUE SPECS

Shackles: 75 ft/lb
U-Bolts: 90 ft/lb

Before I could torque the U-Bolts, I had to cut them all shorter with a Sawz-All. Deep Sockets were not deep enough (and didn't want them to be the new "low point" on the Jeep).

TEST DRIVE
Took the Jeep to a local trail the next day (yesterday). The first obstacle caused LOTS of metal on metal sounding popping. I pushed through and never heard it again. Not sure what it was - perhaps just "stuff settling".

Still bumpy as hell on trail (yep - it's a YJ), washboard handling was MUCH improved, road ride is similar to stock. No vibrations at 75mph (did not use the OME T-case drop kit -PM me to purchase).

BEFORE




AFTER



Very happy with the new stance - 31" Duratracs next!

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Last edited by Bubbie; 04-13-2011 at 10:41 AM.. Reason: Updates
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Unread 04-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
Shock96
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Thanks for a nice writeup!
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Unread 04-12-2011, 08:45 PM   #3
superj
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wow!! that is a heck of an improvement in the cosmetic department
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Unread 05-23-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
Bubbie
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Before T-Case Drop:



After T-Case Drop:



Still not the best angle, but took care of my vibes.

If you have a problem with the T-Case shifting, here was my solution!

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Unread 05-23-2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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Did you remove your trac-bars? Will ride better if you retorque the shacles to 50 FT/LBS.
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Unread 05-24-2011, 05:10 AM   #6
ZeroGravity
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Did you remember to finger tight all the fasteners until the Jeep was on the ground? Also, back the shackle bolts out and re torque to 45 ft-lbs. If you don't want to do the SYE maybe consider a motor mount lift. The t-case drop is a joke and OME's is just individual spacers. Space between cross member and frame= acceleration room.

BTW you spelled "Cragar" wrong.

Nice Jeep though. I have always liked the Red/spice combo.
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Unread 05-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #7
Bubbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJMPC View Post
Did you remove your trac-bars? Will ride better if you retorque the shacles to 50 FT/LBS.
I did not remove the trac-bars. I regret not reoving the rear. I can tell that my shackles are under torque from the trac bar pushing the axle. It is on my to-do list. I am also thinking about the JKS telescoping front trac bar. I've researched trac-bar removal to death. I understand everyone's POV.

I've heard of shackles at 50 ft/lb for poly bushings, do you know if it will help with rubber (OE style) bushings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
Did you remember to finger tight all the fasteners until the Jeep was on the ground? Also, back the shackle bolts out and re torque to 45 ft-lbs. If you don't want to do the SYE maybe consider a motor mount lift. The t-case drop is a joke and OME's is just individual spacers. Space between cross member and frame= acceleration room.

BTW you spelled "Cragar" wrong.

Nice Jeep though. I have always liked the Red/spice combo.
Yes, I waited to torque tighten until on the ground. Same question as above - does the bushing material (poly vs rubber, I'm running rubber) determine the torque?

What does "acceleration room" mean?

Thanks - fixed Cragar spelling. Thanks for the compliment on the Jeep - I like the color combo too!
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Unread 08-18-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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any updates now that it's been a few months since your installation?
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Unread 08-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
Bubbie
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Update #2 (at the top) was actually posted today.

I have zero complaints. The biggest improvement (other than the clearance) is the handling on wash-board/dirt roads. The response/rebound is fantastic. No chattering sideways across the road.

The confidence quality parts give you when scaling a 12,000 foot mountain are worth their weight in gold. Do it once, do it right.

This is how she stands now w/ 31" Duratracs:

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Unread 02-25-2014, 09:19 AM   #10
Sagerist
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Resurrecting an old thread... But I love the look of this, simple yet capable. Makes me look forward to finally getting my lift on there. Springs arrive tomorrow!
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Unread 02-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #11
superj
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i got an ome 2.5 lift and have vibes still, after t-case drop. no sye in the plans because i am going to swap the motor/trans out so i will need a new driveshaft when i do that. still rides like stock to me but i get that drifting loose feeling also when i push the gas or let off the gas. no idea why. its like torque steer because it only happens with accelerator pedal modulation
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Unread 02-25-2014, 02:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbie View Post
This is how she stands now w/ 31" Duratracs:

she's beaut Clark
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