removed the lower bolts on the factory shock with 13mm socket
I had trouble with the top of the shock and I forgot to take pictures. I snapped off the 5mm stud end on the top of the shock, so holding the piston still while cranking the 17mm nut the traditional way was not an option. I attempted using vice-grips on the pistion, but they wouldn't hold.
My solution: took my grinding wheel, flattened two sides of the piston rod and then used the vice-grips. Worked great! No slippage, nice and easy.
Next I removed the old Tb upper bolt with an 18mm open box wrench and a BFH. I would have used a 1/2 drive ratchet, but the tie-rod at the pitman are was in the way. I did not want to pop the tie-rod free for fear of tearing my brand new tie-rod boot. The 21mm bolt for the TB has a metal tab designed to hold it stationary while you crank on the 18mm nut.
Backing the upper TB bolt out was a PITA because of the bump-stop located directly behind it. (when i installed the new TB, I installed the bolt in the other direction. However, after reviewing the FSM, I may change that bolt back to the stock direction.)
The Lower TB bolt was a PITA as well. Even with lots of PB Blaster over a few days, this bolt put up a good fight. (the nut is welded in the axle bracket, so you back out the bolt) I used my new 3/4 drive to help with this. I did have to work it out and in slowly to get things moving just right! It gave in eventually and backed out.
Ok, once the TB, shocks, and links were removed, I lowered the axle to free the springs and remove the old isolators. When I did, this is what I found:
I cleaned everything up the best I could and used this product to protect what is left of the mounts.
I am looking into new mounts. If anyone has suggestions, I would appreciate them.
Installed the Bilstein 5125s next: I had to hit the hardware store to find new lower bolts. The original ones where part of the stock shock. If anyone is in the same boat: 8mm 10.9 bolts and nuts were used and torqued to 250 in-lbs or 28 N.m. Top nut is torqued when the jeep in on the ground to 26 Ft. lbs.
Next I installed my JKS quick Disconnects. The model I have has a max length of 9 3/8", I have my set at 9 1/4" and I am still shy of the recommended 30 degree sway-bar angle. I am currently at 25 degrees. 25-35 is the range, but 30 degrees is optimal. Maybe I should have the longer model JKS. Both the upper and lower studs are torqued to 65 ft lbs.
Dude, love that color and those wheels! I like the mild lift size.. makes me want to get those wheels for my JK. How do you like the exhaust? That was one of my favorite mods I did to my WJ, the 3" exhaust especially..
"Water covers 3/4 of the earth, Jeep covers the rest"
I have not installed the exhaust yet, but that will happen next week. I used the same setup on my ZJ build which you can see in my signature. I loved it with my 5.2, and I hope it compliments the 4.7ho.
I wanted to do a long arm kit, but with a new born at home, I do not have the money. I did the long arms my my ZJ and loved them. Someday, I will do a taller lift with another jeep.
I have the gray leather interior and it is in excellent condition. This jeep has been in the family since 05' and I have always done the maintenance on it. Yes it is my DD, that is why I only when to 3" of lift. My last build made it hard to use my zj as a DD.
In the last few days, I had my Kolak exhaust system welded in and it sounds great! I used the same setup on my 5.2 98zj. I have also been doing a little fender trimming and undercoating. I will post pictures soon.
One problem I am having: overly sensitive steering. just toughing the wheel or groove in the road makes the jeep wander left or right. As you can see in the build, I have all new components which are properly torqued. I do plan to check everything again tomorrow. During the lift install, the hubs and ball joints seemed good, but I will check these as well.
It may be a bad alignment. I hope my CA bushings have not gone. I am not sure if those would be a contributing factor or not.
Edit: at 3" of lift, I can not image the axle rotating far enough forward affecting the caster angle and steering stability to much. Has this been an issue with anyone at 3"? Can I adjust the positioning of the lower stock CAs to affect the pinion angle?
At 4.5" on my ZJ, I used adjustable longarms allowing for adjustment of the pinion angle which affects the caster angle.