how to install AND improve the 1" Daystar Polyurethane Body Mount Lift Kit
the instructions could be better, so i am fixing that right here. read the entire post to save a few headaches. from the parts list, my kit was missing the radiator lowering brackets/stuff - this didn't bother me since i was installing the BL (body lift) in conjunction with a JKS Budget 1" MML (motor mount lift), bringing the radiator fan back to the shroud's center. i am hopeful the MML will allow me to remove the 1.5" TC (transfer case) skid drop that was added with the 4" SL (suspension lift). with the body 1" higher, i am also going to go ahead and modify the gas tank skid to raise it into the soon-to-be spacious cavity. if you are planning to, i recommend dropping the gas tank just prior to the BL because it is going to make getting to the two body mounts above it easier.
MML or not, you're going to want to take the 4 radiator shroud bolts out because tilting/lifting the body is going to mash it against the fan at some point. these bolts come out slowly and painfully. i just hung the shroud on the fan and removed the radiator overfill container. be sure to plug or tape off the nipple near the radiator cap to keep a small amount of fluid from spilling out during the lift. i also removed the oil dipstick (and taped the shaft off) since the instructions said to do so.
since i was doing all this at once, i was going to have to set everything up and bounce around to avoid doing things twice and prevent the 4WD linkage from binding up. first i removed the four bolts that hold the differential pumps and used a bungee cord to hang them out of the way.
start by using a bottle-jack to support the transmission in place. remove the four small nuts that secure the transmission to the skid. to lower the heavy skid, you're going to need a couple jacks - i actually ended up using a third to support the TC so the transmission jack wasn't doing all the work while i later used the blue/grey floor jack to lift the body. before you start removing the 6 bolts that hold the skid to the frame, you should try to spray what you can with PB Blaster and back them out gently because you do not want to ruin the nutserts these bolts thread into (as you will see). with the skid out of the way, i placed a second bottle-jack under where the TC and transmission meet to distribute the weight.
now you're going to want to pull the driver seat and lift up the rug to remove the four 10mm bolts holding the 4WD linkage bracket. if you don't already have the 1.5" drop bracket (from a SL) and aren't doing the MML, you're going to have to add it from the Daystar kit. since i am doing the BL and the MML AND removing the 1.5" TC drop, mine will go back to the stock height ...which means i have to remove the aftermarket linkage drop. no matter what, it's just wise to remove it so it doesn't bind up while you move everything around. you can sort out if you need the drop bracket or not later.
and here's my first hang up - a nutsert that the original owner damaged while installing the SL. as soon as i saw this, i decided i was going to put anti-seize on everything starting today. this was the last bolt i tried to remove and it just kept spinning and spinning. i saw the hole before but i never thought much about it. well, "lucky" for me the original owner used a hole-saw to get to the nutsert and probably secured it with vise-grips in order to remount the skid. sure, the frame has a hole in it, but now i don't have to put one there in order to fix it! fortunately, the nutsert was fine, the "crush fit" had just loosened up enough for it to spin. so i used some needle-nosed vise-grips to hold it so i could back the bolt out.
there are a few options to fixing this that can be found on jeepforum. you can drill the nutsert out and get new ones from Jeep and build a makeshift nutsert tool. or you could drill the nutsert out and fish a bolt (with a gripping lock washer) through and down out of the frame then add a nut to that before mounting your skid. since my threads were intact, i decided that this was a great opportunity to do some more welding (still learning) to prevent it from spinning.
i used a dremel (with wire-brush accessory) to clean the nutsert inside the frame and a grinder (with wire-brush disc) to strip the paint/rust on the bottom of the frame and the nutsert flange.
i used my 110V flux-core welder to put three spot welds on the top part of the nutsert then, to the best of my ability, put a few beads around the bottom flange. it tested out solid, so i cleaned the welds up, sanded the rusty frame rail, and hit everything with some satin black before moving on (same with the skid). to help prevent any problems later, i ran a M12 x 1.75 tap through all six holes and compressed air to clear the rust in the nutserts. also, i will be adding grey anti-seize to the skid bolts.
finally! i loosened the body mount bolts on the driver's side - 3 mains under the door and the 2 at the rear. then i removed the 5 mount bolts on the passenger side plus the 1 under the radiator. i then used my floor jack with a 4x4 as an extension against a 2x4 along the bottom of the body to lift the passenger side up. the photo of the Jeep's rear is me just getting started - you really have to get that sucker up there to get the new mounts in. with the body movement, i also used the two bottle-jacks to raise/lower the transmission and TC up to prevent my lower/underside manual shifter boot from tearing as i went along.
the instructions say the inserts fit snug and might need pressed in - well, not mine. my first Daystar mount did not fit in the frame hole under the passenger foot area. so the instructions said to "file out" the hole. i would have been there all day with a lousy file, so i got my air-grinder with a stone. even that wasn't fast enough, so i used a cutting bit and then smoothed it with the stone. for some reason, both of these holes on either side needed widened, but none of the others.
the Daystar instructions tell you at the very end to add the big radiator bumpers. i doubt that is possible - definitely not easy. do yourself a favor and just put them in with the body jacked up. i used a piece of wood to lever the nipples into the hole.
with those 6 mounts in, i tried to lower the passenger side. the back didn't go down all the way because the body had shifted a bit and was hung up on the rear mount. i raised it back up and re-lowered it without issue. just be sure to look everything over for alignment before lifting/dropping. later on, i had to angle my jack on a 2x4 in an attempt to shift the body so the driver's side lined up correctly ...this worked a little, but i found just raising and lowering it allowed it to self-align in most cases. with the body lowered onto the new mounts, i used compressed air to blow out any debris that may have been in the body's threads. then i put grey anti-seize on the new bolts and loosely threaded them in so there would be play when lifting the driver side. the instructions don't say that the single, longer 7/16" bolt is for the radiator mount.
following photo: body hung up on mount.
now, i lifted the driver side in the same fashion, placed the remaining mounts, lined everything up, and lowered the body down. i adjusted my two bottle-jacks and got ready to torque the bolts down. before doing so, i did a quick check (good habit) and found two issues. the first was my exhaust against the shock. i didn't happen to notice how close it was at the start. once the MML was on and the skid remounted, my exhaust wasn't mashed against my shock anymore ...still close, though.
the second issue was that some of the poly mounts were "muffin topping" around the stock insert flange. the following two photos show the poly mount pushing out over the flange edge on one side. at least three of my mounts were doing this. though it might not be much of an issue, i was not satisfied by this at all. so i looked at the stock rubber mounts and came up with an idea...
Improve Daystar Mounts:
the top of the poly mount is flat, but the flange it sits in is curved (especially the six main ones). so i fired up the bench grinder and rounded the edges out. this ended up doing two things: it prevented the "muffin top" and it also allowed the insert's shaft (slightly slimmer than the mount's hole) to sit more centered within the mount because of the taper at the flange and shaft. the only downside to the grinder is that it leaves the poly a little rough. i'm actually wondering if i could have used my wood router and a round-over bit to leave a smoother finish? or i could have maybe used the buffer side of the grinder to smooth it out. in any case, most are tucked under the body, so no big deal.
first photo: Daystar original (left); Daystar modified (center); OEM (right).
second photo: difference between the rounded top (left) and the flat top (right).
now, as i prepared to finally torque them down, i noticed that the bottom mounts didn't fit exactly centered in relation to the large washer. raising the body (again) a hair allowed me to better align and perfectly level the top mount which then helped to center the bolt/washer to the bottom mount in most cases.
Main Floor to Frame: 50 ft-lbs
Rear Floor to Frame: 35 ft-lbs
Radiator to Frame: 45 ft-lbs
TC Skid to Frame: 55 ft-lbs
Trans to Skid Nuts: 26 ft-lbs
noticeable reduction in body roll and works perfectly with the Motor Mount Lift and Tummy Tuck. of course the downside to the poly is the harsher ride. i have a pretty tight set-up and i love how the Jeep corners like a lifted go-kart, but i'm wondering if i would have been happier with the Currie BL.