Post #2: Upholstery Recoloring
Post #5: Dash and Door Recoloring
Post #6: Front Track Bar Bracket Strengthening
Post #7: Daystar 1" Poly BL Install ...and how to improve their mounts
Post #11: Clevis Silencers
Post #12: JKS 1" Budget MML
Post #13: Driver Seat 1.5" Raise / Passenger Seat 1" Raise
Post #14: Fuel Tank Raise
Post #17: Sub and Amp replacement
Post #18: AEV Tummy Tuck - Install Tips
Post #19: AEV Coil Relocators and Spacers
Post #20: Extending OEM Rear Track Bar ...and bracket modification
Post #21: Extending Currie's (old) Rear Upper Control Arms
Post #22: Modifying Front Mounts For More Droop
Post #23: Geometry, Thrust Angle, Alignment - Step By Step
Post #24: Test Drive and Troubleshooting (updated as i work the geometry bugs out)
Post #25: Replacing Hard Brake Line Nuts
Post #26: AEV Shock Shifters
Post #28: Sea Foam vs My Engine Tick
i did some research and learned of the DupliColor Fabric & Vinyl paint. rattle canning my interior wasn't the greatest sounding idea, but i figured it was worth a try after googling some positive results.
Seat Disassembly: seat covers - they don't fit right, so that wasn't an option. my motto is "if it doesn't look factory, it isn't good enough." so i tore down the seats and threw the fabric in the washing machine and then let them dry a few days.
the trick to getting the fabric off the buttcheek-part of the fronts is to remove the four bolts that hold that small/square pan to the main frame. there is a bolt on each side near the front and two at the back. then just peel back the fabric to cut the hog ring staples and remove the steel rods.
to pull the seat-tilt lever knob, wrap some string around the back of each and yank them off. i then used the DupliColor Rust Fix spray to convert current rust and try to inhibit future rust ...honestly, i don't think that stuff seems good for anything else (like a primer as it says it is).
CARPET: i pulled the carpet and banged as much sand out as i could. i then made a ramp with some plywood against a trashcan so water/dirt could flow off while i washed the carpet with an automotive foaming carpet cleaner and scrubbed it with a nylon bristled brush. then i used the garden hosed to rinse it clean and let it dry overnight.
the next day, i sprayed it with the DupliColor F&V in charcoal grey just like i would any other object. i think i put about 3 fairly liberal coats on it. it was my first go, so some of the khaki faintly comes through it in spots, but i didn't bother to fix that since most of it is hidden. i later learned that if you feel the carpet becomes too stiff, you can use the nylon brush to brush it softer after it has dried (this works well for the fuzzy seat backs).
SEATS: this was my first attempt at automotive upholstery, so i went to Home Depot and bought their cheap hog ring pliers and a bag of hog rings located in the chain link fence department. the trick to the fronts was to kind of turn them inside out to work them back down over the foam. then insert the anchor wires and crimp new hog rings as you go down. i left the fronts and the bench in two pieces then assembled them after letting the fabric paint dry a day or two.
i wanted two-tone, so i masked it off at the seam. use good masking tape because one thing you will want to do is really pull/push down at the seams as you spray so you get paint down in there. it's tedious pausing to pull back the seam every 3" to spray, but if you want it to look right, it's something you'll have to do. on the grey, i actually applied the tape 1/4"+ away from the seam to allow some overlap. the bench was my first go - i later opted to make the overlap less than 1/8"
it doesn't say on the label anywhere, but i saw a video on the DupliColor site that said this stuff is also UV resistant. each front seat took about 3-4 cans and the bench maybe 5-7. of course your start/finish color may require less/more - i was going from very light to very dark. i purchased them at $7.20+ each. i applied about 3-4 liberal coats in different directions to get the best coverage. i did not "work" or rub the wet paint into the fabric - i personally felt this stuff dries too fast to try to do that.
it does cause the fabric to become stiffer. i found that the best solution to this was to get an old pair of jeans, turn them inside out, and use the denim to "buff" the seats until they were softer. then i vacuumed and used a lint brush to pull the dust off. again, you can use the nylon brush to comb the fuzzy backs until they are softer. the downside to the buffing is that it does dull/fade the intended color a bit and it still won't be as soft as it started.
all in all, i am happy with the results. unfortunately, this stuff WILL slowly/eventually rub off over time (i knew this going in - some people have said they just pull the seats every 1-2 years and give them a quick, light coating), which is why it is "touch up" paint. however, it doesn't stick to clothes unless you sit there and aggressively dry hump it with white pants on ...it kind of comes off like dust if you rub it hard. obviously it's not the best/permanent solution, but it will get me through a while until other purchases are out of the way and i order factory-fit (hog ringed) replacements from www.leatherseats.com.
still, i would recommend it to anyone in a similar position or that has sun-faded seats.
thanks! ha, that set-up definitely has got to go. the wheels are too flashy for my tastes as well, but the worst part is their obnoxious weight. yeah, i'm hoping the Toyo M/Ts help them sell once they get replaced when 35" BFGs finally come off back order.
reading through people's thoughts of DupliColor Fabric & Vinyl on the internet, i decided those that failed had failed in their prep. they insisted they followed the directions on the can - but the can's directions seem to be intended for "touch up" rather than overhaul.
dash disassembly is pretty straight forward, aside from the airbag cover. i have no clue how the factory gets the two bolts that anchor the corners in easily. i took everything off i could, then used a ratcheted box wrench from the bottom to slowly/tediously work those buggers out.
the window crank has one little, half-circle spring-type clip that clips around the metal crank shaft - i think i used two long screwdrivers to get down in there and pop it out ...put a blanket down or some tape around it so it doesn't bounce out of sight. to easily reinstall, put the clip in the crank handle then push the handle back on to the metal shaft until it "snaps" in.
Prep: i first sprayed each part with window cleaner that contains ammonia and used a 3M pad to scrub all over, followed by a thorough rinsing. be careful with the ammonia cleaner because it can haze/cloud the darker factory dash parts you don't intend on painting (i learned the hard way on my black center dash piece - but now it matches exactly). once dried, i then sprayed them with KleanStrip Prep All spray and buffed with a clean, lint-free towel until dry. go buy some nitrile gloves at the pharmacy to prevent skin oils from contaminating your prep and paint throughout the whole process.
Paint: one at a time, i hung the parts on wire hangers in the middle of my garage and lightly went over them with a tack cloth. the odor of this stuff is quite strong and lingering, so i opened up all the doors/windows and used a mask. the first 3 light-to-medium coats were DupliColor's Adhesion Promoter - it's basically a plastic primer. i let each coat dry 2-3 minutes before applying the next. then it was time for the 6-7 light-to-medium V&F color coats, waiting 2mins+ between them. once done, i hung each for a few days before touching them (this seems to be one of the keys to it holding up).
there are a lot of areas on the dash that get covered by other parts, but i did well to hit every nook with each coat on the front side and also get a few decent coats all over the back to inhibit any peeling points.
i made a diagram of how each vent went together before taking them apart. save yourself the headache and be careful not to let the fins fall out of their frame (they come out easily). the outside vent fins will need sprayed - the smallest/thinnest fin goes on the bottom. i think i gave these 1-2 coats of Adhesion Promoter and 3 coats of F&V color.
Install: after a few days of drying/curing, i buffed each piece with a clean microfiber cloth to smooth out the paint just prior to install. after the main dash piece, the PITA airbag cover is next. i was not about to go through the hassle of putting those long airbag screws back in. i originally planned on using some standard plastic automotive interior anchors (left), but i found a couple large japanese sportbike cowling push-rivets in my stash instead (right)...
to install the rivets, i recommend not having the passenger seat in so you can lie on your back to see where they go. i then took an old interior house door installation shim (very skinny piece of wood) and cut a V-notch in one end that fit the rivet. with some tape, it held in there nicely and i was able to painstakingly get it up to the hole. once the base was in, i reached up and pushed the center piece in to hold the cover. if their's a next time, i will just need a long flathead screwdriver to "pop" the rivet and slide it out.
the door panels are the only pieces that required two colors. in order to get good coverage, i had to remove the top weatherstripping/beltline. it is held in by gnarly staples - the best way to get them out is by patiently prying the ends up and pulling them out. do not mangle the strips (they are EXTREMELY delicate) because you cannot purchase them anywhere unless you buy the entire panel - i tried contacting a few places and they had nothing close. i used 1/8" diameter by 1/4" grip stainless steel rivets to reinstall the strips with my pneumatic riveter. if you saved the staples, you might be able to reuse them, or you can buy new ones.
i buffed the grey with a microfiber towel and then used "delicate" painters tape to put down the lines and mask off the center. i also masked the black plastic that forms the back of the door's lower pocket. i gave them 2-3 light-to-medium coats of Adhesion Promoter then 6-7 light-to-medium coats of the black F&V. i probably used about 2 cans combined to do each door since i also did the back in a few coats. after i pulled the masking, i realized the black paint does not go on as thick as the grey, so you'll want to put down more or heavier coats for black. i saw one guy who had great results that put down 16 light coats. i made sure to get thicker coats on the door sills and the top of the center console where my arms could potentially rub it off. again, this is marketed as "touch up" paint, so i could use it for just that in the future.
i was very careful installing everything because i think this paint needs a long time to cure. i've rubbed/scuffed up against it a few times with no problems, but i've not dared give it a true test ...so i can't say yet how well it holds up to real abuse. right now, i am very happy with the results. i will update this after i put it through some usage.
WEAR UPDATE: after nine months, it is holding up exceptionally well and no one has figured out that it was recolored. there are a few scuffs near the window crank but nothing that has removed paint there. however, my center console has a few small nicks. one from a watch that scraped against it near the release button and another scrape on the back side of it from a backpack thrown onto the rear seat floor. my buddies knife clip also scored up my passenger door a bit. these marks aren't exactly obvious as paint scrapes and I have a feeling a quick touch-up could hide them entirely. i'll give that a try with some before and after pics if/when the marks bother me enough. it really comes down to who's in the vehicle: i'm careful and the back seat doesn't get used that often. if you have kids and/or animals, this might not be a good option for you but it worked great for me.
i am the third owner. the original installed a 4" lift and relocated the front track bar ...which leaves much less metal around the new hole for strength. instead of buying an adjustable bar, i did some research and decided to reinforce the axle bracket.
Disassembly: to make the job easier and allow me to get my welder up there, i removed the passenger-side tie rod end. to do so, i backed the castle nut out until its top was flush with the top of the tie rod threads. then i placed a ball-peen hammer on it and whacked that with my small sledge (had that not worked so well, i would have busted out the ball joint fork). i used a bungee cord to pull it up out of the way. i did not remove the wheel, but that would give you more room to work.
with my jack and a long 4x4 wood block under the driver's front frame corner, i played with it to take a bit of weight/tension off the axle-side track bar bolt in order to wiggle it out. i just left the track bar to hang while i worked.
here, i'm not sure if the hole has wallowed out a little towards the 4 or 5 o'clock position or if it was just drill poorly. in any case, it is definitely larger than the stock mounting hole.
this shot shows the tension-induced engraving of the bolt threads on the relocated back mounting hole. i used a rotary air tool with a scuff pad to clean up the front tab for welding.
Plate: i placed a 3x5 card on the front tab and basically rubbed the edges to give me an outline to make my pattern. i cut extra out of the pattern to leave room at the top and sides for my welds. the very bottom is flush and the long, angled section at the bottom of my pattern has almost 3/16" of overhang.
after cutting the steel out with a rotary cutting disc, i cleaned it with the rotary scuff. then i lined it up and used a small c-clamp to hold it while i took a scratch awl to transfer the holes. it's steel, so set your drill for a slower speed, use some oil, start with a pilot hole and slowly work up to 7/16" (i did 27/64" for less slop).
the stock bolt is a Class 10.9 specialty bolt (the rumor requiring a Class 12.9 bolt here is false: the bolt only needs to be torqued to 40 ft-lbs, not 55 ft-lbs). i decided to replace it along with the special nut since the new hole is fairly accessible with a box wrench. i then cut the original bolt to reuse the factory washer. i then went to my local fastener supplier and purchased a Class 10.9 M10 X 1.50 hex head that is 75mm long along with a matching prevailing torque lock nut.
i refer to the original bolt as "special" because it has a slimmer shaft compared to the M10 threads. you can see in the comparison photo that it allows for quite a bit of slop in the bracket and the track bar end - i think it is this way to make installation a little easier. in any case, i only drilled the holes in my plate to 27/64".
Weld: i bought my welder (Lincoln; 120V; flux-core) about 8 years ago in order to build some funky engine brackets for a franken-cycle. since then, i've maybe gotten 2 hours of experience with it since i worked mostly on aluminum-framed sportbikes at my old shop. it's still one of my favorite toys ...tools. i did consider driving the Jeep to my local welder 2 miles away, but figured it was time for me to man-up and go for the glory. i was very nervous since i hadn't welded anything this important (attached).
i did a few test passes on some spare steel. then i mounted the new piece to the axle bracket and did another test at the voltage below recommended as a worrisome precaution. i then flipped it to the highest voltage, and despite my nervous shaking, laid down a few good beads (especially on the left and right sides).
and some not so good ones (upside down is difficult)...
but it came out solid, so i was happy.
Assembly: with my ugly welds cleaned up, it was time to give it a quick coat of satin black and put it back together. with less slop, i found it more difficult to get everything to line up for the new bolt. i again used my floor jack and 4x4 to remove a bit of tension on the track bar, but it still wasn't enough. so i re-installed the tie rod end and half threaded the castle nut back on to keep the wheel in place. then i took a long 2x4 and placed it against the outside surface of the passenger frame and used the small Jeep jack against the tire to push the frame over about 1mm to line it up. again, i reused the stock specialty nut and the washer. i torqued the track bar bolt to 40 ft-lbs and the tie rod castle nut to 40 ft-lbs* - if the castle nut does not line up with the pin hole, tighten it instead of loosening it.
Track Bar Bolt: 40 ft-lbs (this is per the manual. not the 55 ft-lbs bouncing around the forum)
Tie Rod Castle Nut: 35/55 ft-lbs*
(* there is a discrepancy in the manual for the tie rod nuts - the torque chart says 55 ft-lbs, but the installation procedures say 35 ft-lbs. i personally torque to 40 ft-lbs and tighten from there if the cotter pin hole doesn't line up)
how to install AND improve the 1" Daystar Polyurethane Body Mount Lift Kit
Plan: 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.
Radiator: 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.
TC Skid: 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.
LOOSE NUTSERT: 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.
Body Lift: 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
Verdict: 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.
thanks Beasley, i am really happy how factory-original it looks. i've seen 3-year follow-ups on posts from guys who did everything correctly with no issues. prep and cure are obviously important for the panels, but seem to be overlooked in most attempts - having a spare car really helped me take my time and do it right. i actually noticed yesterday that getting in and out over the past few weeks, i've "scuffed" the lower/black part of the dash with my shoe a few times. one looked really bad at first glance, but they all wiped away with my hand. check back in a month or two and i should have an update to the post about how it's holding up to some normal usage. although the seats came out good, i'd definitely recommend ordering correct-color replacements if there's some spare cash around.
my clevises were making me nervous with all the racket they were making back there, so i came up with an easy fix. the problem wasn't so much from them swinging forward and rearward against my bumper as it was due to them banging, clanging, and jostling around inside the mount hole.
i had some tinted plexi lying around that just happened to be half the thickness of the total gap difference of the clevis and mount. so i took a 1.75" holesaw and cut out 4 circles. then i ran a 7/8" holesaw through each of those, cleaned them up with a deburring tool, put one on either side of the two mounts, and tightened down each clevis.
much quieter = much less worrying that something might be falling/breaking off.
there are a few things i found that the JKS instructions didn't mention that could save you some frustration.
i did my Motor Mount Lift in conjunction with the Daystar 1" Body Lift.
with the BL installed and my T-case skid plate off (since i'm removing the T-case drop), i raised the transmission and TC up to where i thought it should be (eyed the underside shifter boot and the distance from the frame rails to the transmission-to-skid mount. my fan shroud was also still off from the BL. most of the wrenching for this occurs from below, so be prepared to spend 70-80% of this install on your back. go ahead and hit everything with PB Blaster before you set up. i opted to place a 2x4 vertically from my floor jack (instead of the transmission housing ...that was already on a jack) against the oil pan rim to get the best leverage. working on the passenger side, i found it helpful to completely remove the air box cover and filter. the cross bolts and their nuts use an 18mm wrench.
Passenger or Driver First?: since the passenger side doesn't have the A/C and all the wiring in the way, i decided to tackle that side first ...what a mistake. the instructions don't hint at which side to start with - so for me, the passenger appeared to be a much easier option but that was the wrong one. DO THE DRIVER SIDE FIRST. in the following photo, i marked the edges of the frame bracket and the motor bracket on the passenger side that will hit each other which inhibited my attempt to fully raise it while the driver side remained in the stock position. the motor did get 1" higher, but these butting parts would not let everything align properly. maybe this was because i had the skid off? i don't know, but if you go passenger first and this happens to you, just move on to my workaround - don't fight it for as long as i did.
Workaround if You Tried the Passenger Side First and Get Hung Up: what i ended up doing to get more play was removing the new bolt extension from the insulator, placing the insulator and the JKS riser on the frame bracket, then lightly snugging the JKS-supplied M10 bolt (17mm hex head) down where instructed. since my skid was off, i had to push the transmission a few millimeters sideways to line the engine bracket up. this all finally allowed me to slide the cross bolt in so i could do the driver's side and come back later to do the passenger mount completely.
Driver Side: to get to the mount bolt easier, use a 10mm socket to remove the two bolts that hold the wiring rail to the intake manifold. now you will be able to get to the 15mm hex head with a long extension. the underside mount nut is also a 15mm, as well as the 3 motor bracket bolts. these all have to be removed so the mount and the bracket can come out in one piece from the bottom. take note when removing it how you manipulated it so you know how to finagle it back up into position.
here's a little trick to getting the riser, mount, and motor bracket back up onto the driver-side frame bracket: take a piece of paper and wrap it around the mount and riser then tape it on the top (don't let the tape stick to the parts). the paper will hold everything together and still easily slide out once everything is in position. before installing the motor bracket bolts, i used compress air to blow out any debris that may have gotten in there. i threaded the riser/mount nut and bolt before threading in the motor bracket bolts. i then torqued the motor bracket bolts (37 ft-lbs) and lightly snugged down the riser/mount nut and bolt to allow a bit of play on the other side just in case.
Passenger Side: with the driver side raised, i knocked this mount out quickly. in order to get to the passenger side mount nut, you are going to have to use a 15mm box wrench to get the lower motor bracket bolt out. now you will be able to use a socket with extension to back the nut off. with the driver side up an inch, it made alignment on the passenger side really easy. i probably wasted a couple hours trying to install the passenger side first. install the motor bracket bolt after the riser/mount nut and bolt are torqued (30 ft-lbs) and the cross bolt isn't supporting any weight. and no, i wasn't able to get a torque wrench on this bolt.
now torque the passenger cross bolt (60 ft-lbs), lower that side and then raise the driver side back up so there's no weight on the cross bolt. torque the riser/mount nut and bolt then torque the cross bolt. finally, re-install the wiring rail onto the intake manifold.
Cross Bolt: 60 ft-lbs
Mount/Riser Nut and Bolt: 30 ft-lbs
Motor Bracket Bolts: 37 ft-lbs
Linkage: now that the motor is lifted, the linkage for the 4-wheel drive will need lowered ...or in my case, i had to switch out the "mod-plate." my ruibicon came with a 4" suspension lift, so it already had a plate installed to accommodate the 1.5" transfer case drop. since i added a 1" body lift in conjunction to the motor lift, i was able to get my pinion angles to match around 7.5-8 degrees without the t-case drop. so i swapped the longer suspension lift plate with the shorter one included in the JKS kit.
i had to tighten the plate bolts AFTER the large bracket was in place - the linkage kept binding if i tried to put it up without angling the plate off the bracket. still, the hardest part is getting the four 10mm hex head bolts that mount in from the driver's floor into the linkage bracket. i didn't have a helper available so i used pieces of wood to shim and hold the bracket in place so i could thread the bolts one at a time...
with the bracket in, i used a ratcheting box wrench to tighten the plate bolts down and found that i could see what i was doing to the rear bolt through the large hole in the t-case skid below the front drive shaft.
DRIVER: raising my driver's seat 1.5" inches was very simple yet made a huge difference.
i purchased a couple feet of 1/8"-walled tubing that is 1.50" square at a local welding shop and had them cut me four 2" long pieces from it. at my fastener supplier, i bought four longer mounting bolts with fender washers then went home to drill clearance holes through the center of the new risers. with everything cleaned up, i sprayed the inside of the brackets with satin black and then applied a couple coats of bedliner to the outside. re-installed and done.
Bolts Needed (Driver +1.50"):
(3) Class 10.9 M8 x 1.25 70mm long hex head with M8 x 24 washers
(1) Grade 8 7/16-20 3" long hex head with M12 x 37 washer
PASSENGER: i only raised the passenger side 1" since i've read a few incidents of windshield smashing from tilting the seat forward. also, i have recolored my dash and am concerned about the seat rubbing and wearing the color away on the lower part of it. 1" higher allows me to tilt the seat forward a decent amount before it starts to touch the dash.
i cut four 2" long risers out of 1" x 1.50" rectangular 1/8"-walled tubing. the mounting holes in the seat bracket for the passenger are more offset than the driver's, so instead of drilling the center (1" from the edges), i drilled 3/4" from of one edge. i bought four longer bolts and fender washers to account for the extra inch of height. the seat does make contact as it slides under the dash and will certainly/eventually rub the black from my originally khaki panels. i thought about welding a stop plate to the back of the rail - simple fix, but greatly limits the ability to get things into the back seat.
Bolts Needed (Passenger +1.00"):
(3) Class 10.9 M8 x 1.25 60mm long hex head with M8 x 24 washers
(1) Grade 8 7/16-20 2.5" long hex head with M12 x 30 washer
after the 1" body lift, i went right ahead and modified the gas tank to sit 1" higher inside the frame.
there were a few differences, but i used lupinsea's gas tank mod walk through to get me started in the right direction.
i drove my tank quite close to empty, but not close enough. i definitely recommend siphoning as much out as you can because the sloshing makes getting the filler part out of the fender very awkward and difficult.
in lupinsea's Fig 6, there was a third line on my jeep in that cluster that needed to be disconnected AND a fourth sitting about 8" to the rear from those shown. i had to lower the tank about halfway before i was able to squeeze the clip to pop it off.
Remove: also, there is a large clip on the passenger side that is very difficult to manage (which i believe is the vapor line). the tank will have to be lowered a little bit and you will have to squeeze in to get at it - there is very little available slack. i ended up actually breaking the tab ears off due to the difficulty in access. luckily, i learned a little shade-tree trick a while back to "fix" this new problem...
Cut & Weld: i was very meticulous in my measuring, cutting, and welding - the result was a perfect fit the first time, so take your time. with the skid and tank separated and cleaned, i laid down my lines with a grey sharpie and used a cutting wheel to cut the three tabs off. i used a wire brush on my grinder to remove the paint then clamped the tabs 1" lower on the skid. i double checked my measurements (accounting for cutting disc width) and stitch-welded them back on. i placed the large rear tab on the inside on the skid and the two smaller tabs on the outside of the skid to gain a little more clearance from the trackbar.
Clearance: with everything welded in place, i test fitted the skid. the smallest tab has an angle where the cut was made, so i had to bend it in in order to get it to line up with the stud again. then i began trimming parts of it out to ensure it wouldn't rub on the trackbar, no matter what future mods may do. i also bent-in the area above the passenger-side strap a little. once everything was done, i went over it with 180 grit sandpaper. i sprayed the inside bottom and halfway up the sides with primer and satin black paint and did all the remaining surfaces in bedliner. i figure the spray paint's smoother surface won't let dirt and sand accumulate as rapidly within the skid as the bedliner would.
(since modifying the track bar and bracket in post #20, i'm wishing i had cut another 1/2" out of the entire right vertical edge for more clearance)
i made a little extra room for the driver-side shock too:
also, you have to cut this out to allow the lines to clear the harness tab on the driver's side (i did this before i welded the tab back on):
Straps: now it's time to lengthen the straps. i first cut the straps about 2cm from the curve near the stud end. i then cut two 1.5" long pieces from an 1/8" thick piece of 1.25" wide flat steel - the 1.5" length allowed 1/4" overlap on the straps. i welded each piece to the outside of the strap.
Install: place the tank inside the skid, but at an angle with it sitting on the rear tab so you can get the straps in. then drop the tank in completely and put the strap studs through their mount holes - but just thread the nut on to allow for a little bit of play. i tightened these bolts last.
now gradually raise the tank and connect everything in the order you disconnected as you reach each coupling. one of the more difficult parts of this is clipping the four lines that run along the top of the tank near the bumper. i started with the driver's side and worked my way to the passenger side. i re-connected the vapor line before being able to get the last of those rear clips in.
raise the tank completely to thread all the the skid nuts and torque them to 12 ft-lbs. finally, torque the strap nuts to 40 inch-lbs. with my tank installed, you can see where the bottom of the strap extension sits in relation to the body ...just out of sight and will be well-hidden with the spare attached.
Fuel Tank Skid Nuts: 12 ft-lbs
Fuel Tank Strap Nuts: 40 inch-lbs