Alright, so the lift took a LOT longer to fully complete then I originally hoped... but hey, it's done and was worth it. We started this project on Feb. 18th, completed the lift install on Feb. 25th, got the exhaust taken care of on Feb. 28th, and then the full alignment done on March 8th.
I was planning on going to a friend thats a professional fabricator up in Knoxville, TN... however, a last minute death in the family caused that plan to go out the window. The new plan was to borrow a friends 175A MIG 240V welder and use gas and just do it ourselves. That plan also went out the window when I realized that my 240 plugin was not the same and also the wiring did not have near the amount of proper amperage. So as a last resort, we used a 100A MIG 120V with flux core which is rated up to 1/4" and then just did two passes on everything. It's not the sexiest welds or ideal welder, but it'll hold just fine.
With all that said, let's get on to the build.
Pics of everything being unboxed (7 boxes from Clayton, weighing ~35 lbs. a piece):
Disconnecting everything from the front axle:
The stock shocks were a PITA to get out. The nuts on the top were over-torqued, and the little grooves on the side to hold the rod from moving was stripped VERY easily. Two vise grips were used, plus a drive extension was used on an impact gun to finally get the nut off. Even at that, the nut just finally busted off.
Once the everything was off, it was time to finally get some things put on... starting with the trackbar mount. Looks great!
The new shocks are designed WAY better. Simply slide a ratcheting wrench on the top nut, put a allen key in the center of the top nut, hold the allen key and start ratcheting. Done!
First control arm bracket going on:
And then the passenger side bracket:
The next big issue we had was with the pitman arm. It would not come off no matter what. We destroyed two pitman arm pullers, while tapping on it with a hammer, and while hitting it with mapp gas. I took a break and read on the forums that many people just leave the factory pitman arm and have no problems. I decided to let it be, and when I got my full alignment done, I'd toss it in the jeep and if its needed they could put it on. But in the meantime, I had to get the drag link off the pitman arm and there wasn't any room to tap it with a hammer... so it was time to cut off the tie rod end.