Hey all... long time listener, first time caller. Had a few questions about the install for the 3'' IRO kit I'm getting through Kolak. I've searched through the forums looking for a write up and have had no luck, although I'll willingly admit to being technologically retarded, and it's probably right in front of my face. Anyways, everything that will be included is as follows:
Coils, front adj.trackbar, rear extended sway bar links, 10mm spacers up front, Bilsteins, coil spring isolaters all the way around and a Moog SS.
I read the install download from IRO, and it seems to be fairly straight-forward... just curious to see what hiccups any of you have come across when installing this kit, what tricks have helped, any specialized tools, and the time it took to install. I've got the basics covered insofar as hand tools, beer and pizza , and I'll probably rent a spring compressor to hurt myself with as well. Anything else y'all think I need? Not a whole lot of experience in suspensions, but I figure the best way to learn (or break EVERYTHING) is to get your hands dirty!
i had a hard time getting front sway bar arms lined up. stock are bent, but iro are straight. think i reversed one side to make even. def get the spacer for front. i was very disappointed that the front sagged so much and iro didnt take that into consideration with their lift. but i also ordered from kola and he was there to answer all my questions. i also bot the bilsteins and am so glad for it. hope it helps
def get the spacer for front. i was very disappointed that the front sagged so much and iro didnt take that into consideration with their lift.
Mine didn't sag, last time i checked I gained exactly 3 inches of lift.
Advice: I don't know how the rust is in Texas, but the rust here in Chicago is terrible. So I would say spray down your steering and drag links( or this would be a good time to replace the links and tie rods) because you WILL need to adjust the drag link afterwards. The recommend an alignment too, and when I tried to take it in they couldn't get the steering link to budge. I ended up taking it out of the car, throwing one end in a vice and tried turning the link back and forth with a pair of vice grips until I got it free. I ended up just doing a driveway alignment afterwards, and it tracks pretty well,
I didn't use a spring compressor at all. Disconnect the sway bar links and you will have more than enough suspension droop to pull out the front springs( and possibly the cup that should be attached to the spring perch. One side rusted out and came out with the spring/insulator on my Jeep). I found that if you loosen the bolts holding the upper rear control arm about an inch, you can also get the rear springs out without the use of a spring compressor. There are 3 21MM bolts. Its a little awkward to get in there, but its doable.
I did the lift by myself. It would have been easier in some parts with a helper though( such as removing/installing the springs, having someone push down on the axle while you grab the spring/install the spring). As far as the adjustable track bar, there are a few ways you can adjust it. There are write-ups on how to do it properly. The method I used was to unbolt it and take it out, then drive the Jeep back and forth in the drive way( in a straight line) a few times. I then pushed the front end of the car around to "settle" it. Then I just adjusted the trackbar to the required length. When I went back to measure using a plumbob, it was almost spot on. You'll want to adjust the drag link after you adjust the track bar.
As someone else said, spray everything you'll be unbolting/loosening with PB blaster and start a few days before so it has time to penetrate. The directions from IRO are pretty good( just wish there were pictures). Remember to torque everything down after the Jeep is back on the ground too.
Something else to look into- I don't know how the bushings and sleeves are on the bilsteins. I know on the rough countries I got they were garbage. If they don't provide a snug fit with the bolt, use the bushings out of your OEM shocks. They are thick, solid, and the correct measurements so you wont have any annoying clunking. There is a thread on a different forum on how to get them out( pretty much just burning them out, and cleaning off any remaining rubber on the sleeve, and then pressing them into your new shocks).
Also on the front upper shock bushings, do not crank the bolt down until it is super tight. You will ruin your bushings. Just tighten them up until the bushing starts filling out the cup.
Wow, I wrote a lot, but I hope this helps. If anything is unclear, or have more questions let me know.
Tools used: 15mm socket( rear shocks) 21mm wrench and socket( control arms) breaker bar, pry bar, impact gun, MAP torch, other size wrenches and sockets, i forget the sizes. I think the front OEM shocks are 14mm up top and 12 or 13 on the bottom? Just have a socket/wrench set and you'll be golden. Anti-seize. Use it, you'll be thankful in the future.
Time: It was my first time lifting a vehicle and I made some mistakes( pressed the wrong sleeves into the shock bushings( I did this at someone elses house and just had my basic tool set)) but if i didn't, maybe 5 or 6 hours, start to finish, at a leisurely pace.
IRO 3" Lift-IRO HD Crossmember-Bilstein 5100s-Treadwright Claws-D44A Spartan Locker
You will be just fine! Patience (beer) is key. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed like everytime I got frustrated, my Grand would fight back. She gets tempermental. I did my lift in about 8 hours with help, but that was thanks to quite a few set backs due to the wonderful salty winters here in Chicago. The only advice I can think of that has not been mentioned yet would be no to re-use the OEM bolt that holds the axle side of the adustable track bar. Most people end up drilling out the hole just a hair and also drilling straight through the nut on the back of the bracket (welded in place) and adding a new Grade 8 nut+bolt. This is on my weekend to-do list, my OEM bolt CONSTANTLY works itself loose.
Maybe late to this party, but if you got the OME front 10mm yellow spacer, you may find that it won't fit between the upper metal cup and the spring isolator. I think that's where it's supposed to go, but mine was awfully tight. I ended up removing some of the yellow spacer material on the ID of the spacer until it slid up into the cup. Your Mileage May Vary.
Took me a solid Saturday to install mine, all day, for front and rear working alone. The uppper shock bolt on the driver's side is a PITA. No room for a wrench under the brake booster and all.
Thanks for all the quick responses everyone! I finally got the last pieces of the kit in today, along with the tires, so I'll be throwing everything on tomorrow with the help of a few buddies and the pros at the "do it yourself" shop we have access to here on base. I figured just getting my certificate to use the lifts, tools and mounting/ balancing station will help avoid any serious headaches... plus it's only $5 an hour to play with impact wrenches, blow torches, and hack saws. Y'all keep your ears on in case I come across any life or death situations . I'll be sure to get some before/after pictures, hub-fender measurements and hopefully get some shots of the WJ out on the trail afterwords.
Oh, and I decided to take a shot at some off-brand boggers (I know, I know). They're made by Deestone, the sister company of Kenda, and they've been in business for ages. They're the Thunderer Trac Grip MT (r405) in 265/70/17. The tread is remarkably similar to the Toyo open country MT, so much so, that Toyo is currently pursuing patent infringement cases with the importers of Thunderers... at least they decided to cheat off someone who did their homework! Reviews were next to impossible to find, but I managed to find a handful of guys who run them on their rigs, all had nothing but good things to say about them, especially about the price. $524 out the door with lifetime valve stem replacement and rotations, so even if I can only squeeze out 24k, I'll be more than satisfied; although everyone I spoke to said they wear extremely well. I'll let y'all know how they dig if I get the chance to get stuck tomorrow, and I'll keep a running thread with updates every so often. Again, thanks a bunch to everybody... if it ain't a heavy weapon system or plated in armor, I tend to go full retard (while fighting a swarm of bees) when messing with anything mechanical, but y'all have definitely helped put my mind at ease. Have a good weekend!
Last edited by TheDumbGrunt; 11-23-2013 at 01:19 AM..
Well, after about 5 or so hours in the shop, a dozen busted knuckles and a few new cuss words invented, I'm just about done. Just gotta get the track bar adjusted, mount/balance the 32's and torque everything to spec. I had a few hiccups here and there, namely getting the new coils in and seated properly on the isolaters and the stock bolts on the old front shocks well compression/tapped, so I had to go pick up some new ones. I ended up with a few spare washers for the rear shocks that were *supposed to clear in the stock mounts, but there was no possible way, and they bolted too perfectly for me to worry about it. The only thing I missed was installing the 10mm OME spacers up front, but I'm not about to rip everything apart again for less than a half inch of lift. I may later down the road, but for now I'll just roll her as she sits. Everything else went pretty smoothly for my first suspension gig, all things considered.
Just one quick question: I've read several different ways to get the track bar adjusted, but is there any one way more highly recommended than another? Also, if you've got a picture with your adj. Trac bar installed, would one of you post it? I'm a bit confused on the large nut included. With the brass end... I'm assuming its just a lock-lug, but hows it work? The track bar is what's got me worried most. .. but I'm sure I'll get it licked no problem. Thanks again everybody!
We'll guys, I just pulled the trigger on purchasing the lift from Kolak. I already bought the Moog SS and Bilsteins which arrived this week. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with installing the lift after all your good comments. It'll be my first time installing a lift. My jeep currently has a BB on it, so it won't really stand much taller, but the articulation is what I'm really looking forward to. I just had a new engine put in this week too, so she'll feel like a brand new jeep when it's all said and done. I'll be sure to add some before and after pictures.
-Doug 2000WJ 4.7, IRO 3", MB TKO 16 wheels, 245/75/16 Goodyear Duratrac's, Bilstein 5100's, JKS adj. trackbar, MOOG super trail boss SS