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Unread 07-20-2002, 03:12 AM   #1
moabster
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2011 WK 
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Orem, Utah
Posts: 402
Rubicon Express 4.5" lift on a YJ

Installing the Rubicon Express 4.5” Extreme Duty Spring Lift Kit

Before I purchased the RE lift kit I search the internet for a set of instructions. I found a couple of write-ups but no instructions. Then I emailed Rubicon Express and never got an answer. I am going to “borrow” heavily from the instructions that came with the kit. I hope RE doesn’t mind.

First, this is what the kit contains:
  • 2 – Front Leaf Springs (5 springs)
    2 – Rear Leaf Springs (6 springs)
    4 – Shocks (Doetsch Tech 3000s)
    2 – Front Stainless Steel Extended Brake Lines
    1 – Rear Stainless Steel Extended Brake Line
    1 – RE Transfer Case Drop Kit w/ Hardware (1”)
    2 – RE Sway Bar Disconnects
    1 – Track Bar Bracket
    1 – Front and Rear U-Bolt Set (8 total)
    2 – Front Greasable Shackles
    2 – Rear Greasable Angled Shackles
    4 – Main Eye Greasable Bushings
    4 – Degree Shims (2.5” by 4” by 2.5 degrees)
    1 – Drop Pitman Arm
Required (and desired) Tools:
  • Factory Manual (mostly for torque specifications)
  • Basic set of hand tools including sockets, wrenches, hammer, breaker bars,
  • Pliers, Torx/Phillips/Standard screwdrivers, etc.
  • Pitman Arm Puller
  • 1-5/16” socket for Pitman Arm Nut
  • Floor Jack
  • Jack Stands (2 Pair)
  • Wheel Chalks
  • Torque Wrench (150 foot pounds)
You may also want:
  • Air powered impact driver
  • Long Cheater Bar
  • 12” Punch
  • Grinder
  • PB Blaster or WD-40
  • Brake Fluid
I put the kit on a 1993 Wrangler (YJ) and most of the bolts were pretty rusty. My son sprayed the leaf spring bolts, shackle bolts, drop pitman, and other bolts with PB Blaster every day for a week before we started the project. This helped on most of the bolts. (More on this later)

We started on the front end (harder).[list=1][*]Block the rear wheels of vehicle.[*]Raise the front of the vehicle and support the frame with jack stands. I put them just to the rear of the front leaf springs.
[*]Remove the front wheels.[*]Remove the front shocks. Save the mounting hardware, as it will be needed for the new shocks. I put mine in a zip lock baggie to keep parts separate.[*]Remove axle end of track bar.[*]Support axle with jack stands.
[*]Remove U-bolts and spring plates. You do not need to re-use the u-bolts or nuts. Set them out of the way.[*]Remove spring eyebolts. This was easier said than done. The bolts at the end of the spring that is attached to the jeep (not the shackle end) were very difficult to remove. The bolt was rusted to metal bushing that goes inside of the rubber bushings. The nuts came off with a breaker bar but the bolt would not budge. I tried removing it with a ½” impact driver with no success. I went out and bought a larger Ύ” impact driver. It couldn’t remove it either. I finally got out the grinder and spent an hour making sparks until the grade 8 bolt head and extended threads were gone. I had also tried to cut the bolt with a saws-all but my metal blade would not handle the grade 8 bolts.
[*]Remove the springs. [*]Remove the shackles and bushings from the frame. Punch the inner steel bushing out first, then the rubber bushings are easy to remove with a pair of pliers.[*]Remove brake hoses from hard brake line at top of frame rail. Again, this hardware was seized up. The factory manual recommended using a spanning wrench. So I went out and bought one. It would not fit over the hard line so it was useless. The rubber brake hoses are held to the top frame rail with a torx head screw. After many attempts to remove it with a socketed torx bit I finally got smart and hooked up the air driver. It came right out. I had to remove the air cleaner box and support on the driver’s side to remove that brake line. The support was held in with a few rivets, which I drilled out. Then I rotated the bracket out of the way (left one rivet in). Using a wrench I tried to loosen the rubber brake line from the hard line. I rounded off the nut. Got out the vice grips. That worked. Quick, put a container under the jeep to catch the brake fluid. Remove the other end of the old brake cable at the brake calipers.[*]Mount the new metal angle brackets to the top of the frame rail where the factory rubber hose was attached to the hard line using the original bolt.[*]Connect the stainless steel lines to the hard lines running through the new brackets. The brake line is held in using a c-clip. These were not included in my kit. I picked up a couple at Auto Zone.[*]Attach brake lines to calipers.
[*]Lightly grease front shackle and main eye bushings. (The front shackles are straight and have a spacer and third bolt in the center.)
[*]Prepare the springs by putting the larger inside diameter bushings in the spring eye on the end with the full military wrap. This end will connect to the main spring end (towards the center of the jeep). The shackle end of the spring gets the smaller diameter bushings. Install shackles and springs on the vehicle. (Do not tighten spring eyebolts at this time.)[*]Install the new U-bolts. Torque to 65-80 ft/lbs.[*]Install front shocks. (This may differ slightly depending on which shocks you purchased with your kit. Follow the instructions that came with your shocks, if any.)[*]If you haven’t remove the old sway bar connectors do so now. Re-using the old hardware install the new sway bar disconnects. I used new cotter pins from my parts box.
[*]Torque spring eye bolts. The ½” bolts on the shackle end to 65-80 ft/lbs. The 9/16” bolts on the other end to 75-90 ft/lbs.[*]Remove old pitman arm. This can be difficult. Use a 1-5/16” socket to remove the nut. Use a pitman arm puller to remove the pitman arm. I borrowed one from Auto Zone. I had to use a 5 foot long cheater bar attached to my breaker bar to break it free.[*]Install the new drop pitman arm. Torque to specifications in factory manual.
[*]Install the front tires.[*]Lower the front of the vehicle.[*]Install the front track bar with the new bracket. (The small end of the new T-bar bracket will fit into the slot underneath the factory T-bar mount. It is a tight fit.) Note: the original track bar mounting point was thicker than the new mounting bracket. The original bolt was not threaded far enough to tighten the nut fully. I had to add about ½” of washers behind the bracket to get it tight.


You are finished with the front. Take a break. The rear is easier.
[*]Block front wheels of vehicle.[*]Raise rear of vehicle and support the frame with jackstands.[*]Remove the rear wheels.[*]Support the rear axle with jackstands.[*]Remove the shocks.[*]Remove the rear trackbar. It will not be reinstalled.[*]Remove the u-bolts and spring plates.[*]Remove the rear springs. Again, I had to get out the grinder.[*]Remove the factory brake hose. Only one in the rear.[*]Install the new brake hose.[*]Prepare the springs by putting the larger inside diameter bushings in the spring eye on the end with the full military wrap. This end will connect to the main spring end (towards the center of the jeep). The shackle end of the spring gets the smaller diameter bushings. Install shackles and springs on the vehicle. The rear boomerang shackle points towards the front of the jeep and does not have a center bolt installed. (Do not tighten spring eyebolts at this time.)
[*]Insert shim between spring and spring pad on axle. Thicker end of shim should be at front of vehicle. (Pinion points up.)[*]Install U-bolts. Torque to 65-80 ft/lbs.[*]Install rear shocks. I had to install these upside down due to the clearance lost when rotating the axle to line up the pinion.[*]Torque spring eye bolts. The ½” bolts on the shackle end to 65-80 ft/lbs. The 9/16” bolts on the other end to 75-90 ft/lbs.[*]Lower axle so that it is at full droop. Rotate the rear driveshaft to insure the yokes do not bind. If shims are properly installed, this should not occur.[*]Install the rear tires.[*]Lower vehicle.

If you are going to install an SYE and not the transfer case drop then skip the next 5 steps.
[*]Install transfer case drop by supporting one side of the transfer case with the floor jack.[*]Remove hardware from one side of crossmember. (3 bolts)[*]Install spacers and new hardware.[*]Tighten to 55 ft/lbs.[*]Repeat on the opposite side.

Continue Lift Install
[*]Bleed brake system according to factory manual. Inspect all brake hoses and lines for leaks, kinks or damage.[*]Grease all zerk fittings on the new bushings.[*]Check all bolts, and lengthen drag link to center steering wheel.[/list=1]
Give it a test drive.

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2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Stock
93 YJ I6 hard top (really belongs to SPEED)
RE 4.5" Extreme Duty Lift, Advanced Adapters SYE, Tom Woods CV Drive Shaft, EA589 10" rims with 33" x 12.5" MT/Rs
Bullet Proof Front and Rear Bumpers and Tow bar

Last edited by moabster; 08-06-2002 at 04:15 PM..
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Unread 07-20-2002, 07:56 PM   #2
Bob J
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great writeup!

how was the test drive? Do you have any after thoughts about the lift?
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Unread 07-21-2002, 01:39 AM   #3
moabster
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Location: Orem, Utah
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After we got the new tires and wheels and installed the SYE and a new drive shaft we took the jeep out for a test drive. On Road we discovered a slight vibration between 35 and 45 MPH. I need to adjust the pinion angle a little more upwards. Off road for the first time the bushings squeaked because we had not greased them yet. After greasing the shackles we took another longer offroad trip up some pretty steep trails and through a river. I drove over several basket ball sized rocks with no problems. The ride is a little rough though. Maybe I should stick to baseball size rocks for a smoother ride.
The gearing is strange and needs to be lowered. Next project is 4.56 ring and pinion and lockers.
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2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Stock
93 YJ I6 hard top (really belongs to SPEED)
RE 4.5" Extreme Duty Lift, Advanced Adapters SYE, Tom Woods CV Drive Shaft, EA589 10" rims with 33" x 12.5" MT/Rs
Bullet Proof Front and Rear Bumpers and Tow bar
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Unread 08-05-2002, 02:11 PM   #4
moabster
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Location: Orem, Utah
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We pulled the shims that came with the RE 4.5" lift from the rear axle and put in steel 6 degree shims. That improved the pinion angle and just about completely removed any vibrations.

We have about 300 miles on the lift and it's time to re-torque everything. We are very happy with this lift.
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2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Stock
93 YJ I6 hard top (really belongs to SPEED)
RE 4.5" Extreme Duty Lift, Advanced Adapters SYE, Tom Woods CV Drive Shaft, EA589 10" rims with 33" x 12.5" MT/Rs
Bullet Proof Front and Rear Bumpers and Tow bar
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Unread 09-24-2003, 03:46 PM   #5
Brock
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I just found this writeup. It is very good.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 07:08 PM   #6
RHRacing
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dude great write up....

It just made me realize why my jeep is tilting to one side. It didnt' say in my instructions and i didn't realize that 2 had 5 springs and 2 had six. I put one 5 and one 6 in front and rear. As soon as i get a free day im fixing those. Thanks alot man

Ben
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1981 CJ7 - In lots of pieces... in process of build up

4.5" Rubicon Express LIft kit (still on frame)
35x12.5x15 BFG Mud Terrain tires on 15x10 rockcrawlers (still on stock axles waiting for Dana 44's to be rebuilt)
Chevy 305 - Lunati RV cam, stock heads w/slightly cut valve springs
SM465 tranny and NP205 t-case awaiting rebuild
flattie fenders cut front bumper

RHRacing - "We always come first"
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Unread 09-25-2003, 10:46 AM   #7
Brock
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RHRacing, post some updated pics with your new tires. You looked high and dry with those 31s.
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Unread 09-25-2003, 12:46 PM   #8
RHRacing
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i posted it in the jeep registry section....

But apparently no one liked it

Oh well here's the link
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/no-more-wheel-gap-52492/
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1981 CJ7 - In lots of pieces... in process of build up

4.5" Rubicon Express LIft kit (still on frame)
35x12.5x15 BFG Mud Terrain tires on 15x10 rockcrawlers (still on stock axles waiting for Dana 44's to be rebuilt)
Chevy 305 - Lunati RV cam, stock heads w/slightly cut valve springs
SM465 tranny and NP205 t-case awaiting rebuild
flattie fenders cut front bumper

RHRacing - "We always come first"
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Unread 10-04-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
KEVNISE
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Great write up good detail
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Unread 10-08-2003, 03:06 PM   #10
oreo_n2
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i wish i had read this sooner. i lost a lot of time trying to avoid having to cut off the old springs when i put new ones on, if i had known nothing would have worked, i would have cut/ground them from the start which is what i ended up doing anyways, pretty funny, i cut mine almost identically to the way you sliced yours up in the pics.

live and learn right?!

looks sweet. nice write up.
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Unread 10-08-2003, 07:15 PM   #11
TellyDSP
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Great write-up. I just finished my 4.5" XD on my YJ. Two things I wanted to note on, were that my line/spanning wrench(3/8) didnt fit over the hard line either, but then I realized that the line was coiled over and I could slide the coil back and fit the wrench over the line. Still stripped one nut and had to reflare a new fitting on. Second thing I did, instead of drilling out the rivets in the air intake mount, I drilled a 1/2 hole through the mount directly above the torx bolt on the line bracket and stuck my socket extension through the hole. Great write-up though. Right now I'm sittin on 30's with my 4.5"(pics posted in registry "YJ in the works". The ride is supposed to smooth out after a week or two, so I'm gonna see how that does.

Two questions, are you runnin the 6 degree shims with the TC drop or SYE? I ordered 8 degrees for my rig, cause right now I'm runnin a SYE, 2.5 degree shims, and TC drop and still gettin vibes.
Second question is, did the instructions tell you where to put the full and half mil wrap. I put the full on the framemount and half on shackles on a judgment call, but wasnt sure if your directions specified.

Thanx
Craig
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Unread 10-09-2003, 07:39 AM   #12
Brock
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TellyDSP, are you running a CV driveshaft with the SYE? I figured that would have taken care of the vibes. Also, the full military wrap goes on the fixed frame part and not the shackles.
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Unread 10-09-2003, 04:41 PM   #13
TellyDSP
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I have a SYE with CV driveshaft, and still gettin vibes with the TC dropped and 2.5 degree shims. I have 8 degree shims in the mail and hoping they will let me get rid of the TC drop.
I have the full wrap on the frame and half on the shackles.

Craig
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n00bs bashing n00bs, it's a pitifull thing.
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