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Unread 12-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
wookiee
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Front Bilsteins installed myself

I did the front Bilsteins todays. Don't know why people pay someone else to do it. Only took 2 1/2 hours with normal tools and spring compressors that I bought ages ago.
The only thing that was a pain was moving the fuse box and reservoir to get to the upper nuts. I put the compressors on first, then loosened the nuts and fork bolts, knocked the upper a arm loose and out it came ... piece 'o cake.

Remove 3 nuts holding fusebox or 1 nut securing coolant reservoir (reservoir is also secured with tab, just push it towards the engine to release)
Push/hold fusebox or reservoir out of the way while removing 4 nuts securing upper strut bracket (pic)
Put car on jackstand.
Remove wheel
Hydraulic jack under lower control arm (LCA)
Jack all the way up until it starts to lift off jackstand
Put on spring compressors (pic)
Lower jack until light pressure is applied.
Loosen nut at upper control arm (UCA) ball joint
Hit bolt with heavy hammer (it took two strikes with my 3 pound hammer)
Unbolt lower strut clevis (fork) @ LCA. Remove bolt
Unbolt swaybar @ LCA
Unbolt the clevis bracket bolt now. It's easier than doing it once strut is removed. (pic)
Remove wireholder located at strut fork securing bolt
Keeping hold of the spindle, remove UCA nut that you loosened earlier
Keep an eye on the brake line from now on.
Slowly lower jack all the way.
Carefully remove strut. You have to push the UCA up to get the strut out.
Note orientation of shock upper mount and upper and lower spring isolators.
Spring is already compressed, so just remove the upper shock nut. (pic)
Take it all apart and lay it out on the floor in order.
Remove the clevis/fork by smacking the bottom of the shock with a heavy hammer 6-10 times.
Put the fork on the new strut by tapping it with the hammer, I put a bit of grease on the strut to help it along.
Put it all back together remembering to put the washer on FIRST as shown in the diagram that came with the new struts.

Finesse the strut back in place pushing the UCA out of the way.
I bolted the top bolts in first to hold it in place.
The rest goes back in reverse order.
It really was pretty easy.
I didn't have a large enough socket for the clevis/fork bolt so I just used two big crescent wrenches.
I did it without help, but a second set of hands while removing/installing the strut would help.
Started at 2:30, finished at 5:05

Below ... Fuse box held out of the way to access upper strut mount bolts


Below ... Spring compressors installed and UCA ball joint nut that's to be loosened


Below ... Unbolt the clevis bracket bolt



Below ... removing upper shock nut


Below ... Put that washer on first!!


Below ... Key hole for lower spring isolator doesn't match on bilstein, had to cut knob off of isolator.


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Last edited by wookiee; 12-11-2009 at 01:54 PM..
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Unread 12-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
jeepfan30
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You're teasing me! I ordered some this week and today they told me they are on nationwide backorder. Just my luck, do you know where there might be a secret stash?? I look forward to seeing your pics, I'm going to do mine myself too.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
JMorash
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Im writing this to get a notification for your pics when posted. Good job.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
modelbuilder
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Pics and a write up would be great.

My fronts are on the way. My 4wd shop got them for me from the east coast.

Already installed the rears.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 12:58 AM   #5
wookiee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfan30 View Post
You're teasing me! I ordered some this week and today they told me they are on nationwide backorder. Just my luck, do you know where there might be a secret stash?? I look forward to seeing your pics, I'm going to do mine myself too.
I ordered mine from shockwarehouse 10/29 and they got here 11/30!
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Unread 12-11-2009, 07:31 AM   #6
jeepfan30
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That's where I ordered mine. They said they will be in mid January.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 08:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfan30 View Post
That's where I ordered mine. They said they will be in mid January.
Try to call a local shop. My 4WD shop ordered them for me and they located a set of fronts for me on the east coast. I should get them next week.

Shockwarehouse is a big company and they don't have the time to give individual orders much attention. Plus my local shop was only charging $4 more per shock with free shipping.



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Unread 12-11-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Unread 12-11-2009, 10:59 AM   #9
smcginnis87
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Very cool!! helps if i do it my self...
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Unread 12-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #10
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It is super easy to do it your self, just curious why you compressed the coils before removing the whole assembly?
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Unread 12-11-2009, 12:17 PM   #11
wookiee
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Originally Posted by Acidcold View Post
It is super easy to do it your self, just curious why you compressed the coils before removing the whole assembly?
Lazy!
By putting on the compressors while the spring is already compressed, I don't have to tighten them after the strut is out.
Plus with the spring compressed, it makes the assembly itself shorter, which makes it easier to remove.
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Unread 12-12-2009, 12:01 AM   #12
grebesjeep
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How do they ride??? I need new shocks but not sure if should get stock ones or get bilsteins. My concern with the bilsteins is they will ride rough and cause the inside of the jeep to rattle and sound like $%*& over bumps....any feed back would be great! Great write up with the front install.
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Unread 12-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #13
wookiee
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The oems were always 'floaty'
If you watch indy car racers. Remember how they go over humps in the road? That's what it feels like now.
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Last edited by wookiee; 12-13-2009 at 08:23 AM..
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Unread 12-12-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
justa4banger
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So hey since i'm in town you wanna do mine lol ......

I guess i might need to order the shocks first... I almost pulled the trigger on some blistiens and SRT8 springs (going the other direct on my 2WD) , but i decided to wait after the holidays...
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Unread 12-13-2009, 10:49 AM   #15
smcginnis87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wookiee View Post
The oems were always 'floaty'
If you watch indy car racers. Remember how they go over humps in the road? That's what it feels like now.
??? so are they stiff now or what?
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