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Unread 07-14-2014, 10:44 PM   #1
rams17
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Rough Country Lift Install

Hello everyone, Ive been lurking on the forum for a few weeks now, reading the faq and exploring various threads. I own a 2005 4.7L grand cherokee limited and became interested in giving the vehicle a bit more of an aggressive look as well as being able to fit larger tires. After exploring the forums for a good chunk of time, I decided on getting the rough country 2" body lift.

I began working on installing the lift this weekend, with slow progress. Who knew the bolts would be so difficult to remove with just a socket wrench after 85,000 miles! I started at the rear of the vehicle and was able to install that park of the lift with help from strut compressors thanks to auto zones loan a tool program (amazing btw). While I have completely reassembled the rear, I had some questions about my reassembly job.

In this picture you can see that the spring is not sitting perfectly balanced on the spacer, as if the back end of the spring may actually slip off. I do believe that I may not have reinstalled the spring exactly how it was when I dissembled it, but I figured a springs a spring right? But now it looks a little funny to me so I just thought I'd ask before learning the hard way.

Ive since moved on to the front of the vehicle and have presumably been meet with slow progress once again. The bolts were much more difficult to remove this go around, and after buying some pb blaster and borrowing a impact wrench from work, I was able to remove those rusty bastards. What I believe to be the track bar is still giving me trouble though.

I was able to remove the nut but cannot seem to pull the nut out. Ive tried hammering on the bottom of the exposed screw with little success. Ive tried jacking up the axel to different heights and pulling it out without results. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips of how to separate this piece as to allow the axel to drop more when reinstalling the strut. As for now, I am under the assumption that I should be heating up the bolt, soaking it in pb blaster, then hammering the bolt in attempt to remove it. Any advice?
Also, I have removed the struts and attached the lift to it. I was putting the strut compressors I "rented" on the springs in order to compress the strut, but it seemed to have no overall effect on the overall size of the strut. How can I compress the strut to make its installation more hassle-free?
If you read down this far, thanks for your time and sorry for any noob questions!

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Unread 07-14-2014, 10:50 PM   #2
121ak
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Go easy on that front end!

I had a really hard time taking the front end apart on my 07. I had to take a sledge hammer to some of those bolts because they wouldn't come out.

But I have a rust belt Jeep with over 100k.

I ended up taking it to a local mechanic who had the lift kit on in a matter of hours.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 06:05 AM   #3
rams17
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Another question. If I decide that the hassle is not worth the saved money to me, how much do you think it should reasonably cost to get a mechanic to install just the front end for me? Shouldn't be more than 2 hours worth of work for those guys, especially after I already loosened up everything for them haha
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Unread 07-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #4
BlackPrintz
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I have a 2" RC budget boost in mine and the local shop where I purchased the lift also did the install, the total was $325 (lift + installation). I don't even know what the lift cost was, but the total was pretty reasonable, and they have all the tools and expertise to do the job.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
bersh
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I'm not sure if by track bar you mean the sway bar link bolt, or you're trying to separate the tie rod ball joint from the spindle. For the sway bar link, you need to remove pressure on the bolt by putting a jack under the spindle and jacking it up a touch. You might have to tighten it a touch and then push the bottom of the sway bar link towards the control arm, then loosen again. You can also jack up the other side by the frame to relieve pressure from the link as well. As far as the tie rod ball joint, it looks like you have that nut removed but you really shouldn't have to disassemble this. You should disconnect the wheel sensor from the spindle and by removing the caliper you will have more room to swing the control arm down as well (kind of a beyotch to do in the state it's in but keep it in mind for the other side).

As for the rear spring - you should drop the axle and reposition it.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 02:11 PM   #6
rams17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bersh View Post
I'm not sure if by track bar you mean the sway bar link bolt, or you're trying to separate the tie rod ball joint from the spindle. For the sway bar link, you need to remove pressure on the bolt by putting a jack under the spindle and jacking it up a touch. You might have to tighten it a touch and then push the bottom of the sway bar link towards the control arm, then loosen again. You can also jack up the other side by the frame to relieve pressure from the link as well. As far as the tie rod ball joint, it looks like you have that nut removed but you really shouldn't have to disassemble this. You should disconnect the wheel sensor from the spindle and by removing the caliper you will have more room to swing the control arm down as well (kind of a beyotch to do in the state it's in but keep it in mind for the other side).

As for the rear spring - you should drop the axle and reposition it.
Thanks for all the information bersh, it is really helpful. After googling up a goo number of those terms, I realize that I was trying to remove the tie rod ball joint. I was under the impression that the directions stated to remove this part to get everything to drop further, although it does seem to drop pretty far without it being removed.
I feel like this is a little more difficult than I had originally anticipated and am in over my head. While I have the front struts removed and the rough country bb installed on them, I cant reinstall them, even with the strut compressor (which seem to not compress the strut at all btw). I am leaning towards reinstalling everything back to the way it originally was and pay a shop to do the front for me. I called my usual maintenance shop asking for a quote and was told that they don't install lifts, and referred me to a local 4x4 shop. The 4x4 shop gave me a quote of $300 for just the front. Needless to say, I believe this to be a little steep. Does anyone have any suggestions for a shop that would do this? Would a local shop or chain store be a better choice? I live in Atlanta if anyone has any suggestions for shops.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
Just_Josh
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ah man don't give up now, you're almost there. if you take the plastic splash guard out of the wheel well and loosen the upper control arm mounts a little, you should have plenty of room to squeeze the strut back in to place.

For the rear springs, I read a TSB that said to make sure the pigtail ends of the spring face toward the rear of the vehicle. I had an awful creaking noise like an old wooden chair due to not having them in the right direction.
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Unread 07-15-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
bobbylx
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Here's a good video if you haven't already seen it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiM9pnzg6ak
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Unread 07-15-2014, 09:06 PM   #9
bersh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rams17 View Post
Thanks for all the information bersh, it is really helpful. After googling up a goo number of those terms, I realize that I was trying to remove the tie rod ball joint. I was under the impression that the directions stated to remove this part to get everything to drop further, although it does seem to drop pretty far without it being removed.
I feel like this is a little more difficult than I had originally anticipated and am in over my head. While I have the front struts removed and the rough country bb installed on them, I cant reinstall them, even with the strut compressor (which seem to not compress the strut at all btw). I am leaning towards reinstalling everything back to the way it originally was and pay a shop to do the front for me. I called my usual maintenance shop asking for a quote and was told that they don't install lifts, and referred me to a local 4x4 shop. The 4x4 shop gave me a quote of $300 for just the front. Needless to say, I believe this to be a little steep. Does anyone have any suggestions for a shop that would do this? Would a local shop or chain store be a better choice? I live in Atlanta if anyone has any suggestions for shops.
You're too close to turn back now, and the work it's going to take to return it back to stock isn't really much different than what it will take to keep moving forward. As mentioned in the post above, you can pop out the wheel well liners and loosen the upper control arm bolts which makes it easy to rotate it up and out of the way, or even remove it if need be. Also, it's true that removing the tie rod ball joint will give you a bit more room to move the lower arm down. You could use a clamp and screw type remover tool to pop it out (not sure if you can smack it to free it like the top one or not). I don't like the pickle fork type tools as they can bugger up the boot on the joint.

The spring compressor won't really compress the assembly, it will just take pressure off the spring which might allow you to put some weight on it and compress it down a touch. I doubt you'll be able to compress it and get it in place before it rebounds though, but if you have the compressor on there already might be worth a shot.

Once you get the shock assembly staged and ready to go, step on the lower arm/caliper and use one hand to raise the upper control arm as you wiggle it in place with the other. If you keep getting hung up on the upper arm, just remove it as if you have it loose you're almost there anyway.
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Unread 07-16-2014, 05:21 AM   #10
hxdrummerxc
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Like others said,
Your too close to give in now.

I just went through this a few months ago. Installed the RC lift on my jeep with 95,000 miles. I had to deal with those pesky damn LCA bolts, and even had to buy two new ones from the dealer because mine were so badly pitted when I finally got them out.

Also, I didn't have a spring compressor or strut compressor, and I did not know that Autozone had such a program. So with the help of my brother, we were able to muscle the front struts back in. One person jamming the UCA as far up as possible while the other jammed the whole strut/fork assembly up there. It took some grunting / cursing / sweating / finger pinching. But we got them in.

Then came the rear springs. With no spring / coil compressor. We actually came up with this (probably awfully-unsafe) idea that worked. We used two small ratchet straps. One on each side of the spring. Both pulling on the spring inwards to compress it. Then we tightened those damn things down, threw the spring under the jeep, then broke the straps free. It seemed like a shady idea at first, I laughed at my brother for thinking of it. But it worked like a charm, and made it surprisingly easy.

Don't give up man. Your almost there. Most people get stuck on the damn LCA bolts and give up. Your past the hardest part, your at the last stretch.
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Unread 07-16-2014, 01:25 PM   #11
csacharuk
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Rams,

I installed the same lift a month ago and it was a PIA, but you're almost there! I undid the bolt for the UCA which allowed much more clearance and allowed getting the strut back in a little easier. Once the control arm is separated the knuckle and entire wheel hub assembly can be lowered freely. I used a jack to control how low I dropped it down, because the lower you go the more tension put on the front axle and the knuckle in the boot can actually come out. This happened to me and was a huge pain in the ***. Lots of grease.

I also somehow stripped the bolt for the UCA and had to recut the thread, but oh well.

Hopefully this helps somewhat...my terminology for what parts specifically I address may be off. I don't consider myself a mechanic, but I get by pretty well on my own haha.

Good luck and don't give up!

The WK looks great with the lift and larger tires!

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Unread 07-21-2014, 05:16 PM   #12
rams17
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Hey everyone, after a few more hours of work I was able to complete the job. Thanks for the help everyone. Definitely couldn't have done it without you guys.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #13
csacharuk
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Let's see some photos!
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Unread 07-21-2014, 06:35 PM   #14
luckyse7ens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rams17 View Post
Hey everyone, after a few more hours of work I was able to complete the job. Thanks for the help everyone. Definitely couldn't have done it without you guys.

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Unread 07-23-2014, 07:16 PM   #15
rams17
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Plasti Dipped the wheels black.
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