I got started on installing the new springs today. There was one major unexpected hurdle which I will detail down at the end of the post.
Here we see the parts kit:
Here we can see the one larger U-bolt which is installed near the Dana 30 differential housing:
Notice any thing odd?
Here we see the poor, sloppy paint job:
Here's one of the plastic (teflon?) inserts between the leaves:
Pitman arm puller and 1-5/16" socket for the nut:
I printed out the Skyjacker directions and was following them. They are mostly straightforward.
First, they have you park on level ground and measure from the ground to the fenders at each wheel and record the height. Then you do the same after the new lift is installed so you can see how things changed.
Working on the front, I pulled the wheels off:
I put a second set of jack stands under the front axle to support it after the u-bolts are removed. Next the shocks, and then u-bolts came off. It took a while to get the u-bolts off because the threads are so fine. An air wrench would have been handy.
One note on the u-bolts: Each u-bolt has 2 nuts (one of each end of the "U"). If one nut is too tight, try loosening the other one. Once one is loose, then the tension from the bolt is removed, and the second nut will require much less torque to remove.
Then I got started on the pitman arm.
Pin removed from castle nut:
Castle nut off:
Arm removed from steering box:
The tie rod end is OK but the boot is cracked and it should probably be replaced. I will probably leave it in, clean it up and pump more grease into it and hope it lasts a few more years.
I ended up using the pitman arm puller to remove the arm from the tie rod too. It was spaced just barely narrow enough to fit.
The one vague part of the Skyjacker directions is that it says, "Loosen but do not remove, the bolts attached to the sway bar
." It never says which bolts, and there are no diagrams. No huge deal, but can anyone shed any light on which bolts should be loosened?
So, the problem:
Somewhere around this time I realized there was a huge problem: My springs were all the same (2.5" wide), but clearly the CJ won't take 2.5" springs in the front: It has to have 2" in the front.
Here we see the labels that were applied to each spring, banged up from having shipped without any protective packaging. You can see each label clearly indicates via model number (J20RS) (R=rear) or the word "REAR" that they're all rear springs and not front springs. You can also almost see that the white labels were applied over silver labels for some reason.
Oddly enough, one of the attached UPS labels does indicate the correct part number, J20FS ("Front Spring")
At first I panicked and thought I ordered the wrong parts, but I checked my JEGS order details and saw that I did order the "J20K" which is the kit. Looking around online at different places ultimately reveals that this kit should contain front and rear springs, and the front springs are 2" wide.
I called JEGS and they're going to call Skyjacker tomorrow to see what can be done. The parts all drop shipped from Skyjacker, so it seems odd that they'd screw up like that.
Now that it looks like the CJ Will be off the road for a few days, luckily I got the new O2 sensor installed in my Jetta and that should prevent the check engine light code I've been getting for the last several months. I also determined that a *missing* fuse was the source of all of the electrical gremlins I've had lately in the Jetta. Once I installed fuse #5, it cleared up all of the problems except that the "antenna base" needs to be replaced again because the radio reception is lousy.