I'm most interested in where the new control arms are near the exhaust. Everyone that has the RC long arm says that you just have to move it out of the way a little but I would like to see what they are talking about. Thanks in advance.
I installed the kit in my driveway three months ago, only put 500 mi. on it and a mild trail ride so far but I love the whole kit, drives as good or better than stock. I'm still running 31" tires so it handles very well at 70 mph. As far as the bits go I think I bought a 7/8 bit for like $30 but never used it because I used a uni-bit I aquired from work. I aslo had to buy a 1/2" (17/32), and an 11/32, and 3 or 4 1/4" bits for pilot holes. Most of my time was spent grinding the old arm mounts off. I dont remember RC having anything in the instructions about adjusting toe-in or the pinion angle, I had only learned to do so reading through the forums. I aslo had to cut the old pitman arm off.
Thanks for the pics, and details about the drill bits! Your TJ looks great.
I got most of my tools ready in preparation for the install. How long did it take you to grind off the LCA brackets? Was an angle grinder the only tool you used for the removal? I'm trying to decide if I should work my way through the install in the order described in the instructions, or if I should install the new LCA brackets first, while the TJ is still on the ground. Then I will be able to put it on jackstands to do the rest.
How long did the total install take? I'm tackling mine alone, but will probably pull out the air compressor and run air tools. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to modify the exhaust system, but it looks like that is a big probability now. What size were those pipe clamps that you used?
I did the install myself with little help. I bought I beleive 4-8"x12" & 2-8"x8" concrete blocks to rest the front bumper on, and 2- 8"x12" & 2- 8"x8" blocks for the rear bumper. Aside from looseing the lug nuts, this was the first thing I did, it worked well... I then returned the blocks to home depot after the install. As far as cutting off the LCA mounts, a few cutting wheels , a grinding wheel, a sanding wheel, primer and flat black. The old LCA's are now invisible. I used 3 tubes of thread locker blue on all the hardware. I also recommend a floor jack. I purchased a 1/2" impact wrench which was a MUST! I installed everything finger tight till the tires were on the ground. It did take me at least a week to install. To adgust the toe-in, I ran a couple of laps around the tires with duct tape, with a fine pen rested & held by my hand made a nice thin line around both tires... the distance between the lines should be 1/8" larger at the rear of the tire compared to the front. I also did not need a spring compressor, I just unbolted the old control arms, and the only thing keeping the new springs from falling out is the new shocks. I had fun with the install and if you have any questions just ask.
I ended up putting my TJ up on 4 jackstands. I didn't get too much done today, but did make some progress. I probably put an hr in today.
After getting the frame up on jackstands, I removed my wheels and supported the tranny with another jackstand (on a stool) and then removed the skid plate.
I used an HF/Chicago Electric reciprocating saw on the skid to remove the corner. It was a lot easier than I expected. 1 new blade, some cutting oil, and 5 minutes was all that was needed to get the corner cut out. Another 5 minutes to grind the edges down to the proper size, and then 5 minutes more to file everything smooth.
Tomorrow I'll bolt the RC LA brackets and skidplate back on, and then start on drilling the frame. It looks like there will be enough room for me to cut off most of the stock LCA's with my 4.5" angle, but I noticed that I probably wont be able to get at all the welds without using something smaller.
Here's some pics of my skid. I cut more than necessary because the first time around I didn't clear the rear CA brackets; also because the rounded part of the skid caused the reciprocating saw to move on its own.
Today I didn't get much accomplished. First thing I did was install my AA transfer case relocation bracket.
Then I pressed the control arm brackets onto the frame with some 6" c-clamps. It didn't take much force at all, but apparently more than my puny arms could handle. Then I tightened up the skid bolts (skid not installed yet) to make sure it was a tight fit.
I started drilling the outside of the frame on the driver's side. I made 1/8" pilot holes for both CA bracket bolt holes, and then moved onto the step drill bit on the rear hole. That worked pretty good. I finished off with the 17/32" bit. I then used the step bit on the front hole.
The holes for the inside of the frame is where i ran into problems. I first attempted to hit the other side with the big 17/32" bit, and ended up bending it. I drilled pilot holes from the outside of the frame, but of course they didn't come out very straight. There's not enough room to drill the front hole from inside the frame; even with the front driveshaft removed, my drill would be way too long. I was able to fit my drill up inside the rear frame rail to fix that hole. Drilling actually took a lot of time.
So the score is, I still have to drill all the holes on the passenger side, and the inside frame for the front driver's side. I'll have to order another 17/32" drill bit, and probably a right angle drill, or maybe I could do it with a die grinder.
I'm pretty bummed about this setback.
Note for future reference: figure out how to drill the pilot holes on both inside and outside of the frame rail before trying to drill from the outer side of the frame rail through the inner side.