38Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 144 Old 02-25-2018, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
Darth Vader Built Project - 2003 WJ

I have dreamed of doing this project for a long time. I have been reading through this forum for at least the past 2 years to gather as much information as possible. The subject for this lift is going to be a 2003 Grand Cherokee Limited 4.7L V8 and a QD transfer case that I bought is AZ. The vehicle had around 165,000 miles at time of purchase.

I am recently retired and moved from Tomball TX to Dewey AZ so the Jeep will not see a lot of DD (maybe once or twice a week). My intent is to hit desert trails and forest roads from easy to moderate and be as comfortable as possible.

To that goal I am going to install the new IRO 4” Rock-Link long arm for the front and the rear 4-Link. I will top off this kit with Bilstein shocks and 265/70/17 General Grabber AT2 tires in load range C on stock rims. While the GC is all apart I am also going to change all the other steering and suspension components, ball joints, spring isolators, tie rod with ends, drag link with ends, bushings, etc.
My approach to this built is going to be in phases but could change as I go along.

Phase 1 was to do the easy interior things but before I got started I needed to address the motor mounts, they were gone. I had my son (he is an auto tech) install a set of Crown Auto mounts. To this extent I have done the following: HD floor mats, seat covers, LED interior lights, back up and license plate LED lights and cabin air filter kit. I also fixed the A/C blend doors before the cold settled in.

Phase 2 is to do the maintenance items. Since I have no PO history I plan to do the fluids, Transfer case fluid, differential oil, engine oil, transmission oil and filters. On the engine will be to clean the TB and IAC, change the air filter, change the spark plugs and possibly change all the coils (I was getting misfired codes).

Phase 3 is to install the lift kit and a 3” exhaust catback system. Since the vehicle is going to be taken apart I am contemplating combining phase 2 and 3 at the same time.

Phase 4 includes items such as rock sliders and winch.

edhammond71 likes this.

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 144 Old 02-25-2018, 09:40 PM
97Mule
Web Wheeler
 
97Mule's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Splendora
Posts: 1,591
Garage
Woody,Post a pic or two before u start!
Just going to let u know now, the "BUILD" is going to be a domino effect, can't wait!!!!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
97Mule is offline  
post #3 of 144 Old 02-26-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
I will as soon as I figure out how to best do it without going to a hosting site or is that the only way?

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
 
post #4 of 144 Old 02-26-2018, 06:22 PM
97Mule
Web Wheeler
 
97Mule's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Splendora
Posts: 1,591
Garage
I just take a pic with my canon, load it on my PC to my jeep pics. then i get on jf and have both screens side by side and drag my pics to the Drag and Drop upload box!!
U can down load ur smart phone Pics to ur PC also


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
97Mule is offline  
post #5 of 144 Old 02-26-2018, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
Here are some picture. Before the lift. The lift kit components. The seat covers that I added to prevent my rear end from burning in the hot AZ sun and the conditions of the motor mounts when I bought the GC.
Attached Thumbnails
Darth Vader Before Lift.jpg   IRO Kit Front.jpg   IRO Kit Rear.jpg   Seat Covers.jpg  
Attached Images
 

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #6 of 144 Old 02-26-2018, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
The first day involved doing the preparations to start the work. First I had to built wood support bases for the jack stands, they give me an additional 3” of lift. Next came the “before” baseline pictures of the GC and measurements such as height at various spots, approach and departure angles, pinion and driveshaft angles, etc. In addition I marked the fender well lip to indicate the center line of the axles for future reference.

The first things to come off were the side rails, they were there when I bought the GC. I am not sure if I will reuse them temporally until the “real” rock slider go on. The wife will need some kind of “help” to get in. We will play this one by ear until the lift is done.
The first thing that was worked on was the transmission support cross member and the front control arms mounting brackets. This is petty much a bolt-on affair except for the two additional holes per side that had to be drilled. In addition I also replaced the transmission support mount from Crown Automotive. The thing that I needed to be very careful here is that the passenger side bracket hits the fuel lines on the frame. I had to remove two of the fuel line clips near the bracket to allow for the lines to web themselves around to the bracket. In addition I put additional rubber insulation to further prevent for the lines to rub with themselves and with the bracket.

The pictures show what I used to maneuver the nut plates into position for the front cross member brackets. It is relative easy to do with this jig. I pick it up from someone in You Tube.
Attached Thumbnails
Tool to insert nut plates 1.jpg   Tool to insert nut plates 2.jpg  

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #7 of 144 Old 02-27-2018, 02:27 AM
BowWow
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 16
Garage
Looking good! Tell me more about your seat covers. Who makes them, and where did you get them?

99 WJ, 2 1/2" BB, 265/70R16 General Grabber AT2s on stock painted rims, Sony XAV-70BT
BowWow is offline  
post #8 of 144 Old 02-27-2018, 07:00 AM
grayWJ4x4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 702
+2 on the seat covers. Can you post a picture of the controls?
I looked at bunch of them and can’t seem to find anything that fits around the controls. I can only find the ones that goes over them. I know I can still operate it but I don’t like the way they look.
grayWJ4x4 is offline  
post #9 of 144 Old 02-27-2018, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
I got the seat covers from Amazon. The controls are covered but you could cut slits for them. Personally I do not have an issue using them as is since the material is kind of soft and stretchy. I did not think about it until you guys mentioned it.
Attached Thumbnails
Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 1.35.04 PM.jpg   Seat Cover controls.jpg  
grayWJ4x4 likes this.

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #10 of 144 Old 03-01-2018, 08:36 AM
BowWow
Registered User
1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 16
Garage
Thanks for the info on the seat covers. Here's the Amazon link. Think I'll order me a set!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01MR...jQL&ref=plSrch

99 WJ, 2 1/2" BB, 265/70R16 General Grabber AT2s on stock painted rims, Sony XAV-70BT
BowWow is offline  
post #11 of 144 Old 03-01-2018, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
Here is a suggestion to get around the issue of suction cups not adhering to the dash material because of the uneven texture. I use a piece of glass glued to the top part of the dash as the base. I attach the holder to the glass rather than the windshield. Still evaluating the best glue option due to the heat of the sun. Right now I am using "Glue Dots" adhesives but other options could be like HD double sided tape, glue gun sticks, double sided tape, etc. I am going this route for now because if it does work during trail rides it can be removes without damaging the dash.
Attached Thumbnails
Cell Phone Mount.jpg  
grayWJ4x4 likes this.

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #12 of 144 Old 03-02-2018, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
Well the last two days have been kind of wasted. I encountered issues with the BJ replacement. It seems that I did not had the proper cups to remove them, I had to ordered them from Amazon because parts shops around here (small town) did not have proper ones for the GC. I debated whether to stop and wait for the tools or put the knuckle and axle back in and continue with the build and deal with BJ later on. Well somebody else make that decision for me, when I was torquing the knuckle down the torque wrench broke!! It was not all bad news, the bearing knuckles separated very fast after I gave then a few taps with the hammer.

So today I am going to try to continue with the front arms, springs, shocks and the other front end components until the tools arrive on Saturday. I hope that the upper axle bushing does not give any issues.

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #13 of 144 Old 03-06-2018, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
The last few day have frustrating, tiring and satisfying. On the frustrating side was the driver side bump stop, what a PITA that was. I spent a couple of hours trying to get that thing off so that I could take the track bar bolt off. I gave up for the night and checked on the forum for ideas, the next morning I took a flat head screw driver moved it to the sides as much as possible and sprayed some PB Blaster and them used a large channel lock pair of plier to jar it loose. It took less than 10 minutes!!

The next item was the UCA flex joint. It was surprisingly easy to take off. From prior research on the forum I went with first using a hole saw to remove the inner core of the bushing and then used a saw all to slightly cut the outer cup to collapse it and out it came with any effort. Now for the installation of the flex joint well that is another story. I assembled the joint and then using the BJ installation tool I pressed it in with some effort. This is were I am going to get on my soap box!! IRO needs to make a lot of effort to improve their installation instructions, I am using two different sets from IRO and one from Rough Country to figure this thing out. There was no installation instructions for the flex joint so I went with pressing it in fully assembled. Later on talking with Kolak I found out that IRO has an installation tool for $25 and looking at the instructions for the tool and it seem that the casing should have gone in first because the tool uses a 5/8” bolt. Well it is what it is.

There were no major issues with the ball joints replacements. Once I had the right cups (they came in late Saturday) it was a straight forward effort but man it took a lot out of me. At least for me it tired me out since I am not used to this level of effort, I was a desk jockey in my former life!
I also dry fitted the front control arms without any issues. The next challenge is going to be the removal of the LCA brackets. Once that is done then I will do the final control arm measurements and initial torqued down at the frame side for instructions. Springs, shocks, track bar, tie rod and steering stabilizer is next.

It is very satisfying to see things starting to come together!!

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
post #14 of 144 Old 03-06-2018, 11:50 AM
97Mule
Web Wheeler
 
97Mule's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Splendora
Posts: 1,591
Garage
I got some of those flex joints in my upper mounts, and ur right about the lack of instructions, i wound up disassembling, installing the cup, then putting the guts in!
Don't get discouraged , this is the life of a jeeper, keep moving on!!!!!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
97Mule is offline  
post #15 of 144 Old 03-09-2018, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
UncleWoody
Member
 
UncleWoody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dewey
Posts: 223
The removal of the stock lower control arms brackets went very well, I took my time and used a combination of a 4” grinder with a cut-off wheel and a saw-all. I ended up using about 3 wheels for the front. I had no interference cutting of the brackets with the LCA arms in place. Next came the installation of the springs, spring retainers and the shocks. Nothing out of the norm here other than when attaching the Bilstein shocks to the bottom the stock bolts are a bit short and they do not provide a replacement hardware. Good thing that I took the advice from the forum and had pre purchased longer replacement bolts and nuts. One thing that worked well was the fact that when I raised the GC I put it high enough (21” from the bottom) that it allowed me to put the springs in AFTER I had installed the spring retainers (5” long).

The tie rod, steering stabilizer and drag link followed, no issues here other that now I have to play around with the drag link to center the steering wheel (it currently sits upside down) and double check the measurements of the tie rod. For the Moog SS I transferred the original mounting bracket on the old tie rod to the new one (JKS HD) and used a longer bolt. Now the track bar was another story, the first thing was that the bushings on the bar when initially put in by hand they don’t go all the way in, I had to put them on the vise to really get them situated. The second thing was that after the bushings are in, the fit is very thigh therefore I had to use various instruments of persuasion to get the bar started. Man did I struggled, that thing did not want to aligned. I even went to the extreme of using a ratcheting strap, raising and lowering the axle, pounding it and of course the old stand by french language. After pulling back and reflecting on the problem a light bulb when on (I think it was of the 100 watt variety) I checked the instructions and I had the darn thing going in backwards!!! The threaded end needed to go to the frame, what a dumb mistake. After that it only took about 15 minutes to get it in and bolted.

The kit came with JKS quicker disconnects. They look great BUT I have concerns about the length. The part number is 3104 which it supposed to be for a 4” to 6”. After extending them to the max of 11 1/2” they seem to be a bit short because I only get about 10 degrees on the sway bar angle when the documentation says it should be around 30 degrees. The OME length is 8” and it had an angle of about 30 degrees. I hope that when all the components are settled in that there will be an adjustment to the angle. Readers comments on this concern are appreciated.

Next I am going to take a couple of days off from the project to let my muscles recoup, clean up the shop, reorganized the tools and plan out the approach to start the rear. I am finding out that when I get tired I start loosing my concentration and start making dumb mistakes. I already had an incident when torquing a bolt I didn’t properly secured the socket and it slip and I hit the top of my nose on the rotor and started bleeding bad for a bit.
Attached Thumbnails
Front Driver front view.jpg   Front Driver side view.jpg   Front Pass front view.jpg   Front Pass side view.jpg   Rear view trans X member.jpg  

SS Tie Rod Attachments.jpg   Sway Bar Angle after.jpg   Shocks bottom bolts.jpg  

"If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem"
UncleWoody is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome