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Rubicon Express Extreme Duty 5.5” TJ Lift Kit
By Chad Crowell

FRONT END INSTALLATION

The front end should be a quicker installation than the rear end, being that there are no shock mounts to deal with. In my case, already having the 4.5” kit, I also did not have to switch out the front brake lines, as the two kits come with same length lines. We began our third day on the installation.

  1. Chock the rear wheels and park the Jeep in gear.
  2. Measure the length between the new control arm mounting holes on the skidplate and the lower control arm mounting holes on the front axle. Use these measurements as starting lengths for the new control arms.
  3. Raise the front end and place the frame on tall jack stands. Place the stands close the the skidplate so the new arms will clear them when installed.
  4. Front suspension before changing out the components. Measure the length from the skidplate to the axle mounts for a starting length.
    Front suspension before changing out the components. Measure the length from the skidplate to the axle mounts for a starting length.

  5. Remove the front wheels with a ” socket.
  6. Remove/disconnect the front swaybar end links (15mm), trackbar (T50, ”) and shocks (5/8”, ”). It also helps to disconnect the drag link from the pitman arm (18mm, fork separator) to allow the steering to move freely.
  7. Install the new brake lines (T40, tubing wrench) using the provided brackets (if needed).
  8. Bleed brakes (if needed).
  9. Pull out the old bump stops and, using a ratchet and extension inside the spring, remove the bumpstop cup (15mm). This will help get the springs on and off.
  10. Remove the old control arms (13/16” lower, 15mm upper). Be sure to note where the cam is located on the lower arms so you can reset the alignment later.
  11. Use a small ratchet inside the spring to remove the bumpstop cup. Air tools make removing the arms much quicker.
    Use a small ratchet inside the spring to remove the bumpstop cup. Air tools make removing the arms much quicker.

  12. Lower the axle as far as possible with floor jacks and remove the old springs and bumpstop hardware. You may also have to remove 1 or 2 spring retainers (13mm) that grab the spring on its lower pad.
  13. If you are replacing your 4.5” kit, the lower bumpstop extension is the same size as the new one, there is no need to replace it. Otherwise, drill (5/16”) and tap (self tapping bolts-provided) the lower spring pad to accept the bumpstop extension, then install the extension.
  14. Install the new track bar bracket using the provided instructions.
  15. Place the bumpstop cups and new bumpstops inside the new springs, and install the springs, making sure the base of the spring is rotated into its seat.
  16. You'll need a 5/8inch drill bit to drill out the stock track bar mount, and a 1/2inch bit to drill through the frame. Even these long springs popped right in with the tall jackstands we used.
    You'll need a 5/8" drill bit to drill out the stock track bar mount, and a 1/2" bit to drill through the frame. Even these long springs popped right in with the tall jackstands we used.

  17. Reinstall the spring retainer(s) to the lower spring pad.
  18. Cut off the lower control arm frame mounts. You may need to unbolt the exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold to move the pipe enough to score the inside of the passenger side mount.
  19. Paint the bare metal to prevent rust.
  20. Set the lower control arms to the length measured before you started, leaving the jam nuts loose.
  21. Install the new lower control arms with the adjustable end toward the skidplate. Make sure the zerks are installed so they are accessible for future greasing. Finger tighten the mounting bolts. You may want to tighten the axle end of them, resetting the alignment cam as it was before removal.
  22. Use a bottle jack to raise/lower the pinion of the axle. Driveshaft angle is secondary to caster angle in the front axle and should be set at an alignment shop for proper handling and tire wear. I simply angled the face of the differential straight forward, as that has been the direction used before with good results.
  23. Install the rear end of the upper arms. Lengthen the forked end of the arms until they will easily mount to the axle mount. You may have to slightly adjust the pinion up or down to get the bolts through completely.
  24. Install the axle end of the new front track bar. Leave the adjustable end loose.
  25. Grinding off the front brackets. I replaced the torx bolt on the track bar axle mount with a hex head for easier maintenance in the future.
    Grinding off the front brackets. I replaced the torx bolt on the track bar axle mount with a hex head for easier maintenance in the future.

  26. Install the new shocks by pressing the bar pins through the lower bushing and mounting using stock hardware. New upper bushings and nuts are provided with the shocks.
  27. Thread the bumpstop cups into their mounts through the spring and tighten. Press the new bumpstops into the cups.
  28. Reinstall wheels and set the vehicle on the ground.
  29. Check pinion and alignment angles and adjust as necessary.
  30. Tighten all control arm hardware and jam nuts. Lower arms get torqued to 130 ft. lbs. And uppers to 75 ft. lbs..
  31. Install the new swaybar disconnect hardware.
  32. Use the stock hardware to install the new OME shocks. Setting it on the ground and reinstalling the wheels.
    Use the stock hardware to install the new OME shocks. Setting it on the ground and re-installing the wheels.

    I decided take Rubicon Express’ recommendation and get a Currie AntiRrock swaybar for the TJ. Rubicon said it works very well with this suspension both on road and off. I installed the Antirock before the lift, so my swaybar hardware was already installed and this step was not necessary.

  33. Reconnect the drag link to the pitman arm. Be advised, that your alignment will be off and you should eyeball the toe-in and steering wheel alignment before driving. Get a professional alignment afterwards.
  34. Adjust the front track bar to the center of its thread and prepare to install it. Torque the track bar mounts to 130 ft. lbs.
  35. Have someone sit in the Jeep, turn the ignition on, and turn the steering wheel. This will cause the entire vehicle to shift side to side and allow easy adjustment of the track bar. Center the vehicle above the axle, adjust the track bar, and install its frame end. Tighten the jam nut once you are satisfied.
  36. Connect your swaybar.

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Intro | The Plan | Skidplate | Rear End | Front End | Impressions

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