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Lift kit install from beyond the river Styx

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SkysTheLimit, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    Phase I of my restore project was to remove the old 4" lift (been on since 89) that rode like radio wagon and replace with a TC 6" EZ Ride with nitro shocks. Easy enough, right? directions say 5 to 7 hours. Factor in reality fudge factor, I say 9 hours.

    Knowing there was the distinct possibility I wouldn't finish before the end of the day, I started at the rear rather than the front as the directions would have you. That way, the K5 may end up with a bit of a rake until i can finish up with front end. Thank god I thought ahead...

    Drivers side rear spring came off without too much difficulty. I have for the last 2 weeks been planning this and liberally spraying all the affected bolts with WD40 every few days. Installation was a bit of a chore wrestling the spring into place and trying to flex the shackle so we could bolt up the hanger. 52" springs that measure 50" out of the box require some muscle in both arm and brain. we used the hanger and a jack to flex the spring for us to slide into place. we also used a jack to compress the shock and while it was extending, speared it with the bolt through the shock mount. things are just going swimmingly.

    Passenger side spring... that's a different matter entirely. Somehow, somewhere and at some point the centermost bushing of the hanger became fused to the bolt. Because of that, the bolt would NOT budge. After much swearing, torqueing, banging, kicking and whatnot, I finally cut the spring off with my cutoff wheel. (god i wish i had a torch). Then, I had to cut the eye in half so it would fall apart, exposing the bolt & bushing. Then I had to cut the bolt in half and beat it senseless until it fell out of the hanger. Total time spent removing 1 bolt: about 4.5 hours. :angry1:

    after that, the rest went on just fine. Measurements confirm an extra 2.5" lift in the rear. Took it for a spin and the rear rides real nice. Plus the elevated rear makes it look like its going faster too.. :D Can't wait to see what the front end has in store for me.

    Anyway, just thought i'd share my experience. Needless to say, greasable fittings = good.
     
  2. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    sounds like fun :D instead of WD40, I use PB blaster.. I've heard that Kroil and Areokroil are even better penetrating oils...
     
  3. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    I recomend dropping the whole front axle on to jack stands and have it fully disconnected from the vehicle. giving plenty of room to install springs, pull stock steering arm and install new one. Also easier to install longer brake lines...
     
  4. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll see if I can find a can of the Kroil stuff before I try the front.
     
  5. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I had the identical experience. I had to slip a long sawzall blade in between the spring and the hanger and cut the bolts out. One of the best investments I ever made was a cherry picker. If I need to work on the front or rear axles now, I just hook up the front or rear to the cherry picker via the 4x4 Iron bumpers and lift the whole thing up. I had to cut off my rear perches, rotate the axle, and weld new ones on. The cherry picker came in handy for that for sure. Plus, I've swapped in 1" zero rates, then pulled them, then put in smaller custom made zero rates as well. Every time the cherry picker saved my bacon. If you can't buy one, renting one is still worth the money.
     
  6. fabjunkie

    fabjunkie 1/2 ton status

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    4 or 5 rentals can but you a picker. Mine has paid for itself many times over.
     
  7. Chevy305

    Chevy305 6 Lug 14bsf Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I second that. WD40 isn't the best for freeing rusted bolts. I think PB Blaster is the best that I've used. Lately I've been using the Gunk Liquid Wrench, works pretty good and it smells like paint thinner.


    The same thing happened to me at 3 out of the 4 rear spring bolts. Also 1 of those bolts not only fused the spring bushing it also fused to the hanger. I had to replace the whole spring hanger (the whole thing was about to rust off anyway). I burnt out my angle grinder on that. :crazy:

    Also did you cut the u-bolts?
     
  8. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    Fortunately I didn't have to. The rest went pretty smoothly. I was impressed with the supplied hardware. Those nuts were massive.

    I'm not looking forward to the sway bar however... Perhaps with some kroil or pb blaster it won't be so bad.
     
  9. Chevy305

    Chevy305 6 Lug 14bsf Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Yeah, I tried and I couldn't budge the bolts connecting my sway bar to the spring plates even with 2 weeks of PB Blaster and an impact wrench. So I cut all the front u-bolts to free the spring plate from the springs. Then I lifted the sway bar and tied it up to the frame so its out of the way. Swapped springs and then lowered the sway bar/spring plate assymbly onto the new springs and then threw on some u-bolts and I was done. :D
     
  10. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Absolutely! That is the rationale I used to get the missus to buy into the purchase. It has paid for itself as I've used it enough that a rental would've been triple the purchase price so far. There are some tools that you just have to buy. So far it has been the cherry picker, a good floor jack, sawzall, grinder, multiple jack stands, and a large set of sockets etc. from Craftsman that have gotten me by...... Then of course any excuse to expand the basic repertoire of tools is a good one....
     
  11. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    the swap bar bolts were easy to remove on my truck.. just threw the pull handle on there after hitting it with some PB. My truck's suspension really doesn't have all that much rust though :p:
     
  12. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    sorry :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  13. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    That quote was a test to see how long it took for someone to pick up on it. Thank you for not disappointing! :haha:

    Yeah, i would have given one of those massive nuts for a torch or a sawzall that day. Getting by with stands and all the air tools wasn't too bad.
     

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