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Old 05-18-2020, 07:28 PM #1
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UPDATE (FINISHED!): What step gave you the hardest time when installing new struts/leveling

My first attempt to install new struts and level my rig was an unmitigated failure. My dad (who is very handy) and I got stuck when it came time to remove the 3 nuts on top of the strut mount. We couldn't get either of the front 2 loose so we didn't even try doing the one in the back. I got some pb blaster today and a 14mm ratcheting wrench (6 point). We're going to soak every nut in every step for a few days then tackle it again next weekend. Otherwise I'm busting out the Dremel. I'm also replacing the rear shocks + 1.5" rear spacer.

So... what's the next step that's going to prevent me from doing this install? Which parts did all of you find most difficult?

EDIT: Although getting stuck was a pain and a major disappoinment, I'm pretty close with my dad, but I haven't had that much fun with him in years. Looking forward to do it again.


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Last edited by Rogue-Runner; 05-18-2020 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:31 PM #2
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Soak everything in PB. Everything.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:34 PM #3
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Cheater bar/ wrench didn't help?
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:50 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlievee View Post
Cheater bar/ wrench didn't help?


I didn't have a cheater bar handy, and we didn't try the 2-wrench trick because it wouldn't work on the back one anyways. Hoping the blaster saves me this weekend.


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Old 05-18-2020, 08:00 PM #5
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UCA bolt was my nemesis. Doing it alone was just too much. I couldn’t keep everything aligned below while getting that bolt in place from above. I ended up grabbing some help before I lost my mind a burned the whole place down...

It wasn’t bad overall. Some bendy ratcheting wrenches penetrating oil should help a lot with those top bolts. Take your time and have fun with your dad!
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:11 PM #6
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The garbage spring compressor tool that I got on Amazon was my issue. It had a hard time seating on the coil spring correctly. I ended up taking the struts to a near by shop to install the spacer and top hat as I didn’t have time to order another compressor tool as I needed my rig back on the road.

Get a good quality spring compressor tool.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:13 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue-Runner View Post
I didn't have a cheater bar handy, and we didn't try the 2-wrench trick because it wouldn't work on the back one anyways. Hoping the blaster saves me this weekend.


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Could try pulling the strut/spring using the "no spring compressor" method for a bit more room for the top mount nuts.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:15 PM #8
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No spring compressor method is the way to go.

The hardest part for me was loosing the lower control arms after marking the cam bolts with paint pen, then getting them aligned up again.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:43 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcat707 View Post
The garbage spring compressor tool that I got on Amazon was my issue. It had a hard time seating on the coil spring correctly. I ended up taking the struts to a near by shop to install the spacer and top hat as I didn’t have time to order another compressor tool as I needed my rig back on the road.

Get a good quality spring compressor tool.
Oh ya I decided that I didn't want to mess with that. Luckily I'm installing new struts so I was able to take them to my mechanic and ask him to install the preload portion of the front spacers.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:55 AM #10
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Kdss if you have it. I strapped everything in place help loads. Not even an issue for me now tbh.

No spring compressor method is simple and easy. Tbh most of it’s pretty easy.

My harbor freight jack stands suck. Claws just don’t safely sit on the frame rails. Spent a lot of time just trying to get the truck to sit on them right. Resorted to two on one side and a wheel under the rails just incase. Think they got recalled so I should prob get on that and buy something better.

Watch some vids. Read some threads. Come up with a plan and take your time.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:44 AM #11
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I was able to get those top nuts by tapping the wrench with a hammer a few times. I used the loaner spring compressors from auto zone; not easy but was able to get it done. Having a breaker bar handy was helpful especially when it came time to crank down those springs
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:17 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pDubs View Post
No spring compressor method is the way to go.

The hardest part for me was loosing the lower control arms after marking the cam bolts with paint pen, then getting them aligned up again.
Sounds rough. When you align/torque the cam bolts, do you do so after the tires are back on the ground? I read in one jeep forum that you don't align/torque while still in the air, but I've read dozens of write-ups and no one else mentioned that, including instructions from manufacturer websites.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:23 PM #13
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Sounds rough. When you align/torque the cam bolts, do you do so after the tires are back on the ground? I read in one jeep forum that you don't align/torque while still in the air, but I've read dozens of write-ups and no one else mentioned that, including instructions from manufacturer websites.
Just have to line up your marks, front and back. It will still need a good alignment, but this gets you close. Good time to pull the cam bolts and anti seize everything.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:59 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue-Runner View Post
I didn't have a cheater bar handy, and we didn't try the 2-wrench trick because it wouldn't work on the back one anyways. Hoping the blaster saves me this weekend.


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PB Blaster for sure but I would also use a mallet on the wrench while its attached to the bolt. Its worked for me in the past. You should have enough room to do that.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:23 PM #15
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I didn't have much trouble on the fronts...but the back was a PITA when it came to get thing the trac bar bolt back on. Had to use some ratcheting straps to get the axle to shift over like 3/8" inch so i could get the bolt back in.
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