Author Topic: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2  (Read 2219 times)

jaccox

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ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« on: June 01, 2017, 08:18:55 AM »
So I purchased the ADD 1.5" complete kit. Lets just start by saying, these dudes have done their research and have assembled the most complete kit on the market and for the price vs. competitors complete kits (which lack things...) I don't understand how you could not choose this. There's my sales pitch for the day, let's get down to the nitty gritty fun stuff. I'm gonna break this down into a front and rear section, there will be how-to tips and don't do tips coming from a first time guy such as myself. I'm no mechanic but I can problem solve pretty well and have a slight mechanical geared mind (everything in life is a puzzle).
Let's make a list of things you're gonna need right out of the gate:
1. The kit... seriously if you're considering a lift talk to Josh or Adam. They will hook you up and answer any questions you have at any decent time of the day. Even if they are on vacation and it's a holiday weekend.
2. Penetrating oil. I don't care what you use as long as it works but i will say the day you transfer the funds for your kit you had best start soaking those bolts that day...
3. Breaker Bar. Leverage is the name of the game and if you're a driveway doer such as myself you're gonna need all the torque you can muster on those big boys.
4. Money... go ahead and pay to forward to the swear jar, because you'll throw all kinds of hateful slurs at you're pretty lady.
5. A press. I got away with a HF 6ton for the rear and got away with a C-clamp deal for the front lowers. I don't believe the rear can be done with a C-clamp because of the width of the bushing+arm. when in doubt take it to a shop with a real nice press and save yourself the heartache.
6. Jackstands, multiple jacks and tire chalks: unless you have a lift. In that case I hate you... but seriously get it in the air and do it as safely as possible. The multiple jacks help with the rear for making the axle flex to get springs, shocks and trailing arms on. Again be realistic when shifting the rear axle around and don't cause it to fall off the jack stands.
7. Pain Reliver: doesn't matter to me what you prefer but you're gonna need them after all the torture you will put on your body. I'm 25 and pretty good shape and I felt like I ran a marathon after doing each the front and the rear. So just know it takes a toll on the aging body to get the gains out of your vehicle.
8. A good buddy. Nothing like crawling under the vehicle drenched in sweat, oil and blood to realize you're holding the 19mm and you really need that 17mm 15ft away... Also have said buddy bring extra tools, because you never know when their wrench will fit in that space better than the wrench you possess. I was lucky enough to have my brother, who just got out of the service, and he's always down for some wrenching and receives payments in food.
I'm sure I am forgetting something else important, but we'll address it in the following posts.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 09:23:25 AM by jaccox »
1999 Montero. 33x10.5x15 General X3's. 4.90's w/rear locker. Full armor. ADD idler arm. ADD 1.5" complete lift. Siberiean Bushings everywhere. 150W alternator with upgraded 4 AWG leads and grounds. 2nd Battery in the rear for camping stuffs to come.

jaccox

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Re: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 09:22:52 AM »
Let's start with the rear (I'm more a rear guy myself  8)
Find some level ground since the old Yank the E-brake and put it on stands method doesn't quite apply when the rear is flying high.
Get the wheels off (I like to have them under the frame in front of the jack stands for measure if the vehicle were to kick the stands out.)
Get your phone and take about 4 good photos for reference later on so you don't have stuff dangling and leftover bolts (you'll still have leftover bolts it's inevitable)
I like to put a jack under the pumpkin of the axle when both rear wheels are off too so that it's not just dangling there and it will also help jacking it up and down to maneuver parts free and putting them back in. Also works great as a pivot point for doing the springs later on.
Now that we are all set to start rippin' her apart lets get down to business.
1. Remove the old shocks. Can't quite remember bolt sizes but I want to say it's a 24mm since most of the rear was a 24mm. If yours are the stock units such as mine were they are beyond garbage and you will be replacing them with heavenly goodness known as Bilisteins.
2. Remove the sway bar end links, and then just do yourself a favor and remove the 4 bolts holding the bushings in and yank that sucker out of there. Seriously you won't be able to tell the difference with this new suspension kit going in. Keep it behind the shed just in case you decide you disagree with me and you can put it back in.
From this point on I'd suggest going side specific, so stay on one side and complete it until you get to the other side. This is for the purpose of winning the leverage battle with the coil springs later on.
3. Time to start taking the real PITA bolts off. You got 2 24mm bolts and 1 24mm nut to remove from the trailing arm. These bolts are quite stubborn and I really hope you've been following directions and have been soaking these things since the day you ordered the kit.
4. Now that you got the trailing arm out I hope you were smart enough to buy those yellow siberian bushings when you bought the lift. Because now is prime time to get those put in. Bushing removal and install below.
     a. Get a drill and drill out the old rubber. Once you've got as much of the rubber out as possible you are left with the center metal sleeve and an outside metal collar. To remove the outside collar get a punch or chisel, something that you can wedge between the outer metal sleeve and the wall of the trailing arm but something that won't chew up the trailing arm wall at the same time.
     b. Once you punch all the way through and get that outer metal collar bent you can very easily press the busing out.
     c. Clean it up and grab your yellow bushing, get the lube of your choice. The sibi website calls for a silicone based lubricant.
     d. Find the side of the bore that has a tapered edge and this will be the side you press the bushing into. If you haven't used any of those $ in the swear jar, just get ready because they're coming. Line it all up as perfect as you desire, just know these things don't press in like you imagine. They will go all kinds of different ways, but just know if you keep pressing it straight ahead it will eventually correct itself and be darn near perfect. Now the whole arm wanting to move around is another thing to keep in mind also. This is where your buddy will come in hand. Just picture trying to wrestle an anaconda and that's what it feels like trying to keep the trailing arm still while the bushing is bucking around.
     e. Repeat a-d for the second bushing
5. Now that the trailing arm is out of the way you have access to the 24mm bolt holding the pan hard bar in place. Go ahead and put the new bar in on this side before you forget and put the trailing arm back up there. This pan hard bar you will receive with the kit is the most crucial piece of the puzzle that competitors are lacking. When you lift the rear the stock bar does not extend and will shift your axle to make up for the lack of travel it possess. Meaning your rear track will forever be off. And nobody like a crooked booty.
6. While everything is all loosey goosey on the side you're working on now is the easiest time to swap the springs. The new springs make the old springs just shutter in fear. They are taller, the coils are thicker, and they weigh a lot more. I rented a basic spring compressor from Advance Auto. It's fairly straightforward but one tip is have the side with the bolt you turn face down (ask me how i know). Also now is when you can utilize your 2nd jack. Go put it under the axle on the opposite side and jack that side up to force the side you are working on down to give you the most room to get the springs in and out.
7. Now that the new spring is in and the pan hard bar is bolted up on that side go grab your fresh bushinged trailing arm and install it. Again the second jack and the jack under the middle pumpkin can help tremendously here with wiggling the trailing arm in a feeding the bolts back through (put the bolt back in the same way you took it out, refer to your pics on your phone if your memory is foggy.)
8. Now is time to install 1/4 of heaven and that is your beautiful bilistein 5100 series baby. Best to get the axle to droop as much as possible just to make it where you won't have to compress the shock as much. I used an assortment of zip ties to compress mine and then just cut them loose when i finished. Put the bolt back through and snug it up. Now on top your going to need your 19mm open ended wrench or a ratcheting wrench if you like the finer things in life and you will need an allen wrench not sure of the size but on the top of the bolt is an allen wrench slot to hold it in place while you tighten the nut down.
9. Repeat steps 3-9 for the opposite side. put the wheels  back on, get the jack stands out lower her down onto her own weight. Now step back and admire how much higher it sits... But your not done. Go hop up and down on the bumper real quick to settle things in and go inside and look at the FSM and get the torques for all the bolts. Go back out there torque it all down.
10. Grab your tape measure and get ready to line the rear up with that adjustable pan hard bar. measure from a spot on the inside rim to the frame rail at as close to a horizontal line as you can and do the same for the other side. Loosen the jamb nuts on either side of the sleeve of the pan hard bar. You can now with one hand adjust the track to the left or to the right and you want to make the distance from frame to rim equal on both sides. Take that measurement and make a stick that length so from now on all you got to do is adjust until the stick touches the frame rail and rim and you won't ever have to crawl back and forth measuring both sides again. Once it's all centered up tighten the jamb nuts on the ends of the sleeve.

Simple enough right??
This will leave you sitting somewhere in this department
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 09:40:08 AM by jaccox »
1999 Montero. 33x10.5x15 General X3's. 4.90's w/rear locker. Full armor. ADD idler arm. ADD 1.5" complete lift. Siberiean Bushings everywhere. 150W alternator with upgraded 4 AWG leads and grounds. 2nd Battery in the rear for camping stuffs to come.

jaccox

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Re: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 11:14:54 AM »
Alright Boys and Girls it's time to move on the front... the most daunting part if you ask me. Just so much going on in such a small space. Then you got these giant metal bars to deal with, and if you're like me you've never dealt with a torsion bar before. Well I'm here to say it's not as difficult as it looks.
Get the jack and the jackstands out and get the front up off the ground with some jack stands and get the E-brake pulled and something behind the rear wheels.
Again take pics for reference later on to account for memory loss
1. First find your torsion bar and find the adjustment part right next to the transmission tail/transfer case. There is a very long bolt that goes through and has 2 nuts on the end. Loosen the top nut and remove it completely. Use a wire brush to clean the threads to make getting it off with your hands easier because space is at a premium up there. now you want to get yourself a 17mm wrench and get it around the larger nut that you didn't thread off. Get your breaker bar and a 17mm socket and put it on the bolt head and loosen bolt and get the wrench to brace up against something up top so you can use 2 hands to loosen the bolt and not drop the breaker bar on your face... (you can count the turns like is suggested in the instructions, but since i goofed that up and i was raising it anyway I didn't count)
2. Once that bolt us completely unthreaded grab the nut from up top and set it aside with the bolt and jamb nut. Now all you have to do is undo the dust cap at the other end of the T-bar and go to the other end and pull it toward the rear of the vehicle. slides right out and rests on that piece of the frame. Take other end off of the bar and take the dust boots off both ends. Now clean the grease off the bars so that you can see the index marks on both ends. You will now grab your new bar that is for that side (they are noted L and R for sides), and make index marks on them by using the old bar so you can line them up with the marks on the two slots. Be sure to take your time make sure its a straight line and not off a tooth or you'll just cause headache later on. Now set the new bar aside with the other hardware clear out of the way so you don't misplace something.
3. Remove your old shock it's just in the way at this point. Also remove the hoses attached to the UCA as this time as well as the brake line on the bottom.
4. Now is the best time to break loose that rear LCA nut. If you're on the driver side this can be a real PITA because just happens the diff is sitting right there in the way just mocking you. Well go grab yourself an appropriate sized wrench and a big hammer (don't have a big hammer? go get one) get your wrench on and give it a good smack and shock the bolt loose. Also helps if you followed through on your penetrating oil regimen. Mine weren't on very tight which is kinda iffy, since if the nut fell off there's still not a way to lose the axis and only harm could be uneven bushing wear. Get the nut off and set it aside with the T-bar stuff.
5. There are 2 17mm bolts that held the anchor end (I might be backwards, but the other end on the LCA) and you want to take them off and remove the anchor but remember the index mark faces toward the middle of the vehicle. Now those two bolts are just dangling there, but there is nothing you can do with them at the moment until you remove the LCA and at that point you'll want to catch those and set them aside with the anchor. Now take the funny looking bolt/axis thing out and set it with the anchor as well.
Here is where I did mine a little different in the sake of saving myself from having to remove the bottom balljoint. Alternately you can remove the whole LCA and go from there.
6. Move on over to the front LCA and remove the nut. Leave the bolt in and grab your jack and get it under the LCA then snug it up so  that it has some pressure on it but not too much. Now remove the bolt.
7. With some gentle persuasion and bear hugging the whole knuckle rotor and and LCA I managed to get the rear part of the LCA to give up the fight and slide off revealing the bushing in the frame. Now remember those two bolts holding the anchor on the LCA? get those and set them aside with the anchor now so they don't run away.
8. Now with the bushing showing you can use a rented C-clamp press to press this bushing out toward the front. This is the easiest bushing to replace on the whole vehicle. Then lube and press the new one in.
9. Front LCA bushing is very easy to get to but pressing the new one in can kinda be a pain since it's not tapered like the rear one. It is like a mini trailing arm bushing (remember how fun those were?)
10. Now that the bushings are in grab those two bolts you set beside the anchor and feed them back through their holes and wrestle the LCA back into place and stuff back the way it goes.
11. Now to move on to the worst part of the entire day... Removing the UCA to replace those bushings. I will say the driver side is a real pain with the steering being on that side. and the brake line needs to be taken off to get the UCA off and on.
I can't really tell you how to replace those bushings because I didn't... I bent my UCA trying to press them out and had to buy a new UCA and was too chicken to risk thrashing another UCA. But there are several topics about UCA removal and such in these forums just use the search function and find that stuff
12. So we'll pretend you went and found one of the other threads about UCA's and you're a pro at it now.
13. Get your other 1/4th of heaven out of the box and compress the shock and install it. Pretty straightforward especially after it being at least your 3rd time doing this.
14. Put the anchor back onto the LCA with the index mark facing the middle of the vehicle and put a little grease in it as well. Tighten the two nuts down. May take some finagling to get that odd bolt/axis to line up the teeth with the anchor. Just use the nut on the other side to spin it.
15. Go read the installation instructions for your T-bars. They are very simple. Note that our bars have different sizes at each end so they only go on one way so it's really fool-proof.
16. Put that T-bone piece back onto the appropriate end of the T-bar being sure to line up the index mark you should have made earlier.
17. Feed the T-bar back through to the front and line your other mark up with the notch in the anchor.
18.  Grab that long bolt and the thick nut and reinstall the bolt with the nut on top. Brace a wrench at the top and again and tighten that bolt down. Now i'm gonna let you do you on cranking your T-bars since it's pretty easy but i will say it still takes quite a few turns to get where you want.
19. Drop it down on the ground and finish up with tweaking your T-bars to match the rear ride height. Take it around the block and aim for every pothole you see then go back and tweak the bars some more if you need to. then finally put the jamb nut back on and lock it down onto the large bolt.

Now you can drive down the road and feel like you're sitting in your lazy boy recliner going down washboard roads. You'll aim for pothole and bumps in the road just to laugh at how little makes it to your driver seat. I still find myself clenching my muscles when i hit certain bumps in the road because before they'd chip my tooth if i'd hit them unknowingly.

I would strongly advise an alignment at this point, then once you leave the alignment shop go throw some dirt on all that new stuff get you some smiles for all the hard work you just put in. Get you some good flex pics and post them up here so we can all admire the beauty of this kit.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 07:22:44 PM by jaccox »
1999 Montero. 33x10.5x15 General X3's. 4.90's w/rear locker. Full armor. ADD idler arm. ADD 1.5" complete lift. Siberiean Bushings everywhere. 150W alternator with upgraded 4 AWG leads and grounds. 2nd Battery in the rear for camping stuffs to come.

Charly

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Re: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 05:03:01 PM »
Awesome !
K9ADV

TOASTY

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Re: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 01:46:05 PM »
Damn, that was an uphill battle. Excellent write up dude, thanks for your contribution. I recommend a IR 2235 impact gun, basically makes the job super easy. I don't have many tools but that's my ace in the hole.

BottomFeeder

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Re: ADD Complete Lift: Tips and Advice Gen 2
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 08:38:54 AM »
Thanks for the write up!  Maybe it can be stickeyed at the top?
1990 LS, 2" Body Lift, 33's, Dual LSD
1995 SR, 1.5 Body Lift, 33's
1999 Winter Package