Rusty's lift install - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Suspension / Lifts This is the place to discuss the suspension, lift systems, and other stuff underneath your Jeep Commander

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Rusty's lift install

I bought the Rusty's 2" lift kit months ago and just got around to installing it this weekend. I also bought Spidertrax 1.5" adaptors, the Jeep moulded mud gaurds and some 255/70R17 Firestone Destination A/T tires I'll put on when the stock ones are done.
At any rate, here's what I learned today. First off, the studs on the Rusty's front spacers were welded on all crooked (seriously poor workmanship, thankfully the flanges are made very well), I've heard others talk about oversizing the shock tower holes to compensate for said crooked studs. What I did whas remove the offending studs (peanut grinder), then went to the hardware store and bought 3" grade 5 bolts, and nuts. This ended up working very well, I put the 3" bolts thru from the strut side on the work bench, while doing this I spun nuts on as I assembled them, the nuts tighten the lower flange of the spacer to the strut flange. They were now straight and went right thru the shock tower holes with no troubles, since they are completely tight below, it doesn't require a second person with a crows foot underneath, just tighten from above. As far as I'm concerned, this lift kit should have come this way to start with, it would lower their production costs as well as making for a better product.
As some of the other guys have mentioned, you will need strut spring compressors to do this job, I rented them from Autozone, $40 refundable deposit. Another tool you'll need and likely don't have is a ball joint seperator, I bought a pitman arm puller that appeared to be the right dimensions(Performance Tool P/N W142) for about $12, it worked perfectly.
I'll report tomorrow after I get the rear done, I'm hoping it works out of the box!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 12:58 AM
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Sweet! Did you take any pics as you went?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Rear install

No, I didn't take pictures as I went, kinda tough once your hands are greasy. Well I got the rear done today, it was 100 times easier that the front was. I had read from others that the spring compressors are needed for the rear, I was able to do the job easily without it, but there is a little trick, I had to disconnect the upper control arm on the driver side, as you lower the rear end the control arm hits the gas tank cover, once this was disconnected the rear end could be lowered enough to clear the springs. Another poster who had installed the Rusty's lift mentioned having to modify the rear lift spacers, mine fit perfectly and required no tweeking, you just need to make sure the spring is oriented correctly to the pad.
My overall take on the Rusty's kit is that it's well designed, terrible instructions (their competitors aren't any better from what I've seen), and the build quality is very good except for the shabby welding job on the front spacer studs. Rusty's gets an A+ for customer service, they were very helpfull both times I spoke with them, in fact they did offer to exchange the front spacers when I mentioned the situation with the studs. In the end it seemed easier to just deal with it myself.
As for the look and ride, I'm very pleased, the shocks seem to work great (no clunking as some have noted), the ride is a little firmer that stock, I would actually say that's an improvement. Rusty's told me the shock are Monroe's, which have always worked well for me. The looks are exactly what I was looking for, much tougher looking but doesn't appear heavily modified.
I Highly recommend the Rusty's kit, but I would request front spacers w/o the welded on studs, and be prepared for the processes and special tools not mentioned in the instructions.
It took me about 7 hours for the install, if your not a decent wrench with a good set of tools I'd recommend having it done.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 03:22 AM
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I just got the destination AT's from firestone myself. Got the same size 255/70/r17. I debated for months over the nittos, and the goodyear silent armor's. Finally decided with 22,000 miles to get rid of the stock tires which I think suck bad in sand, and aint to great on wet/ice . Ill add a photo, I also have the rocky lift and 1.5 spacers, so maybe it will give you an idea of the look.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 08:00 AM
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Pics when you get a chance. I've always had great luck with Rusty's products in the past, and their customer service is top notch. Congrats on the purchase, and glad to hear that you got it installed alright.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 06:59 PM
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JEEPITA- I'm going to be installing the 1.5" spidertrax this weekend. It seems like a fairly easy process. Did you have any trouble ? or any suggestions from your experience wigth them ?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 07:14 AM
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Ball joint seperator? I use a hammer.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 10:12 AM
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Jeepita
pls post some pics of your lifted jeep. thanks
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckdesign
JEEPITA- I'm going to be installing the 1.5" spidertrax this weekend. It seems like a fairly easy process. Did you have any trouble ? or any suggestions from your experience wigth them ?
Sorry, I haven't been back to this thread since my last post, the Spidertrax install is gravy, just follow their instructions. Loctite red in wheel studs, torque them down to factory values, install wheel (torque them too). It's important to pull the wheels off and re-torque the spacer studs again.
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