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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This probably won't be the last question I ask:

I just started the RR 2.25" install. I've read all the helpful tips on the forum, but I haven't seen this addressed.

Step 2 says "Remove the upper ball joint nut....once the nut is removed....Rap on the A-arm a couple times, then knock the bottom stud of the ball joint up. It should just pop right up and out".

Well, I've rapped, I've pried, I've even begged. It ain't budging. Any suggestions? Really don't want to start out by breaking something. That's how my TJ lift project started last weekend...
 

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.......wd40 ?.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First problem solved: Took several extra whacks side to side, then it popped free.

On to step three...
 

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sespe commander said:
First problem solved: Took several extra whacks side to side, then it popped free.

On to step three...
I used a block of wood and a 2lb hammer. beat the crap out of the wood as it rest on the flat face of the arm. took plenty of whacks to get it loose. hope the rest goes smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Now I'm having a hell of a time with getting the studs out. Waiting for my buddy with the grinder...
 

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sespe commander said:
Now I'm having a hell of a time with getting the studs out. Waiting for my buddy with the grinder...
Yea.. you have got to cut the rubber back and grid off one side of the top flange. then take the same hammer and beat the crap out of the stud and drive it out. you have got to cut off some of the flange or you will never get it out. its easy when you cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, it's done. No pics for a couple days, I go back on shift tomorrow. And I've already started in on the "I'm Done Beer", so this may get incoherent.

Before my buddy showed up, I made a trip to the local rental yard, looking for a die grinder. But they also had a strut compressor. Now, I have a spring compressor, but it works on the inside of the spring. The strut compressor is a pair that works on the outside of the spring. For $15 a day, it was a lifesaver.

Why? When my buddy showed up, he showed me a neat trick. To explain, my buddy is actually my rookie firefighter, just finished his probation. Before this, he was a heavy fleet mechanic for 26 years, the last 10 working on our engines. I listen to him when it comes to mechanics.

The first strut, I followed the instructions. I trimmed the rubber, pried and hammered. Then I used the strut compressors to cramp down the spring, allowing even more movement. Eventually I got them all out, and new bolts in. By the time I got to the second strut, he showed up. The second strut, we tightned the strut compressors, then removed the top of the strut. Man, popping out the studs was super easy. If you can rent a strut compressor, that is the way to go. We didn't even have to cut any rubber. Re-installing, he used an air impact wrench to spin down the nuts. The rapid hits of the impact gun combined with the resistance of the uncut rubber kept the bolts from spinning in place as he tightened. No crows-foot or special wrench needed.

**Note: RR forgot to include 4 of the nylock nuts with the kit, so we went with regular nuts and lock washers. They are shipping the missing nuts, I will crank them down one by one in exchange later.***

Another trick he did was to remove the calipers both front and rear. This let the assembly drop even lower without stretching any cables or brake lines.

We had one problem at the very end, despite pre-planning for it: We were all done. The tires were back on the rears. The truck was ready to come off the stands holding the frame. Since the jack was already under the rear pumpkin, I cranked that up until the frame lifted away from the stands. But this time, there was 2 inches more suspension on the Jeep than before. That 2 inches was enough to push the rear edge of the commander into the garage door closer, causing a tiny dent and a huge paint chip. Da##it!

I'll put the rock rails on next, then send it in for the tire swap and alignment. Then pictures, I promise.
 

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Glad you got it on! Installations just aren't installations without a few speed-bumps along the way. It's all part of the fun! :) Looking forward to the pics.
 

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Looking forward to the pics. What tires are you going with?
 

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FYI: for future reference, the proper tool for ball joint removal is a ball joint fork (looks like a tuning fork, but the forks are wedge-shaped). Just tap on that and they pop right out (less likely to do any damage).
 

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It's even easier to pop the ball joint if it doesn't have a lot of stress on it (see: "droop"). When I was putting my lift on, I just used a jack to push the whole assembly up a little bit, relieving some stress on the upper ball joint. Gave it a little tap with a rubber mallet, and it easily popped right out.
 

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Sespe,

Thanks for the quick write up and tips! They will come in useful in a couple more months when I pick mine up.

Cheers,
O'C
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, my wife went over to the tire shop an hour ago to pick it up. They were swapping out the tires and pressure sensors. I have a set of almost-new JK Rubicon wheels and tires I'm putting on. She called to say she'd be, "right back, just going to drive around town a bit." That was an hour ago...

I guess I can't complain, it's her jeep. It's getting dark here, so no pics til Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She got back just before dark. The tires are rubbing in front, I get to take it to work tomorrow and fix that.

 

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Much better look. Looks like a jeep should.
 

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What rack do you have ?

 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's the official Mopar Rack with heavy-duty rails. I had to take it off to fit in the garage when jacking up the vehicle, and didn't put it back on again. The rack is $600 from Mopar, the heavier rails are more. I found the whole set on Ebay for $300 and a 3-hour drive.

Momma will not be happy until the rack is back on. I have been tracking mileage before and after, I have not seen a statistically significant change. I have not heard any wind noise difference. The rack does seem to interfere with the satellite radio reception. It's not that great to start with, and the rack tends to make it worse.
 

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thats a good look sespe......looks like theres another jeep in the family.......
 

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sespe commander said:
She got back just before dark. The tires are rubbing in front, I get to take it to work tomorrow and fix that.
It's the backspacing of the JK rims. They are the same backspacing (or close to same backspacing) as the stock commander rims. A spacer will fix that right up.
 
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