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difficulty of lift installation


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18 replies to this topic

#1 northguy

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 09:53 AM

Now that I have committed to installing a lift in my 83 Brat, I am wondering what degree of difficulty is involved. Can a mediocre mechanic (me) install it in a weekend without too much throwing of wrenches and cursing at inanimate objects? Any tips or pitfalls to be particularly aware of?

#2 VaporTrail

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 10:09 AM

yeah, should not be a problem. just be sure to read through the instructions, and re-read as neccesary... :)

and you always can post questions here.....

#3 ezapar

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:11 AM

If you have any kind of mechanical in you, it should go on pretty easy.
The toughest part about the lifts that I've found is simply getting the bolts on the underside to let go when they have a whee bit of rust built up. The two on each side for the rear shocks can be a bitch too.

Be EXTRA careful not to crossthread bolts going back in. The front half often requires a buddy to pry one way or another with a bar on the suspensions to line it up for the new longer bolts.

#4 ShawnW

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:18 AM

I found the rear to be much harder than the front personally. It also seemed to be increasingly difficult on my wagon compared to helping Mick do one a long time ago....kindof suspect it may be because my torsion bar was adjusted all the way up. If yours is adjusted all the way up back it down before starting. I think it takes up some of the slack in the rear end parts and makes things not want to line up without coaxing but I can't prove it.

(I also did the lift kit install with no engine in the car so that might have something to do with it.)

Don't do it if you don't have another vehicle to drive to town to get parts, tools, etc. An extra set of eyes was very helpful when doing the rear shocks on my wagon too.

Consider buying new struts and shocks if you haven't already...the lift kit install basically makes both of these replacments hardly any more work.

#5 ezapar

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:24 AM

Weird. The last several I've done I started on the front to get the hard part out of the way. . . The back is usually pretty cut and dry.

Definitely undo the tension on your torsion bar and unadjust your front struts down before hand.

#6 ru4x4ever

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 12:15 PM

Also take in mind for the shifter will be lower may hit the radio box mine did that set us back an hour or so:banghead: but not that difficult to over come
-Sean

#7 ezapar

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 12:27 PM

With a 3 inch lift, there should be no problem with the shifter or linkage.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:01 PM

On those rear strut bolts at the top - the bar of metal they are threaded into is open on the back, and often times a buildup of dirt and crap back there makes them REALLY hard to get out. Spray some stuff on em a couple of days in advance, and then give em a good shot right before starting work on the front end. You do NOT want to break one off trying to get it out....

GD

#9 mick21

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:21 PM

when I put my three inch kit in I fould the rear easier than the front all I did was everytime time I took the original bolt out I put in the long one when all the long bolts where in the suspension just drops which kept the holes inline and then you can put in your blocks, the only two thing I hade to change when I was lifted was the speedo cable and the top bottom radiator hose.

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:20 PM

Yeah - bottom radiator hose you can cut, and for the top, I just cut the end off the filter box right behind the heat riser inlet. Of course most of us lifted types are running Weber's, and so it's not so much of an issue.

Oh - and installing the steering linkage while the front cross-member is dropped makes it a lot easier. If you wait till it's back bolted up, then it's a tight fit.

I could do one in a full day by myself easy. It helps to have a hand now and then - for things like the steering linkage. You have to turn the wheel, and getting out from under the car each time is a pain. And help with the rear end is nice, as those parts are pretty heavy when your on your back, and trying to support them with one arm while attempting to thread a bolt into something....

GD

#11 ru4x4ever

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:32 PM

Also the clutch cable pulled down on the heater hose and blew so just be aware of all that cool stuff:D
-Sean

#12 junkyardgabe

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 10:31 PM

compared to most body lift that was one of the easiest one's i've ever done.i did mine in just under 5 hours by my self and i found the rear to be more difficult. because the front if you leave the farthest to the rear bolt just loose it keeps every thing inline and don't over tighten the 6 engine cross member bolts you'll crush the front frame rails if you do.
good luck:argue: don't beat your self up to much:madder:

#13 Qman

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:19 PM

Originally posted by ru4x4ever
Also the clutch cable pulled down on the heater hose and blew so just be aware of all that cool stuff:D
-Sean



That wouldn't have happened if the cable had been routed correctly. It should have been routed under the column and hoses. Very common mistake though. I have seen it done that way a couple dozen times at least.

#14 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:35 PM

I didnt have a chance to read everybody's reply's but here are some things I had problems with durring my lift install.

#1: See image below:
Posted Image

I didnt know I had to beat that part of the fender in, and the car wouldnt steer right. It made a horrible popping noise when the strut would hit it. Wasnt hard to bend, and wont be the 1st body structure you'll need to modify.

#2: Test fit everything! And dont tighten all the bolts at 1st, make sure everything is straight then tighten the bolts.

#3: Pay attention to how your steering wheel is. When you remove the steering linkage, its not hard for the steering wheel to move. When I did my lift, i ended up driving my car for 6 months with the steering wheel upside down.

#4: PK Davis has everything coated. Which is great, makes it stronger, more durable, and rust proof. But it does add a degree of thickness to things. Keep that in mind if a bolt becomes stubborn, or when the steering extension doesnt want to attatch to the steering gearbox.

#5: Take your time. Might want to do the front 1st then the rear. If you run into any problems come to the board :)

-Brian

#15 ezapar

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:52 PM

Make sure to attach the strut to the strut block before putting it on the car.

He's very right about needing to beat on that spot on your tower.


Also. If you do get your steering wheel wrong, it's pretty easy to pull it off and re-align it.

#16 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 01:27 AM

One 17mm nut holds the steering wheel on.... I can have one off, turned correct, and back on it less than 2 minutes.

GD

#17 mick21

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 06:08 PM

The best time over here is Oz is 2.25 hrs to install a three inch kit, two guys.

#18 northguy

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 08:50 AM

So, would it be worth my time to replace the struts and shocks at the same time, or would that make it even more difficult? And if so, are Gabriel struts any good?

#19 subarubrat

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 09:09 AM

It is absolutly a good time to replace struts and shocks since you are right there with everything off. I would suggest going with Ranchos all around for the best resuts. Front shocks are fairly easy to do. You can also skip replacing the front strut because the Ranchos will be doing all the work. If you want a straight bolt in, the gabriels aren't too bad. If you do that I would go with a softer rear shock than the rancho or else you will have a very animated front end and it tends to pivot around the rear axles. Go with a premium gas shock instead.




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