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2" lift = shredded CV's -Whats the solution?

lift CV axles boots custom axles

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81 replies to this topic

#51 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 10:19 PM

I feel ya. We do what we have the energy to do at the time.  Because I don't know that much about cars, and there is plenty I am learning in life the hard way (like all these broken axles) I am just trying to avoid as many foreseeable possible problems as I can. That is why I want to err on the side of caution and keep the transmission and engine level just to be safe.  Its probably fine 1/4" difference. I guess like  you said, we'll see! lol. Let me know how it holds up! 
Next week when the parts place pulls stuff for me I will let you know about the transmission crossmember reality. I mean, he said there is one, but its welded. It seems just as easy to make a little spacer if it is a whole crossmemeber. I mean, either way it does not seem a big deal. I am just thinking it is easy to put the jack under the crossmember and lower it to add spacers and I will have to figure a different way to support the trans to change the crossmember, but its probably not hard, can prob just put jack under the trans further back or something...Idk. I just want to get the parts now so I can do it. But I don't want to rush the guy cause he gives me prices off his head so I like to keep him feeling happy and friendly! : ) SO, next week it is! 



#52 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 10:27 PM

If I had more experience with it I am sure I would wing it more based on my own logic, but because I don't have that comfort of trusting myself, my experience, I am always a little afraid I will do something that will cause my wheel to fly off or catastrophic engine failure or something. I have done many dumb things. I had one car a 6 cylinder (ford taurus) it had a spark plug wire rubbed through and a leaky power steering pump. I knew both these things, but did not really take care of it until the 9 foot flames coming out of the engine and demolishing the vehicle. I have not spent enough time deeply interacting with cars to have developed a mechanical intuition or natural logic around it. That is what I am working on now. We can't avoid them easily. Most of us require cars for our lifestyle so its worth admitting how big a part of our lives they are and investing the time and the energy to understand and accept them.  



#53 El Presidente

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:19 AM

I mean regular Legacy as opposed to "outback" legacy.

 

You shold not need to adjust the shifter with just the 2"

 

 

 

I wholeheartedly DISAGREE.

 

You talk of "i've seen" this and that is anecdotal.  Do the math and measurements........Make some lift kits and install them and see the difference between strut tops only VS. tops+drop.........and then drive both setups......and work on both types of setups brought to you by customers.........record the findings..........AND then you will see clearly that Tops+drop is WAAAY better.

 

You will eat axles (or at least boots) and wear out your tires running tops only.   Not to mention the terrible handling of a maxed out geometry.

 

If what I've "seen" is anecdotal, than so is everything you've seen too. I've made plenty of lifts, but I've never made one with crossmember spacers simply because I've never seen the need and with the terrain we go through up here, these cars wouldn't last long. I'm not disagreeing that adding crossmember spacers can't hurt and do take stress of things, but what I'm saying, is that myself and everyone else I know, doesn't use them and we don't tear through tires or axles. If the car is going to stay on-road or the the lift is for a mall crawler, I think crossmember spacers make total sense.

 

Again, I do not eat through tires or boots and I'm running tops only along with a ton of other people. My tire wear actually got better after lifting my car because the tires weren't riding on the outside edge when accelerating anymore. You don't have to agree because frankly I don't care, its a fact and unfortunately, those are unarguable. Also, my car does handles better than it did stock on-road and off. Again, you don't have to agree because its a fact. Back when I built my first lift I got info from one of your threads on the angle to cut the blocks at, which I recall was 17*. I added 2 degrees extra up to 19* and have ever since, maybe that's why you need crossmember spacers for your lifts? It could explain why your cars have bad handling when the geometry is max out.

 

It should be mentioned to the OP that I've found some cars to be really forgiving to being lifted and some just don't like it, but starting with a good lift, Subaru axles and some idea of what kind of driving kills axles is a good start.

 

Josh



#54 mudduck

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:48 PM

I'm going with spacers, and I guarantee you mine ain't no mall crawler. I haven't had any funny tire wear, but I'm not about to baby my car either. Swapping axles out every month or two has gotten old, and like I said before I didn't lift the car to be a mall crawler

#55 Gloyale

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 08:19 PM

If what I've "seen" is anecdotal, than so is everything you've seen too. I've made plenty of lifts, but I've never made one with crossmember spacers simply because I've never seen the need and with the terrain we go through up here, these cars wouldn't last long............

 

 

I added 2 degrees extra up to 19* and have ever since, maybe that's why you need crossmember spacers for your lifts? It could explain why your cars have bad handling when the geometry is max out.

 

You contradict yourself.

 

If you have not made, and used BOTH types you have no comparison.

 

Geometry is the reason.....any car riding at near full extension will have compromised handling.....period.

 

I use 17 degrees because it is the actual angle of the strut maount face relative to horiontal.  You can cut them steeper..but you are pulling the tops in.....altering the mounting plane and letting the rubber take up the differnence.

 

Using 19 degrees is also not feasible if lifting more tan 4".Not without serious bashing or cutting of the strut tower.

 

But whatever........do what you want and give what advise you want......but you really don't have any "facts" at all.



#56 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:08 PM

I'm lowering stuff today. Started yesterday, going pretty well with the usual mechanical work hitches ( stuck bolts, messed up threads in one hole got it sorted). I've got the transmission and engine spacers in. I went with 1 1/4" spacers from an outback. Working on the steering coupler. I got that from the same car and I have cut it shorter and need to weld a pipe on after I get it to the right length. I am waiting for my room mate to get home with his better grinder though because it needs to go shorter yet and the one I am using is ridiculous. Wish I had found a first gen legacy steering coupler, at least people say those are the correct length....Now the valves are a little less accessible, but the CV joints are at a much nicer angle. I would like to replace them with original ones rebuilt with silicone boots, but because I don't know where easily to get those ( I think had two old ones, but my room mate busted the teeth on one of them doing something, and no one I asked would rebuild them anyway) I will probably just throw in cheap o'reilly ones. Then I may need to work on my rack and pinion...though maybe not. I think it only leaks from one screw, which I may be able to access while I have my engine crossmember unhooked to put the coupler back on....
The only minor things I have come accross for my car in this process is to shorten a radiator hose, and modify the fan cover. I have not thoroughly examined it yet though.....all in all I feel it is going well and I am hopeful for good end results. 



#57 wagonist

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:29 PM

Good job.

I'm guessing because you've said you'll need to modify the fan cover, that your car has air con and has the mechanical fan?

If so, you may need to tie the wiring that runs under the radiator slightly lower as it has a chance of fouling on the fan. Usually a problem with 2" drops, not sure about for yours.



#58 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:26 PM

Thanks Wagonist -And thanks for the tip. I will check for the wiring under the radiator! Its exactly those sorts of details I don't want to find out the hard way! 
I have the steering coupler cut to the right size, and the pipe for around it, but I am going to hold off welding it til tomorrow as I have had enough for today. I am still quite hopeful it will all work out well! 



#59 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:14 AM

To ystrdyisgone,
Hey, sorry I forgot to snap a picture. I actually found a scrap car to pull this off of. It is just a regular transmission crossmember, then on top of each end where the bolts go through to connect it to the body it has a round spacer that just looks like a round piece of 1 1/4" metal with a hole drilled through it. It was only tack welded on by two tacks, and easy to grind off, which is what I did. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ystrdyisgone

#60 AKghandi

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 03:28 AM

i put some half inch spacers between the subframe and body. 

 

it made a world of difference. i got them from ace, they were like 2.75 a peice



#61 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:04 PM

Ak Ghandi. Sounds like a great solution. If I had not already lowered mine so much I may have tried it. 



#62 mudduck

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:05 PM

How well did the half inch seem to work?  I'm slowly in the process of making spacers with some steel I have around, and was just thinking the other day bout trying just a half inch.



#63 AKghandi

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:48 AM

it worked very well, i havent taken the car and beat on it yet but they seem to be holding up. i was teaching the gf to drive stick and she bucked the car pretty hard a few times and all is holding together.

 

ill have to get a part number from the spacers i got but i got the half inch spacers and then a large washer on either side, they equaled about 3/4" drop.

 

my car is however an 85 ea82 with manual steering and i have steering shaft with a slip joint, even so it only moved about 1/4" you could easily obtain that from just loosening the clamps on the shaft.

 

 

as for how the car handles, its like night and day, i dreaded driving my car on the road and over the past year or so i ruined my 2 front tires, and those are not cheap tires. but now it has very good road manners and it even seems faster now, but that might just be because i can put the power down without the front end jumping up and down from wheel hop.



#64 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 12:02 AM

I on the other hand tested mine today and said WTF is that metal hitting metal sound? It was the bone shaped support peice under the back end of the transmission being hit by the drive shaft. Gotta take the 4 bolts out and lower that apparently. I am just going to lower it enough. not necessarily an inch and a quarter to match the others.  



#65 Subarocket

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:29 PM

How come there are so many surprises doing this? I figure by now there must be a standardized way of lifting these things, especially just 2". Does no one have a complete list of everything to do it properly?

Great work by the way.

#66 ystrdyisgone

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:34 AM

I on the other hand tested mine today and said WTF is that metal hitting metal sound? It was the bone shaped support peice under the back end of the transmission being hit by the drive shaft. Gotta take the 4 bolts out and lower that apparently. I am just going to lower it enough. not necessarily an inch and a quarter to match the others.  

I lowered mine only a half inch, but my other spacers were only an inch, so you may have to go three quarters.



#67 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:32 AM

ysterdyisgone: I will prob try an inch. Haven't got to it yet. Pulled the engine out of a friends 1999 sub outback yesterday -we just tied it to two two long two by fours with rope underneath and lifted it out on our shoulders cause we did not have a cherry picker, and today I actually had non-car related activities to take care of in my life lol. What a shocker. I will prob go spray the bolts under there tomorrow though and let it sit to loosen for a day. 

Subarocket: I think the people who do it all the time just know it, and when they describe it to someone they just assume that other person knows things they know, or at least knows their way around a car. It did seem to take a little bit of conversation for me to mentally put together a list of all the aspects involved....it would have been nice to have a straight forward list, but when I asked things like 'what else should I watch out for?' overall people chimed in with the little things like the radiator hose and the wires under the fan, the skid plate, etc. ...I guess no one mentioned the protective thing around the fan...but mostly people informed me of the details. .
Maybe there are car books out there on customizing your rig. If not, I guess the market is ripe for someone to write one! 



#68 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:47 AM

Subarocket: I also think there are a few different opinions.

 One is that it is okay to just lift the tops for 2", that then you modify the boot of the CV by moving the end of it closer and/or putting on a silicon boot, and/or spraying it with silicon spray and/or getting a high quality boot or and it is okay.
 Another is that you also drive it REALLY carefully, slow starts, less than full turns etc.
Another is that you do have to drop the engine and Transmission, with/without dropping the radius rod, with/without dropping the bone shaped support at the back end of the transmission, with/without extending the steering coupler. Also these things are affected by how much you lift the tops, combined with how much you drop the bottom. 
and I think people have slightly different years and types of cars (power steering, non power, etc.) that affect how it happens. 

If I knew info from the beginning BEFORE I went through FIVE CV joints I prob would have just found rebuilt originals with silicone boots and moved the boot end. But since I had already gone through so many I did not want to F-around anymore. I just wanted to fix it so it would be decent and I can hopefully move on to a phase of my life that is not all about changing CV joints. I would like to move on to other areas of the car! 



#69 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:49 AM

AKghandi: Where did you get the spacers? In the automotive department or? (just needing to pick up spacers for that last bone shaped support on mine and wondering how to locate these ones you speak of...



#70 AKghandi

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 04:23 AM

they were shaft spacers, with a set screw on one side, not really sure how to describe them other than spacers with 5/8 holes that were 1/2 thick ill try to get you the part numbers, but ill be out of town all day tomorrow wheelin my beast



#71 Subarocket

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:06 PM

Best Car/ OnlyCar, Thanks for the feedback. I guess there are so many variables and through casual conversation on the internet people don't always put forward every detail. I am curious what it would be like to buy and entire lift from High Guys (GLoyale) and see what it comes with and what direction as he seems very thorough.

I am going through the same thing as you. I came upon a used 2" lift that was only the strut top spacers but I want to do the full drop. I have been at home for 8 days in the last 3 months so I am in no place to gather the parts myself. I hope to source everything here and have it all waiting at home next time I am there! 

Can anyone provide me with the length of the steering coupler from a first gen Legacy?



#72 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Subarocket: I will tell you two things I have discovered this week. One is I am now replacing the front CV axles now that the angle is better and they should last and in the process I see there is so much tension on the radius arm and yes, it really does also need to be spaced down. Two, I am still not convinced there is not a better solution than dropping the engine and transmission. The reason I say this is the shop that re-manufactured my engine originally told me there was a guy the owner knew who made custom longer axles for this situation...I never got the info, and no one else had heard of that/thought it made sense. Then at the auto parts store the guy started talking about something similar, saying look on lifted truck forum sites, that they do the same thing, have a custom axle called a "SLip Yoke eliminator custom CV shaft". I don't know anything about this yet and dont have time to look into it right now, I just need to get the damn car rolling, its my daily driver. Right now my problem is the cv wont go through the wheel bearing. So frustrating. I actually took the wheel bearing out and tried it by hand gently on the shaft and it still wont go. I put it in the freezer right now, hoping if it just contracts a tiny bit that will be enough...



#73 Carl B.

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:57 PM

I'm in Boulder and have a 1/2" cross member drop if you want.  Used it on my 2" lift that I just removed today. 



#74 wagonist

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:28 PM

Subarocket: I also think there are a few different opinions.

 One is that it is okay to just lift the tops for 2", that then you modify the boot of the CV by moving the end of it closer and/or putting on a silicon boot, and/or spraying it with silicon spray and/or getting a high quality boot or and it is okay.
 Another is that you also drive it REALLY carefully, slow starts, less than full turns etc.
Another is that you do have to drop the engine and Transmission, with/without dropping the radius rod, with/without dropping the bone shaped support at the back end of the transmission, with/without extending the steering coupler. Also these things are affected by how much you lift the tops, combined with how much you drop the bottom. 
and I think people have slightly different years and types of cars (power steering, non power, etc.) that affect how it happens.  

And another way, which is the full, proper way of the lift is to space the body completely off the suspension, including the rear.

A full kit here (and there were different schools of thought depending on which state you're from) would include:

 

front end:

  • engine cross member spacers x2
  • replacement (exchange) radius rod mounts x2 (more on this later)
  • steering shaft extender (specify whether power steer or not) x1
  • gearbox crossmember spacers x2
  • tailshaft centre bearing spacers x2

rear end:

  • "moustach" bar (diff rear support) spacers x2
  • rear crossmember spacers x4 (or x6 depending on the type)
  • fuel pump spacer x1

Kits here were either just solid aluminium blocks, or steel box with crush tubes welded in.

At the front end of the rear crossmember, the bolts are at very different heights. The steel kits put a welded brace between the blocks to help with rigidity.

 

 

Now to the radius rod mounts.

If you feel that the radius rods are under too much stress & want to do something about this, don't just use spacers with longer bolts.

Take out your plates (or get a spare set),

weld tubes onto the upper side of the plates (with a big enough internal hole so that the original bolt with a socket will fit inside)

weld a washer onto the end of each of those (actually easier to do this welding first) which has a suitable hole for the original bolt

 

So the idea is that you use the original bolts (except for the trans crossmember) to bolt this piece to the car. This area is under a lot of load and longer bolts will eventually bend when hitting stuff as small as potholes. The original mounts have enough problems with pulling nuts out of the chassis.

 

This is why most people now don't bother and leave the plates alone and the bushes under additional stress.



#75 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:32 PM

Wagonist

Thanks for the valuable info. Where would one find where to buy a real and complete kit? I have already bought some pipe and two washers and longer but maybe I will switch it out for some larger stuff and try this system...







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