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AA lift installation/use thread


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13 replies to this topic

#1 torxxx

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:58 PM

OK This is not a thread to start flame wars against AA.

I want users input and comments, so if there is something that can be bulked up, or modified on my car to make the lift more durable, easier to install, etc...

Got my lift in the mail yesterday.. Thanks AA for getting it here in a timely matter. 15 bucks shipping to alaska priority mail is GREAT. I think PK was listing over 50 bucks for his lift shipped to alaska. More parts on the PK lift, or is it the way its shipped?

Now I'm debating on putting the lift on in my driveway or waiting until I get to Fairbanks in a few weeks. How many jacks/jackstands should I have for the job? I'm thinking 3 jacks and 4 jackstands should do it just fine.

I'm looking for input from ANYONE who has a AA lift. Is there any shortcuts or things that the you've done different during installation from the directions provided?

Hell with my bumpers 4 inches higher, I'm thinking I wont need bigger tires. I havent gotten stuck from the running gear being too low, it was always getting the body highcentered in 4 foot snowdrifts that's stopped me.

I'm also looking for ideas for a spacer for the front skid plate. I'm thinking a 6 or 8 inch long piece of square tubing would probably work. It'll need to be 4 inches tall correct?

One last thing, anyone cracked any welds on the AA lift? looking at the front strut spacers, the welds look a little thin for somewhere that is going to have the most pressure on it. The rear strut extentions look great. Good thickness of steel there.

#2 Snowman

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:14 PM

For the skid plate spacer, you could probably get away with a 2.5" or 3" piece of rectangular tube and just have the skidplate angled slightly. It might take a bit of bending and fabbing, but I think you'd be better off in the longrun as it wouldn't hang down as far. On mine, I'm planning on making a custom plate that will eliminate the spacer and make it stronger.

#3 Scoobywagon

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:14 PM

I don't have an AA lift, but I have seen one in action. I was there at WCSS when he jumped over the gravel pile. It wasn't the strut spacer or any OTHER part of the lift kit that failed. What broke was the strut itself. THere's some pics of it somewhere. Really impressive. Bent the strut in 2 places, broke an axle or two and I think he even bent some of the sheet metal at the top of the strut tower. But the lift kit itself held up just fine.

#4 torxxx

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:33 PM

Well thats good to know that it'll hold up to my abuse. Ice racing is gonna be the hardest on it. Slamming into snowbanks completely sideways at 40 might do some damage.

Kelly - Yea I was kinda thinking about just making a different skid plate. Once that I can get my hand into the get the damn oil filter off. I might just have to go and steal some construction signs tonite for operation skidplate.

#5 Numbchux

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:53 PM

Well....first of all, does he still have the adjustable rear strut extensions on the bottom? or just the mount relocators on the top? I have the high clearance lift, so I ordered a 2" diff shim from sjr to easy my axle angles a bit, and then I'm cranking up my strut extensions!!!

the lift still drops your engine xmember 3" (only raised one...) so you're bumper will be higher, but the rest is left low. here's a pic, keep in mind that everything is raised an additional 3" from the tires (6" total taller diameter), look how low the oil pan, xmember, etc. is:
Posted Image

careful on the front strut top bolts, the ones welded into the extension, I broke 2 of mine off reinstalling them after putting adjustable struts on the front (bad idea....bye bye cv's). there's enough pressure on 'em from the car resting on the struts to keep things from moving, but nonetheless, I need to fix this soon.

go for it in your driveway! I had 2 jackstands, 2 floor jacks, and a scissors jack (for finetuning, with a couple big chunks of wood so it could reach the car.) I used the scissors to push the xmembers up tight against the blocks while I tightened the bolts.

also, with the xmembers detached from the rest of the car, things tend to shift, and not line up right anymore. I used a pair of ratcheting tie-down straps to pull things to where I needed them. I used this again when I pulled the tranny for a clutch job a month ago or so. worked great!

#6 soobmater

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:46 PM

i can help on the skid plate issue, i had a anle iron welded on it, i think 2 inch. ill get a pic shortly of it

#7 torxxx

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:10 PM

right on. thanks for the feedback. keep it comin

#8 soobmater

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:45 PM

here you go, just went out and took it


Posted Image

#9 lastchance

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:54 PM

Albie, the main fabricator for AA showed me the strut shortly after WCSS...It was crazy...As someone else said, the strut itself basically collapsed on itself. CRAZY!

#10 cmiller

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:10 PM

I got my AA lift in one day. It took me and my buddy 1 hour for the rear and about 6 hours for the front. The hardest part for me was getting the tranny bolts to line up. Had to use a couple of come-alongs to get things in place, wood blocks and hammer to fine tune adjustments. I definitely recommend getting all six tranny bolts on but loose so you can wiggle stuff around to line the holes up before cranking down on them.

I did this on a full size hydraulic garage lift though. Made everything alot easier by being able to stand under the car!
Be careful when you drop the engine and tranny down, watch the heater hoses and several misc ground wires so they don't get pulled out. His instructions are pretty good and everything went in well. I am very pleased with my purchase and the quality of workmanship on the AA products.

I also saw that strut that he compressed and bent! Amazing! Good test on lift durability. Be sure to check the bolts after driving it around for a few days.

#11 kingbobdole

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:32 PM

ok.
I think I'm the one thats had the most trouble with the lift... and so far its getting better and shady is working with me to make things right.... All and all I LOVE my lift, its pimp. As far as the process goes... I'd say have two big jacks handy... and two jack stands and a few big blocks of wood to support the engine and tranny. First the rear is CAKE. You can do it VERY quickly, its VERY straight forward and you really only need 1 jack, 1 stand and a drunk buddy willing to jump on your brake drum.... Cake.
The front is the issue. The biggest recommendation That I can make is to go ahead and pull the tranny mount totally out of the car. I pulled the strut rod at the arm side, and you have to pull the tree other bolts anyhoo, so just take it out and match it up to the tranny drop plates and see how well it lines up. These parts ARE the Hardest part of the lift, and once you get them done, the rest is a walk in the park. Also when you have them out check for interferance in the support rods on the block to the mouint its self... mine had this issue, but a bit of rage and a hammer and that was no longer an issue. Also, drain your coolant and remove your radiator hoses.... I didnt do this..... getting the lower off with less room when its bound against itsself, is a PITA... also you may want to take off your spedo cable. Also be warned that when you go through the instructions and get to the part when you take your steering link apart.... Your gonna get a suprise.... Mine was stubborn so I was hammering it off(lightly) and that was the las link holding the car to the engine/tranny... so when I got it off the car lept into the air and nearly gave me a heart attack... I thought I was screwed.:rolleyes:
Everything else went easy uppers are cake.. I love the quality and look to the parts and they are really holding up so far. I got AA stickers on both sides of my car, and I get thumbs up when I drive it on its 29's.... Congrats on your purchase.
Ok.
I'm done

#12 torxxx

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 04:03 PM

Awesome feedback. After I get my lift on (when ever it quits raining and blowing) I will do a write up on shortcuts and tricks to make the whole installation eaisier and I will post it in the USRM. Hopefully I will have my internet at the house setup so I can get pictures.

One thing the instructions I have say is something about the shift linkage guard or some crap like that? does any thing have to be unhooked from the tranny and shifters? And where is this going to put my dual range lever?

#13 Numbchux

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:13 PM

One thing the instructions I have say is something about the shift linkage guard or some crap like that? does any thing have to be unhooked from the tranny and shifters? And where is this going to put my dual range lever?


no, the linkage stays. it's just the little plate that goes underneath them...I left mine off after I did the clutch. there's alot of other things that will get hit before the linkage, and alot of other things I'd be at least as worried about destroying.

#14 FirstSubaruGLwagon

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:01 PM

I"M UPSET!!!!!:mad:
First they send the wrong steering linkage and I had to get mine lengthened at a local machine shop! Now when i'm finaly putting up that side I discover, while i had no problem lining them up, two of the three boltes needed to finish the "tranny mount" are the wrong length!!
So now, another day goes by without a car and I have to spend more money on something that should have been included.
:banghead:




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