Went on a mechanical adventure! So I tried lifting my EA82 wagon. Put the 2" lift on the rear no problem. Got it on there in less than an hour. The front though..... Could not get it on, whatsoever. Spent like 10-12 hours on it. Either you put the ball joint in, and can't get the lower control arm in. Or you put the lower control arm in, and can't get the ball joint in. Tried almost everything, but nothing helped. So the front went back to stock height.
Leaving was fun too. I put everything back together (or so I thought). Put it in reverse, let out the clutch, and just heard a grinding kind of noise. Turns out the inner CV of my driver side axle separated. Had to put it in 4WD to move. Keep in mind, now it's 2-3 am and POURING down rain. At first, driving away was okay. Then once I got on the road, I touched the brake and the right front wheel locked up. It stayed locked until I came to a stop. Managed to limp in into a parking lot, only to find that my right front wheel had pushed against the fender and was doing it's own thing. A quick inspection later, I realized the ball joint came apart. My ball joints were complete crap, so I couldn't get the castle nut on there tight anyways.
So now my ball joint is disconnected and the nut has fallen out on the road somewhere. I search through my tool box and could not find any nut big enough to fit on it. Luckily, I did find a lug nut for the stock EA82 wheels, which fit on there. Got it on there tight by removing the rubber boot and holding the ball joint still with my RoboGrips. Put the wheel back on and kept going.
Still had the brake locking up issue. I managed to get into a parking space and shut her off. I'm soaking wet, shivering from the cold, an hour away from home, it's 3 am, I haven't eaten or drank anything in the past 24 hours, my body is sore from working on my car all day, and my car is broken. I gave up and just uncomfortable slept in the front seat of my car. Morning came, and I still had the brake issue. Drove around the parking lot a bit, and the front left ball joint decided to eject itself too. Turns out I forgot to put the pinch bolt back in. Luckily I kept the leftover hardware, so I put the pinch bolt back in.
Still having the brake issue, I tried bleeding the brakes, which didn't work. I took off the right front wheel, and guess what? The brake caliper isn't bolted on. The top bolt is on there, but that's the only bolt on there and it isn't even tight. Luckily I had a spare caliper bolt in my car, as the bottom one was gone. Put that on and tightened both of them. But to my surprise, the long bolt that you can take out to access the pads was gone too. Turns out I had stupidly put that bolt in for the pinch bolt on the ball joint. Took it out, and put the proper bolt in for the ball joint. Put it all back together.
Now, my car was finally driving alright. The axle is still broken, both ball joints are sketchy, and the brakes need to be bled. But I managed to limp it home. Drove about 75 miles home, avoiding freeways (for everyone's safety). Stopped by O'Reilly and purchased/ordered a new axle and two new ball joints. Had another catastrophic ball joint failure on the driver side, which I had to fix in the middle of the road (no shoulder and couldn't move the car, ergo couldn't get into a parking lot).
In total, drove another 75 miles (150 miles total) in my car in this condition. This morning, I replaced the axle and ball joints. Now she's driving great.
So in the end, I'm running a 2" lift in the rear and stock suspension in the front. Has a little bit of rake since the rear sits a bit higher, but not as much as you'd think. Running 27x8.5R14 tires (General Grabber AT2) on 14" Pug steelies. Rears are fine, and fronts rub a bit. The ball joint failures damaged the rear of the fender, which eliminates most of the rubbing back there. I've hammered the front fenders quite a bit, so they rub a bit in reverse (when turning) and at full lock. But these tires rock! Insane amount of traction, look awesome, and do pretty good offroad from what I can tell. Only downside is they are self cleaning at 30-40 MPH and stick out a bit from the body. What this means is these tires throw rocks against your car's body. Probably gonna paint bed liner on the bottom half of my car to prevent against rock damage. I also have a stock EA82, and it turns these tires fine. I was worried I wouldn't have the power to turn such big tires, but it's no different than hauling a couple hundred pounds in the back. I was also worried since I don't have power steering, but actually, it's EASIER to turn the steering wheel with these big tires. Weird, but I'm fine with it. Also running with my sway bar disconnected. I hardly even notice the difference, haha. Maybe swerving at highway speeds, but it's fun.
Recently had "built" a roof "basket" out of some metal shelving. Made a spare tire mount out of a wood block and a spare stripped hub, in which I put a spare 14" Pug with a 26" tire (205/75R14). So I have a full size spare (er, very close to full size).
In total, gained about 5" of clearance at the rear diff and 4" at the driver side door. Definitely makes quite a bit of difference. Sorry, pictures are sideways.
Edited by jj421, 18 February 2014 - 11:58 PM.