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diluded000

fabricating a lift

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:D Well I managed to drill out my 15 inch rims and get them bolted under my '85 DL 5spd 4wd switchable wagon. I Sawzall'd and fender bashed, but I still get some rubbing from my 27 inch tires. It goes great on the ice, but parking is a little loud with the studded snow tires rubbing on the fenders. So I guess it is time for a lift - I'm thinking about 3" up front and 2" in the rear. I got a big block of aluminum and 4 feet of 2 inch solid round stock and want to cut this and wedge it under my ride, but have some questions before I really get started.

 

This quote from McBrat was the best description of what I need to do, but I still have more questions:

 

well, there will be at a minimum 18 bolts that get replaced with longer ones.

 

you'll need the following blocks:

 

Front:

(2 blocks, 4 bolts) engine crossmember blocks. one long block each side where the crossmember mounts to the frame rails

(6 blocks, 6 bolts) radius rod blocks. 3 each side. where the plates that hold the swaybar/tranny crossmsmber attach to the body

(2 blocks) Strut block tops. new top bolts need to be offset to push in the struts at the top...

steering extension. unbolt the "T" piece, cut, extend 2", weld tube around the bar.

 

(4 blocks, 4 bolts) torsion bar. 2 blocks each side.

(2 blocks, 4 bolts) diff hanger blocks. 1 block each side.

shock extensions. original BYB kit came with a bottom extension, which worked fine unless you were carrying a LOT of weight. they never broke,but pivoted under the weight.

 

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24091&page=2&pp=10&highlight=knife

 

Mostly I wonder about how to do the top of the struts and the rear shocks.

 

For the strut tops do I turn a 3" thick disk in the lathe and run bolts all the way through it; or can I cut a rounded triangular block and do the same thing? And, did I read that there is a 22 degree angle to all of this? Does this mean that the strut has to stay at 22 degrees but the strut top is more or less on the same plane as the ground, or do I have to make my disk/triangle with a 22 degree angle as well?

 

For the rear shock, has anyone tried to drop the top mounting bracket down? I was thinking I could bolt and weld a steel plate in there, but need some advice in this department as well.

 

Finally, are there any other places that aren't just a matter of putting some sort of spacer block with longer bolts? Any comments on this would be a big help.

 

- James B

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A guy can do a lot of fabbing on his own, but when one figures his time as money, he may be money/time ahead to just buy one of PK's kits. It's hard to go wrong there.

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because the struts angle away from the tower mount points, the holes in the lift block where the strut will mount, need to be pushed in towards the engine 22 deg, relative to the bolts at the top of the lift block that now bolt into the stock location.... this will keep the strut at the correct angle so your camber doesn't get messed up....

 

an adjustable strut block would be the best so you can adjust the camber if needed....

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Do not forget the steering linkage. It will need to be extended since you are moving the front main crossmember farther away from the unibody. From looking at mine it appears that it's just cut off at each joint on the shaft and a new shaft is welded on. You could prolly get away with cutting the shaft and sleeving it for an extension.

 

I don't know the exact degrees but you are right about the front strut blocks. They are designed to keep your camber correct so you don't chew through tires! I'm sure BYB555 or PKDavis could get you the numbers you need.

 

For the rear why not just run longer shocks? I know a few have done this. http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=25347 That should help in the rear suspension department.

 

A custom built lift is doable. As stated above however time is money. Unless you have a bridgeport/drill press, chop saw, welder, and a reasonably priced metal AND hardware supplier you will end up spending more time and money than you would buying a pre-fabricated product. Some just like the challenge of things and if that is really why you are doing this then go for it! If you just want a good lift kit then take some time to crunch some numbers. ;)

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because the struts angle away from the tower mount points, the holes in the lift block where the strut will mount, need to be pushed in towards the engine 22 deg, relative to the bolts at the top of the lift block that now bolt into the stock location.... this will keep the strut at the correct angle so your camber doesn't get messed up....

 

an adjustable strut block would be the best so you can adjust the camber if needed....

Ok, I get it now. So the top and bottom bolt holes should be offset by

3" * sin 22 = 1.12" , but the lift block between the strut top and the strut tower is is still square. If I tap holes in the bottom of the lift block to mount the strut, and in the top of the lift block to mount to the tower, I should be able to get a little camber adjustability by putting shims or washers between the lift block and the strut tower.

 

And thanks to the rest of you guys for the warning about doing this myself. I have no doubt that buying a quality lift kit would be better. But I see this as entertainment, not lost time. I mean I would just be sitting on the couch drinking Knob Creek if I wasn't doing this, so it is time well spent for me. I already have a good wood working shop, but I put together a little machine shop in the garage, so I have a welder, chop saw, floor standing drill press, horizontal/vertical band saw, mill/drill/lathe combo, and a small Sherline CNC milling machine. Colorado Iron and Steel sells new aluminum stock for 3 bucks a pound, and the local farm store has a good supply of fasteners at reasonable prices. As soon as it looks like the roads will be clear for a little while I can get back in my 2WD pickup start driving that to work while I work on this.

 

thanks again

 

- James B

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Sounds like you are setup there with your shop man. I think youll be able to put together a fine little lift. Maybe post up some pics and progress? Or atleast a final total on $ spent for supplies and time spent on fabrication.

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you don't really need shocks in the rear, especially in stock rusty, saggy condition, I even took the shock mounts out, they only made matters worse :brow::drunk: I have pictures!!

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And thanks to the rest of you guys for the warning about doing this myself. I have no doubt that buying a quality lift kit would be better. But I see this as entertainment, not lost time. I mean I would just be sitting on the couch drinking Knob Creek if I wasn't doing this, so it is time well spent for me.

- James B

 

Time spent fabbin and stuff could also be spent out in the hills getting it muddy. :grin:

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