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C. G. Anderson | profile | all galleries >> Various Imagery >> Our 1999 Jeep Wrangler TJ 6/4.0 >> Our 1999 Jeep TJ Wrangler Lift Project tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Our 1999 Jeep TJ Wrangler Lift Project

We decided, after purchasing new Goodyear Wrangler 32x11.50 MTR's, to add some lift to our Jeep. This is the story of the installation of a DPG (www.dpgoffroad.com) Ultimate OME/JKS suspension lift...



FRIDAY:
Took the Jeep over to my friends garage, and started the lift project this afternoon. I began by setting the shifter and chocking the wheels, etc. Then I crawled underneath the vehicle and began loosening all the upper and lower control arm bolt/nuts. So paranoid was I about losing track of what's loose, I flagged each bolt loosened so there can be no mistake when I retorque them.

I also loosened the four transmission mount bolts as well as the fan shroud. Further, I loosened all the body mount bolts and (thankfully) they all came loose, so no spinning nuts or mouse holes to contend with.

I fiddled with the motor mount bolts enough to find that they seemed to loosen pretty easy, even as rusted as they are. The plan now is to do the JKS 1.25" body lift first then tackle the motor mount lift.

SATURDAY:
I arrived at the garage at 0530 this morning. I started off today by setting everything out. Curtis arrived and we set about doing the body lift. We followed the instruction explicitly, perhaps too much. It all went smoothly, however. Only thing I'd change in the JKS instructions would be to go ahead and installing the radiator stops while each side is raised by the jack. We had to go back and loosen some of our spacers to make it easier to get them in. To actually get them pulled through, we greased them, and used a medium sized punch and reached through the air cooling slot closest to each headlight. You can just squeeze a (small) hand in with the punch, and through the hole in the nipple. No need to go through the headlight. Lifting up and pushing down with the punch popped them in. But, as I said above, it's nice to have that extra room while the Jeep is lifted on one side.

Also had a tad of trouble getting the front spacer bolt lined up with the nut inside the frame, but made it. It seemed to be at an angle or something.

After all that was torqued down (gotta have a nice torque wrench!), we tackled the motor mounts. First, we loosened both sets of through nuts, and the top and bottom nuts; both sides. Then we turned our attention to the driver side (having raised the engine from the oil pan ever so slightly). We started by trying to take the through bolt nut off on the driver side. No go. We tried everything. Even the impact wrench started to gnarl the bolt. Too rusted I guess. So we tried to take the top nut off (went OK) then the bottom nut. Broke the stud of the motor mount off. Dang! We'll, we thought we were pretty screwed until we recalled that you have to actually cut 1/4" off of it anyway. So, we stopped there and moved out attention to the passenger side. It went flawlessly and took about 45 minutes to complete.

Back at the driver side, we had to take the motor mount and bracket off the engine block itself. This went smoothly and soon we had the entire mount off. Unfortunately, the stud snapped off with only about 1/8" left. So, it was off to NAPA. Alas, no new motor mounts in western Kentucky, so it will be late Monday before it arrives. Nevertheless, we installed it as best we could (went very smoothly; we used a vice and a metric crescent wrench to get the through nut off) and will finish the MML Monday. No biggie I guess.

Then we moved to the rear. Tires off, shocks off and new ones on, and then springs. By jacking up opposing axles, the springs fell right out. No need for a compressor. Payed attention to how the spring seats in the upper cup; that's all. Also installed the rear bump stops.

Took the rear track bar out, but did not then install the new adjustable version. Will wait until the front is done, and do them in succession. The rear appears to be pretty well lined up side-to-side.

After it was all finished (save for the re-torquing) I was AMAZED at how much lift the rear gained. Have not measured it out yet, but I swear the fenders are a good ten inches off the tires! It is R-A-I-S-E-D!

On to the front. Took the swaybars off, but they came off reluctantly. We used a pickle fork and a tie rod end puller, and a BFH. Finally broke free. Definitely good tools to have. The front track bar also required these. Then we tackled the front shocks. Ran into the dreaded spin issue where the piston spins with the top nut. We used a Dremel and an angle grinder to place flat spots on the piston and finally managed to get the passenger side off. Oh, then we still spent an hour trying to get the nut off before it broke (they never break when/where you need them too!). We stopped there for the evening.



Tomorrow, we tackle the driver front shock first, then the springs. Then hopefully the track bars and the discos. Monday it's back to the driver MML, which should go pretty smooth.

SUNDAY:
Slept in a bit longer this morning, and hit it about 0900 hours. First order of business was getting the last shock off. It, like its passenger side sibling, required an angle grinder so we could get a hold of the shock piston.

Once that was done, we turned back to the passenger front, installed the spring and bump stop, plus the shock. We had to use the spring compressor here, because for some reason the brake lines were really stretched to the max.

Back to the driver side, all went well. No need for the compressor, and it was done in short order. After all this came a blurry segment of work on the front suspension including the JKS adjustable track bar. Decided we needed to try and do a quick front wheel alignment, and spent some time messing with that. This was so we could get accurate measurements when centering the front axle. We (thought) we got it good, and installed the front track bar. We used a come along to center the axles. Got 'em pretty close I must admit! Hardest part was finding a standard place to measure from. We opted for taking measurements front and back of each tire as measured from a straight edge placed horizontally across the tire. It all seems good. Then, we finalized the track bar; torqued it all down. With the wheels back on, it started to look like a Jeep again!

We then returned to the rear adjustable track bar. Installed same with no issues. The back axle was perfectly centered all by itself! The track bar took some work to get it the right length, but it went in fine. No problems. It did help to liberally grease the axle pocket so it could slip in easier.

Now (sigh) back to the front! We had to now install the quick discos. They practically installed themselves! Got them in and the stow pins drilled and tapped in quick succession. This is gonna be great!



I decided I'd go ahead and install the JKS transfer case drop bracket. It went in pretty easy, so we'll see if it helps any. Guess it can't hurt. After all that was done, we stood back and looked. Noticed the front wheels just didn't look right; the toe was way off (it had been perfect). We measured it again and it was totally screwed up! I'm sure it had something to do with the track bar or the control arms bolts still being loose. Tomorrow, after we get the new motor mount installed, we'll torque down the control arms and try it again.

MONDAY:
Well, this "six hour project" is finished! Took us about 30 minutes to install the new motor mount. Torqued everything up then did a second cursory alignment. Quick test drive then over to the tire shoppe for a real alignment.

So far, I like it. Driving it seems no different than "stock". No vibes at all, steers fine, and is a nice smooth ride. Seems to shift into 4H and 4L fine as well. Overall, I'd say I gained about 3.5 inches total lift, but it seems to depend on where you measure. The bumpers are that much higher off the ground.



Total work time was about 20 hours continuous!
OME Shocks 01
OME Shocks 01
OME Springs 01
OME Springs 01
OME DPG Kit 01
OME DPG Kit 01
Violin 01
Violin 01
Adjustment Cam Bolt 01
Adjustment Cam Bolt 01
paradise garage
paradise garage
shock grinding 02
shock grinding 02
shock grinding 01
shock grinding 01
Pulling sway bar
Pulling sway bar
Completed right front.
Completed right front.
Jeep Ghost
Jeep Ghost
One side done
One side done
discos 01.jpg
discos 01.jpg
Finished 01
Finished 01
Wrangler 1999 Eagle Alloy MTR 32x1150 OME JKS Lift.jpg
Wrangler 1999 Eagle Alloy MTR 32x1150 OME JKS Lift.jpg
Eddyville Tire 01
Eddyville Tire 01