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My Son's build (I will have one someday)

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My Son's build (I will have one someday)

Old 01-29-2018, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Rochester, NY
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Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee(XJ)
Engine: 4.0L Engine(ERH)
Default My Son's build (I will have one someday)

I am hoping this build thread will help some guys like me that are not very experienced mechanics. When I say, “not very” I mean little to no experience.
I changed the oil/air filter and plugs on my first two cars in 86’ 88’ and then got lazy and always had someone else do it. I finally got fed up with my local shops prices on parts/labor last year and changed the front brakes on my MazdaSpeed3 last year and decided it was not as hard as I had built it up to be.
I realize this is not the place for life stories, I am just giving a little background in my experience and possibly shedding a little light on why I was not worried about the upcoming build.

I want to just say before I start going into the details that I could not have accomplished what I have so far if it was not for the suggestions and posts in the forum. I have really been surprised at the willingness to help everyone I have encountered has been… Thank You.

The Subject of this build is a Black 01’XJ Sport and I have the back story in this thread (I am terrible typing so if you are interested check it out here https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f59/sh...ldnt-i-241424/ so I don’t have to retype it.) This is my son’s jeep and for the time being until I can talk my wife into it or I win the Lottery (dollar and a dream) I am going to have to feed my new-found addiction with that.

First upgrades for the XJ:
Ironman All Country A/T
Tire Size: 31X10.50R15
Approved Rim Width:7-9
Pro Comp Series 97 Rock Crawler, Flat Black
SIZE:15"X 8"
BOLT PATTERN:5"X 4.5"
OFFSET:-19mm
BACK SPACING:3.75"
Zone 3" Suspension System w/Rear Leaf Springs
Nitro Shocks
Sway Bar Disconnects
Single Steering Stabilizer
We also have the harness upgrade from “JHC7399” (this will be added in the next couple of weeks)

On to the Build…

It has been way too cold for me to start the lift outside and My garage (at the moment) is full and there is no room to pull the truck in so I making my son wait, not very patiently I might add.

Last Wednesday 1/24 my brother-in-law told us that we could use his dad’s shop to start the build on Sunday if we wanted. He has a lift and hopefully all the tools we would need. I ran out and bought PBBlaster and we started spraying like crazy. I was also worried about breaking bolts from all the other build threads I have read so I jumped on the forum and asked “Tubur” if he had any of the Master Hardware kits available and if it could be shipped to me in time if he did. He was very fast in replying and was able to ship it out so I received it on Friday. I was almost as excited as Alex my son (my wife says more).

I knew we were going to do the lift, just not when so I started getting tools to be ready for when it happened. I got a ” and ” Impact wrenches and Metric and SAE impact sockets sets. I now had the tools I needed and the Jeep was getting PBBlasted twice a day and I also had all the hardware I needed in case we snapped or broke anything…… Mine was going to be the first build to only last 5 hours. Nope



This a picture before we put it on the lift and measuring height 9am 1/28.




Having access to the lift is great but we discovered right off the bat that Jeeps are already higher than normal cars so we had to get inventive with the lift to raise it enough and in the right place so the axle was free and we could get to the parts we needed to.



We started with the front and right from jump got a dose of reality. I had the instructions I printed off from Zone OffRoad for the lift and it says to first - “Remove the bolt mounting the front track bar to the passenger’s side of the axle” and then raise the front of the vehicle and remove the tires.

We already had the front raised and tires/wheels off so we grabbed the ” Torque Wrench (we were still singing and dancing thinking 4 hours to go) SNAP there goes the head of the bolt. I don’t know if it would have been ok if we tried removing it before it was lifted or if we had tried a hand wrench or breaker first but now had our head out of the clouds.

This is where I think I can help any other first-time guys.

PRO TIP #1 “JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE AN IMPACT WRENCH DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO OR SHOULD USE IT FOR EVERYTHING”

Here is a picture of the snapped bolt and a couple of the mount


Snapped Bolt
Mount

nut inside of mount..no clearance

After much thought and scratching our heads we decided we had to cut the bolt between the bushing and the frame mount. We could not punch it out (not enough room in the inside of the mount) we couldn’t remove the mount (welded on the frame and none of us has experience welding).

Here is my son with the Sawzall this took about 1 hours….


Alex taking care of business...
We had the Sawzall but did not have good blades, we ate the teeth from three before we finally broke through the bolt and get the trackbar out of the mount (for those counting it took 1 hours to cut the %$#@&^[email protected] bolt. Snapping the head off the bolt on one side and cutting it on the other made it so the we couldn’t punch the remaining piece through the sleeve. We had to use a puller to get it out and ruined bushing in the process.

PRO TIP #2 HAVE GOOD METAL CUTTING BLADES (you will need them)



We thought well we got the broken bolt out of the way….

Started on the front shocks and FP side came out with difficulty but nothing broken or damaged. FD side we got the bottoms out ok but ended up snapping the top. Universal, Swivel sockets would not fit in the space and I think Alex got frustrated with it and horsed it (I didn’t see exactly what he did to snap it) but since we were replacing the shocks anyway maybe we should have snapped it earlier.

Sway links came out fine (replacing them with disconnects)

Step #8 Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut from the drag link end at the pitman

arm Figure 3. Thread the nut back on a couple of turns. Strike the pitman arm

near the drag link end to release the tapered seat. Take care not to damage the

end. Remove the nut and the drag link from the pitman arm.

I did a lot of reading on the forums and watched countless videos of lift installs and for the life of me could not think of what part this was… I jumped online and “OH that thing”

We could not get a hammer BFH or otherwise into that area so we had to use a pickle fork and it came out easy enough I guess (if easy is wailing on the end of a metal rod inserted into a joint in your car) We did enjoy using the BFH though. Even though using the hammer was fun we damaged the tie rod end so on to the next step.

We got the spring retaining clips out without an issue. Loosened the FD LCA and removed the bolt from the FP side again with no issue. Removed the coils and replaced no problem (we are on a roll)

Trying to get the FP side LCA to line up so we could put the bolt in was a PITA. Until we realized what was wrong

Pro TIP #3 Make sure you do not have the body jacked up so high the control arm is at a steep angle (pictured)


here the angle is to steep to get the bolt in
Once we lowered the body and lessened the angle of the control arm it was much easier to install the bolt. (unfortunately took about an hour for us to realize this)

We got the front shocks installed.



Started on the sway bar disconnects. Here is the one of the steps on the SB disconnects that I thought was interesting:

Disconnect the sway bar link from the axle. Remove the nut and the sway bar

link from the bolt. Some early models will require a T55 torx socket to hold the

bolt from rotating. Later models used a bolt with a serrated neck that is pressed

into the bracket so it will not rotate. If the bolt has a serrated neck I will need to

be removed from the bracket with a hammer or 2-Jaw puller (in order to release

the serrated neck).

Turns out our 01’ has the serrated neck… I said PITA before but Holy %$#@ we hit it with an BFH (still fun) and an air hammer and it did not budge. We did read the last line and ended up using a puller and finally broke them free. Alex wanted to stay and finish but time was up for the day.



Left to do on the front:

Finish installing the sway bar disconnects

Install the Zone steering stabilizer

Replace the trackbar bushing

Replace tie rod end (connects to pitman arm)



One last tip before we start the fun all over again Deep sockets are your friend and you will want an 18mm

Last edited by John LaBombard; 01-29-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:20 AM
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First off welcome to CF! I see your from Rochester, NY. I grew up in Albion, NY not far from you and I know all too well about those salt belt vehicles. One of the few reasons why I may not ever return to Western NY. We shall see but I love that area and do miss it and most my family still lives around Genesee county and Orleans.

I would say though surprising that Jeep looks in really good shape so not sure now long it has been around NY but that's a plus on some things. Sure you encountered the broken bolts right off the bat but that is two things rust and original equipment that has been on for a very long time probably.

So when you say the you will have the Jeep one day are you referring to you getting your own or some how aquiring your Sons when he no longer wants it?

Aside from the lift what else is your Son planning to do with it? DD and mild trails?

It is great to see Dad/Son projects I know the feeling and my son is only 12 going on 13 but it won't be long before he has his first car and perhaps he will want a Jeep "at least I will try to convince him to get one".
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by XJIrish4x4 View Post
First off welcome to CF! I see your from Rochester, NY. I grew up in Albion, NY not far from you and I know all too well about those salt belt vehicles. One of the few reasons why I may not ever return to Western NY. We shall see but I love that area and do miss it and most my family still lives around Genesee county and Orleans.

I would say though surprising that Jeep looks in really good shape so not sure now long it has been around NY but that's a plus on some things. Sure you encountered the broken bolts right off the bat but that is two things rust and original equipment that has been on for a very long time probably.

So when you say the you will have the Jeep one day are you referring to you getting your own or some how aquiring your Sons when he no longer wants it?

Aside from the lift what else is your Son planning to do with it? DD and mild trails?

It is great to see Dad/Son projects I know the feeling and my son is only 12 going on 13 but it won't be long before he has his first car and perhaps he will want a Jeep "at least I will try to convince him to get one".
Thanks, it has been fun being involved with his "First" vehicle. I know I remember mine with fond memories. He laughs because sometimes (most) it seems that I am more excited about the build than he is.
When I say someday, I mean I will have my own. I almost pulled the trigger a couple of times but either took the blinders off (with help from some other forum members I added the link in the beginning of the post) or realized that right now it is not financially feasible for me to have a project right now.

He is going to be using it as a DD (school, hockey practice, work) but probably will hit a few trails now and then. He is 16 but still has permit so we have a little time till he takes his road test (36 days and counting). He has big plans for the Jeep, all the "cool stuff" Light bars and Bumpers.

on a side note - I have been subbed on your build for a while now and have really enjoyed watching the progress. WHEN I get one I want to take my time and do it the right way as well. That is not to say that we are doing it wrong with Alex's but he is 16 and very impatient to get in it and drive. Fixing all the minor rust before it spreads or cleaning and improving the interior are not priorities.

Last edited by John LaBombard; 01-29-2018 at 10:41 AM. Reason: adding content
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:42 PM
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Sounds like you guys are off to a good start. Its nice to hear that you are both using this to learn and build together with little to no experience. Some words of advice:

1.Youtube is your friend
2.Think functionality over fashion
3.The right tool makes all the difference
4.Nothing is worth hurrying over and getting hurt by taking shotcuts. Use Jackstands, use eye protection and gloves. If you cant figure something out, Stop. Re-read directions. check the forums. then proceed again.
5. Have Fun
6. dont be afraid to ask questions regarding tools, parts, processes.

Happy Wrenching!
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by John LaBombard View Post
Thanks, it has been fun being involved with his "First" vehicle. I know I remember mine with fond memories. He laughs because sometimes (most) it seems that I am more excited about the build than he is.
When I say someday, I mean I will have my own. I almost pulled the trigger a couple of times but either took the blinders off (with help from some other forum members I added the link in the beginning of the post) or realized that right now it is not financially feasible for me to have a project right now.

He is going to be using it as a DD (school, hockey practice, work) but probably will hit a few trails now and then. He is 16 but still has permit so we have a little time till he takes his road test (36 days and counting). He has big plans for the Jeep, all the "cool stuff" Light bars and Bumpers.

on a side note - I have been subbed on your build for a while now and have really enjoyed watching the progress. WHEN I get one I want to take my time and do it the right way as well. That is not to say that we are doing it wrong with Alex's but he is 16 and very impatient to get in it and drive. Fixing all the minor rust before it spreads or cleaning and improving the interior are not priorities.
Well thanks happy to hear of those who are following my thread. I know I sometimes steer off and talk about random stuff and not always related to my build step by step. Little more of a personal touch and I'm glad others are enjoying it. I'm going to keep watching this build and certainly going to harass you once you start yours . Which I hope is sooner than later!

By the way my first vehicle was a 1989 Cavelier Station Wagon. Little 4 banger and that was when gas was .89 cents a gallon. Use to drive to the Indian Rez for gas down near Batavia off Thruway.

Last edited by XJIrish4x4; 01-29-2018 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WyoCherokee View Post
Sounds like you guys are off to a good start. Its nice to hear that you are both using this to learn and build together with little to no experience. Some words of advice:

1.Youtube is your friend
2.Think functionality over fashion
3.The right tool makes all the difference
4.Nothing is worth hurrying over and getting hurt by taking shotcuts. Use Jackstands, use eye protection and gloves. If you cant figure something out, Stop. Re-read directions. check the forums. then proceed again.
5. Have Fun
6. dont be afraid to ask questions regarding tools, parts, processes.

Happy Wrenching!
We are learning that is for sure!!!
1. YouTube is your friend "I have CherokeeForum as a homepage"
2.Think functionality over fashion "Easier said than done with a 16yr old but trying"
3.The right tool makes all the difference "I definitely found this out..I am almost enjoying the new tools as much as the build"
4.Nothing is worth hurrying over and getting hurt by taking shotcuts. Use Jackstands, use eye protection and gloves. If you cant figure something out, Stop. Re-read directions. check the forums. then proceed again. "reminds me of what my dad always used to tell me MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. I never learned that one"
5. Have Fun "ABSOLUTELY"
6. dont be afraid to ask questions regarding tools, parts, processes. "great advice, I have definately put the knowledge here to use"
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by XJIrish4x4 View Post
Well thanks happy to hear of those who are following my thread. I know I sometimes steer off and talk about random stuff and not always related to my build step by step. Little more of a personal touch and I'm glad others are enjoying it. I'm going to keep watching this build and certainly going to harass you once you start yours . Which I hope is sooner than later!

By the way my first vehicle was a 1989 Cavelier Station Wagon. Little 4 banger and that was when gas was .89 cents a gallon. Use to drive to the Indian Rez for gas down near Batavia off Thruway.
I think is great to see that everyone has other parts to their lives than in the garage. Ah "The Rez" been many times, looks like you traded snow and salt for rain and mud.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by John LaBombard View Post
I think is great to see that everyone has other parts to their lives than in the garage. Ah "The Rez" been many times, looks like you traded snow and salt for rain and mud.
Yea I sure did but not always by choice because the Navy put me here. I'm not complaining though its been a great experience and we have just under two years left before we are off to some place new. I'm up for shore duty next so my wife and I plan to move closer to the East but maybe a little south and buy a house. Not sure the exact location yet but that will all be pending my next duty station. Our less than 10 year plan is buy a home and settle down but that is going to come quciker than 10 year plan because I retire from the Navy in just over 6 years. I don't want start with a new house right after the Navy so hopefully we get the house we want and start paying on it. Then if I get sent away for a year the wife and kiddos stay in the house. Any ways long story, I love the snow just not sure I would come back to New York yet. Part of us want to but part of us don't.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by XJIrish4x4 View Post
Yea I sure did but not always by choice because the Navy put me here. I'm not complaining though its been a great experience and we have just under two years left before we are off to some place new. I'm up for shore duty next so my wife and I plan to move closer to the East but maybe a little south and buy a house. Not sure the exact location yet but that will all be pending my next duty station. Our less than 10 year plan is buy a home and settle down but that is going to come quciker than 10 year plan because I retire from the Navy in just over 6 years. I don't want start with a new house right after the Navy so hopefully we get the house we want and start paying on it. Then if I get sent away for a year the wife and kiddos stay in the house. Any ways long story, I love the snow just not sure I would come back to New York yet. Part of us want to but part of us don't.
LOL the warm part...
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:14 PM
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Cherokee Lift To Do List:
Install Front Shocks
Install Coil Springs
Install Steering Stabilizer
Install Sway Bar Disconnects
Install Rear Shocks
Install Leafs
Add the Wheels/Tires
Measure
Take lots of pictures

We were able to cross a few things off our list but had to add a few things on for last night:

Cherokee Lift To Do List:
Install Front Shocks
Install Coil Springs

Replace Trackbar Bushing Damaged Sunday
Replace Tie Rod End that connects to Pitman arm that we damaged Sunday

Install Steering Stabilizer
Finish Installing Sway Bar Disconnects
Remove Rear Wheels
Install Rear Shocks
Install Leafs
Add the Wheels/Tires
Measure
Take lots of pictures

We started our night last night after Hockey practice was over and had every intention of at the very least finishing the front end and hoping to get almost done with the rear. I also had my dad with me so I was confident that three generations could fly through the remaining tasks.
I was going to replace the bushing and the Tie Rod and Alex and my dad were going to start taking off the wheels and attack the rear.

I started on the bushing and could not get it out. I bought a 2-peice Moog replacement and watched video after video to get ready, nope. The existing bushing had a rubber center with a metal ring then rubber and another outer ring. The rubber in the bushing just absorbed the impact from the air hammer and air chisel.
I tried using a puller with socket to push the bushing out and that didn't budge it. I think I am going to get some smaller steel plates to use as a press in the future because I think if I could have applied constant even pressure it would have made a difference. I also think that taking the whole trackbar off, instead of working with it connected at the other end would have helped.



I ended up getting the Sawzall out (came prepared with good blades). I had to cut sections out of it slowly making sure I did not touch the Track Bar and that soon worked. I was able to get the bushing and sleeve in with not much difficulty (also where two steel plates would have been nice).

PRO TIP #4 ATTACH THE TIE ROD IF IT IS DISCONNECTED BEFORE TRYING TO RE-ATTACH THE TRACK BAR.

I Know this seems obvious, but remember we are brand spanking new at this. I thought I knew that moving the wheels should help me adjust the Track Bar but moving the wheels didn't do anything. We thought that possibly jacking up one side or the other would help, again nothing. So I remebered seeing something about having someone turn the steering wheel to adjust the bar and still nothing. While Alex was in the cab turning the wheel back and forth I noticed above my head that he Pitman Arm was moving freely just like a kick in the nuts.

I grabbed the tie rod end and we learned how to change that and got it re-attached to the PA and just like magic the Track Bar moved into place with a turn of the wheel. thanks again to "TUBUR" for the hardware the Track Bar bolt I snapped was in the kit.

While I was messing with the bushing Alex was taking off the rear wheels. He was able to get three nuts off the passenger rear wheel easy but turns out the last two were WAAAAAAYYYY overtightened wouldn't budge. We used PBBlaster, breakers, pipes on breakers, battery impact wrenches, air impact wrenches and nothing worked the outside shell of the lug nuts just spun.

He moved onto the rear drivers side and all five are exactly the same. We were all like you have got to be F^%$#&g kidding me!!!! We were worried about snapping shock bolts and mounts and we couldn't even take the F%$#&^g wheels off.

We ended up calling it a night, it was a school night and we were all frustrated. The most frustrating part is we won't be able to work on the build till next Monday because of family and sports responsibilities.

We got home and I dug through the forums and YouYube and I decide we are going to drill the studs out and just replace them. We damaged the lug nuts enough that any of the after market sockets and tools are not going to be able to get purchase so I think drilling is the only option now. (please hit me with some ideas if you have them).

Things left to do:
Install Front Shocks
Install Coil Springs
Replace Trackbar Bushing Damaged Sunday
Replace Tie Rod End that connects to Pitman arm that we damaged Sunday

Install Steering Stabilizer
Finish Installing Sway Bar Disconnects
Drill out studs
Install new studs

Remove Rear Wheels
Install Rear Shocks
Install Leafs
Add the new Wheels/Tires
Measure
Take lots of pictures

I am still "all in, gung ho, and excited" . But to be honest, I am really proud of Alex for keeping a good attitude and staying calm through all the issues. All that kid wants to do is get the 31's on and show off

Now the wait begins.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:51 PM
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Poor guy I know he is super excited but just remind him that the safety of his wellbeing is judged by how well and meticulous you guys follow to the tea on this build. Fixing all these known issues is only going to save him the headache later. Look at this way he could have been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire never able to remove it because of that and then putting himsel at danger sitting there for a tow.

Many other factors here and I know I was young and impatient once still am! LOL There are times when I want something I want it now and not willing to wait. Then there are times where you take a step back and realize that that extra five minutes "not really the case here but rather next monday" is worth watiing if his life depends on it.

Maybe that is the extreme and over thinking way of understanding but I get it! You did say he won't be driving it yet legally on the roads so he is time to fix it right and show it off and apprieicate all the hard work and quality time Dad, Grandpa and Son bonded to get it done.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:51 PM
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Poor guy I know he is super excited but just remind him that the safety of his well being is judged by how well and meticulous you guys follow to the tee on this build. Fixing all these known issues is only going to save him the headache later. Look at it this way he could have been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire never able to remove it because of those lugs and then putting himself at danger sitting there for a tow.

Many other factors here and I know I was young and impatient once still am! LOL There are times when I want something I want it now and not willing to wait. Then there are times where you take a step back and realize that an extra five minutes "not really the case here but rather next monday" is worth watiing if his life depends on it.

Maybe that is the extreme and over thinking way of understanding but I get it! You did say he won't be driving it yet legally on the roads so he is time to fix it right and show it off and apprieicate all the hard work and quality time Dad, Grandpa and Son bonded to get it done.

Last edited by XJIrish4x4; 01-30-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:55 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by XJIrish4x4 View Post
Poor guy I know he is super excited but just remind him that the safety of his well being is judged by how well and meticulous you guys follow to the tee on this build. Fixing all these known issues is only going to save him the headache later. Look at it this way he could have been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire never able to remove it because of those lugs and then putting himself at danger sitting there for a tow.

Many other factors here and I know I was young and impatient once still am! LOL There are times when I want something I want it now and not willing to wait. Then there are times where you take a step back and realize that an extra five minutes "not really the case here but rather next monday" is worth watiing if his life depends on it.

Maybe that is the extreme and over thinking way of understanding but I get it! You did say he won't be driving it yet legally on the roads so he is time to fix it right and show it off and apprieicate all the hard work and quality time Dad, Grandpa and Son bonded to get it done.
I agree 100% safety first..
Discovering the issue with the lug-nuts now is the best possible scenario. I think he realizes it is best to go slower and get it right than fly through it and have to fix something later.
I saw him researching some of the issues this morning so I consider this build so far a win!
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:17 AM
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Yep I think it is always a good feeling when you see them doing thier own research getting more and more into the project. My son and I will be starting on our lift soon. I didn't have him help too much with grinding out the rust on the interior because of safety reasons. He knows what I did but with flying debris and the risk of inhaling dust and metal objects I decided against it. There are things I will allow him to do and he knows that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:06 PM
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We were able to find time on Saturday to continue the lift.

Things left to do:
Install Front Shocks
Install Coil Springs
Replace Trackbar Bushing Damaged Sunday
Replace Tie Rod End that connects to Pitman arm that we damaged Sunday

Install Steering Stabilizer
Finish Installing Sway Bar Disconnects
Drill out studs
Install new studs

Remove Rear Wheels
Install Rear Shocks
Install Leafs
Add the new Wheels/Tires
Measure
Take lots of pictures

We started by tackling the rear drivers side wheel that had the four messed up lugnuts.

first we went after the top one that does not look damaged in the picture but will not budge with impact wrench, breaker bar. I talked to a lot of people during the time we had to wait till we could get back in the garage and I am embarrassed to say we never tried heat. We applied heat to the top lugnut and must not have waited long enough for it to cool but the outside of the nut disintegrated like the others. We decided that drilling the studs would be best and fasted way. We were just about to start drilling when my dad showed up with an Emergeny Lug Nut Remover

I did not have hope for this as I had seen them online and reviews were bad and people did not have a lot of luck with them. Well it worked with all four like magic, it saved us hours if we would of drilled out all four. the only hard part was getting the socket off the lug nut once it was removed. We had to put end of lug nut in vise and reverse the impact and it came out.
Now since we had our first win of the day we started on the rear passenger side. First went after the shock and knew we were going to snap the top bolts so we were not very careful, the bottom came out no problem. We had the replacement bolts and were able to fish them through the top with no problem thanks to everyone else showing us the way.

We started on the front leaf spring bolt and we could break it free but it never was easy to unscrew, the impact wrench with full battery would not turn it or the air impact we had. We needed to use the breaker with a socket the whole way. I am not sure if there was to much weight on it or it was twisted somehow. I we tried raising the axle to release pressure or lower it with no better results. The bolt looked like it was bent when we finally got it out. We had the same issue with the rear bolt but got that out also. The replacement bolts we had did not have the same thread, None of the auto parts stores had the correct size M14x2.0x120 so we ordered them and will go on to the next item till we get the bolts.
Since we couldn't go farther on the rear till we got the bolts so we started on the steering stabilizer.
1)Locate the factory stabilizer mount stud on the steering drag link. Remove the
cotter pin and castellated nut from the stud. These will not be reused.
no problem the cotter pin came right out and castle nut came off with little issue.
2)The mounting stud is tapered and therefore seated in the drag link. This taper
can be dislodge in several ways.
- A pickle fork can be used to wedge between the stabilizer and the drag link.
- Strike the drag link near the mounting stud to dislodge the taper
- Strike the threaded end of the stud upward
- Using a wrench on the hex portion of the stabilizer stud
- Any combination of the above
We were unable to get a pickle fork to fit at any angle. I saw some people put the castle nut on backwards and then strike it. We tried this and after 5 minutes it would not budge, and then realized that we had pushed the castle nut up the threads and mushroomed the bottom of the bolt so the castle nut was stuck on. We cut the bolt off flush with the drag-link and tried using a puller to push the stud through and it just indented the stud and did not budge. We heated it and tried an air hammer and still could not get it to move. We tried a wrench on the hex portion and could not get the stud to budge. We started to drill but then realized even if we did drill through we probably were not going to get the entire piece free to fit the new stud.
We decided after an hour on this that it would be cheaper to buy a new drag link. We ordered that also and moved on to the only thing left on the front.
Installed the Sway Bar Disconnects and BOOM we got something completed. That felt really good to have something go right.

I will continue and add some pictures when we get the parts,

I am still having fun but my son is getting very frustrated, I understand but making him see the light at the end of the tunnel is not so easy......
John LaBombard is offline  

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