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  #16  
Old September 8th, 2010, 11:35
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Fortunately, in that pic, the rear leaves have not been installed yet (hence the *major* height difference).

Now that I'm working on the rear, I'm having a hell of a time removing the front leaf spring bolts... I picked up a 1/2" drive breaker bar (18" long, Craftsman), soaked the bolts in PB blaster (through the hole in the unibody rail), and used a floor jack to apply torque to the breaker bar but can't even get them to budge. The breaker bar simply torqued about 30 degrees without moving the bolt a single bit.

I've heard that a combination of PB Blaster and heat is the best way to go to avoid shearing. I've never had to heat a bolt to remove it before, so I have a few questions:

1) Would a propane torch suffice?
2) How long should I heat it each time?
3) Should I let it cool down before attempting to torque it again?
4) Should I heat it from the bolt head side (outside of the frame rail) or aim the flame into the hole in the frame rail to reach the nut inside?

Thanks a ton in advance... I really, really, really don't want to risk shearing either of these bolts as that would make this a new level of hell I'm not ready for.
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  #17  
Old September 8th, 2010, 12:06
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Realizing I tend to make EVERYTHING more complicated than it has to be, I went ahead and approached the situation logically...

After heating the bolt with my torch for about 30 seconds on each side (after letting the PB Blaster soak for 20 min), the bolt came right out with surprisingly little effort. The build continues!
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  #18  
Old September 8th, 2010, 12:22
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Begster Begster is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

My bet is the rear will be higher than the front once installed.
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  #19  
Old September 8th, 2010, 15:15
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

New hurdle! I've done research but still find myself stuck...

The rear leaf spring bolt appears to be seized to the bushing sleeve, as it turns with resistance but will not come out of the shackle (I did manage to get the nut off). Slamming it with a 5 lb hammer has done nothing but mangle the tip of the bolt, although I can still thread the nut onto it.

Any tips? I've heated it, soaked it in PB, heated it, repeated... Still no go. I'd skip to a ball joint press but due to the limited space, I cannot get one in there.

Tips?
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  #20  
Old September 8th, 2010, 15:34
XJOutsider XJOutsider is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

I have used a mini cut off will in my rotery tool and cut the metal Sleve then split it with a chizle it apart.
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  #21  
Old September 8th, 2010, 15:42
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Take the shackle off, and then the whole leaf spring will come off, then replace the shackle. Either that, or use a sawzall/cut off wheel and cut the bolt on both sides of the bushing, in between the bushing and inner part of the shackle.
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  #22  
Old September 8th, 2010, 16:09
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Thanks guys... I managed to remove the upper shackle bolt without heat (to preserve the bushing, my main concern) and then pressed the stuck bolt out with my ball joint press. It's amazing how going a little further can reduce a 2 hour ordeal to a 3 minute task :-/
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  #23  
Old September 8th, 2010, 18:45
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Rear leaf packs are FINALLY installed... All that remains is to lube all points on the front suspension and steering, bolt the tops of the rear shocks (gotta fish the nuts in with a magnet, too tired to do so now), bleed the brakes, and perform a basic alignment... I'll post pics and share a bulleted list of what I've learned in the next day or two to help others in the future.

Once again, you guys have spared me a lot of pain and agony. It's times like these I really love
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  #24  
Old September 15th, 2010, 08:47
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Well, the lift is finally installed (finished a few days ago but went back home to San Antonio for a 4-day weekend)... Pics!

(click for larger images)







I'm definitely loving it, however, I have a few issues:

  • These springs are STIFF. The valving on the 5100s is able to keep it under control, but at this point I'm reluctant to drink from an open container while driving on many of the highways around here... Dips in the highway are very pronounced with these springs, and have already led to a bit of coffee in my crotch.
  • The lift sits higher than 3.5" (much higher), but I'm hoping some of that will go away... The rear really irks me, as I get some pretty bad driveline vibrations between 15 and 35 mph. Looks like a HD SYE and drive shaft are coming next (going with Tom Woods and Advance Adapters). I'd like to get the 242 in there, but given the complications that might arise with the SYE I'll be holding off on installing it until later in the project (it'll go in with the HP30 and all corresponding axle upgrades).


For those who own the Rubicon Express 3.5" lift (coils and full leaf packs) - does the ride soften at all over time? I know I can expect the rear to sag a bit, but at this point I feel like I'm driving a leaf-sprung lightweight F350.

Last edited by anthrax323; September 15th, 2010 at 08:50.
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  #25  
Old September 15th, 2010, 09:17
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Ian Christiansen Ian Christiansen is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Looks good, but definitely taller than 3.5". Are you planning on running taller tires eventually?
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  #26  
Old September 15th, 2010, 09:30
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Yeah, without a doubt. I was hoping that the RE 3.5" lift would be a true 3.5", but unfortunately (as I was warned over and over and over), it is not... Thus, my 30x9.5's look a little small.

The largest tire I want to run is 31x10.5. Only marginally larger, but they'd fill out those gaping wheel wells considerably better and most likely avoid any rubbing.
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  #27  
Old September 15th, 2010, 09:50
miasmatic miasmatic is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

them tires are teeny
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  #28  
Old September 15th, 2010, 10:06
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinaubinoe View Post
dang the front looks high! might want to had a shackle to the rear, the coils dont settle that much.
ive found the opposite... even after towing many times (21ft chris craft... 4k lb boat, trailer tongue weight is somewhere around 800lbs.) my rear still sits higher than the front.

4.5" super flex kit. with 31s. i think itll be more of the look you want when you go to 31s. i trimmed my fenders and now 31s look small.

before the trim.

Last edited by VAhasnoWAVES; September 15th, 2010 at 10:09.
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  #29  
Old September 19th, 2010, 15:49
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Thanks for the input VAhasnoWAVES - I agree that 31's will look much more appropriate under it once done.

For now, I managed to level it out:







All thanks to a $26 leveling kit picked up from Lowe's:



...Also known as 400 lbs of concrete (with the $5 keep-the-dog-out-of-the-crap tarp option). The moment it begins to sag lower than its current height, I'll go ahead and remove the concrete and let the break-in process continue on its own. The rear shocks (5100s) seem to be much more appropriately valved for the added weight, but we'll see if after softening the springs it'll ride a little more nicely.

Oh, and this has taken care of most of the driveline vibration issues I've run into... Should be an adequate temporary solution until I order my HD SYE and Tom Woods shaft.

For now, I'm not fond of having 400 lbs of loosely-bound projectiles in the back of the car (due to the inherent safety issues), but it's the best short-term solution I could come up with. I'm also planning on ordering a Raingler cargo net to get ready for turning the folded-down back seat into a permanent dog area (already found a friend with lots of extra ~4" thick memory foam from which I'll be sewing a heavy-duty canvas bed for him). That, and an ice chest spot for longer trips... Maybe one day I can train him to fetch things from it on the road.
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  #30  
Old September 19th, 2010, 19:19
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Ian Christiansen Ian Christiansen is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Should look good with a set of 265/75R16 on those rims.
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