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  #13  
Old 05-14-2016, 07:46 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Work and life have been crazy busy lately. I've been in the middle of remodeling our guest bathroom, my wife was diagnosed with a bulging disk in her neck, and our Mastiff broke off the end of a bone in his back leg and partially tore a tendon.

The last week or so has been relatively new-drama free, so I decided to tackle the RRO lift.

It's in! It took me 4 hours last night, and 5 1/2 hours today, but the lift kit is installed. The front was a royal PITA. It took all manner of ratchet straps, bungee cords, every dam socket I own, a trip to O'Reilly for more sockets, but it's in. I'm pretty sure I invented an entirely new language during the process. It's mostly curse words and grunting, but it would dub right over the dialog in "Quest for Fire" rather well.
It also required spring compressors, which I fortunately already had. I'm serious... Putting the lift on my XJ was nowhere near as frustrating as doing this one. The RRO instructions down-play the potential issues you'll run into. I was doing this by myself, and there's no way I would have been able to do the front drivers side using their instructions. Instead, I loosened everything and dropped the strut down, then fished the spacer up onto the top of the strut inside the strut tower. Then I carefully placed the washers on the bolts, and got the lock-nuts started with my fingers. After that it was a slow process of using a 3" long stubby 1/2" wrench to tighten those up. Then I raised the strut and spacer assembly back up and finger-started the nuts in the engine compartment.
The axle managed to get in a bind while I had that all out, and the process of trying to get the lower strut bolt back through the lower control arm took a full 45 minutes, a 3 pound sledge, spring compressors, a large pipe wrench to twist the strut housing to help align the bolt holes, a ratchet strap to help pull the bottom of the strut toward the inboard side of the lower control arm, and my pneumatic impact wrench.
The RRO instructions make absolutely no mention of tool or fastener sizes.
You'll need:
  • 21mm deep-well impact for the upper ball joint nut and the tie-rod nut
  • 18mm deep-well impact for the swaybar link nuts
  • a 24mm socket for the lower strut nut. The bolt that nut goes on has a 21mm head
  • 10mm socket for the ABS sensors
  • 1/2" wrench for the new spacer mounting nuts
  • a BFH
  • a wood chisel or a flat screwdriver with a very finely ground point to pry up on the ABS sensors. They fit very tightly to the spindle.
  • a large set of jack stands
  • a larger floor jack that has at least an 18"-22" lift capacity
  • a can of PB Blaster, a round wire wheel for a drill, and a small toothbrush-sized wire brush. Do yourself a HUGE favor and clean the threads of the upper ball joint, the tie rod, and the swaybar link, and soak the down with PB Blaster. Otherwise, they can be a real bear to loosen. When I reassembled, I cleaned all threads and coated with copper anti-seize, just so any future work would be easier.
  • a 1/2 drill bit to slightly enlarge the bolt holes in the two large mounting washers for the rear spacers. As shipped, the holes on mine were too small for the bolts to pass through.
  • 18,21, and 24,mm wrenches.
  • a 5/16 deep socket to hold the swaybar link threaded shaft still while you loosen the nut on it.
  • an assortment of other BS that most "car guys" would have laying around.
  • a couple of good ratchet straps.


You can see the before and after in the photo. Quite a bit more wheel well gap up front. 265/70-17 Toyo Open County ATII's if you're curious. It drives pretty much like it did before in my quick spin around the neighborhood. I'm taking it to Firestone (a mile away) for a Lifetime Alignment tomorrow morning, before I put any real miles on it

With this lift, these tires, and my Surco roof rack, I have about 2 1/2" of clearance getting in the garage with my 16x7 garage door.



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  #14  
Old 05-14-2016, 07:58 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

I'm glad you took the time to document the frustrating process of getting in the lift as I had the exact same issues. By the way it looks good.


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Old 05-17-2016, 10:27 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Jeep looks mean...nice job!

I'm in your camp, doing most mods at once.
Just received my RRO 2.5" lift w/ control arms, Bilstien 5100's, went with BR Mozambique matte black 20x8.5 with a +30 offset and Grabber AT2's in 305x50x20. Airaid CAI and a Curt Rack!

Installs are this weekend....Hoping everything goes smooth! Pictures to follow
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  #16  
Old 06-10-2016, 02:34 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Okay, I actually did this next phase a couple of weeks ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it. My wife and I have had a rather astonishing five people in our respective families die within the last 2 1/2 weeks, so we've been busy going to funerals.

So I tackled the RRO bumper kit. I got the "full tilt" version with the winch mounting plate, bumper plate, bull bar, and front push bars.

It was fairly straight-forward, and took me about 4.5 hours. I didn't want to mount the winch solenoid box behind the grill. For one, the Smittybilt instructions state multiple times in bold print that the box must be mounted HORIZONTALLY, and there was no way it would have fit there anyway. So I ditched the standard 1 foot cables that came with it, and used some high-quality 4ga welding wire and some copper crimp connectors to make my own cables. I routed them up to the space under the hood by the positive jump starting post. When I have more time (maybe this weekend) I'm going to mount the solenoid in that area and finish up the wiring.

I had to clock the motor 90 degrees clockwise so that the wire connectors would be on top, and not near the hot radiator. I also clocked the gearbox side a couple notches so that I could reach in with a little fabricated wrench to maneuver the clutch lever through one of the grill slots.

I had to drill out the 1" spacer bushings ever so slightly to get the bumper plate thru-bolts to go through them. Also, after screwing with the press washers supplied by RRO and getting frustrated with them, I just used a single wrap of electrical tape to hold the bolts until I could get them started in the threads of the winch plate.

For anyone that is curious, I can confirm that the Smittybilt 98281 XRC-8 Comp Series winch fits just fine. it's an older model with synthetic line that I bought in February of 2014. It has since been replaced by newer models, but those newer models may be dimensionally identical for all I know.

In the following pictures, I didn't yet have the winch fairlead mounted, as I had to track down some metric stainless nuts to go with the other hardware I had with the winch. I think getting the fairlead on was as much a PITA as anything else in the process, since I did it after the fact.

I love the look! It's been raining here (Texas flooding), but once I have time to get it cleaned up, I'll post some pics with the fairlead in place, as well as a 12 inch LED light bar I picked up for it.















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  #17  
Old 06-11-2016, 07:41 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

I found this thread and got excited and wanted to do some of the same mods to my 2014 Grand Cherokee.

I am currently planning to get the MB TKO, but going with Cooper Discoverers so they can come mounted and balanced all from Discount Tire, ready for me to put on myself. They don't carry Toyos.

My question is if I put the these Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct on my Jeep with 265/65/17s, can I leave them on there without a lift without an issue?

I saw your first post after you installed them said they were OK without the lift. Wondering if I can postpone/never do the lift. I am debating it now, but I want to replace the wheels and tires, for performance and appearance.

I appreciate it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:05 AM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Jeep looks great!
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:44 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Your Jeep looks fantastic. Motivated me to go with the same wheels. Going to get some Coopers though so I can get it all mounted and balanced from Discount Tire Direct. They don't sell Toyos. My question is can I leave these wheels and tires on without rubbing if I don't lift it? Going to get 245/70/17 tires. Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:59 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

nice, go give it a work out now!
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2016, 12:34 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkramer5467 View Post
I found this thread and got excited and wanted to do some of the same mods to my 2014 Grand Cherokee.

I am currently planning to get the MB TKO, but going with Cooper Discoverers so they can come mounted and balanced all from Discount Tire, ready for me to put on myself. They don't carry Toyos.

My question is if I put the these Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct on my Jeep with 265/65/17s, can I leave them on there without a lift without an issue?

I saw your first post after you installed them said they were OK without the lift. Wondering if I can postpone/never do the lift. I am debating it now, but I want to replace the wheels and tires, for performance and appearance.

I appreciate it.
The wheels you linked to are the same one I bought. I just requested the optional smaller center caps. They should fit, provided you do not have the heavy duty brakes.

Discount does sell Toyos, they just don't advertise them for some reason, but I ordered mine through them and they came in two days later. Again, mine are the Open Country ATII. Mine worked without a lift, but keep in mind, I did not take it off pavement during that time. While there was no rubbing for me, Texas roads and highways are pretty smooth, and some of the best in the nation. If you live in pothole territory, I'm not making any promises that the tires wont rub against the top underside of the front fender flares. There was only abou 1.5 inches of clearance prior to the lift. Now, I have about 3.4"-4". so I'm good. If you have doubts about rubbing and want to go without a lift, you might go with the 255/70-17 (31.1 inches), or the 265/65-17 (30.4 inches). The 265/70-17 I used are 31.5 inches.

I don't have any experience with the Cooper Discoverers, but here's a couple things to keep in mind...
The Toyos ride very smooth, track very straight, and are about as quiet an AT tire as I've ever used. They look more aggressive than many AT's, more like a mud terrain when viewing the sidewall. They are loads better in the wet than the BFG KO's I used to use on my other Jeeps. Further, Toyo has recently redesigned the compound used on these tires, for a reported 40% improvement in treadwear. It's rare to find a manufacturer that will give a treadlife warranty on an AT tire, but Toyo is giving theirs a 60K mile warranty.
You might compare that to the Discoverers and see how they stack up in comparison.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:07 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Quote:
Originally Posted by macgyver35 View Post
The wheels you linked to are the same one I bought. I just requested the optional smaller center caps. They should fit, provided you do not have the heavy duty brakes.

Discount does sell Toyos, they just don't advertise them for some reason, but I ordered mine through them and they came in two days later. Again, mine are the Open Country ATII. Mine worked without a lift, but keep in mind, I did not take it off pavement during that time. While there was no rubbing for me, Texas roads and highways are pretty smooth, and some of the best in the nation. If you live in pothole territory, I'm not making any promises that the tires wont rub against the top underside of the front fender flares. There was only abou 1.5 inches of clearance prior to the lift. Now, I have about 3.4"-4". so I'm good. If you have doubts about rubbing and want to go without a lift, you might go with the 255/70-17 (31.1 inches), or the 265/65-17 (30.4 inches). The 265/70-17 I used are 31.5 inches.

I don't have any experience with the Cooper Discoverers, but here's a couple things to keep in mind...
The Toyos ride very smooth, track very straight, and are about as quiet an AT tire as I've ever used. They look more aggressive than many AT's, more like a mud terrain when viewing the sidewall. They are loads better in the wet than the BFG KO's I used to use on my other Jeeps. Further, Toyo has recently redesigned the compound used on these tires, for a reported 40% improvement in treadwear. It's rare to find a manufacturer that will give a treadlife warranty on an AT tire, but Toyo is giving theirs a 60K mile warranty.
You might compare that to the Discoverers and see how they stack up in comparison.
Thanks for the feedback. I got the Coopers already. I ended up the same size tire as stock so I am sure there won't be a rubbing issue.
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  #23  
Old 06-17-2016, 05:30 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

Here's a shot with the winch fairlead in place, and a 12" LED light bar installed.

I still haven't had time to wire up the solenoid for the winch, so I don't have the cable and Factor 55 Flatlink installed yet.

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Old 07-06-2016, 08:01 PM
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Re: Decided to pull the trigger on most mods at once

My replacement winch solenoid came in finally. The Mopar rock rails also showed up last week, so I took advantage of the 3-day weekend to get some work done.

After I installed the new solenoid, the winch worked fine again, so I was able to spool up the synthetic winch line and install my Factor55 Flatlink on the end of it. The synth line came with a hardened steel hook already installed, and it took me about 15 minutes with an angle grinder to cut that off.

The rock rail installation was about 6 1/2 hours of work. Keep in mind I was in a 100+ degree garage, so I was pacing myslef a tad. The youtube video of the installation is a must-view, with lots of tips that you WILL want to take advantage of.

While you really don't lose any ground clearance with these rails, it LOOKS like you do when you are standing close to the Jeep. I just seems like I lost all the extra clearance from the lift. But, Since I'm always hauling something back from Home Depot in the roof rack, I need the rails so I would have steps on either side to get up their and lash things down properly. Also, I have to step way out now to clear the outer rail. The back of my calf always rubs the rail. In slacks with any dirt on the rail, that could be a hassle. Fortunately, I'm in jeans or cargo shorts almost always.

I had trouble getting all of the nuts installed along the top of the passenger rail. The front two just wouldn't catch no matter what I did. But it still easily supports my 240 pounds without any movement or creaks.
The flag bolts that came with my kit had no tabs to catch in the holes to keep them from spinning. I ended up drilling two holes in the frame rail a bit further apart than the width of the flag, and installed stainless steel screws in there to keep the flags from rotating while I tightened the flag bolt nuts.

The Jeep is almost complete. All I really have left to do is install and wire up the LED light pods that will go on the roof rack, and then buy and install some skid plates.







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