RRO leveling kit write up *how to*
RRO level kit
I installed the RRO leveling kit on the Grand yesterday. Jeep background: bought new in Feb '12 with 12 miles, currently has 1800 miles, seen snow and rain a few times. Since I don't drive it much, my bolts were not rusty. If your Jeep sees a lot of adverse conditions, you may want to soak everything with the PB Blaster the night before to help break up any rust.
The instructions are pretty good, but aren't the clearest for all work that is needed to get this kit to work. It took my brother and I about 7 hours to do the install. I would suggest to start with the driver's side as that took 5 of the 7 hours. Here is my write up as to what you need to do if you are planning on doing this yourself.
Tools: 21mm socket, 21mm combination wrench, 18mm combination wrench, 6mm socket, 13mm deep socket, 23mm socket, 13mm combination wrench, 4lb sledge hammer, needle nose pliers, Dremel, adjustable wrench, allen wrenches (donít remember what size, but they are pretty big), floor jack, large flat head screwdriver
For the drivers side:
Jack up both sides of the Jeep and put it on stands. Once on stands and tires off, jack up the driver's side suspension. I used the lower control arm ball joint on the knuckle as my jack point.
Start by taking off the clip for the break line with the needle nose pliers. The ABS sensor will slide out of the bracket as well
Disconnect the sway bar. The nut is 18mm and use the 6mm socket on the end of the bolt to keep it from spinning.
Disconnect the tie rod. The nut is 21mm. Once the nut is, put a few threads back on the bolt. You will need to hit the bolt with the sledge to break free the tapered ball joint and the nut will protect the threads.
Disconnect the upper control are from the knuckle. The nut is 21mm. Again, put a few threads back on the bolt. You will need to hit the bolt with the sledge to break free the tapered ball joint and the nut will protect the threads.
Unbolt the strut mount from the lower control arm. The bolt head is a 21mm, and the nut is 23mm. The hole in the LCA is threaded all the way through, so it will take a while to unscrew the hole bolt. You may need to play around with the jack to raise or lower the assembly to get as much stress off the bolt as possible.
In the instructions, the next step was to unbolt the forward LCA bolt. Just unbolting the forward LCA bolt nowhere gives enough space to get the strut out. You will need to unbolt the entire LCA. There are 3 bolts that need to come out. There is 1 in the front and 2 in the rear. All of the bolts and nuts are 21mm
Unbolt the strut top 3 bolts. The 13mm deep worked well for these.
At this point you will nee to remove the jack. To help protect the rotor, we had it resting on a shoe.
As you can bet, with the LCA out, things start to get awkward with this whole heavy assembly only attached to the Jeep by the axle. This is the point when I started thinking to myself, "what the hell am I doing. This better go back together". At this point we were about 2 hours into the install. With the assembly as is, there just isn't enough room to get the strut out. To help get us a little extra room, we unbolted the LCA ball joint on the knuckle. The bolt is 23mm, but I didn't have a 23mm combination wrench, so I had to use an adjustable wrench. This is key to get the space needed. In order to get the strut out, you need to turn the rotor down so that the lugs pretty much face the floor and as far back in the wheel well as it can go. The break lines are tight, but will have enough slack.
To get the strut out, GO SLOW with it. The CV rubber boot is in the way. You need to gently push in the rubber boot on both sides as the other person holds the assembly back. The strut will come out. Just wait for installing that back in.
Now you are coming to the point of no return. You will need to cut the bolts on top of the strut. The directions say you need 7/8" of thread. I found it much better than measuring, to put the supplied washer, and 2 nuts on each bolt. I used my Dremel and with the nuts on, cut at 1 thread above the top of the nut. This is the perfect clearance for the bracket. It is tight to screw the bolts on with the bracket. Just be patient and they will all thread on. Once the bracket is on, the strut feels very solid.
Now for the fun fun fun part, getting the strut back in. The directions say getting the strut bolt back in the LCA is the hardest part, NOPE, this is. When you go to put the strut back in, you no longer have just the rubber boot to deal with, you now have the metal hub as well. There is no good way put this except that THIS SUCKS! After countless positioning of the axle, rotor, hub, nothing was working. My brother and I both were thinking that we may need to call a tow truck because this thing just isn't going to work. We took a little break and have some delicious beer beverage, then went back at it. Finally, we found a position where only one side was being blocked by the hub, and the other only had the rubber boot. Slowly and gently we massaged the strut around the rubber boot. Finally, it slid past it and was straddling the axle.
To keep the strut mostly out of the way we bolted up the top. With the strut hanging, use the jack and jack up the LCA so that you can get the strut mount bolt in. By positioning the jack this really isn't that hard since the whole LCA is out. Don't hard tighten the bolt. Next you need to reconnect the LCA. Use the jack and line up the front mount and get the bolt in. Again, don't tighten the bolt. To get the rear mount it, jack it on the silver box to align it up with the holes.
Next is to reconnect LCA ball joint on the knuckle.
Now reconnect the upper control arm. Jack up at the LCA ball joint and raise the assembly with the rotor as straight as you can have it. With the knuckle at the correct height, you will need to wrestle it over to the control arm bolt.
Reconnect the tie rod and sway bar. Now go over each bolt and do a final tight down on them, don't forget the strut tower top bolts put the clip back in for the brake lines and abs sensor.
The passenger side disassembly is the same, except you won't need to unbolt the LCA ball joint. Also, the strut will come out a lot easier and will go more straight down and under the Jeep compared to up and over the rotor.
Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the install. It was hard enough making sure nothing got damaged. I will post some pics of the Jeep pre and post level once I get it back this afternoon from the alignment shop. On my test drive, the Jeep felt really solid. There are no squeaks or rattles and felt the same as before.
I would rate this as a 3.5 out of 5 on the difficulty scale since it is a PITA. I would also be willing help anyone in the Chicago area if they need it.
If anyone has any other questions, let me know.
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