- You may as well replace your shackles while you are at it. I used my old stock ones that were in fairly decent shape, but you have to be careful when beating them off of the old springs so that you don't damage the threads or shackles themselves. I had to doctor up a couple of shackles that we had damaged threads on when removing them.
-I really wish I had replaced my spring pins as well. They were the most difficult to remove and we nearly damaged them trying to get them out. I would have just taken a grinder to them and replaced them had I had some pins. It would have saved me alot of time trying to get the old ones out. I'll bet 1/3 of our time was spent trying to get those pins out without causing damage.
- If you cruiser has the infamous lean to the right, I'd fix it while your there. I had a shim made and was going to install it. Someone on one of the forums said, "just install the lift first and see if it corrects the problem." It didn't, I wish I had installed the shim while I was in there. Now I have to take it apart again to get the lean fixed. If you don't know what Im talking about here, refer to the article on correcting the cruiser lean at CCOT.
- You may also want to replace your brake line with an extended one. They are fairly inexpensive and at full articulation it will be tight on a 2 1/2" lift. You'll definately need one with a 4" lift.
- Some Tunes - Genre is pretty much up to you.
- Some help. I lucked out with a few brothers with cruiser experience. Their help was invaluable.
- Some comfortable clothing, Cotton maybe a cotton poly mixture. Pecentages of one or the other fiber is not important. Just be comfortable as you'll be under the vehicle for a while.
- Some refreshing beverages. Preferably non alcoholic- unless you're the guy I see at the grocery store headed hunting with a dozen buddies, each with a 24 pack in one hand and a firearm in the other. If you feel comfortable intoxicated and handling a firearm, you'll probably be comfortable under a heavy vehichle, using grinders and torches by the gas tank with impaired judgement.
- some clean concrete to work on is always nice. You may want to throw down a tarp or something as it gets quite messy.
- Bottle of fast orange and some rags.
- 19 MM Socket to remove ubolts.
- 17 MM socket for shackles, pins and shocks.
- 22 MM Deep Socket for New Ubolts. It needs to be a deep socket as the new ubolts are extra long.
- Breaker Bar
- Torque Wrench. Couldn't find the recomendation for this but a fellow FJ40 owner trold me 80 lbs.
- Jack Stands
- Floor Jack
- Can of WD40 or the like.
- Blow Torch. You may have to heat up the bushings on some of the pins or shackles to get the pins out.
- Large screw driver or large punch for prying and pounding things out.
- Small Sledge Hammer
- A pnuematic wrench is recommended for time savings. I snagged one at Walmart for $27 'cause I figured I may use it for something else in the future. It isn't the highest quality, but as much as I'll use it, It'll do.
Installing The Lift
First I took pictures of my FJ40 from the front and back, just for reference of what it was like before. Then I measured from the front fender to the ground on both sides. And the rear bumper on both sides. Before the lift I had 1" of lean from left to right; right being the low side - typical in US cruisers. I also measured the clearance from the tire to the top of the wheel well. These measurements are not neccessary. I was just curious what the total lift was.
For several days before installing your lift, dowse all the bolts you intend on removing with WD40 or the like. I did this and had no problems getting any of the bolts off.
Start on the front. Using the floor jack, lift the vehicle and place on jack stands so that there is not tension on the springs. Locate the jack stands just behind where the spring attaches to the frame. Guesstimate and lift it high enough that you'll be able to put the tires on after the lift is installed. Also, if you can lift it high enough, you'll be able to fit an impact wrench beneath the ubolts to tighten them. Don't lift it too high or it will get unstable. Once you have it on the stands. Support the axle with your floor jack. Remove the shackles, remove the ubolts, the shocks and then the spring pin. I had no problems removing anything other than the spring pins. I wish I had purchased new pins so that I could just cut and remove the old ones rather than trying to slavage them. I spent probably 1/3 of my time trying to get the pins out undamaged. The bushings on my pins had become attached to the pins. To get them out I had to melt the rubber with a blow torch, then work the pin twisting it back and forth until it came out.