read the instructions several times - than lay all the parts out by the truck, conduct a good parts inventory and read the instructions again as you touch each part on the ground and on the truck. if you are replacing the springs or adding spacers, release the front sway bar. some kits will tell you this is not required but it will save time and it gets the axle down quit a bit lower and makes the install of any new springs or spacers very easy. if you have trouble getting the upper and lower links in place, move the axle up and down with a jack until you find the sweet spot. C-clamps are a must for getting the metal sleeves pressed into the link bushings. The rear is easy; however, this can be a dangerous part of the install. Be very careful in releasing and then compressing the leaf springs if you are going to insert an add-a-leaf. large C-clamps on each end of the leaf pack bolt are used. You must take your time releasing and compressing the springs with the clamps. There is a lot of energy in the springs and if you don’t pay attention and let one of the c-clamp slide off, you’ll be bleeding for a few days - this is easy, you just need to pay close attention to what you are doing.
steam clean prior to the install if you can...
as for the body lift, i can't help much. the wife put it on when i was out of town...
95 RAM, 1500 SLT 4X4. 5.9L Motor. 3 inch body and 3 inch suspension lift. Running on 35 x 12.5 x 15 BFG ATs with 4:56 Gears
Let's see, specialty tools: impact gun, 1/2" drill and associated larger drill bits, torque wrench that does to 250ft.-lbs., two floor jacks, jackstands, and lots of patience! I actually found it easier to use saliva (spit) to lube up the bushings for the shocks and control arms, they slide right in, after all it is a natural lubricant. I just used a normal hammer to knock the metal sleeves into the bushings in the shocks and control arms. It is always good to have another pair of hands to help out, preferably someone who has some good mechanical experience. Good tip: DO NOT pound on the trac bar itself to get it out of the housing. Pound on either side of the trac bar housing with a good-sized maul, and be prepared to catch it. Do not damage the threads, it is an odd size and a thread chaser is hard to find for it. It happens to be 14.1mm if you can find one. Other than that, have a good time, and make sure to *take your time* and do it right, otherwise it will not be correct and could possibly be dangerous later.
Biggest advice is to spray all the bolts you will be removing with good penetrating lube like PBBlaster every night prior to the install for 3-4 days.
Air tool are not necessary, but do speed things along once you know what you are doing.
Suspension lift may need pitman arm puller if your kit replaces it, breaker bar or impact gun, a floor jack, tall jack stands 24" kind since you need to support the frame, bottle jack may be needed to help force the axle down far enough to get the springs in and out without spring clamps.
Body lift need a cutoff tool (torch, cutoff wheel or grinder) anda welder (unless you take the 2-3 parts elsewhere)
and for the pitman arm, since that nut is on there kinda tight. and most people dont have the right size socket, i know it sounds ghetto but a good since pipe wrench on works wonders, and it must be hardened cause the pipe wrench doesnt chew it up.
if your doing add a leafs, wood workers pipe clamps work good for squeezing the leaf pack back together, just dont feel peppy and decide to use the center bolt to squeeze them together, 9 times out of 10 it results in a stripped bolt.
Yes...agree with Shawn...been there done that with the center bolt thing. Use the clamps, it is slower, but it is safer and doesn't strip things...also forgot to mention, remove the tie rod. It is easy to do, and makes life a bit easier as well. It sometimes gets in the way, and if you have access to impact equipment, takes less than 30 seconds to do. I mean, when you replace the Pitman arm, you have to take the drag link loose anyway...might as well take the whole tie rod off. And don't forget to spin the adjustable part of the drag link 180 degrees up for the new pitman arm.
- how bout a plasma cutter. I REALLY like mine. its much faster too.
as far as tools, im surprised no one has mentioned the all famous BFH. i go for the dead blow kind personally. if that doesnt cut it, its on to the sledge. sometimes it just needs a little persuation. :
some of those specialty tools can be "rented" from pepboys for free. you just leave a deposit and you get it back IF you bring teh tool back. most of the time i end up keeping the tool. i think thats what their goal is too.
I put on a BDS 5 inch suspension and a Performance Accessories 3 inch body lift pretty much by myself with hand tools. Mine took about 5 days. I screwed alot of stuff up and visited a machine shop several times. It was taken apart much longer due to the dumping of rain that we had.
Definetly get a Chilton's or Hanes book about how to take your truck apart and put it back together. If you have to take the steering gear box out, the craftsman clench wrench does a fantastic job when putting those damn hydraulic hoses back in it while the box is mounted to the frame.
Be truly careful under the truck, and don't get under it if it's not supported in several ways, all of them safe. I didn't get under mine at all hardly. I always worked around the wheel.
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