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Jeep TJ OME Lift Install

Author: ThePhantum

This writeup will cover the installation of an OME 2.5" lift (springs and shocks), front and rear extended bump stops, front and rear adjustable trackbars, JKS "quicker" disconnects and a 1" t-case drop on a '02 Jeep TJ Sport. This installation was performed on Feb 28th, 2004. It was straightforward, but time consuming....and quite tiring I might add. Luckily, we had an awesome day for it... it was absolutely gorgeous outside!

Component List:

All of the components were purchased from Dirk at DPG Offroad, with the exception of the wheels and tires. The wheels were purchased from Quadratec and the tires from Tirerack.

Tools used:

I could call him a tool (which he is) but I also had Dale, a.k.a. majikxms, helping me out with this install which also made the whole thing go quicker.

Shock Assembly

Shock EyeboltThe day before the install, I put the Jeep up on jack stands, removed the wheels and sprayed every bolt that I planned to put a wrench to with PB Blaster to let them soak over night. I then proceeded to assemble the shocks. They use a T-bar mounting system that uses two washers to contain the poly bushing, which keeps the t-bar centered. The circlip holds the whole thing together and adds a slight preload to the bushing.

Now although the directions say to use a vise or a press to assemble it, I was too lazy to go out to the garage (it was 1AM at the time). So in tradition with my trademark for redneck engineering, I simply slid the washer over the t-bar, used a little dish soap to lubricate the eye of the bushing and used a pair of channel locks to push the t-bar through. Then I just installed the other washer and followed it up with the circlip. Viola…the trick, she is done!

Front Springs & Shocks

BumpstopNow onto the fun stuff…we started with the front suspension. First we disconnected the front sway bar links. We took off the nuts and, to my surprise, needed the forkbar and BFH to break the bar away from the links. We just beat and bashed on them until they broke loose. Then we removed the link from the axle by removing the nut and bolt (the bolt is torx). Then, after supporting the axle with the floor jack, we removed the shocks and the LCA bolts (at the frame). There were no spring retaining bolts, so we noted where the spring pigtailed in on the perch and dropped the axle enough to remove both springs.

Before installing the new spring we installed the bumpstop extensions. These particular extensions install on the spring perch itself and are secured by 3/8" bolts. So, we drilled 5/16" holes, tapped out threads for a 3/8" bolt and installed the stops. You can kinda see the bump stops installed in this pic.

Now onto the spring install. One spring is slightly taller than the other. The taller one is intended to be (and was) installed on the drivers side. Fairly simple, we just used the spring compressor to scrunch the spring down until it would go on the perch, then removed the compressor, while making sure that the spring pigtailed into the perch correctly. Then, jacking and jostling the axle, we lined up the LCA's, reinstalled and torqued the bolts (I reversed the bolts so that the threads face inward, to facilitate the future installation of an engine skid) and installed the shocks.

front OME springfront OME spring

Front Track Bar

Onto the front track bar…First, we removed the bolt at the axle. Then took out the cotter pin and removed the nut at the frame. Then Dale and I just took turns beating the heck out of it with the forkbar and BFH until it finally broke loose. Now to install the new track bar we had to drill out the frame side hole to 9/16". It's only the top potion of the hole that needed to be drilled so it took no time at all. Once that was done we hung the trackbar on the frame side and got the bolt godzilla tight. Now I was not to worried about getting the axle perfectly centered, as I had 4wdSpecialty dial both trackbars in and align it…but I wanted to get it fairly close. So Jen got in, turned on the jeep and we stood in front while she turned the steering wheel fully to the right side, then left, back and forth a few times. We then had her slowly turn the wheel and eyeballed the axle to center. After which, we installed the axle side of the tbar and torqued it all up…close enough for gubment work….

Onto the rear….

Rear Springs, Shocks & Track Bar

Just before Dale hit his head!We started by supporting the axle with a floor jack. Then we disconnected the rear sway bar, followed by removing the shocks, which was a PITA as the upper bolts are just in a tight place. After that we dropped the trackbar and lowered the axle until we could remove the springs.

Again, prior to installing the springs we installed the bumpstop extensions. These were a lot easier than the fronts. We pulled the bump stops out of their housings, removed the bolts that hold the housings to the frame, installed the spacers using the longer bolts provided and pushed the bump stops back in.

Rear OME Spring installedJust like the front springs, one is slightly taller than the other. The difference here is that the taller spring goes on the passenger side. To install the springs, we just used the compressor again. Next we installed the shocks…again a PITA because of the upper bolts. (The first image is about two seconds before Dale bonked his head off the drum. rofl)

Then, we just bolted in the rear trackbar (again 4wd Specialty dialed both of them in when they aligned it) and re-connected the rear sway bar.

Continue to the JKS Disconnect Install

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