I finally finished what i started yesterday lol. Actually, i had to take the coils to the shop to finished and they were closed by time in got them out. here are a couple things i notced for the other people going to undertake this job.
first off, its not that hard to do. Ive done total sub-frame removal on F-body cars so this was cake. here are some things i foudn out along the way.
to remove the sway bar end links, you need to stick an allen key/wrench in the center of the bolt. i was dumb founded about how to stop it from spinning until i saw a picture of a removal. its a metric size 6.
the sway bar is heavy, dirty and greasy. if youre not careful, you can smash a knuckle or smash the electrical wire that goes to the ABS. keep an eye out for that. this is where a second person will come in handy but i did it all solo.
before you start this procedure, take pictures of your truck and get any measurements you want. I forgot to get them before i have taken off the drivers side so i have no way of comparing thee two. you gotta do it now so you dont forget.
when you diconnect the tie rod ends, dont use a pickel fork. it will damage the boots. i tried a couple other method like hitting the knuckle and hitting the top with a brass hammer and one side wouldnt budge. the pickel fork got it right off, but torn the boot. now i gotta order and replace it. when you re-install it, if the bottom part spins while you try and tighten the castle nut, stick a jack under it and put a little "up force" to help seat it and it shoudl stop it fromt spinning. before you start this project, make sure you get a pack of new cotter pins. its like a couple dollars for a pack of 5 or 10 of them. that way if you destroy the ones on there, you can replace it.
no need to disconnect the UCA. just stick a botle jack and a piece of 2x4 against the wheel well and push down both the upper and lower control arm. no problem getting the 885 and 5100 to fit. if youre using a top spacer, i can not verify it will work.
1- 4 bolts on skid place
2- 1 bolt on end link (each side)
3- 4 bolts hold sway bar to frame
4- 1 castle nut and cotter pin on tie rod end (each side)
5- 1 lower shock nut/bolt (each side)
6- 3 top shock nuts (each side)
bang!!! out comes shock/coil assembly. take it to a local shop to have them swap out the hardware that holds it all together (unless you have new hardware). The shop by me is a rip off, but its not like i was in a position to go elsewhere. it was a Sunday, raining on /off and i had all that shit strapped to the back of my motorcycle lol $44 each ($94 after tax). If he woulda charged me $50 i woulda threw the kid doing it $20 but not at $94.
when youre doing the install, put the 3 top buts in and if you have to spin the bottom part of the shock to line it up with the area it seats into on the LCA, nows the time. just stick a long socket extension in there and gently twist. it will work for minor adjustments, but if its over a 1/4" you might have to compress the spring and then realign it. make sure its ok before you finish building the completed units.
i stuck a bottle jack on top of the uca. i stuck a 8" piece of 2x4 on top of the bottle jack to disapate the pressue on the wheel well. i think like 8-9 pumps of the bottle jack gave me enough clearance for the shock assembly to fit. a whack or two with a brass hammer and it went into its craddle. stuck the taper pin in the hole and then the bolt went right in. snugged it, snugged up the top and then tightened it up as per the manual.
its a good idea to have a drift pin or tapered pin for getting the shock to just that right spot. I have one an ironworker gave that fits right thru the bottom of the shock. Its just a tapered piece of steel that you can hammer thru the hoel an donce its thru it will allow you to put the bottom bolt right in with no problems.
another thing that helps is to get yourself two 5 gallon compound buckets with lids. put one on each side of the truck where youre workign so you can sit while you work. then you just walk to the other side and you have a chair waiting. its a lot of back and forth so two buckets helps.
this is something you should have in you tool kit any way. go to home depot and buy yourself a few different pieces of black pipe (basically sprinkler/gas). In the 1" size... get a 1 foot piece, a 6", a connector, a cap or two. The in the 3/4" size get the same. Its good if you need to make an extension or if you need to make a custom piece for a shop compression press or many other uses.
i went to harbor freight and got a nice floor jack for $80 and a nice set of 6 ton jack stands for $45. Combined, they made it easy to lift and safe to hold up. With a coupon, you can prolly get them cheaper.
just my experience on the install. i will do the AAL tomorrow. hope it helps if you need it.
good luck on your install.