Lift kit questions

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Lift kit questions
« on: November 13, 2017, 07:02:28 PM »
Okay I got a 2” coil spacer lift today and have a few questions.  First, the kit is made of billet aluminum. It looks like this. 

REAR: So, for the rear, they don’t give me any spacer for the bump stops.  In fact, the bump stops wouldn’t even fit inside the spacer blocks before I ground them down enough to fit.  But I don’t know if they would ever even touch before coil bind without spacers.  So, should I make spacers? Leave them at factory positions, or remove them and forget about them?
Also, does the panhard bar need to be lengthened?  Seems like there would be a slight shift otherwise. 

FRONT: so the kit didn’t come with any camber correction bolts.  I’ve read that you either need them or slot the strut mounting positions to make up for camber.  Why the heck doesn’t most of these kits even seem to address this?  Camber seems fairly important.  Anyway I’m planning on the slotting mod and weld washers on the slots at the correct spot after alignment.  Will this omit the need for the camber bolts or should I order them as well?  Or should I skip slotting and use camber bolts instead?

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 07:27:33 AM »
First - camber adjustment MAY not be necessary for a 2" lift, I'm running about 1-1/2 (OME springs) and my camber is well within the FSM spec. 2" will probably put you right on the edge of what is acceptable.  I am using OME struts, which some people will tell you have the camber adjustment "built in", but, I've used those struts with stock springs and had no camber issues, so I doubt that there is any compensation, OME themselves will tell you that camber bolts may be required.

If adjustment is needed it's either camber bolts or file the struts, choose your method.

Camber bolts, which I do have sitting on the shelf, and which I have used on other vehicles, make it easier to get the camber right, if
it needs to be adjusted, filing the strut holes out is more of a trial-and-error deal and even after you have filed the hole out enough, you'll still need to loosen the bolt, rock the strut, tighten up, check the camber, rinse, repeat - the camber bolt has an eccentric, put a wrench on it, and twist the wrench one direction for a little more, or the other direction for a little less.  Camber bolts can rust into place, and can be a pain in the butt if you need to disassemble (the eccentric can get caught between the flanges, and there have been reports of them snapping, which may or may not be simply because they have been "over tightened".

Bump stop spacers - you can measure the coil wire diameter and mathematically calculate the height at which it becomes coil bound - I'm not certain if it's necessary to change anything there for a 2" lift, coil bind was never a consideration for me, primarily because I wasn't using spacers (all of my lifts were done by replacing the springs), the shock length, both compressed and extended is what I worried about.

The panhard rod - extending the panhard rod, although very common, is actually the wrong solution to the problem, yes, it allows you to "re-center" the axle under the vehicle, but, the real problem is that because of the lift, the panhard rod is no longer horizontal (to be more precise, parallel to the surface the vehicle is on), and this causes it to pull the axle sideways - lengthening the rod re-centers the axle but because it is still on an angle, the axle will "walk" sideways as the suspension cycles - the correct fix is to extend one of the two mounts, usually the one on the axle, to return the rod to the horizontal - brackets are available for this purpose, but, unless you're having issues with the tires fouling the bodywork, for a 2" lift, this is for most people, a non issue.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 12:05:30 PM by fordem »
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'05 JB420 Grand Vitara

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 08:28:03 AM »
Questions answered perfectly, thank you sir!

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 04:09:19 PM »
Well I’m guessing your ome struts have compensation built in because I’m on the ground again and wow camber is waaay off.  I ordered two sets of camber bolts and will drive it around a little more to settle it before alignment next week, 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 04:11:07 PM by Phase change »

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »
Did you measure height before and after installation?  It looks like you have more than two inches of lift there - how thick were the coil spacers, they should gave been less than 2" thick.
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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 02:39:10 PM »
Of course I didn’t measure before. That would be too smart for me.  Yes I does seem a little tall for 2”. I didn’t remove the rubber donut thing and simply placed the puck over it.  The pucks are less than 2” but I didn’t measure them.  I figure it’s still settling. 

So, I pulled the top strut bolt that holds the knuckle and tapped the knuckle back till it hits the structure.  Then I ground out the hole and reinstalled factory bolt.  This helped camber a lot, still has bow legs though.  Can you tell me if the lower control arm bushings have eccentrics in them to adjust camber?  I can’t see any in there.  My thought was to adjust the factory camber adjustment All the way out, and then see if I have neg camber and keep grinding until I do.  That will save me from having to use camber bolts.  But maybeusing one in the lower bolt would be fine I dunno.  Just bugs me to use those because they seem goofy and weaker.  They very well may be stronger tho.  One thing puzzling me is the keyed washer they supply, why isn’t there one on each side?  Isn’t that what keeps the smaller diameter bolt from shifting in the strut hole?  Seems like having one on both sides would help hold them. 

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 02:43:32 PM »
Here’s how it sits

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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 05:16:42 PM »
From the factory, there is no camber adjustment, the only thing that is adjustable is toe - the control arm bushes are just rubber bonded to the outer & inner sleeves.

If you're using a single camber bolt, the top hole will give you the most adjustment, but you can use two bolts for more adjustment if you set them opposite one another - so to speak top in, bottom out.  I have not had issues with the bolts breaking, or shifting position, in fact the only issue I've had is removing the damn things the next time I needed to disassemble the strut.
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Re: Lift kit questions
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 09:02:39 PM »
Well shoot it all we have is toe then why did I make an appointment to align it?  Seems like I can do the toe here and the camber I can dial in with grinder then tack weld washers into strut.  Seems silly to put so much work into old struts but they don't seem to need replacing yet.  Maybe I'll give it a go.  Thanks.