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Alright, everyone most likely knows how to do this but I'm bored and I have lots of pictures from the install on my truck. I AM NOT AN EXPERT AND SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THIS INSTALL BASED ON MY INSTRUCTIONS I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE DONE TO YOURSELF, YOUR VEHICLE, OR YOUR TOOLS. (I broke 2!) :blah:

First things first you need to jack up the front end so both front tires are in the air (I took the sway bar off and this makes it easier when both front tires are up in the air) but make sure you have that e brake set good and block the rear tires anyways. Good places for jack stands are under the frame on either side of the rear crossmember. I have pretty tall stands so I put them under the frame on either side of the oem skidplate to try and keep them out of my way.

Step 1. Now the wheels come off. No pics at this point cause we've all seen wheels come off. :dry3d:

Step 2. With a 14mm socket you want to take the 2 bolts and 2 nuts holding the sway bar to the sway bar mounts out. This will allow the sway bar to drop down.


This is one of the bolts. There is a nut just on the other side of the sway bar and the other side of the truck has a duplicate mount.

Step 3. Now with the sway bar hanging down we can move on to the shock tower. Again with a 14mm socket or wrench take out 2 of the three nuts that secure the upper shock to the shock tower. Leave one on but loose. You'll see why later.


Shown here are bolts but the this is the location of the oem nuts that hold the shocks studs in the tower.

Step 4. Now we get on our backs again and take out those bolts holding the lower ball joint to the lower a-arm. I used a bfw (big freakin wrench) to get these out. They come from the factory with loctite and are torqued pretty good.


2 there and 2 on the other side for a total of 4 bolts per lower ball joint. With those out you can swing the whole shabang out of the way and tie it back. (This is where I broke 2 of my tools. A socket and an extension.)

Step 5. Time for the lower shock bolt. Take the nut off and put your foot on the end of the lower a-arm. Now just jiggle the a-arm up and down with your foot while you pull the bolt out. With that bolt out you can take that last nut off the top and pull the whole shock out.


The lower shock bolt above...Below is the shock out and spindle and brake swung out of the way. This gives you a better view of the 4 bolt holes(well at least 3 of the 4) that hold the lower ball joint to the lower a-arm.



Step 6. Now you get to bolt the spacer to your shock assembly. Pretty straight forward. Make sure you clean the rubber surface on the top of the shock off as well as the under side of the shock tower that it was attached too. I had lots of dirt in there.
Take the supplied hardware (I'm assuming your spacer came with hardware) from the spacer kit and bolt the spacer down. Use loctite on the studs. No need for serious torque here. I went to 30 lbs.




You can never use enough loctite. BTW Please note that I am using RED loctite. Red will make the spacers almost permanent. Use blue loctite at your own risk as it may not hold well with all the vibration.

Step 7. Time to get crafty. You've just added height to your shock assembly. More height than will easily fit without trouble. It's time to bust out your oem toyota bottle jack. Yep, that's right I said it. Grab that little bastard that makes your shoulder burn to get an inch of height. You will be placing this between your lower a-arm and frame. ;) I'll show you.


Just step on the lower a-arm and get it wedged in there like so :rolleyes:. Start cranking now, make sure it is not slipping out as you go. What you are doing is lowering that control arm to make room for the taller shock assembly. Go about an inch and see if it fits. If not crank some more. Don't overdue it though.

This is as far as I needed to go to make everything fit.


Step 8.
Place the shock assembly back up into the shock tower 180* from factory(this will allow the bolt holes in the spacer to line up with the shock tower) and align the bottom shock up with the mounting bracket. Once lined up put the bolt through (bolt head facing rear of truck like factory ;)) and hand tighten the nut. Now you can lower the bottle jack until the the top of the spacer is almost flush with the bottom of the shock tower. Then proceed to install the hardware to attach your spacer to the shock tower.


Once the spacer hardware is tight torque the lower shock bolt to specs.

Step 9. Tired of reading? I'm tired of typing. Time to get even more crafty. Lower that bottle jack till it falls out and grab it for some more work. Now we have the shock installed but the lower a-arm is alot farther from the lower ball joint. How ever are we going to get those 2 bolted up again? Ok, Place that bottle jack between the upper a-arm and the wheel well :eek:. I'll show you.


Notice how the egde on the base of the jack is caught on the king nut for the upper ball joint. This kept it from slipping off. No damage was done to my wheel well. Crank the jack to lower the upper a-arm. Take it easy you don't want to break the upper ball joint. I also had to place a floor jack under the lower a-arm to raise it a little for the bolt to go in. If your spacer lift is less than 3" you won't have as far to go.

Lower a-arm and lower ball joint all lined up. Time to install the bolts with loctite and torque to facotry specs.

Bolts installed, jack removed. Lower the bottle jack and put that thing away.

Step 10. Now we're getting somewhere. Grab your floor jack and get under the truck. You wanna use it to jack up the sway bar from the middle and get the mounting hardware reinstalled.


You want the stud on the sway bar to line up with the bracket on the frame as you're raising it. This might require a bit of strength. Work one side at a time and snug but don't tighten the hardware untill both sides are lined up. No loctite here unless you want it. Torque to specs, Bolt those wheels back up and BAM! You just installed a spacer lift.

Congratulations you just endured the longest post I've ever typed. :brick:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Nice write up I didn't have to do step 4 or remove my sway ."

Thanks for the compliment. That is true. It can be done without disconnecting the lower ball joint or removal of the sway bar. I did that to reduce the frustration when trying to reinstall and to relieve tension from the lower a-arm while jacking it down. I didn't want my trusty bottle jack flying out and hitting me in the face :D. With the sway bar down and the lower ball joint disconnected there was very little tension on the lower a-arm and I had more room to work with the spindle swung out of the way. I was also installing the spacer for a 3" lift so I'm sure a smaller spacer would be easier to install.
 

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yeah it was a pita to reinstall what I did was use a long crowbar put it on the lower control arm and had a budd step on it whilei slip in the struts. It was pretty dangerous but it work . Thank you for taking your time to write this up . You are the ones that makes TS site so helpful.
 

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nice. spacers are definitely an easy way to lift the truck, thats what i have. i like the ride alot better too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice writeup. FWIW red loctite will make the nuts very difficult to remove, not the blue.
Ah. Thank you for noticing that. I thought I reread it enough to find all the mistakes. :tu: I edited and corrected that misinformation.
 

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nice writeup. never would have thought of the "bottle jack" trick!

btw, you are going to need front brakes soon. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And what is the rationale for that, pray tell?
Top load spacers lift the vehicle by moving your suspensions travel down. Stock suspension has very limited travel and by using these spacers the truck is almost sitting at the maximum available down travel. Limit straps would keep you from using the upper ball joint as the limiting factor in the down travel. Off road driving with no down travel and no limit straps would likely result in a broken ball joint. I am going to try and get back some downward travel by replacing the stock uca's with uniball uca's. However, I will still be getting limit straps. I believe you can put spacers or washers under the bump stop to reach a similar result as limit straps. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Top load spacers lift the vehicle by moving your suspensions travel down. Stock suspension has very limited travel and by using these spacers the truck is almost sitting at the maximum available down travel. Limit straps would keep you from using the upper ball joint as the limiting factor in the down travel. Off road driving with no down travel and no limit straps would likely result in a broken ball joint. I am going to try and get back some downward travel by replacing the stock uca's with uniball uca's. However, I will still be getting limit straps. I believe you can put spacers or washers under the bump stop to reach a similar result as limit straps. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
You are absolutely correct about everything except the bump stops, but somebody already pointed that out. You may want to adjust them down anyway, to keep from locking the coil...but measure first, it might not be necessary.

At any rate, check for binding with the new uniball joint & run limit straps if necessary. If the uniball binds, it will completely destroy the spindle.

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You are absolutely correct about everything except the bump stops, but somebody already pointed that out. You may want to adjust them down anyway, to keep from locking the coil...but measure first, it might not be necessary.

At any rate, check for binding with the new uniball joint & run limit straps if necessary. If the uniball binds, it will completely destroy the spindle.

-Sean
I will definitely be doing that. Thanks for the tips. I didn't even notice your small font until it was commented on lol. Guess your gonna use an even smaller font when I tell you I'm using non hub-centric spacers on the stock hub-centric wheels :eek:. I know I know. I use three large conical lugs to center the wheels then put on three stock lugs to keep it centered while I take the conical lugs off and replace them with the three other stock lugs. It's a bit of a ritual every time I put a wheel on but I have no vibration what so ever.
 

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I will definitely be doing that. Thanks for the tips. I didn't even notice your small font until it was commented on lol. Guess your gonna use an even smaller font when I tell you I'm using non hub-centric spacers on the stock hub-centric wheels :eek:. I know I know. I use three large conical lugs to center them then put on three stock lugs to keep it centered while I take the conical lugs off and replace them with the three other stock lugs. It's a bit of a ritual every time I put a wheel on but I have no vibration what so ever.
:lol:...oh man. Some part of me knows it should work, but...dude, that is so wrong :lol:!

For a second I thought you meant the adapters were lug-centric but you were putting mag nuts on them :eek:! Then I realized you just meant the adapters have no centering ring for the stock wheels, so you gotta do this three-lug dance to get them centered properly :crazy3d:...
 

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Thanks for the post. It will greatly help me since this is probably my next adventure.
 

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2015 Toyota Tundra DC SR5 5.7L
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You are absolutely correct about everything except the bump stops, but somebody already pointed that out. You may want to adjust them down anyway, to keep from locking the coil...but measure first, it might not be necessary.

At any rate, check for binding with the new uniball joint & run limit straps if necessary. If the uniball binds, it will completely destroy the spindle.

-Sean
Sean~

What mounting point do you recommend for the upper end of the limit straps? (I know the lower shock mount works great). It seems like there's no way to avoid drilling into either the shock mount tower or the adjacent frame and get some heavy duty self-tapping bolt to mount into it...

Any suggestions are welcome.
 

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Sean~

What mounting point do you recommend for the upper end of the limit straps? (I know the lower shock mount works great). It seems like there's no way to avoid drilling into either the shock mount tower or the adjacent frame and get some heavy duty self-tapping bolt to mount into it...

Any suggestions are welcome.
I highly recommend the adjustable clevis and hanger method...any of the desert shops and most 4x4 shops in general should carry them. Kartek is where I've ordered in the past. They're not hard to place, and anybody with proper welding skills and equipment can mount them. I actually used the swaybar mount, since I wasn't using the swaybar, but I'm sure a tab welded to the lower control arm would be just fine.

For a while, I used an adjustable limit strap and a small hole in the upper section of the IFS crossmember, but I wouldn't recommend that solution since the adjustable strap only had one layer, and it eventually broke while I was working on the truck...not fun. Using the clevis to adjust a fixed-length, multiple layer strap is much safer, and easier to fine-tune the amount of droop.

It cost me 20$ to have a buddy weld the tabs in place.

-Sean
 
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