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Pre-Installation Notes

Unless you’re a performer with the Cirque du Soleil, I highly recommend you get at least one buddy to help with the installation. Some tasks are just not feasible to do on your own. A two-man install will make this much quicker. A three-man install will be faster yet: two guys can work on the front while the third guy works on the rear, fetches food, answers the phone… whatever.

Fabtech suggests the following tools to do the job:

If you don’t have access to a hydraulic press, then plan to spend an additional $175 to have the press work done at a shop for bearings and ball joints. I’m not sure why Fabtech doesn’t press these parts in before shipping out the kit.

Here are some other tools that should have been on their list, but because they weren’t, it added a few more hours to the installation time:

  • 36mm socket – for removing the axle hub nuts
  • 5/16″ – 18 tap – for threading a hole you’ll drill into the frame for brake lines (because the self-tapping screws provided with the kit are very inconvenient)
  • 12mm hex key for removing one of the front differential bolts
    This tool is only available at an automotive or tool store.
    The local hardware/do-it-yourself store probably won’t stock it.

If I can suggest a few other items to aid with the install, then it would be these:

  • Zip-loc bags – for storing nuts, bolts, brackets, etc
    This install should not be taken lackadaisically. Don’t even try to remember the order in which everything is removed or the location it was removed from and then attempt to reinstall it in reverse order. If you don’t use some kind of system for labeling and storing what you remove from the vehicle, then there will be trouble when it comes time for reassembly.
  • Sharpie or Magic Marker pen – for labeling the zip-loc bags
  • Wire coat hangers – for suspending the front axle shafts during dissassembly
  • Bungee cords – for suspending the front brake calipers
  • Surgical gloves – unless you just love dirty, greasy hands
  • Loc-Tite – for reinstalling important nuts and bolts with assurance that they’ll stay tight
  • Black spray paint – to paint bare metal areas after cutting
  • Dremel – or another type of small rotary cutting tool to remove bearing races