Suspension Install Instructions - Your Expertise requested (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 20, 2006
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478
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Hello Fellas,
I’m reaching out for some tips as this weekend I plan to install an OME suspension and SPC UCAs, and I’d really like it to go smoothly. I’m able to use a shop lift, so it would be advantageous to be prepared going in and knock it out efficiently. In the past, I’ve installed OME and then Icon suspension on my 2006 4runner, but in both instances I had the help of a couple of friends and the 4runner was a simpler animal.
So far for research, I’ve read many helpful threads on this site and I’ve watched a couple of helpful YouTube videos.

I searched, but I could find a comprehensive list. So perhaps you could me out. I would appreciate it greatly, if you could review my process or otherwise throw any tips my direction.

Phase 1 – Bringing appropriate Tools (being updated with tips from the crew)

1. Shop lift (borrowed for time necessary, less is better  )
2. Floor jack
3. Metric ratchets and sockets (up to 24mm?) ¼, 3/8, Long flex head ½
4. Flex head Ratcheting box end wrench for rear shock, 22MM for OME (what sizes is stock?)
5. metal mallet
6. ½ torque wrench up to 221 ft lbs
7. Brass punch
8. Cable ties, nylon strap
9. Pry bar
10. Anti-seize
11. Blue lock tight
12. Vise grips
13. Pipe Wrench
14. 1/2 Cordless Impact
15. Paint marker to mark alignment cams and write down torque specs
16. (2) ratchet straps for wrestling panhard bar if rear springs don’t come out
17. Any other tools that were helpful to you, or that you would recommend?

Phase 2 – Prework

14. KDSS valves, make sure not seized
a. PB Blaster (or Kriol?) for a few days
b. Wire brush and tap with a metal hammer
c. Cross fingers
d. 5mm socket, ¼ --> 3/8 adapter, 3/8 extension, ratchet
e. Break free and keep less than 3 full turn
15. Measure height at all 4 corners for reference
16. Setup SPC Upper Control Arms
a. Set UCAs to one degree positive caster.Be sure to set ball joints outwards, almost flush with the upper control arm to gain the clearance needed to clear larger tires. This will help with the alignment.
The UCAs only use the new washers on the outside, and you discard the factory washers...better yet read the manual.



Phase 3 – the Front suspension

17. Loosen KDSS valves 3 turns (On ground or once lifted?)
18. Lift vehicle, remove wheels (mark which wheel’s spot)
19. Disconnect Steering arm, tie up
19.5 disconnect abs wire from uca and spindle
20. Loosen Upper Ball joint, leave nut on, break by striking (which type of hammer?)
21. Remove sway bar connection to LCA
22. Remove (4) top nuts holding in stock coil over, take out. Install OME coil over (which I already have assembled), install top retaining nuts (loose), shock bottom bolt loose)
a. Will I need to loosen to LCA?
i. If so, loosen rear nut of rear bolt mount and front bolt of front mount (do I have that combination right?)
<<make sure not to over extent the CV or poke/tear to CV boot, vulnerable at this time.>>
23. Remove Long Bolt and nut holding in stock UCA
24. Grease bushings and install SPC UCA (reverse process of removal, keep loose
25. Fully tighten top of strut
26. Attach ball joint to spindle (new cotter pin)
27. Attach steering
28. Install sway bar linkage, loosen bolts holding sway bar to frame, attach passenger side first, then driver side, lower lift and use floor jack to lift driver side LCA to align sway bar bolt
29. All bolts/nuts snugged, many with lock tight, not torqued

Phase 4 – The rear suspension

30. Place jack under rear pumpkin, at droop
30.5 disconnect rear abs wire from axle and watch for stress when lowering
31. Disconnect sway bar mounts at the axle (do I need to remove handbrake mount?)
32. Lower rear axle as much as to not stretch brake lines
33. Remove springs and install new ones, I gather the passenger side is tougher (do I need to jack up the opposing side to install spring?)
34. Install rear shocks, (what size flex head ratching wrench is needed?, is there another I can use for the top of the shock to keep it from turning?)
35. All bolts/nuts snugged, many with lock tight, not torqued

Phase 5 – finishing up

36. Reinstall wheels
37. Lower from lift
38. Torque everything per the below picture of torque specs (are these correct torque specs?)
39. Measure height at 4 corners
40. Get an alignment (any recommended instructions for the aligner?)

Am I on the right track with the below, or am I am in for a world of pain and regret?! Any thoughts welcomed. I will come back after and update this thread for future users.

Thank you all for the time!

** edited to include input as of 4/2/19***
 
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Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
478
Location
El Dorado Hills, CA
The goods and torque specs

04E6BBB6-DBC8-4E44-9F16-80A7FBF510B4.jpeg


C7A5D97D-C6F8-4AC2-A68B-BC91BEECFE74.png
 

indycole

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1,487
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San Jose, CA
I use a 22mm long, flex-head for the top rear shock bolts on the BP51s so I'm not sure if you'll need a 22 or 23mm? You'll need a strap wrench or something to hold the shock while cranking down the rear shock upper bolt.

Is there a ball joint on the stock front UCA? If so, you may need a way to pull that apart.

You'll save some time with a nice 1/2 impact...

I'd also recommend using a paint pen on all the suspension hardware since you'll be torquing to spec. That will make PM easier.

The only other rare issue that I've encountered that could throw a wrench in the project is defective parts in the suspension kit (for example, some of the fit kit items with the BP-51s had issues). The only thing I've heard more than once is the washer on top of the rear shock not fitting appropriately. Fortunately, that can be corrected with a vise and an angle grinder by reshaping the collar on the washer.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
478
Location
El Dorado Hills, CA
I use a 22mm long, flex-head for the top rear shock bolts on the BP51s so I'm not sure if you'll need a 22 or 23mm? You'll need a strap wrench or something to hold the shock while cranking down the rear shock upper bolt.

Is there a ball joint on the stock front UCA? If so, you may need a way to pull that apart.

You'll save some time with a nice 1/2 impact...

I'd also recommend using a paint pen on all the suspension hardware since you'll be torquing to spec. That will make PM easier.

The only other rare issue that I've encountered that could throw a wrench in the project is defective parts in the suspension kit (for example, some of the fit kit items with the BP-51s had issues). The only thing I've heard more than once is the washer on top of the rear shock not fitting appropriately. Fortunately, that can be corrected with a vise and an angle grinder by reshaping the collar on the washer.

Good tips @indycole !

I’ll look into a 1/2 impact. That would be nice. And a pipe wrench..

The top not of the OME rear shock is 22mm, just can’t reach in there to see what the stock is.

Fingers crossed I’ve got nothing defective.
 

TonyP

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16a: Look in the instructions for the SPCs for specs.
17: Loosen on the ground.
20: Metal mallet. Hit the top/side where the UCA goes in.
22a: You don't NEED to but its significantly easier to drop the lower shock mount in if you do. Just mark the cam bolt and re-install just as it was. You'll need an alignment anyways.
31: No
33: Maybe, mine just fell out. Others have had issues.
34: Depends on the shock. The newer ones may have a different size than stock. I want to say 22mm. You can snap on a vice at the top of the shock, most have flats that you can use to keep the rod from spinning while you work the top nut. Rear shocks are a pain.

With wheels/suspension hanging freely, tighten the KDSS valves. There's mixed opinions on this but I found that to be the best way to keep everything equalized.

And yeah, a 1/2 electric impact will cut down on the installation time significantly. Milwaukee M18; best tool I've ever purchased.

Be very careful not to poke the CV boot and especially carefully not to pull on the spindle, thus pulling on the CV. If you extend them too much, the CV cage will extend past the input and it'll spill your balls into the CV boot. It can happen, trust me.
 
Joined
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Thank you very much @TonyP! Great tip on the CVs, even with warning, I'm probably at risk here. I'll update my tool list to include an 1/2 impact, maybe a good reason to buy one :wrench: .
 

indycole

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Another note on the rear... if you're having issues with getting the springs in/out, try disconnecting the panhard. I don't recall if that's in the FSM or not. You may need a ratchet strap to get it back in place. Add a ratchet strap or two to your list.
 
Joined
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Messages
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Another note on the rear... if you're having issues with getting the springs in/out, try disconnecting the panhard. I don't recall if that's in the FSM or not. You may need a ratchet strap to get it back in place. Add a ratchet strap or two to your list.
Added. Thank you!
 
Joined
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Portland OR
Good luck on your build. It's always satisfying to be able to work on your own vehicle.
Here are a few more items you may want to consider:
Be sure there is a pole jack or floor jack available to be able to raise the lower control arm back up when bolting the lower control arm.
Set your UCAs to one degree positive caster.
Be sure to set your ball joints outwards, almost flush with the upper control arm to gain the clearance needed to clear larger tires. This will help with the alignment.
The UCAs only use the new washers on the outside, and you discard the factory washers...better yet read the manual. I watched a video on the installation that led me in a wrong direction....
Hopefully you will have a helping hand, makes a huge difference in build time.
Go ahead and loosen the lower control arm adjusting bolts, no need to mark them since you will need a full alignment.
Be prepared to clearance the front wheel well liner. I don't like when people cut the bottoms off of the liner since it defeats the purpose of having a liner. Use the 4runner method where you can trim the front of the liner where it attaches to the bottom of the bumper and then create new mounting holes in the forward position. Plenty of threads on that one here.
Make sure you disconnect the ABS wires from the brackets on the front spindles and rear axle prior to dropping so you don't stretch and break an ABS speed sensor wire.
The front KDSS sway bar ends need to be removed at the LCA. Don't fight it. They were easier to install when the truck was back on the ground.
Get yourself a long breaker bar or 2 as well as some large pry bars.
Also a 24mm 1/2 socket.
Lastly, Advil lots of it...
 

TonyP

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Make sure you disconnect the ABS wires from the brackets on the front spindles and rear axle prior to dropping so you don't stretch and break an ABS speed sensor wire.

Yes, forgot to add that. Those harnesses are VERY easily damaged. Believe me. :cool:
 
Joined
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Thanks so much @Crab Sack and @TonyP - I’m feeling more confident taking this on.

I’ve updated the first post to include your suggestions. I found a neumatic 1/2 impact to borrow, so I’m pumped on that. Regarding 1/2 impact, thanks for the recommendation on the Milwaukee m18. As I already have a couple 20v dewalt tools/batteries, would their brushless 20v 1/2 impact be a bad buy?

For 1/2 sockets I have shallow up to 21mm and 24mm and 30mm, do I need 22mm and 23mm? I have deep sockets up to 21mm, am I okay there?

Thanks again!
 

TonyP

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Dewalt is a good unit too.
If you're already in the Dewalt eco-sphere (like with Apple) with batteries go with them. I just got sucked into Milwaukee due to a sale at Home Depot.
 

619TOY

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Get yourself a long breaker bar or 2 as well as some large pry bars.
Also a 24mm 1/2 socket.
Lastly, Advil lots of it...
Good advice

Doing a lift on the 200 for the first time can definitely be more difficult and intimidating than a 4Runner, but the last time I removed and reinstalled my front coilovers, I took a pic of the tools required just to put it into perspective and hopefully make it seem a little less intimidating. So other than a floor jack and two jack stands, this is everything needed to R&R the fronts (or at least what I narrowed it down to;))

IMG_6732.JPG
IMG_6733.JPG


And if you're "one of those" sticklers for torque specs, two of these:

IMG_0766.jpg
 
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Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
478
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Nice @619TOY ! I dig the photos! Just bought a couple pry bars and a metal mallet. Was eyeing a cheap torque wrench, but I think I can borrow one. Probably best to skip the cheap one...
 
Joined
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Sacramento, CA
Also, before starting, I would suggest checking your KDSS valve adjusters to ensure they are not corroded and seized. They will definitely need to be loosened the 3 turns for the install to go smoothly. Good luck, I did mine on my driveway myself and it took 2 weeks.. mostly due to receiving wrong parts. You may also want to do an inventory to ensure you have all of the correct parts before starting as well. From what I recall, the rear shocks have a metal dust shield on top. There is a bolt pattern on the very top of that, that you will need to hold with a wrench to remove the shock bolts. I used a ratchet strap first before I found out about it. Way easier holding that sucker with a wrench versus strap.
 

Hoosier Daddy

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CO Springs
Here's a mistake I made-

I've done lift installs on lots of Toyotas before, but I'd never buggered an inner CV joint in the process until the 200. Pushing down on the lower control arm to install the lower strut mount is what caused the problem. Luckily, it didn't pop out far enough to come apart completely, but the inner joint bound up so tight I couldn't get it to straighten out again. Rotating the wheel hub popped the joint back into alignment, but not before I had cut open the rubber boot to see what was going on inside the joint.:bang: At that point I had to pull the whole doggone axle anyway.

For the other side of the truck, I supported the knuckle with a jackstand and then unbolted the knuckle from the lower control arm. That way there was no risk of over-extending the CV when the lower control arm was pushed down.

TonyP already mentioned this risk above. Be careful.
 
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