If you are going to replace the ball joints, now is the time. I rented a tool from Auto Zone to remove the ball joints but it was almost worthless. I had to use my creativeness and additional tools to get them out. This was one of those unexpected things. The problem with their tool is the attachments are either too large or too small to remove the lower ball joint. We went to several other auto parts stores and found the same problem with theirs. After scratching our heads, were able to hammer one side out. The other one I had to use a specialty tool (not special for this application) to get off the other side off.
Installing was easier, but when you do reinstall them (which the
AutoZone kit did OK on), install the lower one first, it works better that way
with their tool.
Now it is cutting time! First remove the the stock traction bar mount from the axle on the passenger side. Once you get this removed, place the new TBT bracket on the axle and check for fit up. We had to go back and trim a little more metal off the spring mount to get it to snug up square.
When you get it fitted correctly and evenly on the axle, line up the second bolt hole on TBT bracket where the swaybar mount attaches with the stock mount. Make sure that these holes line up. Also make sure that you will have clearance for the traction bar in front of the upper control arm mount on the passenger side. Assembly of the traction bar is necessary to check for fit. Once you do this you can tack the mount in place.
After you get this tacked, remove the stock swaybar mount.
NOTE FROM TBT: DO NOT REMOVE the stock swaybar mount. The new bracket you are installing is designed to have the stock mount welded to the side of the bracket. This is part of the intended design to provide support for the bracket.
You may have to remove the stock swaybar mount before you tack
the TBT bracket, but be sure to mark your location. When the stock mount is
removed, double check the fit up and weld it. Weld around everywhere you are
able to. You can never weld in to many areas, in my opinion. Watch the
temperature on the axle and make sure you do not overheat it from the welding
and cause it to warp. We let the axle cool after each weld.
A photo of the welded bracket, looking at the bracket from the end of the axle.
NOTE FROM STU: I doctored the above photo a bit to show you were the factory sway bar mount should be (approximately) and as was mentioned, it should be welded to the new bracket.
An overhead view of the welded bracket. Be sure to wire brush or grind off any rust to help ensure a good weld.
A front view of the bracket. Take your time during the welding process. Good clean metal is essential to a quality weld. Take the time to clean the old paint off of the axle tube.
A photo of the bracket taken from the driver's end of the axle.
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