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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received the kit in the mail yesterday (very fast shipping btw) and looking over the kit I was very pleased with the overall product. I was also a bit overwhelmed till I read through the instructions on installation. My advice is to get all your pieces together and ziptie the spacers all together for the rear toe arms. I have a 93 kit so I had the longer toe arms which required me to thread on a pillow ball end.

Word of advice or should I say a few tips from my installation experience, read through the instruction 3-4 times and always keep it with you to make sure the install goes through smoothly. I put my car up on my lift and removed the wheels and started on the rear first considering it was going to be the hardest one. Now instead of a regular press I used a ball joint press instead to remove the factory bearing in the spindle. Doing this saves you the time of having to remove the rear spindle which saved me roughly 45 minutes of removing the rear spindles on both sides. You can also use the ball joint press to install the steel slug HOWEVER! Use a regular flat piece of steel to make sure you press that steel slug in flush (anything thats bigger than the slug and has a flat surface, I used one from the regular press at work) I have to grind the bracket and spindle a little to get the bracket to sit perfect so I used a tiny pneumatic angle grinder with a 40grit pad and SLOWLY worked the bracket till it fit, this required a bit of time. After that make sure the pillow ball bearings and set even on the toe arm and install. Now the included spacers are a tight fit into the crossmember but they DO FIT no need to prying here unless your crossmember is damaged. Then to install the RCA spacer get a long pipe or prybar (I used a prybar that was roughly 4feet long) and a buddy to help you pry the control arm down enough to slip the RCA spacer in place. You may at this time either get a new ball joint too as its an good time or clean off your ball joint of rust using a wire brush or wire wheel. Slowly and carefully thread the new supplied ball joint mounting bolts and torque them down to spec with a 19mm or 3/4 socket and torque wrench.

The fronts were easy just make sure you pay attention to the instruction on how its supposed to go on. Make sure you loosen the 19mm (19mm for 91/92 or aftermarket inner tie rods, 22mm for 93+ oem) locknut on the inner tie rod FIRST. Then you can take out the outter tie rod. After the outter tie rod is off THEN You can put the shank bolt on the spindle and tighten the locknut using a 16mm THEN put the big spacer on followed by the .3 spacer. Thread the new tie rod pillow ball onto the inner tie rod and loop the pillow ball end over the shank bolt and tighten down using a 24mm socket. I had to read the instructions over a few times to make sure I was doing it right but I figure here's a few simple tips for anyone that may have trouble or was scratching their heads after reading the instructions.

For the alignment you or the guy doing the alignment are going to need the following wrenches, 19mm, 22mm, 13mm/14mm (depending on if you have aftermarket or oem inner tie rods), and either a 23mm or a pair of channel locks to hold the front outter tie rods.

On the drive home I noticed a definite increase in grip while cornering. I also noticed on the alignment rack that my camber had gone more positive as a result of the control arms having moved lower (on stock springs with blown shocks) so I'm not utilizing the full affects of the kit but my lowering springs are on the way so I'll post again once I have those on! To all the rest that do have the springs and this kit, enjoy!
 

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Glad to hear you got it all installed and are happy with the performance:)

Hopefully most people don't have to do any modification to make the rear brackets fit, but unfortunatly the knuckles are cast parts and there may be some variation in the OEM casting.

Good advice on doing the rear without removing the knuckle, that will definetly save a lot of time if you have the tools to do it.

On the alignment tools, it sounds like you are listing more than you really need. The front inner tie rods spin at the inner end, so all you need to do is break loose the one jam nut on the inner tie rod end and spin the tie rod. No need to mess with the jam nut by the rod end.

Also, in case anyone is looking for the SAE equivalents, the tie rod tubes are 7/8", the jam nuts are 3/4", the nut on the top of the front stud is a 5/8" hex and the nut on the bottom of the front stud is an 11/16" hex. The nuts / bolts on the rear brackets should be 3/4" if I remember correctly. Or you can use the nearest metric equivalents as ApexElite mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah its the casting differences also rust/dirt buildup there that you really need to clean up on the knuckle. I forgot to put a coat of paint or undercoating on when I was done or the rtv actually since I was doing this after hours at work and I only had a two hour window to get this done with an alignment. Yeah the alignment was kinda touch and go so I was just naming off the top of my head the wrenches I brought with me to the alignment rack when I did the alignment but those metric sizes are for anyone that only had a set of metric wrenches but the SAE wrenches will of course fit a lot better. Also I had no problem rethreading my tie rods, took less then a few minutes to make sure the threads were good and clean. Good luck to anybody else installing this kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh and I forgot to mention, you SHOULD be able to rent the balljoint press kit from any store that does tool rentals like advanced auto or autozone make sure before you start taking stuff apart in your driveway. You only need to borrow it for a night (or an hour) to get that bearing popped out and the slug pressed in, it pays to have a buddy help you hold it
 

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Are there any other tools you would consider "must have" for this install to make it easier? I probably won't attempt my kit for a couple weeks but I want to make sure I get everything order. Its a good point about the ball joint press, I will definetly rent one of those.

I am excited to put this on, I'm very impressed with the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Other than a buddy that has some (if not a good amount of) mechanical knowledge all tools needed are listed in the instructions so like I said read through them 3-4 times to make sure you don't forget anything plus the few extra things I mentioned above like the ball joint press and the flat press piece (or piece of steel) to make sure you press in the steel slug flat and even into the knuckle. If you can get one I'd get a brass hammer. I have one from snap on but it ran me about 120$.

any questions I'm sure alex wouldn't mind helping you since he lists his contact info in the instructions. if there's anything I can do to help just pm me I generally check the forums once every night before I go to bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oh btw, after installing the kit I realized why those rear drop brackets will never move, once you install the brackets you'll see what I mean
 

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I just realized the only issue with using the ball joint press method. Without having the knuckles removed it may be more difficult to set the brackets square to the RCA as shown in the instructions. But, if you can figure out a way around that go ahead and use that method, it definitely eliminates a few steps.
 

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I thought I'd bump this up to add my experience. I'm splitting up the work, so i've only installed the fronts today, mainly because I needed the extra clearance for my koni coilovers.

I'm not sure if Alex revised the directions since this thread, but the instructions I had were VERY clear and even included a picture of the knuckle assembly so you know what it's supposed to look like.

Only thing I wanted to add on my end: To get enough of a gap to fit the RCA between the balljoint and hub, I used the handle off floor jack and wedged it between the LCA and oem OTR. Then used it as leverage to pull the LCA down far enough to put in the RCA. Then I used a long pick to align all the holes to thread in the longer 10mm bolt. Whether or not it destroyed the OTR...don't know, didn't care since you're replacing it with new ones anyway.

Last thing to note, the jam nut on the ITR on one side was seized. I didn't notice it til after I went for a test drive around the block, but check for this when you install. If it's seized, when you torque down that nut to the new OTR, it rotates the ITR with it causing a significant change in toe (I had very noticeable visual toe-in on that side). I ended up using a pipe wrench to hold the ITR while I broke the nut loose with a 19mm.

I'll update again when I get around to doing the rears. I wont be pulling the hub. My plan of attack is to freeze the slug overnight to hopefully compress it a little. Use a torch to heat up the knuckle to expand it a little. And use a 2 jaw puller to push it through if it doesn't push into place already like this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1CjbAz4rOs

Edit: I forgot to state my thoughts! So after initial install...car feels great! I only eyeball'd the toe back to around zero, but even still, the car feels better than before. Tomorrow i'll setup some strings and zero out the toe. Only thing I need to really figure out now is that I was using the stock 14" rim as my spare...now I need to figure out what'll fit in the frunk and still clear the tie rod assembly.
 

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Thanks for the review! I did revise the instructions a little after the second group buy. Clarified some things, and I think simplified some others. Also, with the added alignment marks on the tie rod brackets, there shouldn't be any reason to remove the knuckle, assuming you can get it pressed in with it in place.
 

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With regards to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1CjbAz4rOs

He is pushing on the inner race to install the new spherical bearing.
Isn't it better to push on the outer race?. Seems to me you could use a big socket.
I do like the idea of cold shrinking it prior to installation, though.
Yeah, ideally you shouldn't do that (push on the inner race). If the pressure is relatively low, you probably won't hurt anything, but still, it is always best practice when pressing any bearing to push on the race where the press fit is occurring.
 

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About half way into my install and everything is going pretty well. The only real snag I had was the tie rod drop bracket contacted the knuckle like the OP's. I filed down the knuckle; took some time but not a big deal. Excited to finally get it installed and do a string alignment.
 

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It looks like that bracket / knuckle clash is a little more prevalent than I thought. I am going to revise the design on the current production run to hopefully eliminate that issue in the future.
 

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I drove the car for the first time after my install and wow, what a difference. No more fighting the steering wheel and getting jerked around on bumps and road changes. And I'm only lowered about an inch and a half, I don't know how the slammed guys do it. I only drove about a mile since there's a bunch of salt on the road, so I can't wait to test it further.

I also did my first string alignment, which was super easy since all the tie rod ends were nice and new. After installing Alex's kit, Prothane bushings, ball joints and inner tie rod ends, it feels like a new car.

Awesome product and Alex provided excellent support. I would definitely recommend jumping on the group buy before it closes.
 

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Just wanted to update here since I finally got around to installing the rear setup after nearly a year :)

First and foremost, AlexW's customer service is top notch. It's been so long since I bought the kit, that I didn't expect any special treatment and was/am fully prepared to front any additional costs for service/etc, but Alex stands by his products without question.

Secondly, when installing the rears I used the trick I mentioned above about heating the knuckle, and freezing the slug. It worked great on the driver's side...pushed right in. I had to contact alex about an oversized slug for the passenger side. Used the same trick on this side, but I only was able to get the slug in about 1/2 way before the heat from the knuckle heated up the slug and it expanded at which point I used the 2 jaw puller to set it the rest of the way. Still...overall quite easy, only hard part was setting up the puller correctly so it pushed straight in. The drop bracket needed slight grinding like the guys above to clear the inside corner of the knuckle.

After only eyeballing the toe, the car drives much better even still. Steering feels lighter, i'm not forcing anything when going over uneven roads, road markers, etc. I'm sure it'll feel even better when I can get a day off from work to do a string alignment, at the moment i'm sure I have too much toe in on both sides, but at least equal and camber about equal too.

TL;DR: Freeze slug. Torch knuckle. Use 2 jaw puller if needed to press in slug. Alex offers great customer service and I am one happy driver :)
 

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My slugs would not go in at first, so...
I chucked my slugs in a drill press and polished the OD with 400 grit sandpaper. I probably removed a thousandth of an inch (0.001 inches / .0254 mm).
I also filed a nice chamfer on the edge. That was a really easy installation, after that.

Those rear spherical bearings were as stubborn as hell. A 5 ton jaw puller and heat didn't do jack squat. I dremelled out slots on the fat end, and pounded it out with a big hammer. There was no actual corrosion on the outer race or the knuckle, so not sure why it was so darn stubborn. Stupid thing!!

In any case, Alex's kit is awesome , and my MR-2 handles better than any car I have ever owned. I have his custom coilovers and upper camber plates, too. Also awesome.
Get the Wilhelm kit, guys! No more bump steer!
 

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Sang, glad the new slug worked out for you, and glad to hear that everyone is enjoying the changes!
 

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The kit is great and as said before Alex's customer service is top class. I have been driving on mine for about a year with no issues. Last month I had the springs off my front coilovers so I decided to test bump steer through the full suspension travel, it was almost perfect.
 

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The kit is great and as said before Alex's customer service is top class. I have been driving on mine for about a year with no issues. Last month I had the springs off my front coilovers so I decided to test bump steer through the full suspension travel, it was almost perfect.
I didn't realize how much bump steer my lowered car had, until I installed this kit. Love the way my car handles now. Very civilized for everyday driving.
 
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