4x4 - Home

TBT Alumi-flex Lift

Note:  Toys by Troy shut down their operation at the end of 2007.  Instead of removing this write-up, I am leaving it on the web site for a couple of reasons.  The steps for installing it are pretty much the same as one from another manufacturer and so you'll get an idea of what is involved if you decide to do this type of modification.  If you happen to come across one on the used market, you'll have some information about it that can help you do the installation correctly.

Note:  This write-up started with pics and comments from July, 2003, when TBT installed the lift.  In February, 2005, I decided to update/refresh the information contained in the write-up.....so don't get too confused if the you feel as though you are in a time machine, flip-flopping back and forth between now and then.   As I update the write-up, I've had my lift on the TJ now for more than 18 months.  I just recently had the opportunity to help install this lift (the production version I should say) and the Alumi-flex steering on my buddy's TJ (Robert Yates).  While I missed the experience gained from doing the installation on my TJ, I believe the knowledge acquired from helping with Robert's install can add something to this write-up.  With all that being said, let's get on to the lift installation. 


Well, I've sat on this project long enough so I thought I would share some of the "work in progress" pictures with you.

The pics below were taken today, July 14th, 2003, at the Toys by Troy fab shop (shortly before the company moved into their new facility).  You won't find this Alumi-flex long arm lift on his web site, at least not yet.  This is about the 12th one he has done.  He hopes to have this available in kit form by the end of this year.  At this point in time, some of the components are being hand built and as such, Troy considers that to be custom work.  Once he can program the laser machine to cut the pieces to spec, he will consider it ready to be delivered in kit form.

I don't have all of the details on the lift yet.  Things are bound to change as time goes one and refinements are made.  I am already benefiting from a couple of tweaks that were made based on those that came before me.  So, don't be too disappointed if I don't have all the answers right now.  I'll get them as time goes on and I have a chance to check things out and talk more with Troy.  You also have to understand that aside from some differential work, this is pretty much the first time I turned my TJ over to someone to do work that I have done myself in the past.  However, I don't have the tools nor the  fab skills to pull this off so I leave it to Troy and his crew.  Many thanks goes to Troy and Gordon, who has installed many (all?) of the existing Alumi-flex lifts thus far.  Gordon didn't mind me poking my nose into his work area this afternoon so I could snap these pictures.


We ended up installing 8" Skyjacker springs during this makeover.  At the same time, the factory transfer skid was discarded and an RE skid was put in its place (TBT now manufactures their own skid for this lift).  With the transfer case moving up (from the tighter fitting RE skid) and the frame moving up (from the taller springs), my existing rear CV drive shaft was too short. 

Luckily, I had won a $200 gift certificate from Tom Wood during the 3rd Annual JeepsUnlimited Moab Run earlier in the year.  This covered about two-thirds of the new drive shaft I needed.  The three year old RE "hack and tap" SYE was removed and a new AA SYE was installed.  Although I had purchased the RE SYE used, it was still working just fine when it was removed from my t-case and went into the collection of parts that would be sold to help offset the cost of this project.



Don't ask me....I guess they are long arm condoms.  Pretty good idea!  Actually, the plastic packing sleeves are left in place while the lift is installed.  Yeah, the arms will get scraped out on the trail but at least I will get the pleasure of putting the first ones on them myself.  In the above pic, I still have the RE extended sway bar links installed (from the previous RE/PC lift).  These were later removed and replaced by my original Currie Antirock front links.  They were about 2" longer than the RE links, which was right at the length I needed. 



Here is a view of what use to be the upper control arm mounts.  The upper control arm mounts and three bolts on the rear diff cover help secure the triangulated rear link mounting location (more on that below).   The rear track bar is history (add it to the pile of parts to sell) along with the angled track bar relocation bracket that was used with the RE adjustable track bar.  The new alumi-flex upper arms are tapped for both left and right hand threads.  To set your pinion angle for your CV drive shaft, just loosen the jam nuts on the upper arms and adjust both sides the same amount.



This was the original mounting configuration for my rear upper/lower control arms at the center skid.  The upper control arm cartridge joint (smaller than the lower joint) was later replaced with a poly bushing (same size as the catridge joint) in the production lift.  It handles the side load better than the small cartridge joint and does not affect the flex of the rear axle.



Another view of the upper link mounting bracket.  In addition to the upper control arm brackets and diff cover bolts, the sway bar mounting brackets are also employed as part of the mount's attachment points.

More Alumi-flex Lift




4x4 Off-Road    Homestead    Firearms    RC Flying