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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished a busy week of somewhat bruised knuckles and a stiff neck. I installed the STI flexible tower brace.
That was easy and gave me a good excuse to by a torque wrench. The bar seems to make the front
end more responsive with greater control, especially going around corners.

The second mod was more of an adventure. To add the 20mm rear sway bar you have to take off the OE one.
The right side sway bar link came off with a good bit of struggle. The left side defeated me and in the process
I ruined the threads on the bolt. So I go online and order a replacement part and it arrives two days later.
This time I attack the bolt with lots of WD40 over a couple of days and get the old sway bar off.

But the replacment link would not go back in. Ended up taking a bit of metal off the bushing to get it to fit.
After that the new bar went on with no struggle. Rear end does seem more planted. I'll see over time if I can
really feel a difference.

Last effort was to install the EcoHitch. Decided not to take off the bumper. A lot more WD40 over several days
finally got the exhaust hangers loose enough to pry off. Used a ratchet strap under the pipe to hold it off the ground.
Used a uni bit to the enlarge the front most holes to accept the rectangular bars. This came back to haunt me later.

Fished the bolts through with very little trouble. Threaded a nut on each one to help prevent knocking the bolts
back up into the frame. After quite a bit of struggle, cursing and fine balancing I got the hitch raised up by using two
scissor jacks. Of course I did knock one bolt back into the frame thru the hole I had enlarged. In hindsight if I had
enlarged the middle hole I think having the nut on the end of the bolts would have prevented that from happening.

A magnetic pickup tool worked great to retrieve the bolt from the frame. That tool also came in handy to attach
the washers and nut to the bolts. I placed the washers, lock nut and nut on the tool shaft then stuck the end of
tool to the bolt, slid the washers and nut up to the bolt and started the nut while holding the bolt still with the magnet.

Got all the bolts finger tight but had to use some pliers to hold the tip of the bolt still while I snugged up the nut,
the bolts kept spinning. Did finally get them torqued, that process included two trips to Lowe's (remind yourself to
check on whether your torque wrench is 1/2" or 3/8" drive before you go to pick up a 19mm deep socket.
I still don't have the bumper brace things reattached, I hate plastic pop fasteners.

I also installed the Curt wiring harness, used a plug adapter to mount the connector thru the bumper cover.
Nice and neat. With the EcoHitch it's the only clue that I've got a hitch installed.

Whew, that wore me out. Especially getting up and down, scooting under the car, looking in various places in the
house, shed, store for tools and parts. At 68, I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Which is why my next foray will be done by a professional. I want to upgrade the springs, likely using the OE
height sport springs from Rallitek. I don't need to lift the body (again, 68 with stiff knees) but with adding the trailering
capability I'm thinking the stiffer Rallitek springs will help with trailer control and butt sag. Will probably do both front and rear.

Hear's a question for the group, this is a 2014 XV Premium with less than 36K miles, should I upgrade the struts
with KYB's at the same time? I hate doing things twice so I thought getting struts and springs done at the same
time would save some labor. What y'all think?
 

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Wow!

68? Most people at 38 won't attempt what you just did! Congrats!

As for your question, yes, if you are going to replace the springs, I would do the struts as well. As you probably know, the majority of the cost of strut replacement isn't the struts but the labour and since you are replacing the springs anyway, why pay for the labour twice (once now and once when the OE struts go). As for the springs themselves, have you checked out the set from Mann Engineering (one of our sponsors)? They seem to have had some good reviews from other members of this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Age is only a number, and I keep my doc's handy at all times...

I did check with Mann on their springs but they seem to carry ones that either lift or lower which I don't want.
Not likely to be doing any serious off-roading and don't feel like spending money changing tires and wheels. Plus I want to keep all the suspension geometry as close to spec as possible.

Next DIY project will be adding my ham setup. Already have my scanner installed. For the ham I'll need to route power directly from the battery. I have been using Anderson Power poles for my auto installs. makes connecting really easy and safe. I have an auto off switch that goes between the battery and the radio that detects a drop in voltage when you turn off the engine and time delays a disconnect between the battery and the radio.
 

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I just installed the Rallitek .25” lift springs with KYB struts on my 2014. I would do both when you do them. No no more butt sag and the ride quality is much better than stock. I have heard others report that stock springs with KYB struts improves ride quality as well.

Primitive Racing also offers a King spring with .25” lift as another possible option for you.
 
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I just finished a busy week of somewhat bruised knuckles and a stiff neck. I installed the STI flexible tower brace.
That was easy and gave me a good excuse to by a torque wrench. The bar seems to make the front
end more responsive with greater control, especially going around corners.

The second mod was more of an adventure. To add the 20mm rear sway bar you have to take off the OE one.
The right side sway bar link came off with a good bit of struggle. The left side defeated me and in the process
I ruined the threads on the bolt. So I go online and order a replacement part and it arrives two days later.
This time I attack the bolt with lots of WD40 over a couple of days and get the old sway bar off.

But the replacment link would not go back in. Ended up taking a bit of metal off the bushing to get it to fit.
After that the new bar went on with no struggle. Rear end does seem more planted. I'll see over time if I can
really feel a difference.

Last effort was to install the EcoHitch. Decided not to take off the bumper. A lot more WD40 over several days
finally got the exhaust hangers loose enough to pry off. Used a ratchet strap under the pipe to hold it off the ground.
Used a uni bit to the enlarge the front most holes to accept the rectangular bars. This came back to haunt me later.

Fished the bolts through with very little trouble. Threaded a nut on each one to help prevent knocking the bolts
back up into the frame. After quite a bit of struggle, cursing and fine balancing I got the hitch raised up by using two
scissor jacks. Of course I did knock one bolt back into the frame thru the hole I had enlarged. In hindsight if I had
enlarged the middle hole I think having the nut on the end of the bolts would have prevented that from happening.

A magnetic pickup tool worked great to retrieve the bolt from the frame. That tool also came in handy to attach
the washers and nut to the bolts. I placed the washers, lock nut and nut on the tool shaft then stuck the end of
tool to the bolt, slid the washers and nut up to the bolt and started the nut while holding the bolt still with the magnet.

Got all the bolts finger tight but had to use some pliers to hold the tip of the bolt still while I snugged up the nut,
the bolts kept spinning. Did finally get them torqued, that process included two trips to Lowe's (remind yourself to
check on whether your torque wrench is 1/2" or 3/8" drive before you go to pick up a 19mm deep socket.
I still don't have the bumper brace things reattached, I hate plastic pop fasteners.

I also installed the Curt wiring harness, used a plug adapter to mount the connector thru the bumper cover.
Nice and neat. With the EcoHitch it's the only clue that I've got a hitch installed.

Whew, that wore me out. Especially getting up and down, scooting under the car, looking in various places in the
house, shed, store for tools and parts. At 68, I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Which is why my next foray will be done by a professional. I want to upgrade the springs, likely using the OE
height sport springs from Rallitek. I don't need to lift the body (again, 68 with stiff knees) but with adding the trailering
capability I'm thinking the stiffer Rallitek springs will help with trailer control and butt sag. Will probably do both front and rear.

Hear's a question for the group, this is a 2014 XV Premium with less than 36K miles, should I upgrade the struts
with KYB's at the same time? I hate doing things twice so I thought getting struts and springs done at the same
time would save some labor. What y'all think?
Very comprehensive description of your work. I just replaced the shocks on the back of my '14 due to one being blown out. It was leaking oil all over.

I went with the Billstein B4s, but if I was looking to upgrade the performance of the rear suspension I would've spent more and gone with the B6s.
 
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