DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2″ Suspension Lift Kit 2


Today we go through the process of installing a 2″ coil spacer lift kit on my 2003 Suzuki Vitara ‘PJ’. Read more for details and pics on how it went!

I recently bought a lift kit for my Vitara off of Ebay. They are available lots of places though. There are a lot of options on Amazon also.

I will start this off with saying this actually took some grit. I put this lift kit on by myself over the course of two long nights and I gotta say I was EXHAUSTED by the time I was done. Every bolt was rusty and I hate coil spring compressors (but read for more info as I found a better way AFTER I was done). Recruit a buddy to help if you can, it would have made this much easier.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Before pic

Just a note, these are not exhaustive instructions, this is purely for entertainment based on my experience of installing a lift kit on my Vitara. Please follow the instructions that come with your kit.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Here is the kit and the new shocks.

The shock recommended in the lift kit instructions was a Monroe 32260 which is available from Amazon at the link below. I was in a hurry and it was the weekend so I had the AutoZone guy cross reference it over to an equivalent in Gabriel he had in stock.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
While I had it up on jackstands, I figured it was a good time to replace my motor mounts. I knew they were bad, but geez these things were destroyed.

Installing the front coil spacers

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
First, get the truck properly jacked up and supported with jack stands under the frame rails. The first thing to come off was the Struts. Be sure to support the lower control arm as it has spring pressure on it.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
I quickly grew to hate these coil spring compressors. I swear these took forever to tighten. Then like a dummy I used a non-reversible ratchet wrench and got it stuck between the coils.

Spring compressors are available cheap on Amazon. However if you are trying to save a buck they are available to rent at most auto parts stores. The ones above I rented for $50 from AutoZone of which they returned the full $50 when I gave the tool back. The same goes for a many specialty tools, check to see if they are available to rent before you buy one.

NOTE: The link to the tool below is different than the tool I used. I used straight coil compressors that were hard to get to the bolt head on because of the lower control arm. I learned on a Facebook discussion after I was done that there is actually a ‘clamshell’ type spring compressor that would have worked perfectly in this situation.

Tip: When putting on the spring compressor grab as many of the coils within the compressor as you can. I didn’t realize that on the first side so the spring compressor didn’t get the spring as small as it could have. Here is a pic of the second side I did where I was able to get more coils within the compressor that made it easier to get out and back in.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Get as many coils as you can inside of the spring compressor. It makes getting it out and back in much easier.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Once the coil is off you remove the rubber coil isolator then slide the coil spacer up and tap it with a rubber mallet until it is seated.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Put the coil back in place and start loosening the coil clamps.
In my case this was trickier than it sounded probably because I was working alone. I had to hold up the spindle, push down on the lower control arm, and slide the spring in at the same time.

2 Different ways to adjust camber

There are two different ways to adjust the camber when putting on a lift kit. The stock Suzuki parts aren’t adjustable from the factory. The first and probably easiest way is to buy a ‘camber adjusting bolt’ that will allow you to adjust camber. The second option is to ream out the upper hole in the strut to allow for adjustment.

Option 1: Purchase camber adjusting bolt

This option is pretty easy, just get on Amazon and buy a bolt. This also makes it easy for alignment shops to do an alignment. Feel free to use my affiliate link below to help support this site at no cost to you.

Option 2: Ream out a slot in the upper bolt hole for adjustment (what I did)

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Before putting the strut back on I clamped it in the vice real quick so I could ream out the upper hole to adjust the camber.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
I took off about 1/8″ or about the width of the outside of the factory bolt head (you can see the wear mark from the bolt head in the pic above).
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
A straight carbide burr made pretty quick work of it. You need to do this on both the front and back top holes.

We will revisit setting the camber later on when we reassemble.

Installing the strut spacers

Just being honest here, it was way late when I was working on this and totally blanked on taking pictures of the strut spacer installation. Here are some pictures after the fact when I already had everything together.

These are a pretty simple bolt on. There is one step before you install the red spacer in which you need to cut the alignment pin off of the top of the strut, it is easy and only takes a minute per side.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
View of the installed spacer from below. If you look real close next to the left bolt there is a little knub where there was an alignment pin. This is the part that got cut off on the other side since the spacer didn’t have a notch for it to fit into.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
View from above with the strut tower spacers. You can see there is a hole where the alignment pin used to fit up into towards the bottom.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
View from above with the strut tower spacers.

Reassembling the front suspension.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Once I got the coil put back in, I put in the upper spindle bolts. Since I was working by myself I attached a ratchet strap to hold the spindle as far back as it could in the slot I just made while I tightened the bolts. This should get the camber pretty close.

Eagle eyes will notice there is a new upper strut bolt. I busted one of the factory ones trying to take it out. If you are lucky like I was your local ACE hardware store will have one. I used an M12 X 70mm 1.75 Pitch Metric Hardened 10.9 Hex Head Cap Screw.

Installing the rear coil spacers

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Chock the front tires then jack the rear up and properly support it with jackstands. It would probably be easier if you take the tires off, I tried to be lazy and didn’t which made a couple things more difficult.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Throw a jack under the rear axle to support it then start loosening the rear shocks. Once they are out you should be able to lower the axle (slowly!) with the jack and take out the springs.

Be careful here because my brake lines got pretty tight trying to get the springs out. If you don’t have enough slack in the brake lines you can either use the coil spring compressor or temporarily remove one of the mounts on the brake lines to give it a little more play.

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
In order to get the coil spacers on, the bump stops must be removed. They are threaded so you can just grab them with a pipe wrench and twist them out. Lefty loosey. This is where taking off the tire probably would have helped.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
Put the coil spacers on. I had to tap mine on with a rubber mallet in the rear also. I left the rubber coil isolator on in the rear, as a result the rear sits just a bit higher than the front which I am ok with because the trunk is empty at the moment.

To wrap it up I reinstalled the springs and put on the new shocks that bolted right in.

Conclusion

DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
For this project between a rating of 1 to destroyed garage, I am going to go with destroyed garage.
DIY Installation Tracker/Vitara 2" Suspension Lift Kit
2″ lift installed, and PJ back on the ground again. I think Gertrude approves 😉

I hope that was helpful. Sometimes it is useful to see how other people did it with good pics as a supplement for the instructions that come with your kit.

This is a great way to affordably put a small lift on your 2nd Gen Tracker / Vitara. It was worth it and I would definitely do it again. Now I just gotta go out and do some wheeling again!

Now YOU, go outside and work on something!


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