U-Bolt Upgrade

U-Bolt Upgrade

As I alluded to at the end of the Static 1" Drop build writeup the u-bolts that came with the DJM drop block kit were very, very poor. My bottom line recommendation is to not use them under any circumstances. What, then, should they be replaced with? After ordering a set from Tuff Country that were too long I went back to their catalog and ordered part number 17752 for 5/8" diameter, 3 1/2" wide, 9 5/8" long u-bolts. As these have a larger diameter than the sock u-bolts they required slightly enlarging the u-bolt holes in the mounting plate. A possible alternative would be part number 27852 that has a 9/16" diameter bolt but is longer at 10 1/2".

This was the poor state of the DJM bolts after only two and a half months of being on the vehicle. The rust is to be expected but the retaining nut wearing through the u-bolt should not happen. The wear spot can be easily seen with one of the nuts removed. It wasn’t just one spot either, many of the nuts caused this wear and I have a feeling they would have failed soon.

DJM U-Bolt Removal

As a side effect of the poor threading and the nuts wearing through the u-bolts was the need to cut many of the nuts off.

Cutting nuts off

The size difference between the DJM provided u-bolts and the Tuff Country bolts can be easily seen. The DJM bolts were also smaller in diameter than the stock u-bolts (not pictured, but they can be seen in the Drop Block build mentioned above).

Tuff Country Fitment

Here is a comparison between the DJM setup and the Tuff Country provided setup. The washers seen with the DJM u-bolt I provided, they only came with some cheap lock washers that were too small for the mounting holes. I had to add the grade 8 washers and better lock washers. The Tuff Country u-bolts came with heavy duty washers and very heavy duty nuts. These are an impressive set of u-bolts!

DJM vs Tuff Country Comparison

I just wanted to reiterate once again how much better the Tuff Country bolts felt compared to the DJM bolts. The size difference is readily apparent, along with the size of the included washers and nuts. Replacing one u-bolt at a time negated the need to mess with the spring retainer plates again, and is highly recommended.

U-Bolt on Axle Comparison

One Tuff Country Installed

Enlarging the u-bolt holes took some time, along with cutting off the nuts, but nothing goes as smoothly as I may think it will. All in all it was a fairly easy job and one I’m very happy to have finished. I knew I was on borrowed time with the DJM supplied bolts and I feel very confident in the new Tuff Country bolts.

Tuff Country 17752