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Discussion Starter #1
Removed the bolt to put some skids on, and as soon as I got the bolt out, the link is forward about 1/2" too much to get the bolt back through the hole in the mounting bracket. :flame: (Can I EVER get one mod to go right? Thought this would be an easy one...) The bracket does not appear to be damaged or bent, and the skid slides over it like a glove. Tried to search to see if anyone else has had the same problem, but no luck. Any advice would be much appreciated!!
 

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You need to jack up the truck from the frame, it should start moving back while you raise it.
You are trying to raise the truck from the back
The spring compression has made it move backward
 

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I had this happen on the way home from wheeling. Almost lost the bolt on the highway. I had to adapt and overcome at 1am in a parking lot. I used my legs to push on the rear axle while holding onto the bumper. It was enough to move it to line up the bracket and link. It was ugly - but it worked. I agree, jacking it up and moving it that way will be effective. Good luck
 

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Another thing you may try that won't require you to jack up the truck is loop a ratchet strap around the axle, just to the inside of the shock and rear link mount, and your rock rails (or suitable spot on the frame), and slowly ratchet the strap down until it starts to pull the axle forward. I hooked up a strap in this fashion on mine when I swapped my rear link out last weekend, and it worked great! It REALLY helps with minor tension adjustments to get the link back in line. Being you say yours only moved 1/2", this should give you plenty of movement to work with. If you look up rear link replacement on the forum, you'll see a number of other users do it this way as well. You shouldn't need to jack up the truck if you do it this way, but it may make it easier. Just make sure the strap is free and clear of your brakes, shock, and other components. Good Luck! Those bolts can be a real PIA to line up even with the link lined up the way it should be.
 

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Just to add to that, if you get it close you can use a centering punch or something that will go in the hole to align the hole correctly
Good call, WIKID! I hadn't thought of that.
 

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I'm glad you added the ratchet strap. I think I may have done that, with a set I had difficulty installing. I used the other method as well . Options, both get the job done though :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for all the ideas guys. I guess I should have said it's the bolt in at the FRONT of the link. These seem like good ideas for the rear bolt. I guess I can just take that one out, put the front one in, and use one of these methods to get the rear bolt back through. I'll let you know.
 

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Try using beer to lure over friends for manpower if the above mentioned devices are not available.
 

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The ratchet strap is the way to go, makes it easy. I hook the hook to the shock mount on the axle and the other end either forward or rear on the frame depending on whick way it needs to go. I use a tapered pinch bar to align the holes.
 

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I looped the strap through the sliders and around the axel and hooked the hooks together....always more than one way to skin a cat! There are probably dozens more ways to connect the straps
 

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I did it the exact same way except I used a come-a-long. It's easy and only takes a few minutes.
 

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When I put my links in I had the same issue. I had to use a ratchet strap as others mentioned to get the bolt back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Don. I actually gave it one more try with the jack, in front of the link near the transfer case, and it worked perfectly!! I'll have to remember the ratchet strap idea though, seems like a good one too. Only problem was I needed to move the axle (or body) back, not forward. Anyhow, got that side done and did the other one in about 5 minutes (also using the jack in the same spot). Thanks for all the help!! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The ratchet strap is the way to go, makes it easy. I hook the hook to the shock mount on the axle and the other end either forward or rear on the frame depending on whick way it needs to go. I use a tapered pinch bar to align the holes.
I like this idea too, would work forward or backward!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I didn't realize you were local. Did you get it lined up??
YEP!!:clap:

Thanks Don. I actually gave it one more try with the jack, in front of the link near the transfer case, and it worked perfectly!! I'll have to remember the ratchet strap idea though, seems like a good one too. Only problem was I needed to move the axle (or body) back, not forward. Anyhow, got that side done and did the other one in about 5 minutes (also using the jack in the same spot). Thanks for all the help!! :cheers:
 
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