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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered the Alter Ego 4.5" lift for my 2000 Grand Vitara in mid April, and it's already here. Definitely on the pricier side, but in comparison to Calmini, these arms and adjustable rear links look A LOT beefier.

I'll be posting updates here as I put it together.





I also got the skid plate for the transfer case and the transmission, it's much thicker than the skid plate I got from Rocky Road for the front end.


 

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I ordered the Alter Ego 4.5" lift for my 2000 Grand Vitara in mid April, and it's already here. Definitely on the pricier side, but in comparison to Calmini, these arms and adjustable rear links look A LOT beefier.

I'll be posting updates here as I put it together.

I also got the skid plate for the transfer case and the transmission, it's much thicker than the skid plate I got from Rocky Road for the front end.
How much was it?

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I added on the super-flex option which uses Johnny joints instead of bushings on one end the the links, and I also added on that skid plate, with shipping it came out to $2,500 USD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I added on the super-flex option which uses Johnny joints instead of bushings on one end the the links, and I also added on that skid plate, with shipping it came out to $2,500 USD
Yikes! Can't wait to see the updates!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
Yep.. my thoughts exactly, kind of on the high side, considering they don’t come with struts for the front. I’ll be reusing my old man emu struts without the strut spacer and going from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Annnd it's all done. Wasn't the worst, but the instructions could use a picture or three to make it an easier process.

Huuuge thanks to James for helping me lift the Grand Vitara today, thanks to Paul for lending us a hand this morning, and thanks to Myron for letting us use your shop today to lift the GV. The lift made a huge difference.

The initial plan was to use to my OME struts with the altered ego lift, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. The longer struts render my CV's useless. I ordered the stock monroe struts that come on the grand vitara and I'm going to go with those.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

A few things to keep in mind, I have a 2" body lift installed and I'm running 245/75/16 tires.









More pictures can be found here - https://www.turndriver.com/Other/2000-Suzuki-Grand-Vitara/Altered-Ego-4-5-inch-Suzuki-Grand-Vitara-Lift-Kit/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took it to the exhaust shop to get an exhaust issue fixed. This was my first time driving it more than on to the trailer, and goooood god, it's soooo smooth.

I couldn't feel speed bumps, pot holes or those shallow drainage things that run across intersections. This thing has never been this smooth, even when it was stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was doing some exhaust work on the car yesterday, and noticed that the driveline was sitting about 2" outside the transfer case. When I purchased the altered ego lift kit, it was advertised with a driveline spacer, but it didn't come with one. When I called them about it, they told me the 4 door Grand Vitara's don't need the driveline spacer. Which they may be right, but having the driveline sit 2" or so outside the transfer case didn't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside.



Luckily a friend had a 1" driveline spacer laying around that he didn't need, after installing it, I'm back in my comfort zone.




If you're ordering a kit from them, I'd definitely ask them to include the driveline spacer. I wouldn't want to flex the back of the Grand Vitara without one.
 

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Careful....

When the suspension compresses it will push the drive shaft forward. if there is no room for the drive shaft to slide forward it will find the next weakest link which could be your transfer case housing.

many have shattered cases as a result of not allowing enough travel in the splines on a drive shaft....
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Careful....

When the suspension compresses it will push the drive shaft forward. if there is no room for the drive shaft to slide forward it will find the next weakest link which could be your transfer case housing.

many have shattered cases as a result of not allowing enough travel in the splines on a drive shaft....
Dually noted. I think I should be okay, there’s a lot of clearance on the transfer case side, and I moved the axle an inch further back over stock, more to follow on that though..
 

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the joys of independent suspension, no driveline issues to worry about apart from axle shaft lengths and you can get splined tube styles here to overcome travel issues, costly to get made, but alleviate all the issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The lift kit shocks were way too soft, causing a lot more body roll than I'd like, they also started bottoming out pretty easily, so I threw a pair of my old doestech shocks which caused the ride to be too stiff.

My buddy James, who knows this stuff a lot better than I ever will, had me order Monroe 37117 for the back. It definitely feels better, than the Doestech shocks or the shocks the lift kit came with.

These seem like a nice mix of in betewen, they're not stupid soft, but they're also not super hard. It seems like a good balance of the both. On the left is the shock the Altered Ego 4.5" lift kit came with, on the right Monroe 37177 shock I ordered.

 

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I did the same for my 2.5 lift. Contacted Monroe and told them my make and model as well as the fully collapsed length and total extended length I needed. They came back and told me 37279. They work beautiful.

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Discussion Starter #17
That's awesome, didn't know that they offered that over the phone. Or over e-mai or whatever, thought they would stick to the line of here's what designed for your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Went to the dunes last month, and maybe I had a little too much fun in the Grand Vitara. I bent both of my Altered Ego controls arms right at where the ball joint connects.

I wasn't the easiest on the Grand Vitara, but I don't think I drove it nearly hard enough to bend control arms. I had a friend there in another Grand Vitara that led the way, and he didn't have an issue with his stock control arms. All the crossing over the dunes and the chopped up sand was too much for the altered ego arms. When looking at what went wrong for the arms to fail, I noticed the springs were coil binding before bump stops ever were close to full compression, so something had to give. The area of the arm where the ball joint is attached could have been braced a little better, I have a feeling if the steel was a little thicker there and the bump stops were a bit longer the arms wouldn't have failed.





I called Altered Ego hoping they were still under warranty, turns out their warranty is only for 6 months, I was at 8 months. So instead of trying to fix these arms myself, and then spending a year chasing alignment issues, I gave them my credit card and ordered another set of $650 arms. When I talked to them they told me they never heard of anything doing something like this, but they were working on a new version of these arms that are reinforced a little more. I ordered them on February 10th, and they showed up at my door March 24th. All in all, considering the uniqueness and availability I'm pretty happy about the turnaround time.

I installed the new arms as soon as they showed up. Turns out they didn't just reinforce them, they changed the geometry quite a bit. With the first version of arms, the springs had roughly 12" of room, with the new arms, the springs are down to 10.5". Not yet sure exactly what that means for ride comfort, or bottoming out. But I guess I'll figure that out soon enough. I did measure where I'm at with the lift, and it looks like I'm sitting .3" lower on the frame with these new arms.

Here's the first version of the altered ego control arm:


Here's the second version of the altered ego control arm:




I wish they reinforced the part where the ball join attaches a bit more, having it be a little thicker steel would be ideal. Before I take it out to the dunes again, I'll be stripping the powder coat off and reinforcing them myself and probably lowering the bump stop depending where it's at after I have the time to test these.

Measurement with the old arm on:


Measurement with the new arm on:


I did notice that with the more limited travel my passenger CV shaft seems to be in a little happier spot, it barely binds now at full droop instead of binding pretty hard at full droop like it did before. My strut also started leaking really bad on the passenger side, so I didn't get to drive it nearly as much as I wanted to, but after doing an alignment and taking it for the drive around the neighborhood I noticed it feels a little more sturdy as far as the suspension up front wanting to drop out. Before when I took the two turns out of my neighborhood it felt like the either side of the suspension would drop out a little too far and I'd almost feel a thunk, that seems a little more under the control now. It's still too early to tell though the shot strut doesn't help the situation.

I had to do a hell of an alignment, with these new arms my toe was out about 1.5" and the camber is 2* positive on both sides.

New struts are ordered, should be here Monday, I'll hollow out the holes and weld a washer on those to fix the camber issue and I'll double check where I'm at with the alignment one more time. I also ordered new ball joints just to make sure these ones aren't bent.

More pictures of the control arms can be found here - 4.5″ Alter Ego Suspension for 1999–04 Tracker Vitara Grand Vitara - TurnDriverSide.com - Motorsports Photography
 
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