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Unread 06-12-2008, 08:05 AM   #1
TreddyoXJ
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RE 4.5 Leaf Springs/ Stock Shackles

I'm currently getting ready to replace my rear leaf springs with RE 4.5" leaf packs, as my current Rough Country springs are wearing out and I'm tired of the lift blocks being back there. Now, someday I plan on my lift amounting to 5.5", but I can't afford all of that stuff right now. My question is this: can I practically install those new RE 4.5" leaf springs with my stock shackles and just change the shackle length when I'm ready to lift it another inch, or is that going to cause complications of some sort? Also, does anyone have RE 4.5" springs that can tell me how much actual lift they achieve? Thanks!

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Last edited by TreddyoXJ; 06-12-2008 at 08:09 AM.. Reason: typos
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Unread 06-12-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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Expect 5"+ out of those springs on your rig.

For reference, this is what the 3.5" RE leafs look like, brand new, with stock shackles. The tires on that rigs are 31x10.5s on 15x8" rims. I neglected to take measurements before installing the lift, but I'd estimate lift at 5.5" out of the 3.5" leafs. XJ was stock with no armor, roof rack, etc.





Personally I wouldn't run the RE 4.5" leafs with stock shackles.
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Unread 06-12-2008, 10:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason, aka: Jeepin.com View Post
Expect 5"+ out of those springs on your rig.

For reference, this is what the 3.5" RE leafs look like, brand new, with stock shackles. The tires on that rigs are 31x10.5s on 15x8" rims. I neglected to take measurements before installing the lift, but I'd estimate lift at 5.5" out of the 3.5" leafs. XJ was stock with no armor, roof rack, etc.





Personally I wouldn't run the RE 4.5" leafs with stock shackles.
that about where I sit with my re3.5 lift, I can get 33s under the rear no trimming and I still have a good 3-4 inch wheel travle, I ll need to trim just 1/4 inches back side of the front wheel well to allow for full lock/articulation,
so with re4.5" spring you should get very close to your wanted hight, I would also swap out the stock shackles after you have installed the 4.5s figure out how much more you want and go from there.
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Unread 06-12-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
TreddyoXJ
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Why, out of curiosity, do they do that? I mean, why don't they label that set of leaves for 5.5" of lift if that's what it really achieves?

Jason: on that set of leaves that on the pictured XJ, did they settle out after a while or did they stay like that for the most part? As I understand it, most of them do settle a little bit once they're under the car for a little while. I just want to avoid not having enough leaf spring when I got for a little more lift (not really wanting to buy another set in just a year or less).

The lift setups page didn't seem to help out with these questions very much.
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Unread 06-12-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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RE leaf packs are known for coming stiff and sitting high out of the box but softening up and sagging after carrying heavy loads for an extended period of time. they eventually end up at about a half inch less than named, but flex really well. IMO, you should have no problem doing that. in fact, i was considering doing something similar. not sure of my plan of attack yet though.
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Unread 06-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #6
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i got a new set of stock dimention shackles when i put on my lift for added comfort of mind...... i like them thay are about 3 times as thick as the stock schackle and have a little more flex in them......hard to install a hitch though.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreddyoXJ View Post
can I practically install those new RE 4.5" leaf springs with my stock shackles ...?
You can, and I have done it but I don't recommend it.

It will be hard to install.
The ride will be stiff.
It will not flex well.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 01:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by EricsXJ View Post
You can, and I have done it but I don't recommend it.

It will be hard to install.
The ride will be stiff.
It will not flex well.

In that case I'm going to avoid it. Looks like I'll spring for the 3.5"... pun intended.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 01:13 AM   #9
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i have a 4.5 spring pack and stock shackles on mine. the only thing is i wish that i had a longer shackle is the bolt hits the " frame" when it's allthe way forward and then the hitch when it's bottoming out ( rare ) mine gets a bit of air...
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Unread 06-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreddyoXJ View Post
Why, out of curiosity, do they do that? I mean, why don't they label that set of leaves for 5.5" of lift if that's what it really achieves?
Because it won't achieve that on everyone's rigs because they'll weigh different amounts depending on what all you've got on the rigs. Some mfgs design their springs for "stock" XJs, others design them for modified XJs that have aftermarket bumpers, winches, rocker guards, skid plates, etc. All that aftermarket steel packs on the pounds. Big spare tires pack on the pounds. I gain about 1/2" of lift in the back if I take my spare tire (~90 lbs) off.

Big difference in sprung weight between this rig:



And this rig:



That white XJ netted the same mount of lift with the RE 3.5" leafs, stock shackles, and RE 4.5" coils as my rig got with RE's full 5.5" kit (4.5" leafs, 1.25" shackles, and 5.5" coils).

So without having a bunch of different springs and having to go over vehicle weight, how much gear they carry, etc with every customer every time they order a lift kit (which is what we have to do with Old Man Emu lift kits), which is better... to design a set of springs around the stock weight of an XJ, then have a lot of folks with modified XJs complain about not getting the advertised amount of lift, or design the springs for an average modified XJ and have some folks get more lift than advertised? Folks generally don't mind getting "more" than what they paid for, but they sure don't like getting less.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 10:20 AM   #11
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When they say 1" shackle, does that mean it is 1" longer or that it adds 1" at the axle?
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Unread 06-13-2008, 10:48 AM   #12
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It almost always means they add 1" of suspension lift.
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'00 TJ, SOLD, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35" MT/Rs, D30+OX, D44+ARB, 4.88s, full cage, winch, C4x4 & Jeeperman bumpers, etc, etc.


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Unread 06-13-2008, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason, aka: Jeepin.com View Post
Because it won't achieve that on everyone's rigs because they'll weigh different amounts depending on what all you've got on the rigs. Some mfgs design their springs for "stock" XJs, others design them for modified XJs that have aftermarket bumpers, winches, rocker guards, skid plates, etc. All that aftermarket steel packs on the pounds. Big spare tires pack on the pounds. I gain about 1/2" of lift in the back if I take my spare tire (~90 lbs) off.

Big difference in sprung weight between this rig:



And this rig:



That white XJ netted the same mount of lift with the RE 3.5" leafs, stock shackles, and RE 4.5" coils as my rig got with RE's full 5.5" kit (4.5" leafs, 1.25" shackles, and 5.5" coils).

So without having a bunch of different springs and having to go over vehicle weight, how much gear they carry, etc with every customer every time they order a lift kit (which is what we have to do with Old Man Emu lift kits), which is better... to design a set of springs around the stock weight of an XJ, then have a lot of folks with modified XJs complain about not getting the advertised amount of lift, or design the springs for an average modified XJ and have some folks get more lift than advertised? Folks generally don't mind getting "more" than what they paid for, but they sure don't like getting less.
Well, that kind of complicates things for me. In the end, I'm going to basically have an RE 5.5" kit (which comes with the 4.5" leaves) with T&T long arms. So I want those springs, but they don't seem to work well, in the opinions of others, at the 4.5" lift level. For now, I need at new set of leaf springs because mine are totally crapped out... they work, but their days are surely numbered. So I still don't know what to do. I'm not totally opposed to have a rough ride with 4.5" leaves (after all, my Rough Country springs definitely lived up to their name ), but I also don't want to have my a$$ end sticking up like a skunk until my new lift is in. I don't know.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #14
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So go with the RE 3.5" leafs. If you end up going taller, just run the RE or TREKS (T&T) 1.5" lift shackles.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreddyoXJ View Post
Well, that kind of complicates things for me. In the end, I'm going to basically have an RE 5.5" kit (which comes with the 4.5" leaves) with T&T long arms. So I want those springs, but they don't seem to work well, in the opinions of others, at the 4.5" lift level. For now, I need at new set of leaf springs because mine are totally crapped out... they work, but their days are surely numbered. So I still don't know what to do. I'm not totally opposed to have a rough ride with 4.5" leaves (after all, my Rough Country springs definitely lived up to their name ), but I also don't want to have my a$$ end sticking up like a skunk until my new lift is in. I don't know.
TNT LAs work fine at 4.5" of lift. IIRC the min for them is 4." Even with a heavy bumper, a 3.5" RE leaf with a 1-1.5" shackle will keep you at 4-5" of lift.
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