CJ7 leaf spring length and shackle angle - JeepForum.com
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Unread 10-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
KMA
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1983 CJ7 
 
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CJ7 leaf spring length and shackle angle

Hello,

I'm working on an 83 CJ7 and noticed the rear driver's side shackle is parallel to the ground and touching the frame. The other is closer to 90 degrees. I measured all four corners and 3 are 43" or so from pin-to-pin, but the driver's side rear is only 41". Did the PO install the wrong ones, or could there be another reason for the length difference?

I've attached the pics of the "good" and "bad" sides. Thanks for your input.

20131021_172636-01.jpg

20131021_172650-01.jpg

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Unread 10-21-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
GTNMUDY
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1984 CJ7 
 
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It looks like your shackle just popped in the wrong direction. Cant tell if the frame is on jacks or if the weight of the jeep is on the springs. I would take a pry bar and force the shackle away from the frame and then put weight on it and see if it goes back into the position. If the springs were replaced with one that gave a lift higher than stock springs the arch of the spring is more and the distance of the ends of the springs will be shorter. Once weight is on the spring then it will flatten out and the distance will increase and function of the shackles will be ok.

Larry
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Unread 10-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
skizriz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTNMUDY View Post
It looks like your shackle just popped in the wrong direction. Cant tell if the frame is on jacks or if the weight of the jeep is on the springs. I would take a pry bar and force the shackle away from the frame and then put weight on it and see if it goes back into the position. Sometime if the arch of the spring is too much the shackle will look funny and cause your situation. Once weight is on the spring then it will function ok.

Larry
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN DOING THIS. Jack the jeep up by the frame towards the rear to take some weight off of the springs. As they are, they have a ton of stored energy.
Id hate to see a pry bar take your head off when it goes flying.

Agree with MUDY though. You just have an inverted shackle.
Shackles with a center piece such as boomerang shackles will prevent that from happening.
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Unread 10-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
KMA
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Thanks guys, I'll give this a try.

It does seem though (based on the other side's shackle angle) that this would happen again... no? Should the angle be closer to 90 degrees and maybe leaning towards the back slightly vs the front?

Thanks again.
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Unread 10-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
NonRubicon
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With the shackle at a 90* angle the spring rate wont be affected.



The above image is from an article on the Quadratec website that discusses leaf spring length and shackle angle: http://www.quadratec.com/jeep_knowle...article-93.htm
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Unread 10-22-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
tjcj
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You don't want your shackle at 90. It should be angled away from the leaf spring so it doesn't invert again.

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Unread 10-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #7
GTNMUDY
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Looking at your pictures I can see through your frame. So I assume that the body is NOT on the frame and you dont have the weight on the springs to flatten them out and move the shackle angle back towards the rear of the jeep.

I think once the Jeep is put back together and the weight of the Jeep is being supported by the springs, everything will work out for you.

Larry
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Unread 10-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
bgredjeep
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Maybe it's just the angle, but are those rear springs 2.5" wide? They look narrower than that for some reason.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
KMA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTNMUDY View Post
Looking at your pictures I can see through your frame. So I assume that the body is NOT on the frame and you dont have the weight on the springs to flatten them out and move the shackle angle back towards the rear of the jeep.

I think once the Jeep is put back together and the weight of the Jeep is being supported by the springs, everything will work out for you.

Larry
Body is on the frame. There are no fender flares on the rear wheel wells so it may look that way. The jeep is essentially fully assembled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcj View Post
You don't want your shackle at 90. It should be angled away from the leaf spring so it doesn't invert again.

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The way the springs are now, they are too short for this to happen. Either they are bent, too short to begin with, or the arch is too great. The other "good" side can't even make it to 90 (see pics above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgredjeep View Post
Maybe it's just the angle, but are those rear springs 2.5" wide? They look narrower than that for some reason.
Yes, they are 2.5" wide.

I didn't need to lift the jeep to easily move the shackle with a large crowbar. But it doesn't get anywhere near 90 and I can tell it will snap back to the frame without much effort. I'm thinking they are just crappy Rough Country springs and I'll have to replace them. I will do all the shocks too, but haven't decided if I should leave the front springs in order to save some money.

Thanks again for all the input.
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Unread 10-24-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
bgredjeep
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The springs definitely look too short. Eye to eye should be around 44" IIRC. It almost looks like someone had a stock or lower lift spring re-arched for a lift rather than buying proper springs. I'd probably just plan on replacing them with new springs.
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Unread 10-24-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
Dngrs1
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Maybe just my old, bad eyes but is there a degree shim on the drivers side and not one on the passenger side?
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Unread 10-24-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
KMA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgredjeep View Post
The springs definitely look too short. Eye to eye should be around 44" IIRC. It almost looks like someone had a stock or lower lift spring re-arched for a lift rather than buying proper springs. I'd probably just plan on replacing them with new springs.
Yeah, I agree. The "bad" side is measuring 41" but I think that is mostly because it is bent from the shackle over rotating. The "good" side is still only 43" and should be a bit longer as you've mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dngrs1 View Post
Maybe just my old, bad eyes but is there a degree shim on the drivers side and not one on the passenger side?
Good catch! It actually is there, but the front half is missing on the passenger side for some reason. Now that you mention it... I wonder if the shims are installed backwards. I'll have to check the angles when I get home.

I think I'm going to need new springs... I'd really like to replace front and back springs and shocks, but I'll exceed my budget and my wife is already unhappy. It won't happen until the Spring anyway, so I have some time to think about it. Thanks again everyone.

Last edited by KMA; 10-24-2013 at 03:19 PM..
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