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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
Brandon_YJ
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Laser cutting my own shackles

I am giving some consideration to laser cutting my own shackles. My current ones are in bad shape, they are over 20 years old. Plus I would just want the bragging rights of making my own shackles.
I program/operate cutting lasers and have a slew of different types of steel at my disposal, so there really isn't any issue there. I plan on putting a zerc fitting in and purchasing new bushings/bolts. Would be a great way for me to get about 1/2" lift from a new set of shackles on the cheap!
Now my questions:
* What (if any) advantage is there to using a boomerang design?
* If boomerang type shackles are worth the effort, does anyone have the dimensions for a set with 5/8" lift?

I plan on fabbing quite a few things for my project and thought I'd start with shackles first, they seem to be pretty straight forward. Man do I love working in a shop.

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Unread 03-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
ChiliPalmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon_YJ
I am giving some consideration to laser cutting my own shackles. My current ones are in bad shape, they are over 20 years old. Plus I would just want the bragging rights of making my own shackles.
I program/operate cutting lasers and have a slew of different types of steel at my disposal, so there really isn't any issue there. I plan on putting a zerc fitting in and purchasing new bushings/bolts. Would be a great way for me to get about 1/2" lift from a new set of shackles on the cheap!
That's cool that you have access to that stuff; my old neighbor designed and built LARGE hydraulic systems for meat packing plants and other large manufacturer's. He had all of his race car stuff programmed in so if he broke something on the weekend he could walk in the office - click a few buttons and be done!



On to your questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon_YJ
Now my questions:
* What (if any) advantage is there to using a boomerang design?
* If boomerang type shackles are worth the effort, does anyone have the dimensions for a set with 5/8" lift?

I plan on fabbing quite a few things for my project and thought I'd start with shackles first, they seem to be pretty straight forward. Man do I love working in a shop.
Boomerang shackles (to the best of my knowledge) are used to help with clearance issues for things like crossmembers, etc. Other than that I'm not aware of any real benefit to them.

As far as size goes, measure the ones you have and add/subtract what you need between the holes and you should be good. Part of the lift is going to depend on your shackle angle. If you have a 90 deg. angle (bad) then you would get the maximum lift for that shackle but if you have them at say 65 deg. (top going towards the front of the vehicle) then you wouldn't get quite the same amount of lift. I would recommend you measure your current angle and plan from there...

P.s. You could also just drill the hole for the zerk fitting...if you're only doing one set it may be faster than programming for it...
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Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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Unread 03-07-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
RedMountainYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post
Boomerang shackles (to the best of my knowledge) are used to help with clearance issues for things like crossmembers, etc. Other than that I'm not aware of any real benefit to them.
Sorry Driver i got to disagree. The purpose of boomerang shackles is to allow better flex out of lift springs with "taller" arch to them. because they are phyically longer you need to allow them to "flatted out" past where a stock shackle would allow it to. with a boomerang shackle it allows the shackles to preform this in a non-linearly. (gawd my grammer is awesome, is non-linerly even a word? , everyone still follow).

so comparing a regular shackle to a boomerang shackle, with the same amount of lift, the boomerang shackle will allow the spring to flatten more getting you better flex.

and i guess that Driver is right too. like on a comp'd rig with XJ springs.

but i like mine anyways. I'd do it. want to cut parts for me? i mean i think you owe me, especiall with this totally awesome explanation that i just gave you. i think a set of rockers would be about right to call it even

hope this helps, ed
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Unread 03-07-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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The distance between the two holes is what gains your lift; and yes the longer the shackle the more flex you get but; straight shackles and boomerang shackles of the same length (distance between the holes) will give you identical flex if nothing is in the way however; if something's in the way then you'll benefit from the boomerang shackles...

Can I get some free stuff too! I'd actually take a pair of shackles - either ones would do!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrows View Post
Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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Unread 03-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #5
Brandon_YJ
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Ha!
My wife told me people would start asking me to make them things when I made this post.

Thanks for the info guys. so as it looks I have no need for boomerang shackles. I am only going to put a 2.5 suspension lift on the old Jeep, no need for more considering the type of fun I like to have in it. Maybe I could start laser cutting shackles and selling them on ebay!
I'll just take the measurements of my current shackles, and add an inch to them, that should give me an extra 1/2" of lift and not give me the vampire look... and I still get to brag that I made them.

What material would you suggest I cut these from? I figured I'd use something between 1/4" and 3/8" A36 mild steel and coat them for rust prevention.
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Unread 03-07-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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I cannot for the life of me remember who made this spec sheet out not how much lift it gives but alot of members used it:
boomerangshackle-1.jpg  
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Unread 03-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
ChiliPalmer
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I'd poke around some vendor sites and see what they're using for metal; I would guess 1/4" or thicker?

And that drawing looks to be about 2.5" of lift - if you didn't have shackles before. They are 7.5" total length, the holes are 1" from each end (so it's roughly 5.5") and then you have the bend which would shorten the distance between the holes a little bit - I'm guessing about 1/2". So I'd guess 2.5" of lift when it's all said and done. If you can measure between the two holes and divide it in half that will get you your lift.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrows View Post
Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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Unread 03-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post
I'd poke around some vendor sites and see what they're using for metal; I would guess 1/4" or thicker?

And that drawing looks to be about 2.5" of lift - if you didn't have shackles before. They are 7.5" total length, the holes are 1" from each end (so it's roughly 5.5") and then you have the bend which would shorten the distance between the holes a little bit - I'm guessing about 1/2". So I'd guess 2.5" of lift when it's all said and done. If you can measure between the two holes and divide it in half that will get you your lift.
Using photoshop, I mapped the pic out on a grid. If my math is correct, the bolt holes are 6" center to center, that means it would be a 1" lift.
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Unread 03-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
RedMountainYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post
The distance between the two holes is what gains your lift; and yes the longer the shackle the more flex you get but; straight shackles and boomerang shackles of the same length (distance between the holes) will give you identical flex if nothing is in the way however; if something's in the way then you'll benefit from the boomerang shackles...
Driver, my bad. for some reason, just now, it clicked what you were saying. i totally agree with you now. i feel like a ******!

now my question is why do you see them up front? I cant think of anything in the way (like the rear cross member, doh!)

dont mean to hijack the thread, sorry
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Unread 03-07-2008, 03:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMountainYJ

Driver, my bad. for some reason, just now, it clicked what you were saying. i totally agree with you now. i feel like a ******!

now my question is why do you see them up front? I cant think of anything in the way (like the rear cross member, doh!)

dont mean to hijack the thread, sorry
You may want to search M.O.R.E. boomerang shackles over in the YJ tech section. Many, many members run them. Your best bet is to get first hand knowledge of their use.
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Unread 03-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustywrangler View Post
You may want to search M.O.R.E. boomerang shackles over in the YJ tech section. Many, many members run them. Your best bet is to get first hand knowledge of their use.
What this guy said...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrows View Post
Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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Unread 03-10-2008, 07:15 PM   #12
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I did this same thing I work at a place that I have access to a waterjet. In my free time I was able to build up a set of these in solidworks and make a .dxf file to cut them out. I used 3/8" plate for mine. Mine were about a 5/8"-3/4" lift.
after cut


front


rear
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Unread 03-10-2008, 09:35 PM   #13
ChiliPalmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustywrangler View Post
Using photoshop, I mapped the pic out on a grid. If my math is correct, the bolt holes are 6" center to center, that means it would be a 1" lift.
That's if you have 4" long (2" lift) shackles already, if your current shackles are only 3" long (1.5" of lift) then you'd gain another 1.5" of lift...

That's all dependent on if your axle is centered on the spring - if it's 6" forward of a rear shackle you wouldn't gain that much lift but if it was 6" backwards (towards the axle) you'd gain a little more than 3" of lift.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrows View Post
Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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Unread 03-11-2008, 03:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post
That's if you have 4" long (2" lift) shackles already, if your current shackles are only 3" long (1.5" of lift) then you'd gain another 1.5" of lift...

That's all dependent on if your axle is centered on the spring - if it's 6" forward of a rear shackle you wouldn't gain that much lift but if it was 6" backwards (towards the axle) you'd gain a little more than 3" of lift.
The stock YJ shackles are 4" bolt to bolt. What you are stating is correct but not the start specs. I stated that it measured 6" bolt to bolt. That is 2" over stock thus giving you the 1" lift.
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Unread 03-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustywrangler View Post
The stock YJ shackles are 4" bolt to bolt. What you are stating is correct but not the start specs. I stated that it measured 6" bolt to bolt. That is 2" over stock thus giving you the 1" lift.
Yep, then you would be correct, I was not sure what the factory shackle length is for a YJ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrows View Post
Oh man Chili. I feel like a recovering addict that just had a bag of blow, a bottle of Jameson, and a sack dropped in his lap. You screwed me man!
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