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Unread 06-18-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
blutowski
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: cleveland, OH
Posts: 113
anything wrong with stock shackles?

ive searched to no avail............ but theres a million different shackles out there. is there anything wrong with stock? i mean for street driving and some trails, some mud. no rocks. i get that you may want some custom stuff for real crawling. but for a guy like me would there be any drawback to just running stock ones? all i have is a 4" lift kit installed. and really i kinda wish that i didnt have that much lift. i know i want a stock length shackle anyways. if for some reason stock ones are a problem what stock length replacements would you suggest?

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Unread 06-18-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
oteps
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I dont know what jeep you have but I replaced mine on a 1980 cj5 with 1/4 inch steel and a piece across the two welded together. It seemed to handle better on the road but i replaced the bushings at the same time. stay with the stock length.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 04:50 PM   #3
fuzz401
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I just replaced the bolts and run the factory side plates
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Unread 06-18-2009, 07:07 PM   #4
gojeepin
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It depends on how and where you're going to drive.

There's not a thing wrong with those shackles if they're in good shape and you've got bump stops to keep the springs from flattening too much. If you don't stop the springs before they flatten too much you can have trouble.

CJ leaf springs by the numbers...
about 48" = Length of most 4" lift leaf springs
45" = Length from spring mount eye to stock shackle fully extended

Just be careful and consider if you continue to flatten the spring beyond 45", the longest leaf could bend at its weakest point.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
blutowski
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its a 71 cj5....... but i think the only thing that is 71 about it is the title. it will be 90 percent street driven. kind of a 4 wheel motorcycle. wanna hit a couple light trails just for the thrill of it. but for the most part just on the street. the only reason she has a lift is that i got a great deal on the frame and suspension. i woulda been happy with stock height. but the lift is growing on me. the suspension came with some lift shackles had made my caster angle terrible, so i think im gonna go back to some stock ones that i have. just wanted to know if there was some reason that guys change out thier stock ones for aftermarket. IE that the original set up is flawed in some way.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
gojeepin
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You shouldn't have a problem... I just gave you the numbers...

The big thing about caster is knowing what you have. Do you know what it is now? Do you know what it will be with the stock shackle?

BTW... My shackles are two inches longer than stock. My springs are 48.5" long or a little more than 4" longer than stock. Yes, it changed my caster but I fixed it.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
jeepskate
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The spring info you gave does not apply across the board and doesn't apply to his Jeep. Pre-'76 springs are shorter and narrower...also there's plenty of 4" lift springs on the lower end of the price/quality scale that aren't 48"...you can pick them out easily when you see someone whith shackles that are near vertical or even past vertical in the wrong direction.

The advantages to the aftermarket shackles are that they're new (you're replacing older, possibly fatigued units), often have cross bracing which helps 'tighten up' some of the suspension slop/sway, and are made of thicker metal. Nothing wrong with the stockers if they're in good shape, but I always toss them when installing a lift.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
PERK
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1983 CJ7 
 
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my question to you would be; Did you put the 4" lift on yourself. or buy the jeep that way? the plus of changing the shackles is that you would change out the spring eye bushings at the same time. for light trail/street use i would not go over 1/2 inch over stock,ConFerr used to make a good heavy shackle, see if there still out there.or look at the rubicon express ones, they don't cost that much.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 11:16 AM   #9
gojeepin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepskate View Post
The spring info you gave does not apply across the board and doesn't apply to his Jeep. Pre-'76 springs are shorter and narrower...also there's plenty of 4" lift springs on the lower end of the price/quality scale that aren't 48"...you can pick them out easily when you see someone whith shackles that are near vertical or even past vertical in the wrong direction.

The advantages to the aftermarket shackles are that they're new (you're replacing older, possibly fatigued units), often have cross bracing which helps 'tighten up' some of the suspension slop/sway, and are made of thicker metal. Nothing wrong with the stockers if they're in good shape, but I always toss them when installing a lift.
You're absolutely right about applicability to his model... I didn't read his model and based it on the '80s CJ7 in his profile... oops! You're also right about the length of 4" leaf springs in the lower price range and their particular attributes...

My main point with each post on this subject is...
1) know the working range of your spring mount to shackle (in inches)
2) know the length of your spring (in inches)
3) know how much the spring will extend as it travels upward
4) know your caster measurement (don't assume stock shackles are the cure all)
__________________
Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
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Some of the stock shackles are made with soft bolts and stamped steel brackets,
Other than that, there is much RIGHT with them!

Going to 'Lift' shackles, especially with 'Lift Springs' kills your dive line and steering component angles.

Makes the drive shafts enter your differentials at the wrong angle (drive line angle),
And lift shackles kill the 'Caster' angle on your steering axle.
This means your steering won't want to return to center like it's supposed to, and the vehicle will want to wonder around the road a lot.

Making some shackles out of thicker steel, but the stock length, and using some good Grade 8 Bolts with proper locking nuts is a good idea.

Going to 'Lift' shackles is a BAD idea.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #11
79-CJ-7
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: MN
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IIRC you want a little longer shackle when using a 4" lift spring. the longer shackles will allow the spring to flaten out. if the spring has no where to go i.e. when it is compressed it gets longer thus pushing the shackle forward, assuming that a shackle reveresal has not been done. A fattened spring is fine so long as you are not fighting the shackle, I mean if the shackle it to short and pushed all the way forward while compressing the spring the spring runs out of room to flatten out (grow)and all that energy will be taken up by the spring and if the spring wont absorbe this energy the spring will bend, thats why you need longer shackles.

Imagine if you will a flat spring, it has the ability to flex down of course but it will also flex up. this is very good for twisting (articulation). There are a lot of guys installed YJ springs on there CJ for this very reason. The YJ springs sit pretty flat when at rest. this allows the axle to move up and down.

Do a search you find all kinds of threads explaing the difference's.

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS

http://jeep.off-road.com/jeep/tech.s.../detail/260281
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