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Unread 05-23-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
drehkreuz
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Norwood, Ohio
Posts: 19
CJ-7 lift issues

I'm looking for some advice on the lift I have on my '86 Jeep CJ-7. Short of the story I tried to cut a few corners for a school project that added a bunch of weight and depth to the engine bay. I countered this by building Bastard packs all the way around and widening the axle U-bolt perches to accommodate the wider 2.5" springs under the main spring. On top of that I made custom shackles to raise it a little more, all of this I topped off with new Procomp 4" lift shocks.

Now for the issue, as the Jeep isn't running currently it has been getting towed everywhere for various shops to complete work on it, as well as me moving it back and forth manually in the drive way. I started to see slop in the shackles, allowing the axle as a whole to shift back and forth axially when I turn the steering wheel.

I do not have the sway bar on and I'm not sure I can put it on with the new engine, or that it would help track the axle in place.

Any help is greatly appreciated

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Unread 05-23-2014, 03:15 PM   #2
ScroungerLee
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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The sway bar wouldn't really help. What shackle hangers do you have on the frame? The stock ones can bend open and cause slop, I just replaced mine for the same reason.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 05:06 AM   #3
gojeepin
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Location: Riverview, Florida
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How long are your new shackles? Shackles should be sized to the length of the springs. Even using longer shackles with the stock springs can be an issue for your caster and axle stability.

BTW, leaf springs (especially front) sag and twist over the years, so even with no changes to you suspension, your caster angle can change.

When you change any suspension component, recheck your lengths and angles.

You can read about it and see illustrations in the article below (link in signature block).
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Unread 05-26-2014, 09:39 AM   #4
drehkreuz
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Location: Norwood, Ohio
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They are the stock hangers however when I repaired the frame I coated them in POR-15 and the additional undercarriage rubberized coating (2 coats of each) when the new bushings went in it was hard to seat them all the way. I feel like its the bushings themselves allowing too much slop or wearing out prematurely.
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Unread 05-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #5
drehkreuz
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Gojeepin,

Oddly enough some of that was a bit over my head, but I did find a very good Diagram to help illustrate the issues. If you look at the Shackle Dia.png file the axle is shifting and moving along the yellow arrow outlined in red. As all hardware is new and the shackles are a solid member I believe the lower left condition is what I am experiencing on brand new bushings.

The shackles are made of 0.25" thick stainless with a piece of 2"x4" x 0.25" wall tubing welded in. 0.375" mounting holes 7" apart from center. I wanted to ensure that the bushing mounts had enough room to flex inside the shackles up and down depending on ground terrain.

From what I read and understood adding any lift is going to be a fight between castor angle and drive shaft angle correct?
shackle-dia.png

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Unread 05-26-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
Mike Romain
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I have oversized shackles that are 1" longer than stock and they give that movement, it is normal. Yours are closer to 4" longer than stock.

Those are likely going to require shims to get your alignment back right.
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89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
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Unread 05-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #7
jp360cj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drehkreuz View Post
0.375" mounting holes 7" apart from center. I wanted to ensure that the bushing mounts had enough room to flex inside the shackles up and down depending on ground terrain.
So you are using 3/8" bolts? I think the shackles need a 1/2" bolt iirc. Using a smaller bolt will net the same effect as a worn out bushing.

Not sure what you mean by ensuring the "bushing mounts had enough room to flex inside the shackles up and down". Everything should be pretty snug. The bushing itself will naturally flex slightly during articulation. That's why it's there.
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Unread 05-26-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
drehkreuz
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Jp360cj

I was trying to allow the full movement forward to aft on the shackles, (ie i didnt want the spring to rub on the tubing in the middle of the shackle) allowing the axle to move up and down sorry for the confusion.

when I tore the bushings out on tear down there was a 1/2" sleeve in the middle of the bushings with a !/16" wall I believe so there isn't much if any slop on the bolts, I have to wedge a crow bar in-between the spring eye and tubing to get it close to lining up. I've debated removing these sleeves and going up to a 1/2" bolt but was unsure on if that would help or not, if not then my shackles would have just become paperweights.

Mike,

So the flex is 'normal' and it will just fatigue my bushings faster? Dumb question but isn't alignment based upon toe in/out, caster, and camber? not so much keeping the axle rigid?


I guess another question is if using stock shackles but putting on 2"-4" lift springs does the same thing happen?

Craig
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Unread 05-26-2014, 03:44 PM   #9
Mike Romain
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When you put springs on, it moves the axle straight down. When you put longer shackles on it only lifts one end of the springs, so it tilts the diff and the steering knuckle which throws the alignment way off in the front.
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)
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