Anyone have any advice on a shackle reverse? I am considering buying one, but would like other's input first. I currently run 33's with TJ flares and am thinking of moving up to 35's soon. I drive a mix of short highway trips(20 or so miles) frequently and about once a month hit the hardcore trails. Any advice for me?
You will definitely find mixed reviews on shackle reverse. I love mine and wouldn't have it any other way. Since cj springs ride arched (unlike yjs), the shackle reverse will allow the axel to move back instead of forward. This allows it to be much softer going over obstacles and subsequently, give you a much better ride on the road. Another benefit is that you don't have to worry about turning your leafs into S shapes if you hit your shackle on something. And furthermore, you get an extra 1" or 1.5" of lift. As far as the down sides, your axel will flex back into the fender moreso than normal (TJ flares help a lot with this so you may be ok). Also, the jeep will nose dive much more under hard braking. I'm sure there's stuff I've missed so anyone please feel free to add on.
It sort of depends. With forward shackles, every time your suspension flexs, the axel moves forward, thus fighting the direction the axel wants to move when hitting an obstacle. With the reverse, the axel's backward movement is unhindered causing a softer ride which may result in more hopping. I can see how someone might say that, and that is why I say you'll find mixed reviews with this subject. However, I don't really ever notice this as being a problem. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
I did mine in Dec and I like it. It definitly handles better. I've noticed 2 things that I didn't know before I did the conversion. 1-instead of feeling the road in the steering, I now feel it in the seat. 2-the front axle tends to shift when climing. I can't say that it's a bad thing, but the last time I was out wheeling, I was coming out of a hole with some momentum and got a little air and when the airborne wheel came down, it twisted the axle back. Nothing happened, I didn't even know it did it, but some one watching saw it. I still wouldn't change it. Hamy.
It's true that you will get a mixed review on Shackle Reversal mod's. I would suggest that you do what is right for your specific needs. I just did mine, but haven't hit the trail yet so I can't honestly tell you what I think of it just yet. But what I can tell you is this. If you follow the theary that climbing an obsticle usually means your tire is moving upwards, then picture this... With your shackle up in front, when your tire moves upward it will also move forward, hense it will be being pushed harder towards the obsticle and give you better grip. Likewise, with a shackle reversal, when your tire moves upward it will also move backwards, or away from the obsticle, hense less grip. Having said that, I built my Jeep to be a daily driver, as well as a good wheeler. I did the shackle reversal to help track better while I'm on the street, even though I believe I will loose a little bit of grip on the trail. Another thing to look at... Look at most of your hardcore wheelers out there, almost all of them have gone with a shackle reversal, so it can't be all that bad. As far as doing it goes, remember these few things... When your tire moves upwards and backwards, it will have a tendancy to hit your fender well if you don't do it correctly. I used the kit from M.O.R.E. which moves the axle one inch forward of stock. That helped a little. I also switched over to waggy front springs in which the center post on the spring is two inches forward of center, which put me a total of three inches farther forward than the stock position. More fender well room to go with bigger tires, and the added little bit of length won't hurt you either. Call it like you see it. It does have its plus'e and minus's. Do what is right for you...