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Unread 09-16-2002, 12:32 PM   #1
RedJeep
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Are shackles the way to go?

I have a 3 1/2 inch softride suspension on my 81 CJ7. How much performance would adding aftermarket shackles give me. I do not know of anyone first hand that has them, but they are affordable and advertise that they enhance performance on leaf springs. Are they worth the money or not?

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Unread 09-16-2002, 04:01 PM   #2
Bulletproofcj7
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...threadid=18789
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1982 cj7. Frame off. shell valley kevlar body, stainless hinges, Bestop seats and supertop, KC titanium lights, Homemade swing out tire carrier with spare front wheel bearings/hub, Built 304,DUI,Edelbrock shorty headers with dual stainless 21/2 tubes into incynerator cans 21/4 dumped out the back,Edelbrock 600cfm, performer intake and cam, Borgeson lower column, Centerforce clutch, NV-4500, Dana 300 w/custom built twin stick, Homade 1/4" steel skid plate, 2.5 soft ride w/ 1" shackle lift, 33x12.5 mtr's. Stainless fuel and brake lines, Braided hoses. more...
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Unread 09-16-2002, 06:02 PM   #3
RedJeep
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Some good info,
im not really looking for more clearance, i was just curious if it helped out suspension? As you can tell i do not know a whole lot about shackles.
These are the Shalckes i was referring to

www.4wd.com/Shop4wd/ProductDetail.asp?ProductSku=7954
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Unread 09-16-2002, 08:48 PM   #4
CSP
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All that shackles do is provide a way for the spring to change length as they flex. There's not a whole lot to the movement, so aftermarket shackles aren't going to help from a "performance" aspect. If your shackles are worn to a point where they may break, then replacements would be a good idea, but I wouldn't spend a dime hoping that aftermarket would work any better. You surely wouldn't notice anything different other than less money in your checkbook.
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Unread 09-17-2002, 06:19 AM   #5
Bulletproofcj7
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In general lift shackles suck! in my opinion. if you get zero lift shackles with a cross support ( they look like an "H") they are stronger than stock but you probably wont notice a difference going down the road.
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1982 cj7. Frame off. shell valley kevlar body, stainless hinges, Bestop seats and supertop, KC titanium lights, Homemade swing out tire carrier with spare front wheel bearings/hub, Built 304,DUI,Edelbrock shorty headers with dual stainless 21/2 tubes into incynerator cans 21/4 dumped out the back,Edelbrock 600cfm, performer intake and cam, Borgeson lower column, Centerforce clutch, NV-4500, Dana 300 w/custom built twin stick, Homade 1/4" steel skid plate, 2.5 soft ride w/ 1" shackle lift, 33x12.5 mtr's. Stainless fuel and brake lines, Braided hoses. more...
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Unread 09-17-2002, 08:53 PM   #6
rebelcj7
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one word..
NO

a few more words..
they suck.. will eventually cause the springs to sag.. mess with steering geometry and make yer ride a rough mofo..
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Unread 09-18-2002, 04:15 PM   #7
dana60cj
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Lift shackles are a cheap and inefective, in the long run, way to lift a Jeep. I believe the only thing they are good for is correcting drivelinde angle, or lifting mabey a 1/2 an inch. They will mess up geometry in the front end and put additional forces on the springs that they were not meant to handle therefore cutting spring life.

Shackles can improve suspension flex. The ones without the welded bars in th middle help the most. Rubber bushings flex more than polyurethane but polyurethane lasts longer. It is as simple as that really. This is not a complicated item when it comes to picking them out except when you enter into 3/4 and 1/4 eliptical springs.
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Unread 09-21-2002, 12:07 PM   #8
JoeRedMan
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Just from what I've seen on mine, shackles suck. Mine had em on it when I bought it, but I am saving the$$ to do domething different. It really is a rough riding mofo I have rancho 5000's but the only get to travel like 2" before being bottomed. I may try a SOA to try to get them back to where they can move. Any suggestions there, anyone?
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Unread 09-22-2002, 10:00 AM   #9
CSP
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Aftermarket shackles are fine for replacing stock shackles as long as they aren't much longer than stock. Going with say 3/8" of lift via shackles wouldn't be noticable. When Redjeep originally asked this question he didn't say anything about using lift shackles, just aftermarket in general

JoeRedMan it's hard to provide suggestions without knowing what you already have. Are you on stock springs or lift springs? If they are lift springs, what brand and how much lift? You get the picture. Rancho RS5000's are notoriously stiff. Go to a softer shock like a Skyjacker Hydro or adjustable RS9000 ($$$) would definitely help a stiff ride. SOA is the $100 answer to what could be called a $5 problem. I'm not saying those are numbers to expect, just trying to get a point across.
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Unread 09-23-2002, 06:23 PM   #10
JoeRedMan
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CSP, 'preciace your reply...I have only had my Jeep about a month or so now and I am still trying to figure out everything and why the precious owner(s) did to it. Lot of 'farmer engineering" if y aknow what i mean . I'd love to go with Rancho 9's but like you said...$$$. Ims going to go with the SOA mainly cause the shocks are almost al the way compressed and i want to get them extended a few inches. May not be the way to go, but I guess Ill fing out. Thanks for the help, tho.
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Unread 09-23-2002, 09:59 PM   #11
CSP
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You want to go SOA in hopes that the shocks won't bottom out? How about getting the right shocks instead? Rancho has a page on their website which lists each shock by its fully compressed and fully extended lengths. Spend some time on your Jeep with a jack to cycle the suspension and measure just what the compressed and extended lenghts need to be. Just be sure and do it with the apparently wrong sized shocks on it.

Are you aware of the complexities involved with going SOA? You'll have steering issues to deal with (if you do it right and go with hi-steer $300-$400), a need for longer brake lines($85-$100), spring wrap issues most likely ($$ depends on whether you can fabricate your own anti-wrap bar), a need to have the front axle located and welded properly for handling (again $$ depends on your fab skills and ability to get alignment correct), and longer driveshafts will definitely be needed ($250-400). It's not overly difficult if you're familiar with what it takes, but too many people think it's the cheap and easy way to get lift. When it's all done hope that your springs of choice don't go flat quickly. Not knowing you or your experience I may be preaching to the choir, but going SOA to hope that it makes better use of the shocks just seems ridiculous to me though. Chances are the shocks will be fully extended before the springs are and you'll need to replace them anyhow.

Last edited by CSP; 09-23-2002 at 10:21 PM..
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Unread 09-24-2002, 12:05 PM   #12
JoeRedMan
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CSP,

Again, I REALLY appreciate all the info. Most of it I have covered, except for the spring wrap issue. GOt the alignment, drive shaft and steering all taken care of. The guy actuall doing all the welding for me has had like 8 jeeps and has done it on all of them, so I trust he knows what he is doing. I am still worried about axle wrap, cause of my 5.38 gears and my 225 is pretty torquey. I say I dont thing the shocks are corect because the previous owner had a LOT of 'engineering" done to it and most of it worked but it was poorly done and in a hurry it looks like. But I plan to spend the time learning more aobut the inner workings. I used to be an airplane mechanic, so the nuts and bolts of it arent new, just new stuff to learn. I plan on keeping an eye on these forums, because of the vast knowledge and experience of all you guys. I hope to learn a good bit from it. Thanks again for all your info.
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'54 M38A1 Willy's, 225 Buick, 35" Mudders on Rancho 5000s with a 6"(?) shackle lift. Rides like hell, but it is fun to work on.
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Unread 09-24-2002, 01:42 PM   #13
CSP
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Good deal Joe. I go off when I hear people wanting to go SOA when they think it's easy. Not knowing anything about you I had to go into detail. You shouldn't have any troubles though. Since you're doing it right, you'll really enjoy the better ride and additional flex that SOA provides. Good luck on your conversion!
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Unread 09-24-2002, 07:10 PM   #14
JoeRedMan
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Thanks man,

I see a lot of posts back and forth(most flames) and some ppl who act like they know it all and some that do. Im just getting in doing work on my jeep and I KNOW I'm fairly ignorant about it. I really apprecaite all yours and everyone else that helps. Some act like they are too good and knowledgeable to help a 'newbie', but the majority (like yourself) are more than helpful. Thanks again, and I hope maybe I can help out here and there with my little experience.
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'54 M38A1 Willy's, 225 Buick, 35" Mudders on Rancho 5000s with a 6"(?) shackle lift. Rides like hell, but it is fun to work on.
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