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Homemade shackles

Discussion in 'Offroad Fabrication - Bumpers, Sliders, Cages etc.' started by Minivek, December 19, 2006.

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    1. Minivek

      Minivek Active Member

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      Here are my homemade shackles, I used 2-1/2" x 1/2" HSS flatbar stock, the bars are 10" long, the holes are 9/16" diameter, spaced 8-1/2" apart, about 3/4" from each end and dead center at 1-1/4" from the sides.

      [​IMG]
       
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    3. Minivek

      Minivek Active Member

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      Just put them on without very few hassle. That completes my 4 inch lift, Thanks a lot guys for all the help, god knows I've been asking around for information jejeje, I'll post pics as soon as I can, and will also try to do a writeup for everything I had to fight with.

      However, anyone with a 1st explorer and older 2nd gens, should REALLY check their shackles out for rust. My old ones were basically bent in half when I took them off, half the orginal thickness had turned to rust and the bolts were really eatin up by rust and bent. Not something you'd want on your truck when you hit that pothole at 60 miles an hour! They looked like they were made of sheetmetal cuz of all the rot they had on them!!!
       
    4. JIGAWHAAT

      JIGAWHAAT Well-Known Member

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      I second that. I could'nt believe the condition of my stock (second gen.) shackles when I pulled them off. I could literally bend them in half in my hands.
       
    5. Lost216

      Lost216 Active Member

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      would you be interested in making a set for me? and what else did you do for the 4 in. of lift?

      thx in advance
       
    6. Savage Wolf

      Savage Wolf Active Member

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      those are cake to make yourself, at worst if you have no way to cut the metal you could use a place like metalexpress(.net) and get the steel precut just add holes, paint and bolts :D
       
    7. old mechanic

      old mechanic Well-Known Member

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      My son was going to make them but I told him to just go to the metal fabricating shop and have them make it. They cut and pressed the holes in them in about 10 minutes. Best of all it was no-charge because they make all my steel beams up for my jobs. They even gave him the grade 8? bolts with a sleeve on them.
      BTW: Nice clean job.
       
    8. Lost216

      Lost216 Active Member

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      thx, that sounds good
       
    9. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Should there be some sort of bracing in the midsection between the bolt somewhere? Like these..?

      [​IMG]
       
    10. Lost216

      Lost216 Active Member

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      it's a good idea, but it's not neccesary(sp?)
       
    11. Savage Wolf

      Savage Wolf Active Member

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      usually, yes I would say that the bracing would be needed, but most of the after market shackles are 1/4-3/8 inch thick, he made his out of 1/2 inch, if your flexing the truck out alot on the trail, I would highly recommend the center brace tho
       
    12. Minivek

      Minivek Active Member

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      sorry for not being here in a while, but yeah basically I found out shackles are real easy to fabricate. And unless you get them from a store, shipping would be horrendous for these shackles as they weigh quite a bit. I built mine in the basemente with a homemade jig for my drill and that was it, start with a small drill bit and go up to 9/16" in 2 or 3 steps, makes it a lot easier, don't forget to squirt some lubricant on there or else the bits will go dull in no time.

      As for the bracing, I thought of it for a while, but that's when I decided to go with the 1/2 flat bar, its a lot thicker than one is used to seeing. From other applications i'Ve seen 1/2" flatbar being used (heavy machinery, forestry equipment and stuff) they will not bend, plus they offer nice flex. Also another way to see it is;

      Note: and only for 1/2" or thicker flat bar, is that if the strain put on the shackle (from off roading) is strong enough to bend it because it doesn't have cross bracing in the center, thank your lucky stars you didn't have bracing in there, cuz if that shackle doesn't give a little, its going to be your frame that'll twist into a pretzle :p: but other than that, these will never bend, and when they do, such as when rear ended or something, my frame will stay nice and straight... I'm open to opinions...

      Have a nice day, and by the way they really add a beefy look to the rear end
       
    13. eddiebexplorer

      eddiebexplorer New Member

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
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      does anyone know the measurements for 2" lift shackles so i can make my own
      thanks
       
    14. Minivek

      Minivek Active Member

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      stock length varies according to truck year, model etc. but look at the first post that's pretty much it. Any longer than than that and you might be asking for problems.
       
    15. eddiebexplorer

      eddiebexplorer New Member

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      so the first post on this thread is for a 2" lift shackle or is that a beefier copy of the warrior 1.5"
       
    16. 95exploderboy

      95exploderboy Locked and Loaded

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      Its pretty much a rule of thumb that for every inch you extend the shackle, you will get a half inch of lift. Use that rule to see how much longer you will need to make it to get 2 inches of lift.
       
    17. 96FordExploder

      96FordExploder New Member

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      I bought a shackle kit from Autozone for $14 and it works great. I clear my 30" tires by 6.5 inches at all four corners. I don't offroad enough to need the Warriors. Just the occasional Sand/Hill riding and some mud. For $14 though I couldn't resist. Put a couple coats of semi-gloss Rustoleum on'em and they were good to go.
       
    18. Mud Bug 94

      Mud Bug 94 Well-Known Member

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      most stock shackles are 6 inch bolt to bolt...i made mine 11.25 bolt to bolt:p:
       
    19. Big Red

      Big Red Active Member

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      Minivek, I just made a new post on wanting to get 4" of lift. However I would like to do it as cheap as possible and if that means doing some custom jobs then so be it. I was hoping you could tell me how you got the 4" all around and tell me what bolts you used for the shackles. Thanks, Big Red
       
    20. pope_face

      pope_face Active Member

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      Awesome... this is exactly what I'm looking for... I wanted to get the Warriors, but I was quoted over $120 w/o taxes for a set from the shop... I could get these made up for extremely cheap... I'll look into getting them done today. ^_^
       
    21. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Don't sweat the center brace. It isn't needed if the shackle material is stout enough, and it will actually flex better...

      Here's mine...

      [​IMG]
       
    22. Big Red

      Big Red Active Member

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      What did you use that is 'stout enough'? And this might be a stupid question but how tight do you tighten the bolts that go through the leaf spring and the shackle holes? I mean do you let the two sides of the shackle tighten all the way up against the leaf spring? And lastly what kind of bolts did you use because I don't want to use something that won't make it on the trail!
       
    23. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      I used 3/8" steel, and the proper sized metric bolts in an equivalent to "aircraft grade" which is somewhat above an 8 -- more like 12. :D

      The bolts are sort of difficult to find, but it is possible through one of the big nut and bolt wharehouses. I forget the proper size, but they matched them up for me. They also have mechanical locking nuts (the ones that are stamped steel -- not "nylock") and I run a washer on each end of the spring bushing.

      I snugged them up to the bushings, but didn't "crush" them. Since installing them, I've had plenty of wheeling time -- no problems at all, as you can see from the pic. They flex nicely and they are FAR stronger than the factory pressed-tin versions.

      Here's another shot of them working...

      [​IMG]
       
    24. Minivek

      Minivek Active Member

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      I made mine out of 1/2" flatbar, the holes are 9/16" and the bolts I used are 9/16" as well, this is the largest bolts you can use (any bigger wouldn't fit in the spring eye bushing sleeves) and they fit the spring eyes perfectly, without any binding whatsoever. Plus 9/16 grade 8 nuts and bolts are readily available and cheap, I got everything for 10$, get 5" long bolts, because the new shackles thicker.

      As for tightening, I saw somewhere the torque is supposed to be somewhere around 48-50 ft-lbs, but since I used stover nuts (all metal locknuts). and tightened the bolts until the rubber bushing started squishing, don't overtorque, or else your shackles won't operate properly, they restrict normal movement rates.

      Big Red: For the rear I had a special 2" lift leaf pack made for me, it was cheap here but I don't know how expensive it might be where you are. It's a bit more expensive than an add a leaf, but I have the exact same ride I wanted, it ride a brand new superduty, no lean, nice flex, no shaking, the ride is kinda stiff, but that's how I want it. Then I made my shackle so I'd get another 2" of lift. For the front I got a set of drop brackets, and dropped pitman arm.
       
    25. bama-mountaineer

      bama-mountaineer New Member

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      How much lift did these give you from the original highth?
       
    26. colindo94

      colindo94 Well-Known Member

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      I made a set just the same. I uses 1/2" flatbar and drilled 1/2" hole with some grade 8 bolts. I;ve wheeled all over with them and have had no troubles with out the brace
       

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