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Give me your opinion on shackles against my mechanics.

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by LoganD, June 16, 2011.

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    1. LoganD

      LoganD Member

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      I was talking with my mechanic the other day about adding the warrior shackles to the suspension of my '99 Ex. He said he's seen a lot of problems occur from doing this, and that if he were me he'd steer clear from it and just do a body lift. But I've looked through countless registries amd threads on this site where you guys have done it, and have had no issues. My first thought was that he didn't understand what I was talking about doing, but I highly doubt that. Opinions?
       
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    3. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      Chances are good he does not know what warrior shackles are. He probably is thinking of the straight bar stock replacements people get from parts stores for $20. I have seen the cheapies bend sideways and buckle since they have no center supports. Some people have them break when towing heavy loads or the bolts snap or come unfastened. Plus any long shackle will hang down and potentially get caught on rocks or curbs and get torn up, especially when backing up blindly.

      None of this makes shackles a bad idea. They will let you clear largers tires and improve overall offroad capability. Besides all mods have some downsides but honestly these issues are very easy to overcome with a little common sense. Use hardened bolts and nuts with locktite. Use the warriors or any other shackles with a center support. Try looking behind you before backing up. If you tow a lot of heavy stuff, make sure the shackles can handle the weight and side-to-side flex. Think that about covers it.

      small edition but it applies to any lift - make sure the brake lines have enough slack to take a wheel bottomming out in a whole
       
    4. eazyasone23

      eazyasone23 Member

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      i have them on my truck and never had one issue due to them. they also fit with my trailer hitch.
       
    5. Falconkeeper

      Falconkeeper New Member

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      I just put on a set of Warrior WAR 153 aa9for sagging springs on my '96) and the rear is not bottoming out anymore. I also have a trailer hitch and the shackles just clear it. It only took an hour or so by myself. Easy fix for sag.
       
    6. snoranger

      snoranger Well-Known Member

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      The only problem I can see with Warrior shackles would be the change in pinion angle. If it changes the pinion angle too much you can get a driveline vibration. BUT, they are very popular on here (I made my own, but they are about the same a Warriors) and I havent heard any complaints about vibration from them.

      When I installed mine, I made shims to change my pinion angle by about 3°. That little bit may cause a slight vibration, but it would be hard to notice with a larger more aggressive tire. I really shouldnt have been concerned with 3° on a leaf spring truck, lifted 6", on 35" Super Swampers, but working all those years building racecar chassis I learned, its either right or wrong, there's no such thing as "good enough".
       
    7. Paraphoe

      Paraphoe Go big or go home Elite Explorer

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      Like someone said, make sure you get the Warrior shackles and not cheap $20 knock-offs. They're very beefy and worth the extra little bit of cash.
       
    8. LoganD

      LoganD Member

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      Thanks a lot guys :thumbsup:
       
    9. SkyJumper

      SkyJumper DISABLED AIRBORNE VET Moderator Emeritus

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      Extended shackles or lift shackles SUCK. All you are doing is putting a big ole bandaid on sagging and weak springs. You are applying negative torque load on the springs. Never will I ever figure people out for why they use them. Sure it is a cheap couple inch lift, but damn. And another thing, they look totally ridiculous hanging down like that and driving up on a rig with them on. CHEEZY as much as CHEEZY can be.
       
    10. Blee1099

      Blee1099 Evil Asian EF Vendor Moderator Emeritus

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      Yup your basically changing the geometry of the rear suspension.. Your actually flattening your leaf springs more by lowering the arch of the springs by lowering the mounting of the shackle from its existing spot down a few inches. Re-arching the springs will help and maintain the leaf spring arch.
       
    11. snoranger

      snoranger Well-Known Member

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      Yes, you already did. In your next sentence.

       
    12. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The shackle also pivots as the springs cycle. The longer shackle swings further, and, allows the spring to "flatten" more/ The lift you have now will go away in short time. 3-4 wheeling trips and they will start to reverse arch. Happens every time, in time.
       
    13. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If your not a heavy wheeler, and just stay on the street for the most part, shackles wont kill the leafs all that fast, but they will invert them eventually. Lift springs can be made for around $100 doing the F-150 spring mod for the same height gain, and you can get more lift if you add more leafs to the packs. This will still change the pinion angle some too. I would go lifted leafs over shackles every
      time. I learned the hard way...lol

      Street = ok
      Avid wheeler = no good
       
    14. SkyJumper

      SkyJumper DISABLED AIRBORNE VET Moderator Emeritus

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      I agree with ya, and to follow up on that point, the more leafs you add to a leaf pack, the stiffer the ride will ultimately be in most applications.

      My ill-curiosity on the matter was not focused on price, that is well given. But, the thought why someone always seems to go the cheap route vs going the right route. Shackles now and forever will look like ass from the rear shot, and diffidently will ruin a set of leafs faster than anything.

      I have even seen guys with little wheeling here and there actually negatively collapse a leaf spring from landing hard or hitting a large pothole, and the rebound of the leaf and drag the ground from bending back wards.

      Shackles always remind me of back in the day when we lifted a rear of a hot rod to fit what was considered wide track tires in widths of G and H 60 and 50 series tires, or hugh air shocks. When you did a wheelie, the shackles would always scrape the ground and leave these hugh dual ground marks down the road.
       
    15. LoganD

      LoganD Member

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      gman - I'm not planning on doing any intense wheeling, probably just some random trails every now and again. Mostly street use. By the way, you should know that coming across the thread of your rig is what initiated the obsession :cool:

      Believe it or not, before I read through that thread all I wanted to do was throw a grill guard on it and call it a day. :thumbsup:
       
    16. LoganD

      LoganD Member

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      to anyone - what if instead of doing the shackles I just did an AAL? Wouldn't that provide around the same amount of lift without endangering anything?
       
    17. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Right on! :thumbsup:


      Since you were brave enough to read 50 pages of insanity, you also seen the progression from street to trails. Takes a bunch of work and dedication. patience is the key. :D

      :salute:
       
    18. LoganD

      LoganD Member

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      Hahah yeah, I can't wait to have a story of my own. I'm planning on doing the most common setup I've seen on here, which is the 3 inch BL, TT/shackles/AAL 33's and maybe throwing some new shocks on and other odds and ends. The forum's been great. Just waitin for the money train to pass on through.
       
    19. Greg_DonWindsor

      Greg_DonWindsor Elite Explorer

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      I, too, believe the add-a-leaf spring route to be vastly superior to shackles (depending on application of course). I had a local spring shop fab up an add-a-leaf for my Ex's rear end, it's an additional leaf that sits right below the main leaf (ie: top leaf), second from the top. I had an older Ex years back, and the add-a-leaf I had for that one was 2nd up from the bottom (ie: a shorter leaf added). I find the new leaf offers a more progressive spring rate for the rear end, as it is longer and thus not as stiff as my old ProComp set.

      The total cost for the 2 add-a-leaves and all the accompanying U-bolts and hardware was only $100CAD. I installed them in my garage in about 2 hours, using new Bilstein B6 HD's at the time (the gas charged monotube shocks) also to correct rear-end sag. I am now riding happily at stock ride height, and the suspension feels great.
       
    20. King$nake

      King$nake Active Member

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      lol
       
    21. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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      I would think that would be fine, and much better than extended shackles. I used the short AAL, and I think it's great for the money ($34.10 shipped). Easy job with air tools. Now if wanted to put $400.00+ into it, and about three times the labor, I would get a new full pack from Custom Suspension, or someone local. The write-up here about the F-150 springs is excellent as well.
       

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