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Homemade shackles

Big Red

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'96 XLT 4WD
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...

2270waterline.jpg

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!
 



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glfredrick

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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_8369.jpg
 






Minivek

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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.
 






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97 mercury mountaineer
How much lift did these give you from the original highth?
 






colindo94

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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
 






schmidlkofer

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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...

2270waterline.jpg

stuck?
 












Big Red

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Does anyone have a diagram of the shackles? How long and wide? obviously they're .5" thick. Thanks!
 






colindo94

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This is what I used, just no center support
warrior.jpg
 












SnakeCharmer

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Well I got bored today and fabbed up a pair of shackles. I decided 3/8" was plenty thick and I used 2" wide stock. Paid $10 for a 4' length and chopped it into 12" pieces. Going by the 1" of shackle equals 1/2" of lift, I made my holes 9.5" center to center. The originals are 5.5" center to center so theoretically, these will give an honest 2" of lift. They are longer than the warriors but I figure I can always drill holes closer together if need be but I cant lengthen them if they are too short. There seems to be different opinions on bolt size so I only drilled my holes up to 1/2" until I get to install them. The original metric bolts seem to be closer to 1/2" than to 9/16 so when I get them out, I will fit them to the original bolts and source longer ones of he same diameter. If I can get a 9/16" bolt to go through the spring and frame, I will go with that size since I already have the appropriate grade 8 bolts. I originally planned to just do the flat bars without the center brace but decided that it might help to reduce side to side deflection around turns on the street. I used a pieces of 1.5" x 1" rectangle tubing I had left over from the in bed bike rack I also built this evening. I was a busy guy tonight.

Well here they are. Hopefully I will find time to get them installed this weekend. And no comments on my mediocre welding:D

shackles1rp4.jpg
 


















SnakeCharmer

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Well I got mine installed today. I did it by myself and it took me most of the day because of one bolt that wouldn't come out of the spring eye. I tried persuading it with a hammer and air chisel for a good two hours and couldn't get it out. I ended up cutting the head off and driving it out the other way. Pretty sure it was bent because the others came right out. A couple of installation pointers I can give for those getting ready to do this...one, disconnect the shocks and sway bar before you begin. And two, forget the one side at a time thing like the Warrior instructions say to do. I tried it and the other side makes it pretty much impossible to drop the spring low enough to line the bolt hole up and the spring pulls to the side when you try and if you did get it in, the bolt would have a hell of a time going in. I had it on jack stands and lowered the rear with a jack under the pumpkin to line up both sides at he same time.

After installing the shackles and giving the torsion bars 8.5 turns, I got exactly 2" all the way around. Test drive revealed no noticeable allignment issues so I wil wait until the new tires to get one done. Neglected to take a before picture but its an obvious difference over stock.

shackleinstalledeu7.jpg


shackletwistuk5.jpg
 






Dopler174

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Nice! I guess I will make my own also.
 






MR SCARY

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Made my own the other day,nice quick and simple.When I was installing them I used a sissors jack between the spring and the frame to push the spring down(truck was supported on j-stands) to line up the bolts.Did the TT to level and the truck looks 100% better than having saggy a$$.
 












Dopler174

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I guess I'm going to do my shackles today. I did a spring spacer yesterday to get +2 inches in the front. I broke my shock mount stud. So I'm headed towards AutoZone to get a new one. YAY!!!!:thumbdwn:
 






Dopler174

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Picture_0451.jpg

I got some Auto Zone shackles and drilled them out large enough to fit the factory bolts. Then took the smaller bolt that came with the kit and used them as a center brace.
 



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Regulator_XLS

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i installed my shackles last night that i made, and i got exactly 1 5/8'' of lift after i put on my new bumper. Did all your guys springs straighten out a little bit once installed.
 






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