How important are new bushings when switching shackles? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How important are new bushings when switching shackles?


New Member
January 21, 2011
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City, State
Milwaukee, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT, 4x4, 4.0L, auto
I'm planning to swap out my stock shackles for WAR153's on my 2000 Explorer XLT. How important are new bushings?

There will be roughly 135,000 miles on the stock suspension when I make the swap, and I'm looking at the Energy 4.2124 bushing kit for all three pivot points on both sides in the rear (both ends of the leafs and the frame bushing for the shackle).

Reading other threads, I realize that removing the stock bushings can become a big job. So, if the stock bushings "look" like they're in good shape, how much performance/stability will these new polyurethane bushings add? Is it worth all the extra work and the extra $50?
(link to the product:

With the wide colars that are flush to the shackles, one potential advantage I could see is these bushings adding a bit of resistance against lateral and tortional sway (since both the metal bolt housing and the bushing are flush to the shackles).

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I did not replace my bushings. But a common problem for the bushing that is through the frame is that the sleeve will rust to the bolt. So your stock bushing may not be reusable. Just that one bushing for one side is about $15 from the dealership.

Gotcha. And that's a problem I have good reason to believe I might encounter. When I switched my leafs from left to right (to accommodate for the uneven wear from the driver/gas tank on the left side), the shackles wanted to remain in a drawn back position, as if they were frozen/rusted in place. I had to get my neighbor to put a pry bar b/t the shackle and the hitch receiver bar in order to swing it forward enough to re-attach the leaf.

Before I start my project, I'll hit the top bolt with some moderate heat and PB Blaster for a few days. I might do a test removal. If the bolt won't come out, I'll hold off until I can get the bushing kit. I'd rather spend $50 on an upgrade when I'd have to spend $30 on a stock replacement, anyways.

Thanks for the reply.

I know this is 3 month old but I was encountering same problem replacing my brothers shackle with another stock shackle. I order from ats suspensions. After I got them I realized they didn't come with new bushings. Autozone sells them with bushings, and for cheaper, so mad. He just wants to keep it stock so I'm not doing any special shackles. The bolt head is soooo thin I can't get a good grip on it. Imgonna have to drill through old bushings, so now I have to find bushing replacements fast... The bushings is permanently attached to bolt. Nut came off no problem. I've tried my bits but the bolts so thin it slides off, same for impact. U tried crescent only to have it slide off. Gonna get a good vice grip tomorrow and see how that goes. If not it's drill out bushings and pull bolt out easily...

Why can't it be easy like my 99 ranger belltech shackle replacement was lol.

@blizy7 I used a ball joint press, to push mine out.

Ya, I was almost thinking of using 2 c clamps in the same manner. 1 to hold bolt, other to push c clamp out. Tomorrow morning well see....