Pros & Cons of shackles, AAL, re-arching | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Pros & Cons of shackles, AAL, re-arching


March 11, 2011
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City, State
London, Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer Sport 2dr
I have a 2002 Sport 4x4. I have Rough Country 1.25" lift keys for the front to install, picking up my PA883 BL on this Wed. My question is for the rear leaf springs. I can get my sprongs re arched and put on AAL. Or I can get Warior shackles and AAL. What are the pros and cons of re arching, and longer shackles? I've also noticed that some of you have switched to 4 door leaf packs in the rear on your Sports. What is the pros and cons of that? Looking for 3"-3.5" of lift in the rear to get rid of the saggy ass and give it some rake.

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I put 4 door packs in because the older sports like mine only had a mono leaf. You have multi pack already. I have a 4 door pack, with an AAL and a shackle and it matches my TT with a tad a rake because i have 1-1.25" of lift up front.

I don't know that there is a con to rearching. The con of the shackle is 1) they hang low 2) it flattens the springs out faster. The AAL gives lift but also firms the ride up. I like a firm ride so this was a plus. It also helps if you load up with gear, people or a trailer often.

Re-arching weakens the leafs and they will flatten out sooner.

Buck for buck, maybe the best money I've spent so far. The Warrior shackles added about 1.5 inches, and started to get the rear up. Pro Comp AAL added another 2+ inches, and changed the whole feel of the truck ( The ride got stiffer and much more controlled. Feels much more like a serious rig now -- tight on turns and no sag when you gas it up an incline -- and handled my first session at Rausch Creek like a champ.

I have the 3-inch body lift as well, and the shackles do hang down a bit. If you raise the bumper with the lift, the ends of the shackles will be below your clear angle of departure off-road. If you add a tow hitch, it will be about even. Of course, the best thing you can do for ground clearance is up the tires to 33 once that lift is in. Still, I can see how the hard-core off-roaders go to pick-up leaf packs to get that departure clearance back, and I might down the line as well if I find I spend that much time crawling around on the trails. But if you're looking for two quick, low-cost and high-impact upgrades for a daily driver, it's hard to beat shackles and AALs.

Mike's Bro hit it really. 75 for shackles and 35 for the aal and be done with it.

If you get them re-arched find a shop that does not use heat to re-arch em. There's a spring shop here in Baltimore that does cold re-arching. Heat weakens the steel and you'll get sag within a year or two.

Im going to get 4 door leafs and swap them into my 99 sport. If I dont get enough lift with that I will simply use the spacers of the monoleaf to give me lift. I can get custom length u-bolts made for 50 bucks. Around here I can't get aal as cheap as the usa. Sucks. But I'm sick of my ass end sitting so low I can't put a trailer on because the stand wont go all the way down thanks to the gangster lean.

I just measured the fender lips of the front fenders (34"), rear (drivers side 32.25", pass side is 32.5") so I'm going to want 4-4.5" lift on the rear to give it some rake. If I go with f150 spring packs am I going to get the lift I want, even if I have to add a few together? I don't really want to use warrior shackles. My other question now is with that much lift do I have to adjust the pinion angle?

4.5 is a good bit of lift to go with 1.25" up front... I've seen a spring over done on the back and a TT up front and it looked bad in my opinion. A spring over would give you 5"...

If you look through my registry (link in my sig) you will see how mine sits with an AAL and shackles. It actually looks more level in the pics. In person, at least now, it has more rake.

The drive shaft will be fine regardless.

Make sure your leafs are actually only mono leafs. I had thought the sports started to get the multi leafs around that time... But I'm not 100% on that.

Make sure your leafs are actually only mono leafs. I had thought the sports started to get the multi leafs around that time... But I'm not 100% on that.

The new ones like his should definitely have a multileaf pack. They were only mono from 95-00 if i recall.

Well if I'm already sagging 1.75" in the rear and lifting the front another 1.75" that's 3.5" just to get it level. Add kids, gear, spare tire on bumper, towing, etc... And its going to sag again when loaded. So .75"-1" rake is what I am looking for. Was thinking about the Superlift 4" lift rear springs with AAL but that may be too much, plus $$$. Thx for everyone input. It all helps

I forgot to mention that aswell as the lift keys I am going to TT it up another 0.d" orso. Keeping it under 2" tho. That's why I say 1.75" lift in front.

The Superlift 4" leaf packs should be enough, no AAL needed. Which is good, cause I heard that they hurt the ride quality.