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Shackles, TT, and 32's!

SilverBullet

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Tulsa, OK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Eddie Bauer AWD 5.0
So, today's the day I get my new tires on. It's at the shop right now getting my new 275/65 BFG K/O's put on. But first I had to do the TT, and make/install my homemade shackles.

For the shackles I went to my local steel shop and got some scrap 1/2" x 3" flat stock. I had them cut it in 11.5" lengths. The steel was $10 and for four cuts they charged me $10 as well, so $20 for the flat steel. I picked up four 1/2" x 5" grade 8 bolts (w/ locking nuts) from NAPA for $22, so $42 total for custom shackles w/ new bolts. The shackles were super easy to replace. I just jacked the rear up with a floor jack, unbolted the shackle from the leaf pack and the frame, and then used the Ford bottle jack to force the leaf spring down away from the frame so I could then easily slide the new bolts in place and get them bolted in. It took me about 30 minutes total to drill the holes in my shackles for the bolts and then mount the new shackles.

Next up I did the TT. SUPER easy. I just jacked the truck up in the front, and then got to turning the adjustment bolts. The first 1/4 turn was hard, but after that it was fairly easy. I first did three full turns on each side, but that only gave me 1" of lift. So, I jacked up the Ex once more and did three more turns, this time giving me roughly 1.75" of lift which was fine with me. If I need to, I'll jack them up another turn or so later on. The TT only took me maybe 15 minutes, tops.

I'm waiting on a call from the tire shop, once I get the Ex back with the new tires on, I'll post pictures of before and then two after shots.. After just the TT/shackles, and then with TT/shackles/tires.
 


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manaen

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Excelent, so are you sticking with the current mods or do you plan on going higher?
 




SilverBullet

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2001 Eddie Bauer AWD 5.0
The Ex is back, and it looks sooo much better. I think I could have gone w/ larger tires, but it looks good. No rubbing or anything during tight turns, and I didn't have to do any trimming. I went from 33 5/8" up front (at the center of the wheels, from the ground to the bottom of the wheel well plastic) and 32.5" in the back to 36" up front and 35.5" in the back. So the rear is still lower than the front, but not by much.

I'm suprised the larger tires didn't give me more lift than they did. I only gained about .5" by going from a 255/70/16 to a 265/75/16. When I measured the tires before I put them on, I thought for sure I'd get at least an inch out of them. Oh well.

I don't plan on going bigger at this point. I might get some 33's when these wear out, but that'll take awhile.

I do have a set of ProComp Add-A-Leaf's that I ended up not using, I guess I'll just return them.

Pictures will follow later.
 
















SilverBullet

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2001 Eddie Bauer AWD 5.0
First three pictures are of stock ride height:
explorer01.jpg


explorer02.jpg


explorer03.jpg


Second set is with 1.75" TT and 2" homemade shackles in the rear:
explorer04.jpg


Close-up of homemade shackles. You can see my new Rancho RSX's, too.
explorer05.jpg


explorer06.jpg


explorer07.jpg


Third set is with the TT/Shackles and my BFG A/T KO's (265/75R16):
explorer08.jpg


explorer09.jpg


explorer10.jpg


explorer11.jpg
 




Rusty

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97 Xlt and 97 Sport
i like the look!! Good Job! :thumbsup:
 




mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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'00 Mountaineer
The top center of the wheel well is higher in the front than in the back, so you can't really compare the two measurements you have (36" and 35.5"). To me it looks like the back is a little higher. Nonetheless, it looks great with the lift and tires :thumbsup:
 




SilverBullet

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2001 Eddie Bauer AWD 5.0
The top center of the wheel well is higher in the front than in the back, so you can't really compare the two measurements you have (36" and 35.5"). To me it looks like the back is a little higher. Nonetheless, it looks great with the lift and tires :thumbsup:

Really? I didn't know that.

Thanks for the compliments guys! :)
 




mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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I am not definite on that, but it just has always seemed a little higher in front than back, i know on my mountaineer there's a big difference.
 




manaen

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Mounty, I think your right, from the factory the back is lower. Although I ended up leveling mine because I really don't like the rear sag look.

Man it's amazing how those BFG's set the truck off. Now I can't wait for my tires to wear out so I can get something a little more agressive like that. :D
 




manaen

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Oh yeah almost forgot, get some herculiner and coat those shackles to keep them from getting all rusty and nasty :thumbsup:
 




brianjwilson

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Looks great man!
But, I can't believe someone would pay $40 and go through the trouble to have shackles like that without a center support, when you could have bought the much sturdier warriors with a good coating on them, for only a few bucks more.
 




Silver X

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Truck looks much better.


Brian,
I agree $40 is a little high for that, but Warriors are up to almost $80 shipped now! I was going to go ahead and order a set, but that is a bit much for a couple of strips of steel.

Yesterday, I found out I can make a set in the shop at work using steel from the scrap bin. Just gotta pay one of our fabricators to weld the centers if I make them like the Warriors. Its a few bucks more if my buddy powdercoats them instead of just spray paint.

If I can't find proper nuts & bolts in the hardware bins, I'll have to buy them too. Should be out the door for less than $15 total. Free if I don't weld or powdercoat them.
 




EK98

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2000 XLT 4x4
Looks very good!

So, are your new shackles any closer to the hitch than your old ones? I am wanting to do shackles on my truck but I was concerned that the hitch may be in the way. My current stock ones look about as close as your new ones are to the hitch, so I was just wondering if that caused any trouble for you.

Also, about how much did those tires cost if you don't mind?
 




SilverBullet

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2001 Eddie Bauer AWD 5.0
The hitch doesn't even come close to the shackles. The drivers side was a piece of cake, the passengers side was a little trickier because the exhaust was in the way, but it was still easy. The passenger side probably took me 5 minutes to do, including jacking the Ex up and down.

I was a little hesitant at first to make my own, without the center bracket, but there have been several to make their own without it and they haven't had trouble. The key is to use 1/2" flat stock instead of 3/8".

I got the tires for $615, shipped to my door via freight truck, from www.4wheelparts.com. It was a special they were having before Christmas.. 10% off anything on their website, free shipping, and then $60 off when you purchase a set of 4 BFG's. It cost me $40 to have them mounted and balanced, and then $45 for an alignment.
 




Silver X

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That's when/where I got my Terra Grapplers. Couldn't pass up that deal they had running! They always have some kind of sales going, and it makes it hard to not buy more stuff.
 




SkanlaxJMO

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looks great
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




HUA99XLT

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I want to do this to my Explorer but I've heard horror stories of people's alignment never being the same after they do the TT. Is there any truth to this? I would think as long as you had your truck aligned after doing the TT that there shouldn't be a problem.
 




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