Fj40 shackle reversal,Is it worth the time?

Apr 20, 2003
I'm currently doing a soa, cutting the knuckles, disc brake conv, and gears and lockers on my 74 Fj40. I'd like some input about the whole shackle reversal, should I do it or just leave it alone. And If I do it, should I length the frame rails. It looks like nuclearmon's fj has this done. And should I invest in some long travel slip joints for the driveshafts, are they worth what downey wants for them? Is there somebody else who sells them for less? Thanks, Pete
Jul 5, 2003
Central, Utah
I really think it's like a boxers vs. briefs kinda thing. Pete (78 One owner) likes his SR. His brother Brook isn't sure about his SR yet and I won't do it to mine after driving all three. I feel the SR is only one of a multitude of ways to improve the stock TLC. Read the tech info before you decide. There is a good write-up by Chenoweth on this topic.

If you do SR the longer slips are definately recomended.

Sep 26, 2002
Yakima, WA
On a SR SOA, longer slip shafts are a must. From what I've heard from people's experiences with Downey,... buy from someone else, there's several out there,... MAF, SOR, + a few others.
IMHO it's all about preference,... I've had both, and am going back to SUF (shackles up front), within the next couple of days w/my spring over. The few things I didn't like about the shackle reversal were its tendency to "squat" during braking, and gearing down hills, push my ds wheel into my stock steering components (not stock anymore though), plus I always was leary of my driveshaft separating (though it never did). I didn't like the stock configuration either when I was first getting started (a whole year & 1/2), granted, everything was original then, and frankly, worn out.
You're always going to have some play in a Cruiser's steering whether it's the shackles are reversed or not. The reversal just masks some of the play in suspension travel. The only way to alleviate the play would be to add a panhard bar to the front suspension.


Staff member
Jan 15, 2002
Toquerville UT
I'm a fan of the shackle reversal for one major reason: when the front of the spring contacts a rock, a shackle will not resist and will push back, and often will reverse the shackle (jam it against the frame) and sometimes bend the mainleaf. Additionally, since many of us run significantly longer shackles for added travel, that shackle hanging down in front quickly becomes a boulder finder.

Yes, a long travel front shaft is an added expense, as is the reversal process itself. And yes, there is an increased chance of t-case damage should the shaft bottom out...

I'm still a fan...

I USE over 6" of stroke on my shaft, from full compression to full extension...I've run a 11" stroke Tom Woods for over 5 years with no complaints...most any quality shop can do a nice long travel tho.

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