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Installed new shackles. Got a hell of a tip for those that don't already know!

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by mtb_rider, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    First off, let me say wow! It's actually pretty amazing how much 2" looks and feels like on one of these rigs.

    So I just put my new shackles for Southwest 4x4 on tonight. What a bitch, for something that looked so easy. Well, just the rears. The front only took 20 minutes, combined! I started off in back, and discovering I would have to drop the spare tire. Not a big deal, but had never done it on this rig and couldn't figure out how the damn mount released, and had to shamefully get out the manual. Once I found it in the book, what a cool set up! It's like a mini chain hoist! Not to mention there is an entire little tool kit in the pouch, complete with the norm jack handle and tire iron, but also an adjustable wrench, a small assortment of combo wrenches, a pair of pliers, and a phillips screwdriver. See what you discover sometimes!

    Taking into consideration a slight learning curve on the first spring, the passenger side rear, it went pretty smoothly. Took probably 40 minutes. But like I side, slight learning curve figuring out the tips and tricks. Then I moved to the drivers side, and thats where the fun starts. First problem, the exhaust pipe is right in the way, and you can't get the shackle pins out. So I unbolted the rear hanger to allow the exhaust pipe to move, which almost got me enough room, but the pipe would hit the bottom of the quarterpanel before the shackle would clear. DAMN! So I'm pokin around tryin to decide what to do next. I really don't want to pull the entire exhaust at the cats. And I didn't want to cut my pipe. As I'm crawlin around go through the choices, I end up discovering that the last 7 or 8 inches of my tail pipe is rotted out on top anyway. Perfect, get the saw-zall! That should be plenty of room! Except now I have the shackle about 3/4's of the way out, and the bushing INSISTS on coming out with the pin, no matter what I try to do, so I can't get any angle on the shackle pin to pull it the rest of the way:doh: . Long of short, against my will, I ended up cutting the shackle pin. I wanted to save them, but shackles are cheap if I ever want them again. Once I finally got thru all that, got it all together, I moved to the front. And as I previously said, the front was a breeze. Did em both in about 20 minutes.

    TIP: If you decide to install extended shackles, place a small bottle jack between the frame and the leaf spring, near the shackle. You will need to use something to wedge it to keep the jack level. Jack up the bottle jack, and it very easily pushes the spring down into place to line it up with your new longer shackle!
    :beer:
     
  2. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    I use an old scissors jack that somehow I forgot to put back into a car I sold. Opps. Anyway, it works as you describe for replacing shackles, and lots of other things. Handy to have around.
     
  3. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    That may actually be a little safer, but didn't have one around. Great minds...
     
  4. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagles & Landcruisers Moderator

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    I'm not trying to be a smart ass but is there a different way? What you describe above is all have done on every vehicle I done spring work to.
     
  5. GulfShoresFJ60

    GulfShoresFJ60

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    According to Man-A-Fre, the way they install shackles is the install the bushings into the shackle hangers. Then grease the inside of the bushing and the shackle pin. Get a big C-clamp and put it on the outside of the shackle and the opposite side of the shackle hanger. Tighten the C-clamp drawing the shackle into the bushings until the shackle pin bottoms out on the C-clamp. Then source some kind of big socket to put between the C-clamp and the bushing to allow the spring pin to come all of the way through the bushing into the socket. This might sound complicated but I can clear it up if needed. This takes next to no time and is a lot easier that using jacks to press the shackle in. Remember make sure you grease it and it will go right in with this method.
     
  6. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    Well, the only other rig that I've done shackles on was my old Blazer, and I did it on a lift and didn't need to use the jack. The spring just about put itself into place, just took a little tug with one hand, and stuck the bolt in with the other. Would that classify as another way...? Yea. I think it does. Huh.
     
  7. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagles & Landcruisers Moderator

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    I was reffering to taking the weight off the spring. Once that is done the bolts are either rusted in or come out with some persuation. I've seen some people try to pull the shackle bolts without releaving the tension or putting too much Jack on the Bottle and actually tension the springs in the opposite directions.

    As long as your safe about it. Go for it.
     
  8. GulfShoresFJ60

    GulfShoresFJ60

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    Sorry, guess I was half asleep when I read it - didn't catch all the details. Sorry!
     
  9. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    Why were you referring to taking the weight off of the spring. I wasn't referring to taking the weight off of the spring. I took the weight off of the spring with the floor jack supporting the axle. The bottle jack was used to push the spring down into place to get it to line up with the longer shackle.
     
  10. RredFJ40

    RredFJ40

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    Why did you have to move the spare?
     
  11. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    Not enough clearance to get the socket on the nuts, and were wayyyy to tight to get off with a wrench.
     
  12. RredFJ40

    RredFJ40

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    hmmm, I don't remember having to do that.
     
  13. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagles & Landcruisers Moderator

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    Thats what I was describing. The post above described how to use C clamps to get the shackle bolts out. It mentions nothing about taking the load off the springs.


    Can you picture a mechanical Newbie taking the nuts off the shackle and thinking they can slide them off or use a BFM to get them off? Without taking tension off the spring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  14. hammer1

    hammer1

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    After trying for three hours ( and finally succeeding ) in getting ONE of the 8 shackles off my 60 a few years ago, when i did the suspension, I took the sawzall out and cut everything off. took about 4 blades, and twenty minutes.
     
  15. another line

    another line

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    Do you have a before and after picture of how much difference a 2" shackle makes? Also, did you replace the bushings?
     
  16. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    I have the before pics. Haven't taken the after's yet. It was dark last night when I finished, and couldn't get far enought away to get a good shot of it in the shop. Will do today and try and post them tonight.
     
  17. mtb_rider

    mtb_rider

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    Does the spare tire hang the same on a 60 as a 62?