Series - Extended Front Shackles
for Dodge 4x4's!
We've all seen the cool parts
flowing in an abundance for Jeeps, Chevys, Fords and Toyotas but Dodge
has always been the odd man out. That is until now. Shaggy's is just
getting started with a new line of Dodge parts that will really help
level the playing field a bit. The first item they are offering, Heavy
Duty - Extended Front Shackles for 69- 93 Dodge Pick-ups and
Ramchargers. These shackles are made from 3/8" x 2" heavy
steel to help prevent twisting and flex and are 1/2" longer than
stock to allow a lot more spring travel. This is very helpful with
suspension of 5" or more but will be helpful to anyone with as
little as a 2 1/2" lift. Leaf springs with a lot more arch than
stock will get quite a bit longer under compression than stock springs,
which are basically flat. This increased shackle length allows for very smooth
and consistent travel over a much longer range. That's why we wanted a set on our '79
Powerwagon so bad. Our Superlift 5" suspension and 35"
Goodyear MT/R's on 15 x 10 rims just needed that little bit extra up
front to help it flex. Now it flexes so much we need to change the
shocks to take advantage of it all. Try over 14" of front travel!
and that is with off-the-shelf parts, not custom race stuff. This is
simply the easiest and best thing you can do for your lifted Dodge to
help it perform the way you want it to.
The other great thing is that these are now
available with bushings! If you own a Dodge then you know how hard it is
to get the frame bushing for the front shackles. Shaggy's is now
including both upper and lower bushings with these shackles. That's
reason enough alone to buy them and at under $60 it's still not all that
expensive for what you get.
||Here's what you get. The new shackles, Grade 8,
1/2" bolts and washers and Nylock nuts. That will keep them from
coming loose on you and prevent too much suspension slop without making
you torque the shackles so tight you freeze the springs. They are
available with new bushings for both the springs AND the frame. If you've been
looking for these frame bushings then you know just how hard those are
to come by. We just
got it installed and wow, what a difference. The bushings alone took out 90% of
the looseness in the front end.
||The first thing you'll need to do is jack up the truck and put
some really tall jack stands under the frame. Remove the tires to allow
you to drop the axle to relieve the tension on the shackles. You can do
one side at a time or both, doesn't really matter. We did it one at a
time. Just don't drive it with only one side installed. That won't work
very well at all. The next thing you need to do is use a 3/4"
socket to remove the two nuts that are holding the old shackles in
place. Slide out the shackle bolts and the shackles. It might be tight
around the exhaust if you have headers. We don't so they just popped
right out. If you do have headers or the exhaust is not going to let you
remove the old bolts you can always cut then and pull them out the other
side. You get new bolts with your new shackles anyway.
||You can see the difference between the stock shackles and the new
Shaggy's parts. Not only are they longer but they are much stronger.
That will allow you to beat your Dodge just a little harder from now on.
If your old ones are as worn as ours were then maybe you should think
about a set no matter what lift you're running.
The added length will also help restore caster
to your front axle but without effecting your pinion angle too much. You
will need to run at least a 4 degree shim between the axle housing and
the leaf springs to keep everything in line. Please do check to make sure your drive shaft spins
freely at full droop. If
not you can do some minor grinding on the yoke (not the driveshaft) to help it spin a little easier.
||The upper bushing are a real pain in the butt!
They are two pieces (inner and outer) so you can't just drive them
through or pull them out like with other trucks. Once again, Dodge had
to be different. Instructions come with the
shackles and they have a pretty good way to remove what's left of your
old rubber bushings. The only special tool you might need is a 6"
long drill bit. The shackles take 45
minutes to do but the bushings take 2 hours. The good news is the new
Urethane bushings only take 2 seconds to install and if you ever have to
replace those it's a lot easier.
So, now you have more travel in
your front suspension, more caster for a more comfortable feel on
the road, a tighter suspension thanks to the new urethane bushings and beefy parts that will outlive most everything else. Not
bad for the work involved! If you want to get yourself a set of these
shackles for your Dodge go to Offroad Exchange's On-line Parts Store and order some.
Now how's that for easy!