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Shaggy's Offroad

XD 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!

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