Scott it is easier to bend something when it is longer, you can get more force on it. if you shorten it it will be harder to put force on it causing a harsher ride.
you said earlier it rides too harsh for an old man but then you mentioned you want the *** end stiffer.
sounds like if the bolt wasn't tightened all the way you were not even getting the right amount of lift out of the aal anyway. i would try and get the install right before trying to modify it.