New lifting shackles installed and flex photos - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2004
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Got the new lifting shackles from the rear. They are ones for late model chevy 1/2 ton full size pickups. They are for DROPPING those trucks, but raise ours because of the way the shackles are mounted. They are about 2 to 2.5 inches longer than the stock shackles and give approximately an inch more lift. The type you want are for 1988 to 1999 Chevy CK-1500's.

Here's the shackle in place on the drivers side -- easier to photograph without the exhaust in the way.





I did crank the front torsion bars to level the truck after installation -- more or less. I just cranked them 3 full turns more on each side and it's close now. Here's the resulting look -- I had to drive in the unpaved portions of the plant and haven't had a chance to clean the truck so sorry for the mud!







Finally, I have a LOT more flex than previously. I put the truck up on the containment berm around a big fuel tank and here's what I got. The rear wheel is about 1/2" off the ground. The other side was fully stuffed as you'd expect so the shackles didn't hurt that.





The funny thing is that I didn't experience a harsher ride. In fact, the ride in the rear is SOFTER and that is against what I was told might happen. I don't know why.

Also, I got these from Street Beat Customs and after 2 weeks they hadn't shipped my order so I called them. They said they were out of the ones I ordered, but would ship me something equal or better. What they sent me was Daystar 61003 GREASABLE shackles for the same price as the non-greaseable's I ordered! You can't see the fitting in the pics, it's on the top shackle eye, on the front. I'm quite pleased with their substitution! :)
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2004
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New lifting shackles installed and flex photos

Sounds cool, but the pics arn't working for me? red x's..
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2004
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Anybody else having that problem? Usually Cardomain hosts fine...
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2004
 
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Works fine for me, and wow, more flex than before John!
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Old 11-20-2004
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good job john!!!

are there any downsides to shackles??? i know that you said they give you a stiffer ride, but that didn't happen to you, but what else?
will they hold up off-road?
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2004
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They should hold up fine, as thick and braced as they are -- but who knows? They're pretty commonly used on many vehicles for modest amounts of extra lift. I'm sure they DO increase the force exerted on the hanger because of being a "longer lever" -- but it it enough to be a problem? I can't answer that. I'm just willing to take the chance as the risk seems small with a well made shackle. They talk about the mod in the cheap lifting tech topic on TRS and that's where I found out what shackles to use.

By the way, that year range might be 87-98 and not 88-99 -- I need to verify that. But when you go to look at shackles, you'll see the correct range and they don't overlap or anything. It's the "late eighties and early to mid nineties" design that I can testify to as working and fitting VERY well.

Thanks for the comments, folks!
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2004
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Did you end up having to use any pinion shims? Either way truck looks great and almost fully spindle lifted!
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2004
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I haven't yet and I don't know if it's needed. There is no driveline vibration that I can tell -- but I want to borrow my neighbor's pininon angle gauge and check it sometime to be sure. Certainly, there is no grievous misalignment -- but small amounts you might not feel.

And if I had the bucks, Dan, I'd prefer a spindle lift for the additional clearance it gives the A-arms and front crossmember -- but hey, I'll take what I can get! :)
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2004
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Works now, the flex shots are awesome! I might consider them in the future..
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2004
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Looks really good, and nice job on the install. love that fact that you got more travel out of it too, nice job.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2004
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Thanks, all!

I'll comment on the install.

What I did was raise the entire back end by inserting my hi-lift jack in the receiver hitch. I lifted the back aoout a foot to ensure that all the load was off the existing shackles, but not too much downward pull either. Both rear wheels stayed on the ground, and the front wheels were both chocked. Parking brake was on. I did not remove the wheels or anything else.

I ran into a problem with my hi-lift since it was outside so much. More on that later.

I put jackstands under the frame, forward of the rear axle.

For two days before, I soaked the nuts with penetrating oil. When I went to loosen everything it was pretty easy. They ARE tight bolts, but they weren't "stuck" or frozen.

I took the nut off the bottom bolt both sides, then I took the top bolt out completely on one side, then tried to remove the bottom bolt -- but the receiver hitch was in the way!!! If I lifted the truck more, I thought I could pull the back end of the leaf down enough to slide the bolt out.

So, I looked at the jack and I felt that it had "angled' too much, so I wanted to drop the truck down onto the jackstands fully and reposition the jack before lifting the truck any farther. I flipped the lever on the hi-lift to "down" and the jack would not release and drop. The lever now did nothing.

My neighbor next door (the mechanic) came over to see what I was doing. He suggested I take his floor jack, lift the truck by the pumpkin with that, and take some stress off the hi-lift. He brought it over and that's what we did -- though we ended up jacking it high enough to take the hi-lift completely out.

I lubed the hi-lift mechanism with WD-40 and after flipping the lever and cycling the jack a couple of times, it started working properly. Chris, my neighbor, had to go out so he left me the jack.

Here's where I made a big mistake: I put the hi-lift back in place, and lifted the truck up. The jack was straighter this time.

But I hadn't let down the axle. I dropped the hydraulic jack down pretty slowly, but when the wheel I HADN'T disconnected the shackle on hit the ground, it pushed up against the spring and tilted the truck and it fell over off the hi-lift! Scared the heck out of me.

Quick inspection: no damage and the frame had simply fallen to the side and the jack statnds didn't do any damage under the truck -- lucky, or blessed more like it, me!

I removed the floor jack, put the hi-lift back, and raised the truck in it's new postiion. I lifted it higher than previously, and I was able to get the bolt out by pulling down the spring. That bolt is really "wrong ways around" basically. When I replaced it, I put the nut on the inside, and the bolt head on the outside.

The nut for the top bolt has a piece of bent steel plate welded to it, so you don't have to hold it when you loosen or tighten the top bolt. That's good because it's in a REAL inaccessible place. You do have to reach up there and hold it in the right spot to get the bolt started, though.

After that it was like clockwork. Time to do both sides: about 1.5 hours and it could have been an hour or less if I'd known what I was doing!!!

But it was successful and not so hard at all with the hi-lift -- except for a jam and operator error.

I think I'll keep the hi-lift INSIDE the toolbox like it is now, even though it looks cool racked up on the outside.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2004
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*coughwriteupcough*

EDIT: I meant this should be added as a writeup in the how-to forum, not "please do a writeup" cuz you just did :)
EDIT2: Looked it up on TRS and it says: "The Add-a-Leaf (unlike the shackle) will stiffen up the ride significantly, however it will make for less sag when you throw a heavy load in the back."

Doesn't look like it says the shackle will stiffen the ride any.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2004
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No, you're right, and that article was not my source. It was a post on here or maybe djayenos where I asked about shackles, I think. Or I was talking to someone. It was either in a forum, or a conversation, but not in a tech article where someone said that it might stiffen up the ride.

Regardless -- I'm glad it DIDN'T!!! :)
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2004
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very nice john
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2004
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AH! I misread...sorry about that. You got me thinking about doing it too. My to-do list keeps getting longer and longer. Thanx again for the writeup!
I may go to Centralia next year for the sole purpose of meeing THE :prayer: n3elz :partyman:
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2004
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Oh, no, another one!

Remember I'm just another person like you. I put on my pants one leg at a time just like anyone else -- only slower 'cause I'm older...

Seriously, though, you should come to Centralia for Centralia -- I'm just the tour guide!
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2004
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No sir you are incorrect! You are the King of Ranger mods. When I first saw your cardomain site I knew I wanted to be in your presence. You are no mere mortal. You are n3elz and none can surpass you! And now, after your reply, I know why you are so great...you put pants on! I knew I was doing something wrong...

But seriously I know you're an engineer and all and it's your passion to figure things out and make them submit to your will but for someone like me who is scared to death to mess with wires and such (cuz I don't understand it at ALL) you are one kicka$$ dude....
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2004
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Great idea, John. I can't see how the shackles alone would have changed the ride quality at all - no surprise there. My only concern about this mod is whether or not it would cause the stock shock absorbers to top out at full extension. Using the shocks for travel limiters would not seem to be good practice. I know that you have aftermarket performance shocks, so maybe this is not even an issue for you.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2004
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I'm not sure either, Bob, and that's a valic concern. The Rancho's have a big rod and very strong construction.

Also, I'm not real likely to hyper-extend them too often, I don't think. It's nice to have the travel, but how often does one really use it?
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2004
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Still having a slight difficulty with My LAPTOP!! HELP!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalafi49
No sir you are incorrect! You are the King of Ranger mods. When I first saw your cardomain site I knew I wanted to be in your presence. You are no mere mortal. You are n3elz and none can surpass you! And now, after your reply, I know why you are so great...you put pants on! I knew I was doing something wrong...

But seriously I know you're an engineer and all and it's your passion to figure things out and make them submit to your will but for someone like me who is scared to death to mess with wires and such (cuz I don't understand it at ALL) you are one kicka$$ dude....
Wow, thanks. :) Now if I could just get all the folks who feel like you do to shower me with money as well...I'd have more time for mods, lol!

Well, over time you may become more proficient, and maybe more daring with your mods. I've had a long time to screw up...errrrrr....to gain experience in the process of modding various things....
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2004
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When I get a chance, I'll disconnect my stock shackles and drop the axle to fully extend the shocks to see how much shackle my stock shocks can accommodate. If it looks promising, this may be one more mod I gotta do - cool!
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2004
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I'd pay you to install the keyless entry on my truck :)

I'm sure if I tried it I could "get" it but I'm a visual learner. I can read an in depth how-to and it wont mean a thing to me. If I see someone do it everything clicks....
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2004
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yeah that looks real good john...that is some crazy flexing...haha :D
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2004
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newby here

john 3 things i will mention, with my experience, using longer shackles tends to flatten the springs over time, i know because it happened to my explorer over a matter of months, i ended up putting in an add a leaf to level it back off, so just keep an eye on it!! ever since that happened i WONT use shackles to lift any more, i always use add a leafs

i would throw in a 1 or 2 degree pinion shim just to be safe, of course you know that the pinion angles have to be parallel, so just make sure thats the case, i used shims on my F150 when i did the lowering shackles.

also, penetrating oil on the nuts may have worked, but its rather pointless. ford uses threadlocker on the shackle bolts (blue on rangers, red on my F150) all you have to do is hit the nuts with a blow torch for 5-10 seconds, and the nuts spin off like nothing, i used a leather glove and took them off by hand on my F150.

john you know that im not belittling you at all just some tips for other people thinking of doing the same!
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2004
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Bob, no problem! Had I but known about that threadlocker...

Well, I know about the angles, and I've heard mixed results on spring wear. I will watch for that though, so thanks for the heads up.
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