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Jeep - Hardcore Tech>Shackle problem? - YJ's with XJ springs
68buggy 07:55 PM 11-02-2008
Rig Specs:
95 YJ
1 ton's
XJ springs f & r
6.0 LQ4/4l80E


I have these way back shackle hangers for use with 2.5" springs:

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/...ger-p-132.html

It seems like I've got all kinds of measurement issues. What is the factory width of a YJ spring pack and bushings? I don't have any originals to measure, but I'm guessing it's ~3".

The XJ big end bushing is almost 3.25". This is larger than the standard YJ setup and will not fit a standard YJ shackle with a welded center post or bolt sleeve.

Here's the pic:
Image

Shackle is snug to the hanger, but the center bolt sleeve is loose and the contact with the spring bushing is not consistent. You can see the shackles taper out.

I've searched nearly all the stretch threads and I've looked all all the pictures and talk specifically to Tomb.

No threads even hint of this problem. All the pictures I see, the shackles look parallel.

I could not use a center bolt/sleeve and shim out the top, but I want this to be right and since I've found no one else having these issues, I must be doing something wrong.

This rig will have the potential to be hard core but not until I get past these pansy issues!
[Reply]
HumboldtNick 07:59 AM 11-03-2008
I used the same shackle hanger kit with the Currie shackles and had the same problem. I used a couple 1/8" thick fender washers (same diameter as bushing) to shim the hanger bushing, and some standard washers to shim the spacer sleeve. If I was going to do it over I'd probably make wider bushings & sleeves, but it works fine this way. It just looks half-assed with the washers. This isn't the best pic, but was the only one I could find. You can see the washers in the spacer sleeve, but I didn't have the fender washers in yet.
Image
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TSEJEEPERS 08:13 PM 11-03-2008
What about using stock XJ shackles? http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.aspx?partID=9314
Not sure if they make Boomerangs for them.
Could get the shackle hangers that are 3" wide too.
http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/...ger-p-132.html
[Reply]
HumboldtNick 10:36 PM 11-03-2008
Originally Posted by TSEJEEPERS:
What about using stock XJ shackles? http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.aspx?partID=9314
Not sure if they make Boomerangs for them.
Could get the shackle hangers that are 3" wide too.
http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/...ger-p-132.html
When you use the XJ leafs, you flip them around so the front(wide end) of the spring is to the rear. So you would have the same issue with stock XJ shackles. I think factory XJ shackles are around 2 3/4" wide. The 3" wide shackles are still about 1/4" too narrow, so they would still need spaced. You would need a 3 1/4" shackle & hanger. I don't think that's a real common size, but I"m sure you could order one or building one wouldn't be too hard.
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dcswindler4 08:27 AM 11-04-2008
i just shimmed it similar to HumboldtNick
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68buggy 02:33 PM 11-04-2008
I was sure I went crazy, since not one other xj stretch thread even hinted at this problem. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Here's the progress I've made.

I called Dan at Ruff Stuff and talked to him about the problem.

He's going to swap the hangers for and send me a set for a FSJ. I don't have a mic, so I'm using a small tape measure, but the big end of my XJ springs seemed to measure 3-3/16" outside to outside. Apparently this is the same measurement for the FSJ hangers that he makes.

I'm going to try this and I'll post up and let everyone know the results.

I might try and setup a bushing size chart to go along with the spring length chart that someone else here has posted.
[Reply]
HumboldtNick 03:34 PM 11-04-2008
Are you planning on doing any kind of military wrap to the front of springs? I've only had mine out on a few trails but my springs are starting to get quite a bow in the area where the second leafs contacts the top leaf. Maybe I need to lower my bumps so the springs don't get so much negative arch, but I don't want to loose the flex either. I thought I read somewhere about someone using another spring to make a military wrap on both ends, but I don't recall what they used.
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68buggy 03:52 PM 11-04-2008
Originally Posted by HumboldtNick:
Are you planning on doing any kind of military wrap to the front of springs? I've only had mine out on a few trails but my springs are starting to get quite a bow in the area where the second leafs contacts the top leaf. Maybe I need to lower my bumps so the springs don't get so much negative arch, but I don't want to loose the flex either. I thought I read somewhere about someone using another spring to make a military wrap on both ends, but I don't recall what they used.
I haven't got that far yet...... What I've gathered from Tomb's build is that junkyard springs will fail fairly quick. I think Scott used new JC whitney heavy duty springs with one leaf removed with great success.

From what I understand, you have two options for an ailing XJ spring:

1) Take a spare xj main leaf, cut the small eye off, and turn it around and slide the big end of the spare main over the small eye of your spring main. You will have to redrill one hole for the spring pin. This will act as a single sided military wrap of sorts. I'm not aware of anything you can use to wrap both ends. I'm sure Alcan can make you a set, but you are quickly hitting the cost of a 4 link.

2) Take a spare xj main leaf, cut both eyes off, and place it on top of your current leaf pack and then use spring clamps to hold them together.

Both options will increase your spring rate and may impact your flex. Are you running any form of axle wrap setup?

Honestly, with the bushing/shackle issues and spring durability, I may just abandon the idea all together. Seems like just moving the mounting locations of all my YJ hardware is making more sense. The only added work is two spring/frame hangers and I gain a good bit of spring reliability - I'm wondering if BDS will offer the lifetime warranty on a SOA setup? Might be a don't ask, don't tell situation.
[Reply]
HumboldtNick 08:10 PM 11-04-2008
I do have a traction bar. Without the traction bar, I could put it in gear in 4lo and twist the springs into an s. I'm really happy with how it works just not sure how long the springs can hold up. I don't want to loose any flex. I wouldn't mind the springs being stiffer, but I don't want it to sit any higher. It's already a couple inchs higher than I'd like. I'll just keep wheeling it as is, and carry a spare spring for now. As soon as I can afford to link it...
[Reply]
jr84cj 09:17 AM 11-05-2008
Hey 68buggy,
What xj springs are you trying to use? The Rancho XJ springs 44148 have the same size eye at both ends. The currie boomarang shackles bushings are to small to use and you will have to get some bigger ones. The ones I used fit 1 3/4" tubing. I used the ruffstuff wayback hangers and my original cj hangers with no problem.
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dcswindler4 11:26 AM 11-05-2008
i used the heavy duty springs from qtec, then took out the 2nd smallest leaf because it was super stiff, then i added another main leaf, cut it and millitary wrapped it as said above. my build isnt finished so i havent had a chance to take it out yet but taking out the 2nd smallest leaf in that pack helped makin them not as stiff.

i think tomb might have a smilliar set up, maybe even another main leaf added, not sure.
[Reply]
68buggy 03:55 PM 11-05-2008
jr84cj - Interesting..... I'll have to check that out. It seems there are quite a few differences in OEM and aftermarket springs. It sucks that none of the bushing manufacturers that I can find post bushing sizes on their websites. Everything is listed by application....

At least during mock up, I'm using an OEM Xj spring from a 1995 cherokee. It's not the size of the eye that creates the problem, it's the width of the spring with the bushing and sleeve installed. It appears that all the variables exist in the bushing configurations. Your options are much greater when looking for 1.75" as opposed to the big end of the xj OEM.

DCS - I'm fairly certain you are right. Your setup appears identical to tomb. Since you are still in your build, can you measure the shackle side spring width - outside of bushing to outside of bushing? The only measurements I have to work with are the OEM's. Also, what specifically are you using for shackle hangers? I'm interested in the tube width and the size of the bushings on the frame side of your shackle.

Thanks to everyone for these details!!!
Hopefully it will be beneficial to others also.
[Reply]
dcswindler4 05:38 AM 11-06-2008
i went through tombs build a while ago and used it as a guideline, though the specifics are getting fuzzy. ill try to get some measurements tonight or tomorrow, i know i used dans way back shackle hanger, pretty sure the wider 3" one. ill let you know

for reference, here are the springs and bushings i have that the measurements will be coming off of
http://www.quadratec.com/products/56010_11.htm
http://www.quadratec.com/products/76058_811.htm
[Reply]
offroadman83 05:55 AM 11-06-2008
Yup I did what tomb and jethrodeg did on their Jeeps. I took another main leaf flipped it so that it would military wrap the small side (fit nice) and cut the small end off at the end. Don't forget to redrill the one hole. It made my Jeep go up just a bit but not enough to affect anything and is a whole lot stiffer compared to just the reversed cherokee springs. Adding a traction bar for extra assurance. --------------------Kyle
[Reply]
68buggy 02:57 PM 11-06-2008
Originally Posted by dcswindler4:
i went through tombs build a while ago and used it as a guideline, though the specifics are getting fuzzy. ill try to get some measurements tonight or tomorrow, i know i used dans way back shackle hanger, pretty sure the wider 3" one. ill let you know

for reference, here are the springs and bushings i have that the measurements will be coming off of
http://www.quadratec.com/products/56010_11.htm
http://www.quadratec.com/products/76058_811.htm
Perfect!!! I bought those bushings exactly to try and help clear everything up. That's what made me question the shackle hangers. I'll be thrilled to get those measurements of your hanger. I know the measurement of the bushings you spec'ed - 3-3/16".

Dan's been a great guy to deal with!!! I highly recommend them as a dealer and the Pirate discount came in handy!!!

Originally Posted by offroadman83:
Yup I did what tomb and jethrodeg did on their Jeeps. I took another main leaf flipped it so that it would military wrap the small side (fit nice) and cut the small end off at the end. Don't forget to redrill the one hole. It made my Jeep go up just a bit but not enough to affect anything and is a whole lot stiffer compared to just the reversed cherokee springs. Adding a traction bar for extra assurance. --------------------Kyle
The extra main leaf you used...... did you buy a whole extra pack just for the extra main leaf, or did you add a junk yard main to your new HD pack?

I'm currently using JY springs for my mock up. Even with just the jeep frame weight, they seem flimsy. I'm betting that I quickly purchase new springs.

It's been slow moving, but here's where I'm at.
Image
[Reply]
offroadman83 08:50 PM 11-06-2008
Originally Posted by 68buggy:

The extra main leaf you used...... did you buy a whole extra pack just for the extra main leaf, or did you add a junk yard main to your new HD pack?

I'm currently using JY springs for my mock up. Even with just the jeep frame weight, they seem flimsy. I'm betting that I quickly purchase new springs.

It's been slow moving, but here's where I'm at.
Image

I bought a whole cherokee pack and used just the main. Actually was given the pack!!!--------------Kyle
[Reply]
mbryson 06:34 PM 11-07-2008
Originally Posted by offroadman83:
Yup I did what tomb and jethrodeg did on their Jeeps. I took another main leaf flipped it so that it would military wrap the small side (fit nice) and cut the small end off at the end. Don't forget to redrill the one hole. It made my Jeep go up just a bit but not enough to affect anything and is a whole lot stiffer compared to just the reversed cherokee springs. Adding a traction bar for extra assurance. --------------------Kyle

I did the same. So far so good with new Crown springs from Teraflex.
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68buggy 07:20 PM 11-07-2008
Originally Posted by mbryson:
I did the same. So far so good with new Crown springs from Teraflex.
I couldn't find Crown Spring from Teraflex, but these look interesting???? Those kind of joints in a leaf spring has intrigued me for a while. Pass on the fiberglass leafs though.....
http://www.rockcrawler.com/features/..._fiberflex.asp



EUREKA!!!! My new shackle hangers arrived from Dan tonight. They were right on the money!!! Outside to outside they are 3-3/16". This matches perfectly with the new XJ poly bushings.

I'll post some pictures with the new assembly.

I still have to deal with the frame side spring hanger. I'll dig in on that next and post the results. On the frame side the OEM XJ leafs do not have a bushing lip or overhang to insulate the spring from the spring hanger. The bushing and sleeve appear to be 2.5" wide, just like the spring - so it's flush. I might be wrong, but wouldn't this creak and grind as the spring compresses, twists, and rubs the spring metal against the hanger metal???? just a thought.

You could probably just tighting the hanger down far enough to eliminate the slack, but then you could run into the same issue I was having with the shackles. If the small spring eye is the same diameter as a YJ, I've got those bushings laying around and problem solved.

I'll keep you guys posted and thanks for following along. I'll get a build thread started when I get moving on the 6.0L motor and JEEPPC (I'm building a linux based touch screen PC with full navigation, engine monitoring, and audio).
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erslll 09:50 PM 11-09-2008
Originally Posted by 68buggy:

1) Take a spare xj main leaf, cut the small eye off, and turn it around and slide the big end of the spare main over the small eye of your spring main. You will have to redrill one hole for the spring pin. This will act as a single sided military wrap of sorts. I'm not aware of anything you can use to wrap both ends. I'm sure Alcan can make you a set, but you are quickly hitting the cost of a 4 link.

2) Take a spare xj main leaf, cut both eyes off, and place it on top of your current leaf pack and then use spring clamps to hold them together.
I did #2. Added the main leaf to my RE 4.5" XJ packs. Works pretty good. I don't have a wrap bar and after about 2 years of wheeling, no problems.
[Reply]
pistonhonda 12:25 AM 11-10-2008
good info, plan on doing this pretty soon almost got every thing i need. i interested to know the spring hanger you got from ruff stuff, i was going to use the way back hangers but by reading this, kinda worried. you said you use fsj hanger, were they stock or do they make way back hanger for them also. also on the rear bumper what are most people using i read some are use 3x6 square tube but i was thinkin of just welding a 3/16 peice of metal to the rear crossmember/bumper and putting the hanger on them kinda like a btf bumper. i will also drill holes in the member and them in grabbing the the 3/16 plate alittle more. will this be fine? i am going to do xj spring on the front also, should i do a shakle reversal or will this just defeat the stretch. thanks
[Reply]
mbryson 07:40 AM 11-10-2008
Originally Posted by 68buggy:
I couldn't find Crown Spring from Teraflex, but these look interesting???? Those kind of joints in a leaf spring has intrigued me for a while. Pass on the fiberglass leafs though.....
http://www.rockcrawler.com/features/..._fiberflex.asp


.....

Crown is just their replacement XJ stock spring. The FiberFlex springs were a good experiment, but had some issues during hard core wheeling and there was a challenge getting materials. From what I understand, the springs have been discontinued.
[Reply]
68buggy 07:15 PM 11-10-2008
Originally Posted by erslll:
I did #2. Added the main leaf to my RE 4.5" XJ packs. Works pretty good. I don't have a wrap bar and after about 2 years of wheeling, no problems.
I've got my fingers cross, but I'm pretty sure I'll need the wrap bar. I guess I could search for pics you've posted, but do you have one you post easily? I'd like to see the 4.5" lift.

Originally Posted by pistonhonda:
good info, plan on doing this pretty soon almost got every thing i need. i interested to know the spring hanger you got from ruff stuff, i was going to use the way back hangers but by reading this, kinda worried. you said you use fsj hanger, were they stock or do they make way back hanger for them also. also on the rear bumper what are most people using i read some are use 3x6 square tube but i was thinkin of just welding a 3/16 peice of metal to the rear crossmember/bumper and putting the hanger on them kinda like a btf bumper. i will also drill holes in the member and them in grabbing the the 3/16 plate alittle more. will this be fine? i am going to do xj spring on the front also, should i do a shakle reversal or will this just defeat the stretch. thanks
If you look closely at the way back hangers, the DOM tube part of the kit is shipped loose. I talked to several companies (BTF, Poly, and Genrite) about these types of shackle hangers - buit they really only had one size. If you were only working with standard YJ or 2.5" CJ springs, you would be fine with the standard hanger that most sell. It's only a problem when you are working with XJ or other springs. Just because the spring is 2.5" doesn't mean that the assembled bushing pack with fit. Don't just slam it in there and hope for the best. You'll end up with poor performing leafs and I would guess premature bushing failure.

Don't sweat it and just go for it. Just make sure you call Dan at Ruff Stuff. First you get a pirate discount and second, tell him you are using this for an xj spring swap and your outside bushing measurement is 3-3/16". I'm not sure what the part number is, but he will get you the right stuff. If you have another vendor of choice - I'd have them confirm the outside dims of their sleeve and bushing for you before you order. 3-3/16" is the key.

You've got many options when it comes to the rear crossmember and hangers. I'd search several of the XJ build threads and you will see many options int he pics. Based on my mockup, I want to keep a larger shackle angle, so I'm going to try it first with just a 3/16" plate welded across the back. Search for Tomb's threads and he's got a couple of pics with this exact setup. Later I may come back and build a full width bumper across the rear with frenched pockets to allow shackle movement.

I'm also putting XJ's up front also. Seem like most have needed a slight lift spring on the front end to balance out the rig. I'm keeping my shackles up front. Do a search for shackle reversal and you'll have days of reading about the subject. I'm not going to get into the details here since it would get way of the tech topic of this thread.

I'm slacking off about the pics. Hopefully I can get my plate and front 2x bumper stock this week and mock everything together. Get a few final notes made about fitting XJ springs and then I'll probably start a build thread.
[Reply]
HumboldtNick 08:16 PM 11-10-2008
Originally Posted by pistonhonda:
also on the rear bumper what are most people using i read some are use 3x6 square tube but i was thinkin of just welding a 3/16 peice of metal to the rear crossmember/bumper and putting the hanger on them kinda like a btf bumper. i will also drill holes in the member and them in grabbing the the 3/16 plate alittle more. will this be fine?
When I built mine, I was planning on using 2"x4" rect. tube for the rear bumper. When I mocked it up with the shackle hanger on the back of the 2x4 the shackle angle was almost straight up & down vertical. If you look at the picture I posted above, I just notched the ends of the bumper where the shackle mounts are. I would think a piece of 3/16" plate would be fine, I would use 1/4" but it would probably be overkill. I used the 2x4 so could mount a hitch reciever & mount a spare tire.
[Reply]
erslll 11:24 PM 11-10-2008
Originally Posted by 68buggy:
I've got my fingers cross, but I'm pretty sure I'll need the wrap bar. I guess I could search for pics you've posted, but do you have one you post easily? I'd like to see the 4.5" lift.


Image

Image


Fixed end of the springs is mounted on the side of the frame to reduce the height some. It is a little tall but it works pretty good and I haven't flopped it yet. Lots of pics in the link in my sig.
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68buggy 06:58 AM 11-11-2008
Originally Posted by erslll:
Fixed end of the springs is mounted on the side of the frame to reduce the height some. It is a little tall but it works pretty good and I haven't flopped it yet. Lots of pics in the link in my sig.
Thanks!!! Great pics in your link. Doesn't seem like the arch of the lift spring hurt your articulation at all.

I may go this way after mockup depending on my final tire size and any prayer I have to avoid axle wrap from my 6.0.
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