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Spencer Low Racing 2" shackle install


Schludwiller
03-21-2001, 06:55 PM
Post your comments, suggestions, experience on the shackle install. Pictures welcome!
(If you don't know what this is about visit www.xterra4x4.com under Mods)

gothamist
03-22-2001, 07:51 AM
The install went very smoothly all things considered. This is a picture of the shackles installed on my truck.
http://www.4x4lo.com/mods/shackle_install/clifford_shackles2.jpg

The shackles also definitely upped my wheel travel a bit--this is me on a 30 degree ramp.
http://www.4x4lo.com/mods/shackle_install/articulation2.jpg

I thought these tires would also help me clear my Super Swampers (32x11.50 SSR's, they're 32.5" tall) better, but they don't really--I still rub the fuel line cover on the passenger side whenever I stuff that wheel. Oh well, apart from the annoyance the rubbing doesn't actually limit my articulation (the side lugs brush on the cover on their way past it), but eventually I plan on replacing my stock leaf springs with a set from National Springs anyway (and I'll just make sure they arch more to get me even higher.)

Aquamander
04-18-2001, 10:57 PM
I ordered my shackles on Monday, hopefully they will be here tommorrow. :D

Schludwiller
04-19-2001, 02:14 AM
After doing Charles' shackles again I have found that you don't need to remove the tire (although it does help with rear access).

If you get a buddy to come by all you need is two of the scissor jacks.

Jack up the rear tire until it is just off the ground. Then use the other jack inside the leaf (as per the how-to) to push the leaf down for easy removal of the bolt.

That's it. Much faster than we previously thought.

Aquamander
04-19-2001, 06:34 AM
Thanks for the tip Schlud. That info will come in handy for my install.
BTW, I had heard that SLR revised the older shackles with a newer design that takes out the extra space between the shackle and leaf and/or the hangar. Is there any validity to this? I didn't hear of this until after I had ordered them. I was just planning on turning some bushings out of some stainless bar stock I had laying around the shop, or perhaps finding some urathane bushings that I could have made work. I don't know, taking a look at Goth's pic it looks like there is no space there.

Schludwiller
04-19-2001, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by Aquamander
Thanks for the tip Schlud. That info will come in handy for my install.
BTW, I had heard that SLR revised the older shackles with a newer design that takes out the extra space between the shackle and leaf and/or the hangar. Is there any validity to this? I didn't hear of this until after I had ordered them. I was just planning on turning some bushings out of some stainless bar stock I had laying around the shop, or perhaps finding some urathane bushings that I could have made work. I don't know, taking a look at Goth's pic it looks like there is no space there.

I don't have the space problem. Chuck did, and we tried to put washers in his shackles last night. The problem was the washers he got weren't large enough to clear the metal sleeve that SLR provides.

So whatever solution you use to close the space, make sure the inside hole is large enough to go around the sleeve as that metal is already touching (or close) to the shackles.

Philosopher
04-20-2001, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by gothamist


I thought these tires would also help me clear my Super Swampers (32x11.50 SSR's, they're 32.5" tall) better, but they don't really

Uh ... you mean "shackles", not "tires", right?

:smoker2:

Happy 4/20, you've obviously been smoking today.

Aquamander
04-21-2001, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Schludwiller
After doing Charles' shackles again I have found that you don't need to remove the tire (although it does help with rear access).

If you get a buddy to come by all you need is two of the scissor jacks.

Jack up the rear tire until it is just off the ground. Then use the other jack inside the leaf (as per the how-to) to push the leaf down for easy removal of the bolt.

That's it. Much faster than we previously thought.


Thanks Schlud, I'm going to have my coffee, then get started. I'll post later to let you know how it went.

BTW, I put those Interco Trxus tires on yesterday, I can't wait to go play.......

Schludwiller
04-21-2001, 07:34 AM
Take some photos, and post how it goes.

If you get a chance the site and MB could use a short writeup on the Truxus tires. Road noise, traction, on and offroad. Doesn't have to be technical, just your impressions.

I liked my swamper SSR's before, but have a new appreciation for them offroading in the spring mud. I'm going out the door right now for a weekend trip with PNWX. Talk to you when I get back.

Aquamander
04-21-2001, 07:35 PM
Installed the shackles in less than an hour. The longest time was spent going to the hardware store to get some shorter bolts for the spring itself. I did have to trim about 1/8" off the inside of the top bushing in order to make the shackle go onto the hangar. (dashed my worries about the spacing issue) The bushing protruded enough to make it impossible to get the shackle on over it. I cleaned the hangar and lightly lubed the bushings to make it eaiser to slip the shackle onto them. Pretty much followed the directions with the exception of using floorjacks to support the frame. I lifted the spring below the axle to relive the tension in order to get the lower bolts in. The lower bolts that I got from SLR were about 1" too long. so I put some shorter ones on. I also put lock washers on all the bolts. ( just in case something freaky happened).

My thanks to Syncro for his enlightenment! I was able to adjust the torsion bars 1-1/4", and get it done in about thirty minutes. I don't really know how other people are figuring the amount to adjust, but I figured out that 10 full revolutions equalled about 1" in adjustment. (no bullbar or skid plates). I decided to adjust the bars with the tires lifted up off the ground to relieve the tension, but I too think that is a preferance instead of a requirement. If the threads on the adjuster are the same on all Xterra's, then this amount should be the same. It's about thread pitch and the distance adjusted. I don't know why but I suppose some torsion bars may be more flexable than others. (guessing) That may account for the difference in this distance adjustment from X to X. Of course, bullbars and skid plates will effect this too. In any case, getting a good measurement is important. I measured the frame just about the point where the bend in the frame goes up to the front suspension. I used one of the drilled holes in the frame there as a reference so I would be measuring the same place on the other side.

Give me a week or so to get a feel for the Interco Trxus tires. I'll be glad to give the board a review on them.

Now that all the works done.....It's time to play!!!

gothamist
04-22-2001, 12:31 AM
Thanks for pointing out my typo a month after I posted the message.

:p

Philosopher
04-27-2001, 10:44 AM
NO PROBLEM BONEHEAD

Xcalibur
05-08-2001, 04:59 PM
Is it easy to install the shocks too?
I just got my 2" shackles and new Bilstein's in and I know I can do the Shackle install pretty easy. But I would like to know if I could do the shocks at the same time, b'cuz it seems to me to be easier if I do them both at the same time. Are there any "how to's" on the shock install out there or any special instructions/advice? Or so I need a shop to do it to. I have most common tools and not much heavy duty tools.

Thx, G

gothamist
05-08-2001, 05:01 PM
Installing rear shocks is like a 10 minute procedure...much easier than the shackle install, which isn't hard, either.

You don't even need to jack the truck up...just climb under it, unbolt and remove one shock, grease the new one's bushings (use poly-safe grease), slide it on and bolt it in place. Repeat on other side. :)

Enjoy your new toys. :)

Schludwiller
05-08-2001, 05:41 PM
Here is a link for proper installation of Bilstein shocks.

The part that caught me offguard was that they say to not compress the rubber bushings. I was used to compressing the polyurethane ones.

http://www.eshocks.com/Mounting.asp

Xcalibur
05-09-2001, 01:46 PM
'Preciate it much!!
I'm gonna get it done today after I get back from visiting the wife in the hospital.

Hope to return the helpfulness sometime.

Are any of you going to GOX this year?
If so, we'll see ya there.

Schludwiller
05-09-2001, 02:24 PM
Myself, and several members of PNWX will be at GOX and Moab this year.
:apuke: :smoker2: :spit:

Synchro
05-09-2001, 07:22 PM
a bunch of us MAXCers will be there as well.

Xcalibur
05-10-2001, 12:01 AM
ok, I just got the Bilsteins and the 2" shackles put on today. It only take a couple of hours, by myself. I used alot of everyone's suggestions too.
I left the wheels on and only used my stock scissor jack with my Civic's scissor jack to spread the leaf springs a little. I too, had to trim alittle of the upper bushing and grease it a little to get the shackle on.
A ratchet tie-down would be a good idea to use if anyone needs to pull the leafs together a little after taking the stock shackles off. I did have the leafs spread outward on me a little at that time. My only ratchet tie-down was in use on the roof and I couldn't get to it, so I had to use some brute strength. (Although, not a good idea in some cases when a heavy vehicle is jacked up and could possibly come tumbling down on you or someone else.)
And of course the Bilstein's were a 10-15 minute job as Gothamist said. Thanks!

But now to the geometry part of this MOD. I must be missing something here, being that I'm not as experienced as the fellas down at SLR, or anywhere, as far as that goes. Anyway, before I got the shackles, I was wondering how it would lift the X 2"'s. At the rear of the leaf spring is where the shackkle goes which would lift it 2"'s there, but it should only add 1" [or a little less] at the hub/axle or the center of the tire/wheel, since the front of the leaf is the pivot point.
So, IF, and that's a big IF, since I'm not totally sure of all this (and some of you are gonna help straighten this out [or agree]) all of that is true, then the fact of needing the new longer Bilsteins is not exactly neccesary. At least not neccessary for the driver side.
Being that the driver side shock's lower point of contact is in front of the axle and the shock is angled up "FWD", (away from the 2" lift at the rear of the leaf) then a @' longer shock isn't needed. By overegsagerating the shock angle and almost angling it totally forward [near the front point of contact of the leaf] that would prove that NO longer shock would be needed, even if you lifted the rear of the leaf 5 feet. Does that make sense?
However, the passenger side does need the longer shocks, b'cuz it is angled back. I noticed this while putting the shocks on after I did the shackles. The driver's side needed to be jacked up and a little depressing of the shock [about an inch] to fit. The passenger side only needed a little depressing of the shock because it's two shock's point of contact was actually 2"'s farther apart. [Well, actually, a little less than 2] But the driver side would be shorter than 1" longer.
Now, by all means, please !!!!!! Don't anyone take this as a complaint or negativity. I love what it did for the X and I can't wait to do a little torsion bar lift up front to level it off some. It is definately a positive thing for me, but I just wanted to get this geometry/angle thing cleared up. Can somebady verify or fix it? And my "1in." and "2in." measurements aren't exact! If I say the axle is at a 1" lift, I'm just using it as a number for 1/2 of the total 2" at the rear leaf point. If the shackle is 10", then the 1/2 measure would be 5". All I'm saying is don't go out and measure anything. I don't even know if the shackles are a true 2" lift, it could be 2 1/2". But my general points should be <, >, 2".
Do I have everyone confused yet? :') Sorry, if I do!! :'(
Help!!!!!!!!

gothamist
05-10-2001, 03:57 AM
Believe it or not MT and I called SLR up the day we got our shackles to ask about that, because it didn't make sense. The thing you're forgetting (about the height lifting) is exactly what I forgot as well...it's not a perfect triangle.

Look at where the leaf springs anchor in the front, it's actually about 2-3 inches down from the bottom of the frame rails (which is why that area is so scraped up on all of our trucks.) When you extend the shackles, you're not extending one side of a triangle, you're extending one side of a (rough) parallelogram. You're right, the total lift is less than the 2", but I seem to recall the difference eye-to-eye of the shackles is about 2.5", netting you almost 2" before everything starts to sag.

Also, about the shock length...remember the stock shocks restrict your travel as well, if you completely droop one side you won't be at the bumpstop on the other side before the stock shock runs out of travel. I don't entirely follow your argument about the shock angles--even if you exagerate the angles you're still only halfway up the length of the leaf spring, right? So you would still need to extend the shock lengths unless the front shock anchored at the front springpack...

If I didn't understand what you meant, let me know...or if what I said makes no sense I'll try and edit it into some semblance of coherence.

Schludwiller
05-10-2001, 11:06 AM
That's a good idea. We had the same problem with ChuckH's shackles.

Xcalibur
05-11-2001, 02:04 AM
I think we're all on the same page here. Cool! :')

I gotcha on the parallelogram! True, there! You're right and I agree too. But not exactly what I was trying figure out. The 'parrallelogram' could be off of the frame by 3", 5" or any amount. It will still be the same at the end of the lift procedure, as well. So, I'm thinking that wouldn't have a play in the equation. [Does that make sense?]
Another way of looking at it is like a pair of scissors opening an equivalant of 2" to the Xterra lift. (Minus one of the scissor 'blades' on top) So the thumb hole, [of the scissors] and it's connecting 'lower' blade, is like the Xterra frame, {setting aside the 3" drop of the front point of the leaf, being that it will be constant before and after the lift procedure} and the 'oval' circle (where your 3-4 fingers go in the scissors handle) up to the pivot, is like the front half of the leaf spring.
Please don't get insulted if I'm talking 'babytalk', I'm trying to paint a picture for you guys. LOL
So, are we gettin a true 2" lift at the axle? That's where we want an advertisement of a 2" shackle to get it's lift from. From the pic I saw of someone's Red X w/ shackles next to another Red X w/o, it looked like it was about 3-4 inches, which should be correct [at the bumpers!]. If our bumper stuck out 5 feet from the shackle points, we would be giving our X's rearend approx a 12" shackle lift. So, we want a 2" lift at the axle/hub, and I think we're only getting an inch or so.
How about this.....If we lifted the front the same way (lifting the X 1" at the front axle) it should level it out. Being only a total 1" lift. We just used a 2" shackle method that sort of tweaked our leaf spring angle a bit and distributed the weight on them a little, very little! That's another point for later, maybe. :')

On the shock thing, I'm with ya again! :') Cool, huh?!?! I totally agree too. Longer shocks = more travel = more traction during articulation & = more artic. <---same page again :')
My lack of description probly didn't say what Iwas trying to say on this one either. Both of these scenarios are based on the 'rear only!' being lifted 2".
Remember, I'm totally pleased with my upgrades and completely understand that longer shocks = more travel. The longer, the better, 'til the leafs can't "spread eagle" anymore. lol.
OK, the angle overexageration thing. On a 2" 'axle/hub' lift, 2" longer shocks would compensate if the shocks went straight up, not at a fwd angle (driver side) or back angle (psngr side). We have a 2" lift at the back of the leaf, with a longer shock going fwd and one going back. Which means the one going fwd (drvr) is only elongating about an inch or so, and the one going back (psgr) is gong about [the full] 2" --a compass would give more accurate measurements--, but one is more than the other. {I guess that was my initial point}
So, if you overexagerate the 'fwd pointing' shock angle from [straight up, to it's present locale] to say,....[straight up, to almost lying flat; near the front leaf point of contact] and then added the 2" shackle, the same shock could be used with no changes needed. But, if you overexagerated the 'rear pointing' shock angle, a longer shock would be NEEDED, becase the shackle is at the rear leaf point. Does that make sense? :') Sorry man, don't mean to be giving you a headache. :')
Try to read my first post after reading this one and it might all run together better if you didn't quite get what I said this time. I promise, a measuring tape would work on this equation. :) I'm gonna have to go do it too, now. It's gonna bug me and I'll be working on it in my head some more too.

Thx, again, G

Xcalibur
05-11-2001, 02:12 AM
Thx Schlud,

I'm sure anyone would have laughed at what I did, to get teh springs pulled together. I'm wrapping and rewrapping my towstrap around the springs and my back, to use my bodyweight to pull them in. Thus my warning, ...."(Although, not a good idea in some cases when a heavy vehicle is jacked up and could possibly come tumbling down on you or someone else.)..... :')
Just thought I'd help others and keep them from risking other witty ideas that could get them hurt, killed or limbs mangled.

Anywho, thx again, G

Chainsaw
05-18-2001, 11:48 PM
Ok, anybody else's bottom bolt on the SLR Shackles just way too long besides mine and Aquamander's? I remember there was some discussion on the XOC(?) or was it the Unofficial board that the nuts are made to stop at a certain point as well so there's no way to tighten it up all the way with the bolts as long as they are. Looks like a trip to Home Depot for some shorter bolts, lock washers and nuts!

Schludwiller
05-19-2001, 01:02 AM
Can you say Irony?

The original bolts raised complaints from owners for being too short.

gothamist
05-19-2001, 01:28 AM
When we installed ours MT and I had to find locking nuts for the bolts because they were too short to fit the lock washer onto...
At least they responded to our complaints though (perhaps too eagerly.)

Xcalibur
05-19-2001, 02:48 AM
Yup! Mine were too long too! However, I just got mine in last week when I installed them and it seems to me that SLR has somewhat fixed it for any new purchasers. My lower bolts are about an inch too long, but the bolt is threaded far enough down to not run out and it can be tightened down. It just has a little (about and inch) of threaded bolt that needs to be hacked off. Also, SLR now sends lock-nuts with the shackles too! No trip to Home Depot for anybody else.

G

Aquamander
05-19-2001, 07:07 AM
My guess is they figured that people wouldn't need to put lock washers on because of the locknut. After people started installing them and saying they were too short to add a lock washer, SLR probably decided to go with a longer bolt to allow people to do what they wanted and just cut the excess off. Lock washers with locknuts may be a bit redundant, but it gives you piece of mind. I've been bouncing mine around pretty good. I don't even worry about them coming off.

Anthony1970
08-21-2011, 04:10 PM
That FirstGenX shackle swap was just the thing I was looking for. Awesome write up and looks very easy to do. Even for someone with limited mechanical experience.

Thanks!! ;)

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