|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||Short Cuts|
By: Jeff Layton - 5/2000
|Old springs vs. the new springs|
|Heating up the spring clamps and opening them up|
|Bending red hot metal with channel locks|
|Lubing the bushings|
|Springs in place with boomerang shackles|
|M.O.R.E shackle reversal brackets|
|Measuring angle of front shackle to determine shackle bushing placement|
|Front shackle at droop|
One of the benefits of having a project Jeep that sometimes youre asked to evaluate some new parts. One such part is a set of semi-custom flexy springs 3.5" lift springs supplied by Accessories Plus Truck Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The new springs arrived wrapped in black plastic and seemed both softer and taller than the 2 " Pro Comp Springs that they replaced. You can see from the picture on the right that the new springs are about an inch taller. Using my own weight, the new springs were noticeably softer.
Further inspection showed Teflon slip pads in the tips, but no tapered leaves, and no military wraps. Theyre supposed to ramp very well and seemed soft nonetheless. I noticed the spring clips were the clamp-style instead of the looser bolt-style and decided to fix it.
Heating the clips with a torch, I straightened them out, then used a piece of " steel as a spacer and Bent them back over on the springs. Driving out the spacer with a punch, I now had looser-style spring pack clips. Should help droop and smoothen out the ride.
Before the springs can be installed, the included poly bushings need to be lubed. No matter what the source, it always seems the tube of special lube isnt quite enough. I found a small container of special silicone lubricant at the plumbing supply section meant for rubber O-rings. I also applied a small amount of Amsoil synthetic grease to the inner bolt hole of the bushing since I was going to use greasable shackle bolts.
With the Jeep still mostly disassembled, hanging the rear spring was a no-brainer. Currie Boomerang Wrangler shackles were used to clear the larger rear crossmember installed in an earlier article. The spring pads will be welded to the axle once the proper pinion angles can be determined. The standard u-bolt plates were scrapped in favor of custom zero-clearance spring plates, to be fabbed in a later article.
The front springs wouldnt be so easy; a shackle-reversal kit would need to be installed - once again, Mountain Off-Road was called. The front brackets are pure bolt-ons, even with the beginnings of a custom tube bumper attached at the front.
Once the springs are mounted to the new brackets, its time to install the shackles and their mount. The original spring mounts had already been cut off during the frame modifications.
Closely following the instructions to ensure proper front-end geometry, the shackle was held to a 60 degree angle to mark the hole to be drilled in the frame for the mounting tube (included with the kit, of course). You can see the end of the M.O.R.E. reinforcing plates welded on earlier.
The holes were drilled as close to horizontal as possible and the mounting tubes were welded in per the instructions (Im getting a lot of miles out of that M.I.G. welder!)
With that, all four springs were installed. Now all we needed to be towable was to finish up the zero-clearance spring plates, bolt down the axles and fab enough of the bumper to get the tow bar attachments connected. After the engine is installed and its towed to the muffler shop, the EFI system can be connected .and then we can test-drive these springs.
Accessories + Truck Center Inc.
2555 Lafayette Street, Suite 120/122
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Mountain Off-Road Enterprises
P.O. Box 843
Rifle, CO 81650