Project Jeep Therapy: Springs & Shackle Reversal
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By: Jeff Layton - 5/2000



Side by side with original Pro-Comp springs
Old springs vs. the new springs
Opening up the spring clamps
Heating up the spring clamps and opening them up
Reforming the spring clamps
Bending red hot metal with channel locks
Lubing the bushings
Lubing the bushings
Springs with boomerang shackles
Springs in place with boomerang shackles
M.O.R.E. Brackets
M.O.R.E shackle reversal brackets
Looking for the right angle for the dangle...
Measuring angle of front shackle to determine shackle bushing placement
front shackle at droop
Front shackle at droop

One of the benefits of having a project Jeep that sometimes you’re 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. They’re 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 isn’t 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 wouldn’t 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, it’s 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 (I’m 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 it’s towed to the muffler shop, the EFI system can be connected….and then we can test-drive these springs.

Sources

Accessories + Truck Center Inc.
Dept. ORN
2555 Lafayette Street, Suite 120/122
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 496-6969

Mountain Off-Road Enterprises
Dept. ORN
P.O. Box 843
Rifle, CO 81650
(970) 625-0500


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