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bleoh 07-22-2003 12:19 PM

Why do Shackles lean out
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I have what I think is a stock 84 CJ7. The front shackles seem to be leaning to the outboard side, if that makes sense. From the front they looked like this: // \\ with the passenger side being worse. Hoping to fix it I replaced them with heavy duty units of about the same length (maybe 1" longer) since the stock units looked kind of weak. Anyway, it still leans. As far as I know the Jeep has not been in an accident and everything on the frame, etc.. looks straight. Could this just be tired front springs? They do seem to sag compared to the rear. Here is a picture with the new shackles.

Drury 07-22-2003 12:39 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
It looks like a combination of things. The spring does appear to be tired. Could be bent and bad bushings as well.

RRich 07-22-2003 05:36 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
Notice the shackle seems to be perpendicular to the spring end.
Notice the shackle is stout, not bending.
Notice top bolt through the hanger isn't parallel with the frame.
I'd say the bushings in the spring eye are OK, but the top bushings are worn. Possible, but doubtful the hanger is bent. Find out why that upper bolt isn't parallel.

YJOwnr22 07-22-2003 05:55 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
I rear-ended someone about a year ago, and my shackles were left looking exactly like that. Even replacing the shackles did no good, they'd just go back to that position. The problem never went away until I installed a 3" Lift... I'm still running those same shackles, but they straightened out. I think the impact of the wreck mangled the bushings on both sides. That's where I'd look first.

bleoh 07-22-2003 08:10 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the input. Both the bushings are new poly bushings that came with the shackles. The spring hangers look straight and I don't remember any play in upper bushings, but obviously the stress being put on the shackles from the spring not lining up is showing more in the upper part of the shackle. I have seen new spring hangers that add a brace to prevent them from unrolling. I might have a little of that going on, but I still think the spring should line up better with the hanger. I don't think this had anything to do with it, but I did not like the way the steering box brace caused the back bolt in the hanger to not sit flush. So I cut one of the old shackles in half to make a spacer. Here is a pic of that. I am going to call a spring shop here in Baltimore and compare their price to new springs.

WranglerAl 07-22-2003 09:14 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
Do you know if the axles are stock? If both of the shackles are splayed out in opposite directions, the axle spring perches may not be spaced the same as the top of the shackles. Check this.

Lift it by the frame and see what happens when the load is off the springs. Do it slowly so you can see what moves and isolate the problem.

Only after you find the problem should you try to fix it.

304CJ7 07-22-2003 09:20 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
My shackles do that too. I think its the bushings in mine. Im not worried about it because i am waiting to recieve my 4.5 RE lift. But you ought to look at the centering pins in the middle of the leafs they could be loose. Just a hint. If its not the shackles or centering pins i would go ahead and put new bushings in. Just in case.

RRich 07-23-2003 01:19 AM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
If the upper bushing aren't shot, and the hangers aren't bent, then the spring themselves are pushing it sideways.
It takes an awful lot of sideways pressure to collapse those bushings that much.
So the springs aren't on the axle right - has someone replaced the axle or re-positioned the spring perches? I really doubt it's the fault of the springs, but possible.
Take off the shackles and see where the spring ends "want to be." Bet they don't "want" to be under the hanger.

Measure between the inside of the springs at the other end, then measure the shackle hangers inside - should be about the same. The axle perches should also be the same, or at least 1/2 the difference plus the smaller width.

Sometimes the springs are not quite parallel on purpose - a slight skew can add stability in a turn. It can add, or at least control, understeer or oversteer. But they should line up straight at the shackle.

jfralph 07-23-2003 09:12 AM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
I agree with most that has been said here. I have the same condition, except much more severe. I didn't have much of a problem with the poly bushings, but I exchanged the poly in favor of OEM rubber. The rubber for some reason cannot handle the stress of the lift. I have had to replace rubber bushings every so often because of this. Probably not the best condition possible, but I have chosen to live with it unless someone can point me at an easy cure.

RiffRaff 07-23-2003 12:09 PM

Re: Why do Shackles lean out
I have the same problem in the rear if my CJ7. I think my problem is that the axle tubes have bent. this could be your problem as well. Just a thought.

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