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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

A week or two ago someone posted a photo of a front shackle hanger that had been ripped loose from the frame. That got me thinking about the shape and relative health of my hangers. I still have the stock hangers bolted on my CJ7 but I was wondering whether or not it would be wise to weld the hangers to the frame. Are there any negatives to doing this? It would appear that a good welding job would eliminate (almost) the chance for failure of a hanger.

Comments appreciated.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 10:50 AM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

In my book that's the kind of thing filed under "Don't mess with what isn't broken."

A stock Jeep used sensibly will probably never have a problem until considerable rust damage is added to normal stress, and those aren't areas that usually see a lot of rust. Check all stress points periodically and fix them when a problem crops up.

But if your Jeep isn't stock, or is thrashed regularly, or has a lot of rust damage, or you're a worry wart, weld the hangers and beef up the area, and don't forget the shackle hangers.

And if they're stock hangers, I think that they're riveted, not bolted. They were on my '78, and still are, although I did add a little weld when the frame was upside down on sawhorses. OK, I'm a worry wart, [img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] but it was real easy to get good welds under those conditions, and afterward I had the frame galvanized, so promoting rust inside the frame wasn't a concern.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 11:06 AM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No


You are probably referring to my earlier post... FWIW, some of the things I've found out replacing that thing...

1. Most any non OEM-type replacements are somewhat pricey: $40 on up. OEM-type are about $14.00 (4WD Hdwe). Compared to the beefier replacements, the OEM-type look pretty flimsy, but it DID last 22yrs... [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

2. Full Traction Suspension makes one that has an additional attachment point forward of 'eye' - uses OE bumper attachment bolt. Looks like a good system. (Moses Ludel recommneds these in his recently-published "CJ Rebuilders Manual".) I went w/ the OEM-type replacement - for now - b/c I'm so cheap & in a hurry, but may get a some Full Traction replacements, or fab up some similiar ones in the future.

3. Removing the remnant of the shackle hanger was a PITA. Both 'capture nuts' broke loose, so I ended up using a cut-off wheel to take remove 'em. Suggest you PB Blaster the heck outa 'em before trying to remove.

4. B/c of #3, I had to either weld my replacement on or get nuts in the frame and hold to tighten. I elected the latter, but may have them welded too...

5. There is very little room to manuever in frame, trying to hold nuts in place (via limited access) to tighten bolts was next to impossible (I did not want to cut a hole in the frame rail to access).

6. I used Nylock-type locking nuts and Locktite to secure nuts from vibrating loose. I was able to fully tighten the rear-most bolt, but the front could be a little tighter... therefore my thoughts of welding it up for additional strength/stability. (I'll go back tonight and try to get a wrench/socket on it again.)

7. Welding would be much easier (much less frustrating & [img]images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]) way to go.

8. One reason I did not want to perm'ly attach (weld) spring hanger was because I might want to do a shackle reversal. But, I am unsure whether the front spring hanger is used (as-is) or is replaced w/ other hardware.

QUESTION Does OE front spring hanger stay in place &/or used when you do a shackle reversal?

9. When trying to bolt up the shackle, I found that the spring is a mite tweaked and not lining up real straight w/ the repl. hanger - about 1 1/2" off. I have a feeling this is gonna be a PITA to line up and get reattached...

10. Finally: I'd suggest all readers check your spring hangers, especially around the area of the cutout for the frame rivet, for cracks, fatigue, bending, etc. I still get a queasy feeling in my gut when I think about what coulda happened had that shackle eye bumped loose from where it caught itself on the bumper bracket... while on the Interstate. [Again Lord, THANK YOU!]
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 05:39 PM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

I think it is common in these parts to replace the rivets w/ bolts after they start to get loose.

I'm too lazy to try to remove the rivets so I welded my front shackel mounts to the frame to help w/ the death wobble.

In my opinion it would be easier to grind the welds loose than the rivets.

But, as said above, if it aint broke .........
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 05:49 PM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

just weld them on.. I welded up the little gap in them too and it seemed to strengthen them. If you ever need to take them off, gas axe.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 07:02 AM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

[img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] You need to understand that welding isn't always the "Fix-all to End-all". Rivets are one of the oldest forms of metal construction, and they STILL have qualities that are unmatched as far as the ability to hold parts togeter is concerned. The factoreeee used rivets because they resist flexure better than a weld does, and there isn't the problem with having a weld-affected area on the highly stressed frame. You can replace rivets with bolts, but the bolts need to be Grade 8.....or at least Grade 5. I would only weld as a last resort; as on a trail repair. [img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 12:22 PM
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Re: Welding Shackle Hangers - Yes or No

Or you could make them stronger the way I did:

First reinforce the tail end of the frame (in my case because of rust). Then run bolts all the way through the frame to the top. So far no problems.

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