Re: Those of you with the Calmini Shackle Reversal
On a stock Samurai, the bumpstops and swaybar are the limiting factors in wheel travel. By gaining 1 inch of lift in back and 2 inches of lift in front, you've extended your shocks by that much. So you've lost down-travel, but gained up-travel, which is a major source of the rough ride in a stock Sammy (bouncing off the bumpstops on bumps).
It sounds like you may have over-tightened the bolts, although your kit includes poly bushings which stiffen the ride and handling while reducing articulation a little bit.
As far as improving the design of the shackle reversal improving ride quality, it'll only do a little bit for you, by allowing the front wheels to travel slightly rearward as they travel upward. On the Calmini kit, the front of the springs are down so low that the springs are kept basically level. This keeps your castor close to factory spec, but it doesn't allow quite as much rearward travel of the wheels as it would if the front of the springs were up a bit higher. That's one of the reasons why the AAPA/CSC YJ shackle reversal improves ride quality: not only are the YJ springs much longer and softer, but their leading edge is tipped up higher than the rear of the springs, allowing the wheels to travel rearward more as they go up.
Regarding improving articulation, you'll be seeing very little improvement unless you have the sway bar removed. The only real gain in flex will come from the lift you get, which allows more wheel travel before the bumpstops are sitting on the axle, and this would be coming from any method of lift, not specifically the shackle reversal.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you were looking for a smooth ride and good flexibility, you bought the absolute wrong suspension. If you would like to improve your ride and flexibility, I'd recommend using Old Man Emu springs in conjunction with your shackle reversal. Ditch the sway bar. Use Missing Links (or other folding shackles) in back, get some longer shocks, and add some larger tires. Then you'd have a nice-riding, well-articulating suspension setup.
I hope this information helps. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
-- Geoff Beasley