Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Northern Catskill Mountains, NY
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Re: tires with shackle reversal?
Yessiree, Bub, I'm running the most recent 5 leaf design. According to Steve Kramer, Calmini has re-designed their springs several times to come up with a spring that will give good flex yet not sag. In fact, when you first put on the newer 3" springs, they ride higher than 3", giving some leeway for the spring pack to "break-in" and settle.
I run 31x10.50 BFG M/T's on 15x7 centerlines. Even with the new 5-leak packs, axle moved forward 1", 2" of body lift and massaging the fender well with a hammer, I can still shove my front tires into the rear of the fender well, but barely. Now, understand that it doesn't happen often. I have to SLAM into a deep pothole at 40 MPH or be extremely twisted up (and I mean extremely). But hey, what flex monger doesn't eventually rub something? Even the wild Spidertrax rigs can stuff a tire here or there until they rub.
As far as a few additional add-on's to improve the flex, do many of the same things that you need to do the a SPOA to maximize articulation.
For the front, lose the stock upper shock mounts. Choose RRO's, Petro's, Hardcore's or any other ones out there. I like the Ford towers as they are cheap and work just fine, especially with a body lift. Never seen the Harcore 4x4 towers, but if Porter builds them like he does his skid plates, I'm sure they are bad-ass.
Longer shocks means more travel, but to open it up even more, use the bump stop spacers from the 2" S/R kit and scrap the one's from the 5" combo. This will give even more flex, but will void the Calmini spring warranty. But as I say, what THEY don't know won't hurt YOU. ;-p
A buddy of mine has a S/R on a Wrangler. He got more lift and flex by custom building longer rear shackles for the front. He needed to install shims to get the angles back in line, but he claims he picked up almost 6" more in travel. Currently, he's working on a folding shackle (ala Revolver) for it. Interesting...
For the rear end, get a upper shock mount relocater. Available at the same places. Now install a folding shackle such as Expanders, Revolvers or Drop-Links. This will help free up the rear, which IMHO happens to be the weak link in the Calmin set-up.
Now here's the problem with this whole thing. You wasted money on the Calmini shocks 'cuz your going to need longer ones. You'll have a extra set of Boomerang shackles. You'll need to weld. You thought you were done spending money on the suspension.
Other than that, following these suggestions will really help the Calmini Combo on the trail and on the ramp.
I think Calmini builds a very fine kit. Their welding is par none. It's easy to install, does what it claims, and for those without a well-equiped garage, doesn't require a welder. I've heard of a lot of folks concerned that the bolt-on is weak. If it bothers you, WELD IT! No one ever said it can't be welded, but many SPOA kits can't be bolted.
As I said before, it's not the best set-up out there. But it is a good one. Remember, there are S/R set-up J**Ps that very effectively compete in the Rockcrawling competions and there are SPRING UNDER rigs that win. Food for thought.