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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 11:52 AM
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Why we recommend offroad use only

"Tim, That is why I asked if anyone had any supporting documentation concerning the hazzards of S/R kits on highways? If someone does, I would be just as intrested in reading it as the report written about Samurais being 'tippy'. I find it very confusing how two manufactures have two complete different opinions concerning SPOA and S/R..."
Tim Martin m -clipped from another thread-
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I don't think you'll find professionally researched information of this nature available. What you'll find is a plethora of personal observations, and that every manufacturer of SWB 4x4's puts the shackles in front. If a vehicle rode better and did not compromise safety, all shackles on all SWB vehicles from all the factorys would be in back.

We ran a S/R for about 2 weeks before I was instructed to remove it from the vehicle. Our observations (oldtimers may remember this from a few years back):

The axle is under rotational forces when braking hard. The axle pulls down on the front and pushes up on the rear of the front suspension. With the shackle up front, the suspension will pull itself downward on the shackle. Nothing happens. The shackle hangs freely anyway and can handle this 'pulling'. The rear of the spring is fixed solid in the spring hanger. In this configuration (the factory setup) the suspension should stay put and track straight under hard braking.

When a shackle is moved to the rear, what happens is that the rotation of the axle is now pushing up on that shackle that is now in back. The softer the spring, the more noticeable this is. This is one reason why you'll see stiffer springs sometimes sold in conjuction with s/r systems. So, instead of a nice controlled downward pull of the shackle, it is now being shoved upward. This causes unwanted flex in the springs which further pushes that shackle backward and allows the axle to rotate more freely. This is known as 'brake dive'. In the worst instances, it can make your front axle hop. An axle hopping is very dangerous under emergency braking.

Even off road this can happen. We watched a s/r equipped CJ5 go flying down the last 20 feet of Lionsback in Moab as his front axle was hopping. He was actually not braking, it was under engine compression (other cicumstances were involved, but the net result was ugly). The owner was in our 4x4 club and went back to shackles up front after that trip.

In our case, my fiance' told me she felt the vehicle was spooky to drive on the highway and I was told to remove the system.

As a result, we only recommend our shackle reverse kits as an offroad system only. We don't feel its safe enough to advertise as a good highway system. We do the same for our Missing Link system too. Some of our customers understand this, accept the risk, and drive on the highway with these products. But at least they know there is a risk. We don't just trump up benefits and hide the drawbacks.
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I hope this clears up our viewpoint on why our company's position is that we recommend S/R systems for offroad use only.

As for Yankee Tim and myself... he's going to buy me a couple beers in Moab and we're going to duke this thing out to see who's really right :^)

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:13 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

Gotta throw in a wrench here,

"<font color=blue>If a vehicle rode better and did not compromise safety, all shackles on all SWB vehicles from all the factorys would be in back.</font color=blue>"

Some jeeps did come from the factory with the SR in place already. I have seen many of them, and in fact, they were Willy's vintage jeeps. I'm talking factory, have seen many of them, no conversions.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:20 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

Thank you for taking the time to explain the problems associated with the S/R system. I have never heard anyone go into detail and explain what actually occurs to the axle and front end under hard braking. I could see where this would be a safety concern. Have you been able to duplicate this front brake hop on lets say; a vacant parking lot at speed?

I drive my Samurai on the street 95% of the time since I do not live two doors down from Moab. I take in consideration any negative handling characteristics that a suspension lift will cause. That is why I will install a pan-hard bar before I would even consider Missing Link shackles. By the way, do you have any idea on how to pin a set of Missing Link shackles so that they would not expand on the street? Do you think it would lessen the negative front alxe effects or do you think the pan-hard bar is enough? Thanks again for clearing up some of these S/R mysteries.

Tim Martin
87' Samurai, 5.5" SPOA, 2" longer shackles, Modified CJ-5/Samurai springs, 31x10.5-15's, Hi-lift jack, everything else pretty much bone stock.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:34 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

Since you have Jeep in your sig file, you may be more well versed than I....

As fas as I know, the only Jeeps that ever had S/Rs on them were military Willys. There was about 4-5 years where these military-spec-only-Jeeps were equipped with S/R systems. This would make sense, since the military doesn't spec their vehicles for highway use. Case in point... the Mutt. Probably the most unstable vehicle ever built. Its safe to say though that for Jeep at least, CJ5's on up through the 95 Wrnagler had shackles up front.

I love 4x4 history though (Jeep, Suzuki, anything). Any news you have that varies from mine will be readily absorbed!

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:41 PM
 
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

thnx for the explanation on why you think thr s/r is for off road only , because i am new to the mod game & want to build up my sammy for mud & road ( not a lot of rock crawling )

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:47 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

Hey guys.....I just wanted to say that I appriciate the mature manner that this issue is being handled. Glenn, thanks for that information I was not aware of S/R Problem with braking. It seems that many are also unaware of this problem and only hear rumors. Education is a powerful tool lets use it....Thanks Glenn...kudos

post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 12:51 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

"By the way, do you have any idea on how to pin a set of Missing Link shackles so that they would not expand on the street? Do you think it would lessen the negative front alxe effects or do you think the pan-hard bar is enough? Thanks again for clearing up some of these S/R mysteries."
==========================================

Actually, I did design and build "locking" Missing Links. The thought at that time was to make something that would be more streetable. However, on advice from our attorneys, I scrapped the project. Even by making the Missing Link so that it locks into the closed position, we couldn't recommend it as a completely safe suspension for onroad use. Too much liability in our litigious world today. We decided we would be better off simply keeping with the offroad use only theme of the Mlinks and keep making them in our same beefy and proven style.

I would also say that for anyone using ANY type of drop shackle, be it Missing Links, Revolvers, or whatever they are called, they should all be sold with the buyer being fully aware that they are for offroad use only. Yes... even expensive Revolver shackles can unfold under hard braking and cause problems and should only be sold under the "offroad use only" banner.

With all that said, we have been running Missing Links on our vehicles on the highway (now with panhard setups) for many years and no problems. This doesn't change the fact that as a manufacturer and retailer, we can only recommend them for "offroad use only". And frankly, we've felt safer in our Missing Link equipped Samurais than we did during that two week stint with the shackle reverse kit.


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 05:17 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

<font color=blue>As fas as I know, the only Jeeps that ever had S/Rs on them were military Willys. There was about 4-5 years where these military-spec-only-Jeeps were equipped with S/R systems. This would make sense, since the military doesn't spec their vehicles for highway use. Case in point... the Mutt. Probably the most unstable vehicle ever built. </font color=blue>

Wait a minute, the "MUTT" has a fully independent suspension, and has no relevance in this instance, other than being military and not fit for the road. I could see it if it had leaf springs, but it doesn't. It was very tippy, but only due to its 4 wheel IFS, and a lot of rollovers ensued due to taking corners at higher speeds.

Another question, why are shackles put in their current configuration on the rear axle? It seems as though this would undergo the same forces as the front, so why is it there and why doesn't it "hop" like you describe?

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 05:43 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

I was talking about military spec vehicles and mentioned the Mutt as unstable. I did not say it has shackle or leaf springs. Everybody and his brother knows they have IFS.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2000, 06:35 PM
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Re: Why we recommend offroad use only

glenn,thanks for the input.it very plain that whether we change things on our vehicals or leave them stock you can still get into trouble.i have followed your advice many times during my build up and i just want you to know,you have been a big help to me.keep up the good advice for the new folks.MERRY CHRISTMAS,RR

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