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Shackles will throw off your caster on the front end and can cause a misalignment of the angles between your transfercase output and pinion. The caster change with only one inch of shackle lift(the shackles would have to be 2" longer than stock) is negligable, but you might get some vibrations in your rear driveshaft. Also without much larger tires the shackles will decrease you aproach and departure angles. I didn't like body lifts either but I installed a 1" kit on my jeep and it only took about 1 hour and it is almost invisible. The extra room in the fenders is great and it didn't effect my suspension at all. A 1" body lift is only about $80, while a complete set of quality(no jc whitny cheapos) greasable shackles could cost up to $150. The choice is yours but If it were me I would save up some more money and invest in a 2.5" suspension system.

 

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Caster is an alignment angle. Here's the simplified version...Toe is the distance between the the fronts of your tires compared to the distance between the backs of your tires(just think of pigeon toed), camber is the angle your tires sit in somparison to the angle of the surface they are sitting on( /--\ or \--/ ) when veiwed from the front or rear, caster is the angle of the steering pivot(like the casters on a shopping cart). Think about the chopper from easy rider with the ridiculously stretched forks in the front. The steeper that angle the more turning room you need. If the fork on a bike was angled backwards(like the casters on a shopping cart) it would turn in a smaller area. Here's the thing- longer shackles take away some of the caster in your front end which makes it easier for the wheels to turn but they also make dart side to side like those front wheels on a shopping cart. On top of the loss of caster, longer shackles give the spring more leverage to compress the front bushings sideways alowing a looser feeling in the front end.

I am not knocking lift shackle-I have them and I don't feel any major handling problems but I never drove a stock jeep so I have nothing to compare it to.

 
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