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48 cj2a lift and shackle question

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BryanB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 Aug. 2017 at 9:27am
Hello all, 
I have a question regarding making the switch to an aftermarket lift spring. I know i need to go to an h style shackle, but my question is what do i do about the threaded shackle hanger? Does it need to be removed and switched to a more modern style hanger?

Thanks in advance
Bryan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 48cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2017 at 5:26pm
just remove the "C" shackle and install an early CJ5 bushing...the hanger is smooth and not threaded.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2017 at 6:54pm
If you press the bushings out of the aftermarket springs, you can use your "C" shackles.
If you go with "H" shackles, the rubber or urethane bushings will fit in your hanger brackets:


Edited by jpet - 31 Aug. 2017 at 6:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2017 at 7:03pm
CJ2A #29110 "General Willys"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BryanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2017 at 7:20pm
thank you guys, i appreciate it 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wilson49CJ2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep. 2017 at 11:34am
Apologies to the OP for piling onto your thread, but it seemed an appropriate spot for a related question. I have a 49 2a project I inherited from my dad. He built it from 3 that were beyond the grave and it has a Buick V6 already, so far from stock. I'd like to put a 2" lift on it and am in the process of upgrading axles (HD D30 nearly complete and D44 rear planned).

Is there a recommended ~2" lift kit & source for these jeeps? I've found a rancho kit and superlift kit but was hoping for some real world feedback on how they ride/flex/hold up. Was wondering about a replacement OEM pack with a shackle lift.

I was initially planning high steer knuckles for the D30 and a Saginaw conversion, but that was when I was thinking about a larger lift. Trying to understand what the 2" springs will do to the geometry. Any tips and experiences would be greatly appreciated. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ol' Unreliable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep. 2017 at 1:26pm
I don't know about a 2" lift; fifteen or sixteen years ago, I bought Superlift 1" springs and I think they are working well.  I went with urethane bushings and made lubable bolts (I had access to a lathe at the time).  I wouldn't go with a shackle lift.  They just look like a temporary expedient to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wilson49CJ2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep. 2017 at 4:08pm
Thanks, I appreciate the input. That helps alleviate some of my concerns about them not holding up. I'll keep shopping around and see what I can turn up. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct. 2017 at 2:59am
Originally posted by Wilson49CJ2a Wilson49CJ2a wrote:

Is there a recommended ~2" lift kit & source for these jeeps? I've found a rancho kit and superlift kit but was hoping for some real world feedback on how they ride/flex/hold up. Was wondering about a replacement OEM pack with a shackle lift.

I was initially planning high steer knuckles for the D30 and a Saginaw conversion, but that was when I was thinking about a larger lift. Trying to understand what the 2" springs will do to the geometry. Any tips and experiences would be greatly appreciated. 

I'll chime in here with real world experience...

I bought a turn-key aftermarket 3.5" leaf spring lift kit about 5 years ago. They are Black Diamond.  I added some Daystar, 1/2" lift, H shackles to round out my suspension upgrade.  I have about 4" of overall lift.  I'm running 34" narrow super swampers, so I kinda need that much lift with these tires.  Problem is the springs do not bend or flex under the light weight of a Willys flatfender. 

After much research and talk with local spring makers, I found out that the commercial, mass produced leaf springs are made of a much thicker spring steel (rather than multiple thin ones) to cut manufacturing costs.  However, fewer, but thicker springs means no flex for our type application.  All my jeeping buddies here on the page, as well as my videos, can attest to the fact that ol' Gus doesn't flex.  None. Zero.  Pretty scary sometimes.  Hopefully, I will be working with a local spring maker this winter to cure my spring problems.  Most likely, a complete set of custom springs.

I highly advise going to a local leaf spring maker, tell him what you want to accomplish, show him your jeep, and let him build a set of springs for you.  I would NOT purchase a set of commercial leaf springs ever again, because it isn't "one size fits all" for the flatfenders.  It cost me a ton of money to find this out.

As far as the geometry goes, I don't have a problem with the 4" lift and original D25.  I built a custom steering system based on the saginaw box up front with 1" heavy wall pipe for the tie rod and drag link.  I used a straight pitman arm rather than a "drop" and everything is still parallel.  No issues with it so far.

HTH,
Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wilson49CJ2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct. 2017 at 11:08pm
Thanks! This was exactly what I was concerned about. I have two sets of stock rear leaf springs that appear to be in decent condition and the hangars are already in place to run them up front, so I think I'm going to stick with them for now to get it rolling while I get the engine sorted. I picked up new poly bushings and greaseable bolts so I'm sure it'll work for a while. Appreciate the input!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gristle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct. 2017 at 9:24am
I also have Black Diamond 3-1/2" springs that I have not installed on my Jeep. Maybe I can delete a leaf or two and get the desired flex?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unkamonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct. 2017 at 10:43am
Not that matters but when I got the 3b it rode like an empty dump truck so I pulled one of the four leafs out of each corner. It is a Rancho 1 1/2" lift. I left the front the same after even with the massive bumper and winch setup. When I got the Koenig hard top and loaded several hundred pounds of tools in the back I put the 4th leaf back into the rear
I go over to my neighbor and we will ride in his CJ7 nd then ride in the 3B.The B is smoother but I know about tire pressure. I was sitting in his garage and looking at his tires. UHMMM too much air in them so he lets out a few pounds. I didn't tell him but I let about 5 more pounds out a few nights later.
"It rides much better now".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct. 2017 at 11:59am
Originally posted by Gristle Gristle wrote:

I also have Black Diamond 3-1/2" springs that I have not installed on my Jeep. Maybe I can delete a leaf or two and get the desired flex?

Maybe.  But what I realized also, is that my main leafs are too short.  So, I might get more “squish” but I won’t get any “droop” by removing leafs.  My anchor points for my springs haven’t been altered so that’s not why they are too short.  The front is much worse than the rear.  I’d sure check that out before I altered the spring pack and rendered them un-returnable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gristle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct. 2017 at 8:24pm
unfortunately my springs are several years old. I think I get what your saying, shackles point toward middle of spring, not allowing springs to flatten. You are right about them not being cheap!Ouch 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LesBerg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov. 2017 at 1:45pm
Yeah, I have the Ranhco 2.5 kit on mine. I stuffed it in just over a year ago and it still rides like a dump truck. I was hoping the'y soften up a bit over time. So far it hasn't happened, but I don't think I've put more than a few thousand miles on it since then.

At 2860lbs across the local CAT scales with a 24" stretch, all of my articulation tries to happen in the frame.

I'm currently running 31-10.5x15 tires. Highway pressure is about 27psi, 18 on decent logging roads, and 12 on washboard dirt/off-trail.

Looking back, this is a "lift kit" that actually comes with bump-stop spacers you are required to install to maintain the warranty on the springs. When these are installed, you don't actually gain any wheel-travel at all. What I really needed was an 'articulation / wheel travel' kit.

Based on stuff I learned from jpet in one of this threads, as an off-road/trail spring, everything about these springs is wrong.

As noted above, they're too thick to flex properly, they're too short to droop, the spring-rate is too high, and when installed per instructions, you actually don't gain any wheel travel at all. You just get room for bigger tires.

My understanding is that the skyjacker kits are much the same.

I'd look at jpet's spring mod very closely and see if it's doing what you want of yours.

If not, custom springs would be the way to go. One critical thing, if I understand correctly, is that you wan to kit your truck completely out the way you want and get vehicle weight & individual axle weights. This lets the custom spring builder make exactly the spring you need for what you want to do.

I would have liked to go this route, but my spring replacement was essentially an emergency thing. Mine were so shot that the front driveshaft's front u-joint would knock on the L134 oil pan rail going around left-hand corners if I had a passenger. Both ends could bottom-out on the stops just driving down a dirt road...

It was also a money thing. I couldn't afford the custom springs, and I was worried about breaking a chunk out of the block while I saved up for the custom set.


Edited by LesBerg - 04 Nov. 2017 at 1:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unkamonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov. 2017 at 3:21pm
I have the 1 1/2 2 " Rancho lift on mine that my brother installed. Yep, stiff, so we pulled out the short leaf. Somewhat better but still rode hard. Even with all of the extra weight on the front it still only has 3 leafs per side. I put on the Koenig top and loaded up a 100 Lb tool box and it sagged a bit so the rear springs went back to stock. Really, a lot of how a Jeep rides in from the tire pressure.
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