RC Adjustable Shackle installation writeup

Old 08-22-2008, 05:36 PM
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Default RC Adjustable Shackle installation writeup

This is a write up on how to install aftermarket shackles on your jeep cherokee. For this writeup, i am using Rough Country's Adjustable Shackles. They are adjustable from 1" to 2" using the upper or lower bolt holes.

Here is the kit:

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This is $52 shipped from www.roughcountry.com. Hardware includes shackles, bushings, metal sleeves for inside bushings, four bolts and nuts and 8 washers.

Tools you will need are:
Cut off wheel or sawzall.
21mm deep and short sockets
BIG MOTHA socket wrench or regular with with extension (pipe or hi-lift handle)
adjustable wrench
torque wrench
safety glasses
long sleeved shirt (or you will lose arm hairs)
pipe wrench
anti-sieze
jack stands
jack
PATIENCE

Last edited by muddeprived; 09-23-2008 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:55 PM
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First thing you need to do is block the front tires so the jeep does not move while you are jacking it up. Next loosen the lug nuts on your tires and jack up the rear end using the differential. Place jackstands under the frame rail near the front of the leaf springs and lower the jack so the axle droops down some. Remove tires.

Now take the 21mm socket and wrench and attempt to loosen the nuts and upper shackle bolt on one side. If you were wise, you would have pb-blasted those bolts for a couple days or weeks before the install. If you did not, prepare to throw tools and curse and spit. Some say nothing, not even pb blaster, will loosen the seized metal sleeves from the bolts but i will have to disagree. I could not loosen any of the bolts because of this problem and i have been pb-blasting the upper shackle bolts for weeks now and it loosened the passenger side.

Now back to the writeup: remove the nut and loosen the upper shackle bolt:
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If the upper comes out easily, consider yourself lucky!
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Do the same thing for the other shackle. As you can see i ran into THE DREADED PROBLEM:
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The metal sleeve was seized to the bolt. Now it's time to let off some steam and curse:
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Since the bolt is stuck you have the option of just ignoring it as long as you possibily can and hope it goes away on it's own or just keep on working till the problem comes back. I kept working. Remove the lower shackle bolts and drop the axle as far as you can so the leaf springs are out of the way. It helps to unbolt the shocks first.
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Now once the leaf springs are dropped and "hanging out" you come back to the same problem you hoped would disappear, the stuck bolt. The only way to get passed this issue is to bring out the toys
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I used a 4" angle grinder for a while and then got the 7" incher. A sawzall would work better but this is all my poor butt had at the time. They always say bigger is better but in this situation it doesn't work that way. The 7 incher would not fit in the narrow space and i was disappointed. So i kept working with the 4 incher using cut off wheels. Cut the welds on both sides of the shackles till the bottom part falls off:
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After that, twist the bolt so the remaining part of the shackle turns. Cut it again on the top of the shackle to spit it off and you will end up with a bushing:
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Use a razor to remove the bushing.

Last edited by muddeprived; 09-23-2008 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:05 PM
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Now you are left with source of the headache: the sleeve. You could just simply cut the bolt on each end of the sleeve and then screw out the remaining bolt but i chose to save the poor thing. I didn't want to cut up a bolt that is worth $5 at the dealership. I took a flat head screwdriver and stuck it in the opening of the sleeve and hammer it so the sleeve would open some. Then i stuck a pipe wrench over the sleeve to hold it while i wrenched the bolt out:

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It should come out with some muscle. If it doesn't then let the sparks fly and chop that SOB off.
Mine was saved but my anger for it didn't go away easily...
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By now you should have the shackles off, leaf springs down and on your way into the house to get the new shackles.
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Grease those bushings and install them on each end of the shackle and use anti-sieze on both bolts. ALOT OF IT! Think of making a nice big juicy hamburger and spreading all that delicious mayo on it. Do the same with the anti-size. The more, the less your brain will hurt later on. After a nice juicy coat of anti-sieze, install the shackles on the leaf springs and then install the upper bolts.

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Use a 21mm socket wrench and tighten them just a tiny bit for now. Go ahead and reverse the procedure by remounting the shocks and tires and put the jeep back on the ground. Next take a torque wrench and tighten the upper shackle bolt to 105 ft lbs. Then tighten the lower bolt to 85 ft lbs. Sit back and breathe a sigh of relief while sipping a nice cold one

That's it. You are all done. You should have 2" of lift using the lower bolt.

Here's mine before and after:

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Last edited by muddeprived; 08-22-2008 at 06:11 PM.
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