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Making my own rear shackles, 1/4" flat bar or 3/8" flat bar??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mofugly13, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I have to make my own shackles for my ORD flip with ford 57" springs. My K5 was my daily driver, but now it's my weekend driver/road tripper. I wheel mostly ttrails and skid roads. I have both 1/4" and 3/8" by 2" flat bar. Is 1/4" beefy enough if I weld a brace between the two sides of the shackle? I could go with 3/8" but it will be MUCH harder to bend, seeing as how my only torch is a MAPP gas torch. Anyway, is 1/4" enough, the ORD brackets are made of 1/4". Or, should I play it safe(r) and try with the 3/8"?
     
  2. Wingnutt

    Wingnutt 1/2 ton status

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    Let me put this way, with 6k lbs of truck raising hail and bouncing down trails, which would rather have under you? I'm in the middle of swaping out my stock front shackles for some that I made. They are 3/8 CRS, 1 inch longer and I'm also upgrading to grade 8, 1/2-12 bolts. It's MUCH better to go the overkil route than to wish you had while setting broke on the side of a trail.:D
     
  3. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Why you gotta bend it? I'm guessing that the springs are wider than the mount, or vice versa?

    See, I'm tempted to go with 3/8" just on principle :D ... you could instead weld one narrow end and one wide end together, I spose, to avoid having to bend it.

    Then the question is, is that as strong as one piece; if your welds are better than mine, you've got a good chance! :haha:

    -- A
     
  4. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Gotta bend it 'cause...

    Two reasons for the custom shackles requiring bending:

    1. I am using an ORD 1-ton shackle flip bracket and the ford 57" are 3" wide.. so the shackle has to be 2 1/2" wide, outside measurement, where it fits into the flip bracket, and it has to be 3 1/2" wide, inside measurement, to fit over the 3" ford springs.

    2. To fit the 3" wide springs on the front (of the rear spring), I got some ford factory hangars that accommodate the 3" spring. However, these space the spring pack 3/8" farther from the frame than the 1-ton ORD flip brackets, so I have to build an 3/8" offset into the shackle as well.

    I wish I had an oxy-acetylene set up. I have the hoses, guages, and torch handle and heads, but no tanks.:frown1: Then bending would be relatively easy. I am building the brackets 1/4" longer than the stock brackets, that will net me 4" of lift in the back with the 4" flip bracket, right? I need to know this because I need to order some BDS front springs to match....
     
  5. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    to bend it just cut at the bend with a cut off wheel but dont go all the way through, then just beat it with a hammer to where you want it and then weld up the gap :)
     
  6. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Ack, so that's some pretty serious bend. If it was 3/8" or so, I was stinking you could just butt one end inside the other ... but you gotta lose an inch and a half, inch and three quarters (depending on 1/4" or 3/8" strap) from one end to the other.

    Wingnutt's got a point; overengineering is a good thing... the question is, how to fab it?

    I donno if it's kosher or what, but you could prolly post this in the CoG forum and get some different opines on how-to.

    -- A
     
  7. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Yeah, I drew it up on a CAD program I have, so I could print it and use it as a template for bending. If I go with 3/8" I will have to offset one "plate" of the shackle .5" ( not too bad) and the other 1.25" (whoa!). 85mudblazin's idea sounds pretty good. Can I post a CAD drawing here? How do I do it?
     
  8. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I figgered it out
    [​IMG]
     
  9. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    that would work but I might add a brace in the middle just for more support
     
  10. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    That's what I plan on doing. I am a CAD newbie and am learning by trial and error. I thought that drawing in any bracing would make the drawing too busy, with all the dimensions. I am thinking of welding a piece of 1"x2" rectangle between the plates with the ends cut at the appropriate angles. Maybe I'll box it with some plate. I donno. I'll think more about that after the sides are done.
     
  11. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I think that plating across the back side of the shackle is more important that using some uber-thick flat stock. The concern is clearly the side-loading of the shackle and you want to prevent having a long, unsupported length of steel on those shackles.

    I re-used a set of stock shackles, and lengthened them by 2". I also welded on a backing plate to beef up the whole deal. So far no problems, and the stock brackets are probably only 1/8" thick (or less)....there are some pics in my gallery if you want to follow the link in my .sig

    :usaflag:
     
  12. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I think I'll go with the 3/8" plate because of the idea 85mudblazin posted 'bout how to bend it. Thanks, bro.:thumb: Then as you suggested, Greg, I will "box" the shackle with 1/4". That should be mighty stout, and it should be pretty easy, as well. I was feelin' intimidated about getting a good sharp bend in the 3/8", but I dig 85's idea. I'll try to take lots of pics and post them as I make this mod happen. Thanks fr the input, fellas.:grin:
     
  13. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    Why the offset? I don't remember the shackles on Wimpy havin an offset to them. Feel free to call me an idiot. Won't be the first time. :p:
     
  14. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but whose truck is 'wimpy'? I got a ford front rear spring hangar to replace the chevy one, so that I could accommodate the 3" wide springs. These spaced the center of the spring pack 3/8" farther from the frame than the 1-ton ORD shackle flip bracket, hence the reason for the 3/8" offset in the rear shackle. If I had used the ORD 1/2-3/4 ton flip bracket, I would have had to offset the shackles something like 3/4" closer to the frame. I decided to go with the 1-ton brackets and 3/8" offset. I posted to the ORD forum about this and Stephen helped me out. Here's the thread:
    http://http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117420
     
  15. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    you could use your 3/8th plate to space the ord brackit away from the frame. and line it up with the ford one.
     
  16. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Thought about that. But the offset shackle is definitely more "trick", and I was gonna have to make some custom shackles anyway. Also, that would mean re-drilling the frame or the bracket because the up from the bottom would not line up anymore, and seeing as how it's just a 3/8" offset, that would mean I would probably wind up with elongated holes.
     
  17. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    Wimpy is our truck. Open differentials front and back and goin out on the trail with the big dogs led to the name. Sorry I missed the importance of the Ford relevance but thanks for clearin it up. Oh and by the way, do you have any high school kids you know and trust that are in metal shop? They could maybe make a project of bendin up the flat stock. Just a thought.
     
  18. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    In your cad drawing where is the upper (frame side) bushing? I am trying to picture your set up.

    As for bending, my HF pipe kinker bends 2x1/2" flat stock pretty well, 2x3/8" you can get the 25° bend to only suck up about .5" of steel (not sharp but a small radius for the thickness). If you bend it too sharp it will be more likely to shear or tear in the future.
     
  19. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    The frame side of the shackle is on the right. I drew in 1/2" holes on the side view, but I planned on drilling them to whatever dimension the stock hangars are drilled. I need a large hole with a piece of appropriately sized tubing between the two sides of the shackle on the frame side, right? The tube ID would match the OD of the bushings, correct? What is the OD of the bushings? I may as well alter the drawing to reflect the actual hole I'll be drilling.

    I dont have a Harbor Freight nearby, or I might consider one of those benders. I'm going to do it like 85mudblazin suggested and cut about halfway through with my porta-band, bend it and then lay a fat weld bead in the gap.
     
  20. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    FWIW, I just went down to the shop and cut the 3/8" bar to length, made cuts about 1/2 way through where the bends are, put them in a vise and with a BFH bent them, then I welded up the gaps. Total time, about 30 minutes. Looks like they will work out VERY nicely. Now I have to drill holes for the mounting hardware/bushings, and box them. I will post pics of the process when I am done, not that anyone might be interested, but I just wanna show off something that I built myself.
     

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