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POLL: Which shackle flip?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blazer79, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    I'm installing a 2" body lift right now.

    Next step is a shackle flip and new springs up front. Now I need to decide which shackle flip to go.

    1) Homemade shackle flip: Cheap, but lots of work involved in removing the four rivets and opening the new hole.

    2) Bolt on Shackle flip by Echobit ( Echobit ): Easiest to install, probably the best option for me, but gives about 5" of lift, + 2" body lift I have, maybe it will be too much for a set of 36" Fun Country tires that actually measure 34.5" unaired.

    3) ORD shackle flip: I'd still have to do all the drilling and grinding to remove the old one and it's a bit too expensive for my taste, but is proven very effective.

    So, what's your opinion:

    <FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="http://coloradok5.com/forums/dopoll.php"><INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="pollname" VALUE="1029122667Blazer79">


    Which Shackle Flip?
    <input type="radio" name="option" value="1" />100% Homemade - Just sweat it.
    <input type="radio" name="option" value="2" />Echobit - Go big, the tires are big enough.
    <input type="radio" name="option" value="3" />ORD - The right height with the proper construction
    <INPUT TYPE=Submit NAME=Submit VALUE="Submit vote" class="buttons"></form>

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I voted for Echobit. Now I need to buy a set.
     
  3. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Build your own. A couple pieces of flat stock and some box steel should do the trick.

    I don't know how much lift this produces, but:
    I have a half ton truck. That means I've got a really long front spring mount compared to the back one (I think it's 4 inches longer or so). When I put my 14FF in it'll be 2 inches taller (with a pinion level with the ground instead of pointed up). This is because the 14FF has the same length spring mounts front and rear on the donor truck. To get more lift I'll go to a junkyard and cut the front spring mounts off another half ton and then use it for the rear ones on my truck.

    This will keep things looking pretty stock and the mount will be what is hanging down getting ready to be tore off rather than the spring. Plus, if you look at a half ton front mount it actually looks stronger than what they use in the back on the half tons and on 3/4 tons front and rear.
     
  4. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    I went with the ORD flip because it can take the abuse of me jumping my near 7000lb rig. If you are even a little skilled at welding you could brace the home made flip enough to take just as much beating. BorregoK5's flip is definately easier to install and gives a little more lift.
     
  5. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    You missed one option. Using a front spring hanger off the rear leaf springs off a 1/2 ton chevy pickup. You can cut it off a junker, cut yours off, and bolt the new one on the K5. Its super easy, and gives about 4.5" lift (at least on mine), and is very cheap. I scrounged mine for free. It only cost me a couple cutting wheels for the rivets, and some new bolts. The pics of this are on my camera... the old fashioned type that have to be developed at the store... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif.

    Mike
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I just wanted to mention that I did a homemade shackle flip without removing the rivots. I just cut out a new hole in the shackle using a dremel tool with a snake, about 10 cutoff wheels and a little carbide cutting bit. Pretty cheap and fast for a suspension mod.
     
  7. 76chevy

    76chevy 1/2 ton status

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    How hard was it to cut through the shackle mount? I am going to do a flip in the next two weeks since I have to replace my exhaust.

    I drilled some small holes and they were drilled pretty easily. I was thinking of using some cut off wheels to cut my shackles like you did. I don't have a dremel but a die grinder. I bought a pack of cut off wheels but it looks like I might need more. It should work o.k. as long as I watch my fingers.

    Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  8. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    I went the homemade route without taking off the hangars. I wrapped the gas tank with three soaking wet beach towels (the real thick ones) and went to town with a cutting torch. I was EXTREMELY careful though, and had the wife standing by with a fire extinguisher. Cut the holes undersize, then finish them off with a die grinder. Probably took all of an hour for both sides.

    John
     
  9. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    The shackle hanger is not that hard. The drawbacks I see to a die grinder are the larger amount of sparks and the diameter of the wheel. It's big enough that you can't get a real square hole without cutting too far on the top or bottom. You'll just have to take it easy and use something small to finish "squaring" the hole up.

    At least I know my grinder has a 4" wheel. Maybe yours is smaller.

    Just pack the area so that sparks are caught by something heavy and wet and try to throw the sparks away from the tank. Good ventilation is a good idea, too. It's the fumes that are flammable, so don't let them build up.
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I would say get the Springer or make your own. As for making your own, use a (roughly) 1/2" drill to make the corners first. Then connect the dots, making the straight cuts tangent to the outer edge of the holes. This give you a nice radius at the corners which improves the strength (avoid stress risers like sharp corners).
     
  11. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    What about the 1" offset for greater flex? How important is that? How does that extra inch actually improve flex?
     
  12. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Was that addressed to me? If so, not sure what your asking... What 1" offset?

    Edit: Oh, I get it, your talking about BorregoK5s brackets. Yes, it will help by changing your shackle angle.
     
  13. 76chevy

    76chevy 1/2 ton status

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    I bought some 3"blades. Hopefully those will be small enough. I don't have a dremel or sawsall so I'm going to have to use what I have and see what happens. If it doesn't work I will have to try something else.

    Did you end up sitting level? My rear springs sag a little so I was thinking of getting some longer 5" shackles while I was at it. I figure that will be cheaper than the ORD 1 inch lift. Later on, I might run 35's so the 1" taller shackle might help.

    I guess I'll see what happens. I may just use the existing shackles.
     
  14. MaxCrack

    MaxCrack 1/2 ton status

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    I picked ORD because there are fewer parts, it just looks more solid and I have it. It is working great for me. It really was not all that difficult to put in. (I did get lucky though with the gas tank) I'm almost positive, if you put it in right you will never have to worry about it again. Unless you start thinking about, later (like me), putting in the 57" springs.

    The echobit is definately easier, and really does not look like it would have any problems, and the extra inch does not really seem like a big deal. I did miss how much it costs though. From the looks of it, it should cost at least half off the ORD version. It comes in a very close second, unless you are really low on funds, then the home made version is just fine, or if you can weld in some support (like Rene did). Hell that even seems the way to go if you can weld or know someone who will do it for you. uNFORTUNATELY FOR ME i DON'T, ON BOTH ACCOUNTS. Damn caps lock key.

    It all depends on you and what you have going for you. If you can weld or know someone who can or are dirt poor, go for number one. If you can not weld but don't want to spend the money and/or the effort of the ORD set, go for the echobit, if you can't weld and have a few bucks to spend go for ORD.

    From all that I have read, there really is not much down side to any of them. I just like what I have, so there.
     
  15. outlaw612

    outlaw612 1/2 ton status

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    I did the homemade flip by cutting it with a torch. Took about 15 minutes to do both sides.
     
  16. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Torch? Doesn't the heat affect the temper of the metal or something like that?
     
  17. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    BadDog:

    Sorry if I confused you. Yes that's the 1" I was asking about. I actually meant the question for anyone willing to answer, but I didn't know where to put it. You seemed like a nice guy /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    What happens without that extra 1"? Simply a rougher ride?
     
  18. outlaw612

    outlaw612 1/2 ton status

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    I did the same on my 82 K5 and never had any trouble. I believe you temper the metal by heating and rapidly cooling it. (water submersion) Anyways, Ive heard people say they cut the rivets out with a torch so I dont think its a problem.
     
  19. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Just remember that the shackle flip changes your pinion angle. The flip alone tips it up about 8 degrees. Subtract from that whatever your old block taper was (if you had blocks) and that is how much your pinion has rotated up. A 4-5" shackle flip sets the axle up about right for a CV driveshaft. If you don't have one, plan on shims or getting the perches re-welded.
     
  20. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Basically it boils down to this (simplified, I don’t feel like typing a book /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif ).

    If the shackle is setting vertical, you pretty much get whatever your spring rate is.

    If the bottom eye of the shackle is in front of the top eye, the effective rate of the spring is higher. Partially due to a phenomenon known as “jacking” which forces the back of the truck to rise proportionally more than the axle when the suspension compresses over a bump. There are other forces at work as well but that is the gist…

    If the bottom eye is behind the top eye, the effective spring rate is lower. This causes a sort of “reverse jacking” effect (among other things).

    The further off of vertical you get the shackle eyes, the more effect it has. Too much, and you have problems with extreme axle movement. Lots of things to consider but, having the lower eye about 1”-1.5” or so behind the upper eye (on a 4” shackle) is generally a pretty good compromise.
     

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