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Shackle strenght debate

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ugly_blazer, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I recently bought a piece of 3/8" x 2" flat stock from the local Napa/farm supply store to make new front shackles for my K20. I only plan on going 1/2" to 1" longer to keep the spring from hitting the frame. My friend says that the factory shackles are hardened steel and are way stronger than the 3/8" that I bought, and that the 3/8" will bend real easy, easier than factory stuff.

    Questions:

    Are the factory shackles hardened steel?

    Which is stronger, factory or the 3/8 x 2 flat stock that I bought?
     
  2. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Im not a metalurgist or anything, but from what i remember the factory shackles on my 85 jimmy were pathetic... almost any material 3/8" thick would be better. lol!

    j
     
  3. ben427

    ben427 1/2 ton status

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    The stock shackles are just stamped 1/8 mild steel, 3/8s is wayyyyyy beefier. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  4. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, that's what I was thinking. I know mine look like sheet metal compared to the 3/8", but my friend somehow thinks the factory stuff is better /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    I know what I'll run, thanks guys /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  5. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    if it will make you feel better/safeer (and if you have a tourch) when you have finished the shackel all holes and cutting heat the whole thing chreey red, the cwench it in wd-40 not the spray, pour it in a contaner and emerce the shackel. You can but it in aq jug at most stors, or you can use plain moter oil if this seems to expencive. this will sigifagantly (sp) streanthen it, vs strait mild steel. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  6. K5er4Life

    K5er4Life 1/2 ton status

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    youll be fine with 3/8, thats what my hill shackles are made of and they are quite beefy.
     
  7. unclematty

    unclematty 1/2 ton status

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    Thasnks for this post I was thinking the same thing /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  8. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    if i were you and i basically am doing the same thing.i would upgrade to a 1/2 inch bolt also through the shacles.the stock ones are 7/16 and im not sure how much abuse they can take either.you can also gfet the 1/2 inch bushings from ord i believe to match the hardware.
     
  9. smokkey1

    smokkey1 1/2 ton status

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    I'll second that /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  10. mtn. burb

    mtn. burb 1/2 ton status

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    I'll third that. 3/8th's is fine. Just did it last month.


    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  11. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    I have 3/8" plate on mine. Made a set for therobzilla also. We have both sheard many a 7/16" bolt but have not bent the shackle. The holes can waller out a little over time (heat treating takes care of this). Also I am now running 9/16" bolts in all springs/shackles and have yet to break one.
     
  12. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all of the information. I will try the heat treat with the torch and wd40/motor oil, it's always cool to play with fire /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif
     
  13. blasterD

    blasterD 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 3/8" set of shackles on my 78 that is 6" long. Never had a problem with it. I have broken the stock shackle on the front of my 86 though. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I agree on the bolt upgrade--I have no idea how the stock GM shackles at the rear of the front springs hold the weight of a 6.2 diesel or a big block,and an 8 foot plow and its frame,and whatever else you bolt on it(like a heavy winch,brush bumper,etc,)and not snap those puny 7/16 bolts,or fold the shackle in half--I have yet to break one,but I have removed several of those bolts that were nearly sawed in half by the thin stock shackle!. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  15. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    this will sigifagantly (sp) streanthen it, vs strait mild steel.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks for all of the information. I will try the heat treat with the torch and wd40/motor oil, it's always cool to play with fire /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mild steel doesn't harden worth a sh!t...don't waste your time with it. The quality, and alloy of the steel is what allows it to be hardened.

    Rene
     
  16. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    You mean these stock front shackles?

    [​IMG]

    Yeah they're real sturdy /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
     
  17. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    We can set you up with a bushing bolt and sleeve kit with greasable or non greasable bolts, no problem. They're upgraded to 1/2" grade 8 either way with our hard compound bushings.
    Just going to 1/2" seems to make a big difference in the wear since you start with a massive increase in the wear surface. Just for the record, they should never wear because they plates clamp to the sleeve so there should not be any relative motion between the bolt and plate. In the real world things loosen up sometimes so you can be assured with 3/8" plates and 1/2" bolts, you won't have any problems.
     

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