I’m currently undertaking a complete frame-off rebuild of a 1984 Jeep CJ-7. As part of the process, I wanted to replace the ugly 2-inch lift shackles the previous owner had installed. The problems lift shackles can cause are well documented. From poor approach angles to on road steering issues, they’re just not the safest or best option.
I set out to replace the current setup with a stock height replacement—preferably something with greasable bushings. After a bit of research I settled on a set of front and rear shackles from Currie. If you’ve ever purchased anything from Currie you understand why their reputation for quality is well deserved. Shackles aren’t a complex part, but I appreciate the little things about a product like this. Features like urethane bushings, greasable bolts with zerk fittings and a corrosion-resistant gold zinc finish all come together to make this a quality product.
Install is pretty simple. The shackles come in pairs (front and rear) and include all hardware, bushings and instructions you’ll need to complete the simple installation.
First, I removed the old shackles and pried the worn out bushings from the frame mounted shackle hangers then hit the inside of the hanger with a wire brush to remove any old gunk.
Next, I greased the new bushings and placed them in the shackle hanger with the help of a rubber mallet.
With the new bushings installed I threaded the shackle bolts through both the hanger and the leaf spring without tightening the lock nuts. Since I also happened to be installing new leaf springs I didn’t use the included lower bushing. You’ll probably want to use the new bushings if you’re reinstalling an existing leaf spring.
At this point all that’s left is to torque the bolts down to the proper settings. Currie recommends torquing the center shackle bolt first to approximately 85 ft/lbs. Then torque the upper bolts to just 16 ft/lbs. They stress not to over tighten the upper or lower bolts as it will result in a stiff and uncomfortable ride.
To finish off the install I used a grease gun to lube the shackle bolts.
Overall it was a very painless install and the shackles look great. Since the Jeep isn’t quite drivable yet I can’t comment on ride quality. But I’ll make sure to update this article when I get the finished product on the trail.