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Ride Height Adjustment

Like many jeeps, the Moonlight Rambler was sitting down a little in the back end. It was particularly noticeable after we remounted the metal hardtop, filled the gastank, filled the 5 gallon jerrycan on back and mounted the full size spare on the (very) heavy duty swing out tire carrier. When my wife mentioned it didn't look right, I decided to do somthing about it.

The easy way out!

Since the Moonlight Rambler already has add-a-leafs all the way around I didn't want to beef up the springs any more since that would be bad for the ride and the flex. I decided to lengthen only the rear shackles. This would cause the minimum amount of problems with steering and drivetrain geometry. It would also get the jeep's nose out of the air.

The first picture shows the original shackles on the driver's side.

Making shackles made Easy!

I called my father and discussed things with him before I got crazy on this project--he's great for bouncing ideas off of. To my delight, he like the idea and wanted to help. He said he'd make me up a set of shackles right away and I could install them later that day. Originally I was going to use 1/4" mild steel, but he happened to have some 3/16" T-1 bar stock. That seemed like a better idea! I wanted approximately 1/2" of lift on just the back, so we used 4 1/4" from center to center on the shackle bolt holes. When using shackles for lift, the amount of lift is 1/2 of the extra length on the shackle.

This picture shows the difference between the stock '74 shackles and the new ones we made. The stock ones were mild steel with a 'u' bend in them for rigidity. T-1 is much stronger, and the 3/16" was thicker than the original shackles, so the 'u' bend wasn't needed.

Quick and simple!

With the new shackles in hand, it was just a matter of jacking the back of the CJ up and removing the old shackles and swapping them out. I had replaced the bushings in the springs and hangars last winter when I went with the add-a-leafs and had the springs re-arched. The new bolts were a little overlong, and I hadn't gotten around to bucking them off yet. I used Grade 8 bolts here.

Voila! Now the ride height was just about perfect. We took it for a test spin and found no vibrations, no weird steering quirks, and after flexing it, no flex problems! A quick, easy and cheap way to get the jeep level!

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