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58cj With Front Shackles In The Rear. Swap?

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by danielbuck, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    I just picked up a fairly well banged up 58 CJ5 (or possibly a 56, it's registered as a 58 but from what I can tell looking at the serial number it might be a 56?), from what I can tell it's all bone stock.

    The front springs are fixed at the front of the frame, and have the C shackle behind the front wheels through the frame. Like the M38a1's.

    I'm wondering if it would drive better if I were to swap the configuration around with the shackles at the front of the springs?

    My plan is PROBABLY to keep this jeep stock-ish, and just enjoy it as an old jeep without upgrading things beyond replacing badly worn out parts. So if I can do this by re-using the factory (?) shackle, I will.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
  2. Aug 3, 2022
    Jw60

    Jw60 Airbender and interrupter of the light guard. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    A few pictures would be ideal, the cj5 went a little while with shackles reversed.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    I'm assuming this is factory? The front bracket is both welded, and riveted on, which reminds me of some of the construction that I see on my 46 when it was stock.

    The rear springs look like factory springs to me (they have a grove down the center of them on the bottom of each spring) so I'm assuming that not much is aftermarket, although there's definitely some home-brew stuff on the jeep.

    I'm not familier with CJ5's, I'm fairly familiar with my CJ2a, but it's not anywhere near factory anymore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Aug 3, 2022
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    I have a 56 and my front shackles are “reversed” with the solid connection in front and the shackle in the rear. If I recall correctly, the front connections are riveted to the frame so I assume this was the stock configuration.
     

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  5. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    is it worth trying to swap so that it's shackle up front? I know that would lift the front of the jeep a bit, but I honestly wouldn't mind that.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2022
    Jw60

    Jw60 Airbender and interrupter of the light guard. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    "If it ain't broke don't fix it"
     
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  7. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    I hear you on that, haha

    I've just never driven a jeep with shackle reversal before, I'm wondering if it's causing some of the slight "darty" feeling while going down the road once I get going more than about 40.

    I know the tires are shot (waiting on new ones), but the rest of the steering seems to feel not horrible, seems fairly tight. Haven't checked the alignment yet. I know the frame is bent, so that might be causing some odd alignment
     
  8. Aug 3, 2022
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    Mine doesn’t dart at all in the original configuration. Assuming all bushings/connections are solid, proper toe and caster likely have the biggest effect on how smooth or darty the steering feels.

     
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  9. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    I'll pop the wheels off and clamp on straightedges to the drums and check to see what the toe is. I'll give it just a smidge of toe-in if it's not already.

    Assuming it's all stock, the caster should probably be fine?
     
  10. Aug 3, 2022
    fyrmn

    fyrmn Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I have the same factory set up in my 6.
    There was some discussion in past on this issue on the early 5’s and 6’s. Some actually preferred this set up. I can’t recall the mechanical reasons as to why. One of the experts here will chime in and give us an explanation.
     
  11. Aug 3, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

    USA
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    Yep, I believe the toe-in fixed it. I didn't even measure, I could see just by looking at the tires that it had way to much toe-in. Looks like the tie-rod bar was bent, pulling the toe-in farther. I gave it about 4 twists out, and it looks good. Drives good too. Once my new tires arrive, then I'll take the time to actually align it by the numbers, since I'll have the wheels off for mounting tires anyway.

    So... I guess that answers the question. I'll leave the shackles alone :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  12. Aug 3, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I would. The Willys engineers were no fools.
     
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  13. Aug 4, 2022
    amboynut

    amboynut Member

    Chelatchie, WA
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    Reduces roll steer. When cornering, the body roll compresses the outside springs and extends the inside springs. With the front shackles in front of the axle and the rear shackles behind the axle the body roll/spring deflection lengthens the wheelbase on the outside and shortens it on the inside; i.e. the axles are no longer parallel to each other, which tends to increase the steering effect. This bit of positive feedback can be unnerving on a short wheelbase, high CG vehicle (can you say Jeep?). Moving the front shackles behind the axle cancels the effect. I guess the engineers decided the effect was minimal, so they went back to the front shackle configuration.
     
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  14. Aug 4, 2022
    jeepdaddy2000

    jeepdaddy2000 Member

    Eagle Point oregon
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    No
    The reversed shackles will ride better than front shackles, especially over obstacles.
    I swapped a RS frame under my jeep years ago and have never looked back.
     
  15. Aug 4, 2022
    CJ51973

    CJ51973 Member

    Versailles, KY
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    This. My friends 55 was this way when I have my 73. We both put the same BDS springs on. His rode much nicer
     
  16. Aug 4, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

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    So… the bottom of the oilbath air filter fell out sometime yesterday on my drive in the evening. So I guess that answers my question about putting a modern paper air filter on the engine. :lol:


    I'm not sure how it fell out, I know it was tight. I guess I didn't hear it fall out because I had my metal tool box rattling around on the passenger floor board. I retraced my tracks and wasn't able to find the bottom of the filter. I still have one from my 46, maybe it will fit until I get a paper air filter on there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  17. Aug 5, 2022
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Your springs look tired to me, they are straight no arch, and the shackle is out of travel. I am no expert, but I would have them looked at.
     
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  18. Aug 5, 2022
    danielbuck

    danielbuck Uncle Buck

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    I'm going to try the cheap route first, separate the packs and put a bit of a bend in each leaf in my press
     
  19. Aug 7, 2022
    amboynut

    amboynut Member

    Chelatchie, WA
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    I did that once. Lasted about a week.
     
  20. Aug 7, 2022
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    A commercial spring shop can re-arch leaves. Possibly heat treat them too.
     
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