Heavy Duty Shackles
This write up shows how to build a set of heavy duty shackles to suit the XJ Cherokee and other similar setups like used in the YJ Wrangler and FSJ Cherokee's who share the same stock shackle as the XJ Cherokee.
The two angle iron pieces measure 58x40 mm, ( 1.6"x2.3" ) 45 mm wide ( 1.8" ) and 5 mm, ( 3/16" ) thick. Measuring from the outside corner of the angle iron, the hole centre is 35 mm, ( 1.4" ) up. The bush is from a new stock shackle with the rest cut off above the weld. Important to leave the weld intact otherwise will spring apart. The bush inside is the same as the rear spring eye. The SHS is 50x50x5 mm ( 2"x2"x3/16" ) and the length is dependent on how long you want to make your shackles.
To make sure the bush was square to the tubing I measure close and far the distance from the s square to back to the tube to make sure they are the same.
Best way to make sure the bush is square is to place a straight edge on both the tube and the bush to compare. You can see that the bush just needs to go a touch higher on the right. One side I welded to the original weld that held the bush sleeve together. Left the tubing long until fully welded so I could then accurately cut it to length in case there was any difference in the rounding out of the end of the tube.
Easiest way to make sure the right distance is kept and is square when assembling the angle iron pieces, is to bolt the end of an old shackle or leaf spring bush in place. Should be 71 mm between the angle line pieces.
I went for 30 mm longer than the stock 71 mm between hole centres as all I needed to clear the bottom of the re-enforced shackle box and the slight lift in pinion angle I was after without using a shim. Welded it up one weld at a time and cooling it off before the next weld. Bush was undamaged from the heat doing it this way.
Just welded together out of scrap I had lying around and with my old copper cored arc welder.
Just be aware of the draw backs of going too long. I am not a fan of 2" and longer shackles to get a cheap lift as it does rotate your pinion upwards and you get more rear steer from the front spring eye to rear spring eye relationship not being the same any more. Also the extra leverage causes cracking in the upper thin sheet metal shackle mount unless plated like I have done with mine. Also be aware that you will have more sway in the rear during cornering and off camber situations if made 2"+ longer.