Budget Lift Part 2: Extending the Spring Shackles
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By: Ahren Cahoon - 5/6/02

Budget Lift Part 2:
Putting Extended Shackles on a Gen I - 2 Door Montero

Levelling out the Montero
Image courtesy of Ahren Cahoon
Before the new shackles, Ahren's truck sat higher in the front.

I decided to switch out my shackles to try to even things out from the 2 inch lift I got from cranking the torsion bars. After talking with some Montero owners I found out that there was a way to do this. I went to the local 4Wd store and after a few tries we found the perfect match. The shackles you will need are the Front shackles to an 83 or older Toyota Pick Up (Part # 1084 , $39.99). They are 4inches wide at the top, 3inches wide at the bottom. They are very beefy, reinforced shackles that will give you an extra 2inces of lift (shackles are 4inches longer). You will also need to get some rubber washers.

Removing the Old Shackles
Image courtesy of Ahren Cahoon
drawing courtesy of Ahren Cahoon
This drawing shows the two pieces that make up the shackle

I started by blocking the front wheels and lifting the rear end with a hydraulic jack. I placed the jack stands under the frame directly forward of the rear wheel wells. It is recommended, for safety, that jackstands are also put under the axle. I then unbolted the stock shackles and spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get them out. The shackles are 2 pieces, as you can see from my attempt at a drawing. There are no bolts on these, there are 2 threaded bots welded to one of the shackle plates. Once the nuts and washers are off, one side will fall off. Then the task of getting the other side off begins. It took a lot of hammering and pulling. After removing the other half of the shackle you will need to remove the rubber sleeve from the hole. Once those are out it is time to put the new ones on.

Bolting up the New Shackles

Now that the shackle is out, your springs will try to compress. It is not too difficult to stretch them back to where the older shackles are. But to pull them down another four inches is not so easy . To solve this I decided to put the hydraulic jack between the top leaf and the frame, extend until the new shackles lined up and then feed the new bolts through. This is where the new rubber washers are used. Place them between the shackle and the frame mount on top and between the shackle and the leaf's loop, on bottom. The new bolts fit fine into the holes, but there is no way you will be able to reuse the original sleeve, because of the size, and the probable condition of the sleeve. Throw the new washers and nuts on, lower the truck, torque to factory specs, and you are good to go.

Image courtesy of Ray Sala Image courtesy of Ray Sala Image courtesy of Ray Sala
When lining up the leaves with the new shackle... ...the stock Mitsu jack comes in handy! Ahren's newly levelled Montero

Keep in mind...

...you are now 2 inches higher in the rear. Your shocks are extended 2 inches at park. Now is a good time to add longer shocks, and extended brake lines, in order to use that new found height and flex.

Disclaimer: Making modifications to your vehicle may make your vehicle less reliable and potentially more dangerous.ORN is not liable for any effects caused by these modifications. Owners attempting these modifications do so at their own risk.

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