Why install a Shackle Reversal? Because it allows the front axle to travel in a more natural action when the spring compresses. When the vehicle tire comes in contact with an obstacle it attempts to compress the spring, but the shackle must move forward to accomplish this, so it is already fighting against itself. By moving the pivot point to the rear of the spring, the effect of an obstacle on the spring is more natural. At highway speeds the Shackle Reversal really shines, no more of that dreaded bump-steer, wandering and tooth jarring ride.
After reading the literature on a few different kits, I decided to call Chris Overacker at Mountain Off-Road Enterprises to check out his kit. He explained to me that his kit does a lot more than just move the shackles to the rear. This system moves the axle forward to keep the tire from hitting the fender during compression, a common problem with many other kits. The M.O.R.E. kit also uses bolt on front brackets that use all of the stock holes in the frame. All of the hardware is either Zinc plated or painted with “Hammerite” black paint. This is truly a complete kit it includes everything right down to the last washer. The craftsmanship and quality of this kit are evident in the perfect fit of all parts. The M.O.R.E. kit took two people approximately 5 hours to install. The important thing to remember about this kit is to take your time and become familiar with the instructions before you begin. The instructions will walk you step by step through the entire installation. We had no trouble installing it, but don’t get ahead of the instructions they are in sequence for a reason! Read the installation section to get more details about the installation process.
After installation, we took the jeep out for a test drive. A medium-speed drive down a washed out road was no longer a thrill ride! I can now control the jeep on washboards and the front end feels planted on the road. Off-road and in the rocks the Jeep feels smoother and compresses the front end much easier. I also gained an additional 1.5 inches of suspension droop, but am told this is not always gained with every Jeep. The truly amazing result of this kit is the highway and city driving. The Jeep now feels totally different, no darting, jolting or wandering when I hit a bump. In my opinion, this kit is the single best handling improvement you will ever make to your Jeep, both on road and off !!! JC
|Before you begin this install, read through the instructions to make sure you have all of the tools necessary. As with any kit, check the kit to make sure that all the components are included. This kit requires some welding, so if you don’t have a welder, or can’t use one, invite a friend over who can help you out. Before you begin, you must put your jeep on jack stands just behind the fixed spring mounts. Remove the wheels/ tires, shocks, front springs, shackles, shackle brackets, and front drive shaft. You will need a second set of jack stands to support the axle once the springs are removed. The instructions included with this kit are the best I have ever used for an install, it includes pictures for every step of the process, so I am not going to list every step of this install, just give you an overview of process. Follow the directions, and don’t jump ahead and your install will go as smoothly as this one.|
|Now the fun begins, remove the fixed spring brackets from the frame. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, torch the rivets off, and use an air chisel to separate the brackets from the frame. This is the easiest way, I didn’t have any gas in the torch tanks, so I used a Sawzall to cut the ears off the brackets, and then ground the rivets flat. This allowed me to knock the brackets off with a sledge. Then just clean up the slag from the frame with a grinder, being careful not to scar the frame.|
|Now you can start assembling the new front brackets. The instructions for this install are incredibly well written, so I will not tell you all of the steps for the front brackets, but will say that everything fits like it came from the factory! It takes about 20 minutes to assemble the front brackets and tighten them up. Here is the interesting part, take each leaf spring and mount it with the large end in the new front bracket. Now pivot the spring up by hand so that it is 1″ from the frame. Mount the shackle to the spring and place your magnetic protractor on the front of the shackle.|
|Pivot the shackle until the protractor pointer is at 60 degrees. This is where you will mark and drill your frame. Be sure to double and triple check all of your measurements at this point! Remove the brake proportioning valve from the frame and move it out of the way, do not disconnect the lines.|
| Now mark and drill the holes in your frame, per the instructions. Insert the frame sleeves into the holes, and weld them up. After everything has cooled, repaint the frame, reinstall the proportioning valve, install the polyurethane bushings in the frame, attach the springs to the axles and put the shocks back on. Your front drive shaft may not be long enough to be used with this kit; the axle is 1.25 inches forward of the factory design and it now must extend further during spring droop. Have a professional driveline shop lengthen it with a longer slip yoke. Tighten all the remaining items per the instructions, put on the wheels/ tires, and remove the jack stands. The last thing to do is jump up and down on the front bumper to “seat” the suspension. Now take it out for a test drive! I was amazed at how much better my Jeep reacted to bumps on the street and how much smoother it felt on the trail. The quality, craftsmanship and ease of installation of this kit absolutely amazed me. If you want to improve the handling of your Jeep both on the trail and off, Call M.O.R.E. and get this kit!
See you on the trails…JC
|Ease of Install||Took about 5 hours for two people. Great instructions and helpful pictures included. Went together perfect|
|Ease of Use||Worked even better than advertised.|
|Performance||Single best handling improvement I have ever made to the Jeep both on road and off.|
|Durability||Too soon to tell, but from the craftsmanship and quality it should last forever.|
|Appearance||A little different at first with no shackles in the front, but after one drive who cares! All the parts where painted or plated perfectly.|
|Drivability||One word: Awesome!|
|Comfort||No more jarring or darting when I hit a bump. Much smoother on the street and trail.|
|Price in comparison to related products||Well worth the investment if you want to best ride you can get from your Jeep.|
|Was it worth it???||Yup!!!|
|Tools Required||Full set of wrenches, sockets, drift punch, floor jack, jack stands, torch set or Sawzall, grinder, magnetic angle finder, mig welder, torque wrench, and a hammer (what job is complete with out one?) Check the instructions, just in case!|
|Editors Notes||I would highly recommend this kit to anyone who wants to improve the overall drivability of their Jeep…JC|