Dodge RamCharger Central banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Administrator
29,495 Posts
Submitted By: MoparMurdoc
Date: November 16, 2008, 11:15:44 PM
Views: 12137

Doing a shackle flip using factory hangers - MoparMurdoc


If you've been looking for a way to get 3-4" of lift in the rear of your Dodge without having to spend a lot of money or stack lift blocks (bad idea), then this shackle flip is for you. Or maybe you just want to remove the factory block without loosing the height it provides? You see, for some reason the guys at Dodge (and Chevy) came up with the strange spring hanger design all our trucks come with. By flipping the shackle over with a different hanger, you can gain 4" of lift or more depending on the hanger you choose. The guys at RCC used to make kits that could net you up to 8", but they since stopped making them. They do have the design plans online though, if you want to check that out here.[/url] Its a good idea if you don't mind having to pay money, but I'm cheap and maybe you are too, so we're going to do this using only factory parts you can get at a junkyard for very cheap. Lets begin.

What You'll Need

  • A truck.
  • 2 - front hangers from the rear spring of another Dodge (or a Chevy, see below)
  • 8 - grade 8, 7/16" bolts with nuts and two washers for each. Or you can go with 1/2 hardware, but you'll need to drill stuff out a little.
  • A drill
  • Angle grinder
  • Big hammer

Figure 1 below shows the Dodge spring hangers you should be looking for (Don't worry about the shackles below them). These are what we're going to use to get 3-4" of lift. Figure 1a shows a possible alternative, the hanger from an 80's chevy. That shackle is a lot longer and would probably give 3 more inches of lift, making 7" total. Now, I havn't tried this so I don't know if it'll work, just putting an idea out there for ya. I'll assume you're using the Dodge hangers in this how-to, but its really all the same, just the holes will be different. Lets begin.

(Figure 1)​

(Figure 1a)​


Ok, first we have to get rid of the old hangers. To do this, you have to jack up the truck and support it by the frame, so that the axle and droop down so that there is no load on the springs. The way I did it was I jacked the truck up as high as I could by the axle with a floorjack, then I used jackstands on cynder blocks to hold up the frame. Then I let the axle droop down untill there was no load on the spring (not full droop, but not compressed either). I also had to remove the shocks because they were interfering with the axle's droop.

(Figure 2)​

(Figure 3)​

Now, below is a pic of what you might be working with. It'd be a smart idea to clean off any mud and stuff before starting this project, but I guess i'm not that smart.
Spray some lube stuff on the bottom nut and start trying to get it loose. It can be unbelieveably stubborn, but it should come loose and you can take it off. Now, get your hammer and whack the end of the bolt to force it out the other side. Sometimes the bolt gets rusted into the busing sleeve and it just wont move. One side came out for me, the other side I got fed up and used my sawzall to cut the bottom half of the hanger off (we're replacing these hangers anyways, right?). Don't damage the shackle in the process, because its gonna be reused.

(Figure 4)​

Once you get the shackle and spring seperated from the hanger, the 'fun' part starts. Take your angle grinder and grind down the four rivets that hold the hanger to the frame. You can do this from the front or rear, dosn't really matter. Once all 4 rivets are ground down, whack the bottom of the hanger untill it brakes loose. If it won't brake loose, then you need to: A. grind the rivets more or B. whack it harder! Eventually you'll knock the hanger off. Now hammer out any pieces of the rivets that stuck into the frame. Now it should look something like this:

(Figure 5)​

Now its safe to lower the axle to the ground as shown below:

(Figure 6)​

Here's the remains of my hangers and shackles:

(Figure 7)​

Now, if you want you can clean up the area with a wirebrush or sandpaper and paint it to stop the rust from comming back. Next, grab the new hangers and line up the bottom two holes with the bottom two on the frame and bolt them up. The top two won't line up. Should look like this:

(Figure 8 )​

For the top two holes, you'll have to mark and drill new holes in the frame that'll work with the new hangers. For this you'll want a good drill bit so you can drill on through. Once you're done drilling, test fit the top bolts. If everything is good, grease up the shackle, hanger, bolts, springs, and anything else you want to grease up and start to put it all together like in the pic below. Now, you're going to have a problem when you try to bolt the shackle to the hanger because there is no hole in the frame to insert the bolt through the back of the hanger and shackle. You can either drill a big hole for that, or you can take the hanger off and preassemble it with the shackle already on. Next, bolt the hanger back up and torque down all the bolts. The top right bolt was a tricky one to get to from the back, as I remember. In the end it should go together like so:

(Figure 9)​

Make sure you have the shackle facing the right way so it dosn't bind on the spring during compression.

And now, you're done! The picture below shows how my truck looked afterword. I'm pretty sure I got 3" or more, but I forgot to measure beforehand (doh!).

(Figure 10)​


And that's it! Later I will try to get an exact measurement of the lift I got once the truck is back on the ground (replacing the front axle now). I got rid of the rear 3" block and have smaller tires in the back but the truck still sits about even with the front. As you can see, this is a very cheap way to either get some lift or get rid of the factory block. However, it will also change you're pinion angle, which might be good if you have a lot of lift, but it might not be good otherwise and you might need to get some shims. An alternative would be to use a longer hanger (like the chevy hanger) on the front of the spring to even out the pinion and provide a little more lift. If anyone wants to try the Chevy hanger, tell me how it goes and I'll update the how-to. Anyways, get out there and work on you're truck! I know I should be...

Update - Using The Chevy Hangers

A member of RCC, kyot, has used the chevy hanger's I talked about to lift his truck. He used them on the front and rear of both back springs which gave him 6" of lift, not including the shackle flip (so about 10" total). To do this he also mounted them lower then stock. He says they're 6" lower then stock, but that on a half ton frame (he has a diesel frame which is taller) you might not be able to mount it as low, so the lift might be slightly less. Here's a couple pictures. Figure 11 is the front hanger, Figure 12 is the rear hanger.

(Figure 11)​

(Figure 12)​
1 - 1 of 1 Posts