Lifting Your Truck: Sky-Manufacturing Shackle Flip conversion
Many folks who have lifted their trucks have opted to use blocks instead of springs in the rear of their 4x4 when lifting it. While blocks are the cheapest solution they are far from the best option. Vibrations, axle wrap, spring breakage and bad pinion angle are just a few of the side effects caused by the use of lift blocks. In the past there has been one choice to make when you decided to pull out your lift blocks and turn them into wheel chocks or slingshot ammo for your annoying neighbors. This choice was lift springs. But at upwards of $500 a pair this option was in many cases was out of reach. There was another option available but while it could be cheap it was NOT simple. This option was a shackle flip. By flipping your original shackle brackets you could attain a 4" lift. But this procedure was quite involved and sometimes required the replacement of both brackets and the drilling of extra holes in your frame not exactly the easiest procedure to accomplish. Plus given the design of the original hardware the factory shackle bracket when inverted, became unpredictable in strength.
While springs are still expensive and shackle flips using the factory hardware is still cheap, a product has arrived on the market that meets both halfway. This is the well-engineered exceedingly strong shackle flip bracket available from Sky-Manufacturing.
First, look for anything that might interfere with your installation, this includes any custom sliders, wheel well modifications or anything that may interact with the spring or the shackle.
For me, this ended up being the exhaust tip. It bent right at where the spring connected to the shackle. Remember, look for anything that may get into the way of any moving parts.
Next start by removing your blocks. Pretty much an unbolt, pop out and bolt back in operation. You will need to use the factory wedge blocks to attain proper drive line angle.
Once the blocks are off dismount the shackle from the factory shackle bracket. It is also a good idea to loosen the bolt holding the shackle to the spring. This will allow the bracket to be easily moved in which ever post ion you need it to be.
Start your grinding of the rivets. Chiseling these things off can work but it will be a LONG operation. Your best bet is to get yourself a nice 4" angle grinder and go to town. Once you get the rivets ground flat you can use a punch and a hammer to punch them in and remove the bracket. Another method is to use a small sledge to whack on the bracket until it falls off.
Line up your shackle brackets with the holes in the frame. Insure you aren't going to get any interference from the bumper bracket or anything else.
Provide clearance for those items that will interfere with the mounting of the bracket. For me it was the rear bumper bracket so a notch was cut out of the bracket to insure clearance. Grind off the offending metal until it all lines up.
Once the holes are all lined up you will now need to drop the gas tank and depending on the size of your hands the rear bumper will need to be removed. This is so you can properly tighten up the mounting bolts.
Before mounting the brackets you will need to drill out the holes with a 1/2" drill. Otherwise the bolts will not go through the frame.
Mount the brackets. If you have a welder handy tack the bolts to the frame. this will help with any future modifications regarding this bracket.
Replace the bumper and gas tank then mount the shackle to the bracket. Make sure you re-torque the bolts on the springs. You are now done.