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  #1  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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Belltech 2"drop shackles help

Im sorry if this has already been talked about. I am getting the Belltech drop shackles part number 6406 for my 09 F150 Ext Cab. Are they fairly easy to install yourself? Any advise on where to place the jack stands and where to floor jack the rear end? Socket sizes needed? What bolt holes to use on the shackle to get the 2" drop? Sorry to ask so many questions. This is an awesome forum and so much great help on here. I appreciate it!!

Todd
Orlando, FL
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 11:19 AM
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They're really easy to install. If I recall correctly, you'll need a 15mm and 18mm wrench.

You can jack up the truck on the rear differential, then place the jackstands on the frame. Then lower the axle so that the wheels are hanging in the air. But make sure to keep a very slight amount of pressure with the jack on the differential.

Unbolt and remove the OE shackles. Jack up the axle about 2" (you'll need to tweak it to get the leafs to line up with the new shackle). Then install the new ones with the leaf spring bolted to the top holes. Leave all four bolts loose for now.

If you look at the underside of the bed, just above the shackles, you'll see some sheet metal that you must fold out of the way. It's nothing major. This prevents the shackle bolt from rubbing the bed. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it.

Set the truck on the ground, on a level surface. Then tighten all four shackle bolts. If you have a torque wrench, that would be ideal. Torque them to about 75 ft-lbs.

If you haven't already ordered the shackles, I'd strongly recommend that you use the Ground Force brand. They come with pinion shims to prevent vibration that is caused when drop shackles are installed. This is because when only the rear of the leafs are repositioned, it changes the pinion angle. The shims will correct that. If you do go that route, I can give you an idea of how to install them. They're very easy.

Also, the Ground Force shackles use urethane bushings which are more durable. You just have to apply some silicone paste to them when installing to prevent them from ever squeaking.

Good luck!

Last edited by EsJayEs; 02-01-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:23 PM
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Thanks

I appreciate all the info. I already bought the Belltech ones. They were so much cheaper than the Ground Force but now I see why. I guess I'll return them and get the Ground Force ones. I really do not need any vibration to happen. Thanks again for your help!

Todd
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:28 PM
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I think you can get the 2 degree wedges from Belltech, separately. Whatever you do, I would not install the shackles without the wedges. Even if you have no vibration, I think it can put stress on the flange and wallow out the seal and bearings.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluejay View Post
I think you can get the 2 degree wedges from Belltech, separately. Whatever you do, I would not install the shackles without the wedges. Even if you have no vibration, I think it can put stress on the flange and wallow out the seal and bearings.
Thanks man!
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2012, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluejay View Post
I think you can get the 2 degree wedges from Belltech, separately. Whatever you do, I would not install the shackles without the wedges. Even if you have no vibration, I think it can put stress on the flange and wallow out the seal and bearings.
The F150 shim issue is hit and miss that is why they do not include it. I have talked to Belltech many times about this.

Ford has offered different suspension/tow packages on 04+ F150s so it has been hard pinpointing which models will get the vibration and which ones will not.

The good thing about Belltech shackles is you do not have to assemble the bushing yourself unlike the Groundforce shackles.

If you do need shims please contact me and I will get you setup.

Also make sure you tighten the bolts for the shackles once the truck has been put on a level ground. I tell my customers to hop on the rear bumper to load the suspension a bit before tighten the bolts.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_S_S View Post
The F150 shim issue is hit and miss that is why they do not include it. I have talked to Belltech many times about this.

Ford has offered different suspension/tow packages on 04+ F150s so it has been hard pinpointing which models will get the vibration and which ones will not.

The good thing about Belltech shackles is you do not have to assemble the bushing yourself unlike the Groundforce shackles.

If you do need shims please contact me and I will get you setup.

Also make sure you tighten the bolts for the shackles once the truck has been put on a level ground. I tell my customers to hop on the rear bumper to load the suspension a bit before tighten the bolts.
As I stated before, even if there is no vibration, the pumpkin is now out of the factory alignment. I feel it is better to remove any stress that might be on the pinion due to the change whether it's enough to make it vibrate or not.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluejay View Post
As I stated before, even if there is no vibration, the pumpkin is now out of the factory alignment. I feel it is better to remove any stress that might be on the pinion due to the change whether it's enough to make it vibrate or not.
Wasn't aware that the 2" shackle without vibration and shim still caused it to be out of factory alignment.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_S_S View Post
Wasn't aware that the 2" shackle without vibration and shim still caused it to be out of factory alignment.
The angle of the yolk going from the drive shaft into the pumpkin is changed. Sometimes it causes a vibration, sometimes it does not. Some say, if it does not vibrate, then there is no problem. I like to play it safe and keep the angle the same by installing the wedges whether it vibrates or not. That keeps it at the factory angle.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:54 PM
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Good Info

I went ahead and ordered the 2 degree shims from Belltech. I agree to play it safe. I may have more questions for you guys over the weekend. I plan on doing the install on Saturday. I will need help on where to install the shims. Im just asking incase the product has no instructions which ive seen happen before. Thanks!

Todd
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2012, 04:13 PM
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Found this in another thread as an explanation as to why you need the shims.

Shims?
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd732 View Post
I appreciate all the info. I already bought the Belltech ones. They were so much cheaper than the Ground Force but now I see why. I guess I'll return them and get the Ground Force ones. I really do not need any vibration to happen. Thanks again for your help!

Todd
You're very welcome.

When compared to the cost of Belltech shims AND shackles, the Ground Force shackles are cheaper. That's why I initially chose them. But when I found that they used urethane bushings, the deal was that much sweeter.

Good decision on ordering the shims. They're very easy to install. I can give you instructions tomorrow if you'd like. But for now, it's beer time. So grab a cold one

On a somewhat related note, Shiner Hefeweizen
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2012, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsJayEs View Post
You're very welcome.

When compared to the cost of Belltech shims AND shackles, the Ground Force shackles are cheaper. That's why I initially chose them. But when I found that they used urethane bushings, the deal was that much sweeter.

Good decision on ordering the shims. They're very easy to install. I can give you instructions tomorrow if you'd like. But for now, it's beer time. So grab a cold one

On a somewhat related note, Shiner Hefeweizen
Looks like to install the shims you take out the shock bolt so it hangs down from the housing, loosen up the u-bolt nuts, remove a couple of them enough to raise the leaf spring enough to slip the shims in. Line up the hole, lower the leaf back down, tighten the u-bolt nuts, attach the shock and you are done. That sound about right? Oh and im not buying a torque wrench. Can I just snug up the nuts with a socket and ratchet? Thanks!
Oh and the shim skinny side of the shim faces toward the front. Thick part faces the rear.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 PM
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The Ground Focrce shackles are the way to go. Like it was stated in a previous post, they come with urethane bushings, which are WAY better than standard rubber bushings.

And as far as having to "assemble" the bushings, all you have to do is slide the sleeve in and pop the bushings into the shackles. Takes all of 30 seconds to put the pieces in place. And, also as stated already, BE SURE to use some silicone lube on the bushings so they don't squeak in the future.(only downside to urethane bushings)

I installed my shackles is less than an hour on a slow afternoon at work. Probably would have been a bit longer had I been working in the driveway, but the spoils of working in a shop is full access to the lifts and whatever I may need to work on my truck.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd732 View Post
Looks like to install the shims you take out the shock bolt so it hangs down from the housing, loosen up the u-bolt nuts, remove a couple of them enough to raise the leaf spring enough to slip the shims in. Line up the hole, lower the leaf back down, tighten the u-bolt nuts, attach the shock and you are done. That sound about right? Oh and im not buying a torque wrench. Can I just snug up the nuts with a socket and ratchet? Thanks!
Oh and the shim skinny side of the shim faces toward the front. Thick part faces the rear.
On the shims, you got it. They're really that simple!

Here's why I recommend buying/borrowing/renting a torque wrench for this. The shackle will bend inwards on the leaf spring bushing. By the time you realize that it was too much tightening, it's too late. You have to pull it back out, straighten, and try again. It's an awkward bolt because it never seems to feel tight, so you instinctively keep tightening. Proper torquing ensures that the shackles will stay straight, are tight enough for safety, and will never cause damage to the bushings (that would ultimately result in a suspension squeak).

I know AutoZone and Advance rent tools for free. You should see if they have a torque wrench. Ounce of prevention, pound of cure. You get the idea...
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:41 AM


 
 
 
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