How To Build a Shackle Flip for your 72-93 Dodge

THE RIGHT WAY!

 

Since Shaggys Offroad is no longer around to make these parts for you Dodge guys I figured I'd post the info so you can build your own. We spent a lot of time and money getting these designs just right so you don't have to. It will still require a massive amount of both knowledge and tools to get it right and you want to make sure they are built well enough to not break on you. We never had one flip bracket ever fail so if you follow the directions you should be OK. However!!!! There is no warranty, promise or responsibility given by us to you that if you try this all will go perfectly. We threw away a few brackets that didn't turn out right for one reason or another. It happens to the best of us. Nothing short of perfect is going to work here. It all has to be EXACT!!! Not close, not pretty good. EXACT! Also, I didn't go into cleaning the metal before welding, grinding down edges for full penetration, stepping up hole sizes in the drill press or the like. If you need us to tell you that stuff DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! Best to take the drawings to a welder and have them make these for you. Now that you are thoroughly paranoid about screwing it up lets proceed.

What materials you'll need

  • 2 - 6x6" 3/8" steel plate
  • 2   1 1/2" 3/8" bar stock about 3 3/4" long
  • 2   1 1/2" 3/8" bar stock exactly 2 3/8" long
  • 4    4"x 2 1/2" triangles out of at least 1/4" steel plate.
  • 8-10   1/2" X 1 1/2" Grade 8 Bolts
  • 8-10   1/2" SAE Style (around 1" outside diameter) hardened washers
  • 8-10   1/2" Fender style( 1 1/2" outside dia" at least) thick washers. You want something with some beef as this will keep the bolts from pulling through the frame.
  • 2   5/8" x 4 1/2" long grade 8 bolts, fine thread
  • 2   5/8" grade 8 fine thread nuts
  • 2   5/8" fender style thick washers
  • 2   5/8" SAE style washers
  • 2   3/4"OD-5/8" ID x2 15/16" long metal sleeves

The steel we got from IMS in Irvine, CA. All our bolts and such came from McMaster-Carr Supply in Sante Fe Springs, CA. 

What tools you'll need

  • Drill press and at least a 1/2" drill bit and a 5/8" drill bit. 

  • Band saw, plasma Cutter or some way to cut 3/8" steel plate accurately and precisely.

  • Angle grinder

  • 210 amp mig welder. You can use a big stick welder if you have one and are good with it. Tig welding would work too but with material this thick I prefer Mig or Stick personally. 

  • Big disk sander or bench grinder


3D Drawing of what you're building 

Dimensions of RT (2") flip plate

Dimensions of XT (3") flip plate

 

Here are links to Adobe PDF files that have everything you need to make your own flip brackets. Open them, print them and use them as templates. They SHOULD be 1:1 so you can use them as your template to make your holes. Double check that your printer didn't scale it though. The 72 through around 75ish truck used a different bolt pattern on the frame. Well, it's the same pattern it's just tipped about twice as much as the later trucks. This plates will fit either but will look crocked on an earlier truck.

Pics to follow

Now that you have the drawings you can start to see how it lays out I hope. The plates get 4 or 5 1/2" holes where the frame holes are. The pivot hold is drilled to 5/8". These MUST BE EXACT!!! Round the corners to make it look pretty if you care.

Measure your shackles, 5/8" nut and 5/8" fender washer all together. Subtract 3/8" and this is how long you need to cut the piece of bar stock I said that was "around" 3 3/4" long. With the washers we used 3 11/16" was exactly our dimension. Yours will/might vary. The cuts have to be perfect here. We used a metal cutting bandsaw for this and it worked well. Just make sure they are straight and equal on both bars. This is critical to it all lining up right and the truck driving straight down the road.

Pics to follow

The two other holes you need to drill are for the outside bolt tab on the end of the bar you just cut. Mark it 3/4" from one end and each side and drill a 5/8" hole there. This must be exact! Shape the end with the hole in it so that the corners won't get caught on the shackles. It also looks a lot better. Be as pretty as you want but don't take away too much material. Broke because it's too pretty ain't pretty at all!

Pics to follow

Take these two 2 3/8" tabs and put your 5/8" x 4 1/2" bolts through them. Now thread the 5/8" nut on the end so about 1/4" of thread is sticking out the end. Place this in the 5/8" hole in the plates. I don't need to tell you that there is a left and right here. Make sure they are flip right side up!!! Place the other 3/8" bar under the outer tab and line it up so it's parallel with the top and bottom for the plate. This is important but not critical. Eyeballs are good enough for that part BUT make sure everything is nice and straight, square and plum. Nice right angle between the plate, the 3 3/4" bar and the outer tab!!!! Make you the nut is firmly against the surface of the plate. This is where it all goes wrong in a hurry. Take your time and get it PERFECT! Now you can start welding it all up. Tack it on all sides first, recheck that all is perfect, then crank up the heat and melt some steel! This will take a lot of heat to weld up 3/8" plate. Don't try this with a 110V welder. It won't work!

Pics to follow

After it all cools down remove the bolt and clean up all the welds. Get rid of any splatter and get it ready for more welding. Take you triangles and hold them up to the backside of the upright bar. Figure out where you want them. Spread slightly out  at the top is better for more complete support. Just be careful of the top forward 1/2" bolt holes. There isn't a lot of extra room here with the small SAE washer installed. Weld the triangles on and again, weld the snot out of them! This will be taking all the weight and force from the suspension. 

Again, clean up the welds, grind the splatter and paint. 

Now that you're done with that you just need to get the old hangers and rivets outta there, drill out the holes to 1/2", bolt the new brackets on and figure out which shackles to use. We suggest a 2" extended (6" overall) Jeep XJ shackle from the XT bracket or a 4" extended (8" over all and easier to find) Chevy shackle with the RT brackets. Both will require a new metal bushing sleeve to fit on a Dodge. 

 

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