Jeep XJ H.D. Offroad Relocation Brackets v2.0 (install) - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:17 PM   #1
1x1_Speed_Craig
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Default Jeep XJ H.D. Offroad Relocation Brackets v2.0 (install)

We ordered, and just received our H.D. Offroad Engineering XJ Shackle Relocation Kit for Mira's XJ 2-door (comprehensive build thread
HERE
) a couple days ago. I stumbled across this set-up over on NAXJA. Because we need a little additional height in the rear (the front will have 2" BB spacers, and this kit adds ~0.5-1.5"), and to get a better shackle angle and better articulation, I ordered up the kit from Brian over at H.D. Offroad Engineering. There are some offerings from other companies, but this looked the most stout and heavy-duty to me.

Here's what the pre-installed set-up looks like. It includes bolt-in brackets w/welded studs, anti-crush brackets, shackle brackets, new shackle bolts, and grade 8 washers for the frame bolts (if needed for a H.D. bumper, gas tank skid, etc.). The driver-side mount is shown below.


Just because I'm a perfectionist , I rounded off all the corners a bit with a grinder & sander, then prepped the shackle relocation kit (along with Mira's T&T Dana 44 truss) for paint.


After the first coat of Eastwood primer (and prior to Eastwood Extreme Chassis Coat Black paint)...



Mira is a little apprehensive about using the MAPP Gas torch...can you tell? She's heating the upper shackle bolt to help free it up for removal.


Because I'm a nice dad, and because Mira would have gotten completely bent trying to break the bolt free , I loosened (slightly) the upper shackle bolt, and then turned Mira loose with the 1/2" ratchet. Despite being a relatively rust-free Jeep, the upper shackle bolt was still stubborn, and a bit crusty.


I mentioned previously that this Jeep build would be full of teaching moments. This is one of them. Teaching moment = Rusty Jeep bolts are a PITB (pain in the butt). :D Even after I broke it free, and after Mira added heat, the bolt was still somewhat tough to remove. Note the look on Mira's face. After spouting off a few comments in a seriously annoyed tone, I explained to Mira that this WAS a teaching moment, and this is one of the things that us "Jeep folk" deal with on a regular basis. I then became "Mr. Nice Guy" again and removed the bolt the rest of the way for her.


Shackle removed from the mount.


Here's the upper portion of the HD Offroad Engineering kit in place. NOTE: Any high-dollar paint you use on this upper insert portion will likely be scraped up/off when pressing it in place. Tolerances are tight...nice fit. If necessary, the boxed shackle mount on the unibody can be pryed open just a touch to allow for easier install. Note the 3 holes on the underside of the unibody frame rail. The H.D. Offroad Engineering kit comes with Grade 8 washers for use with these mounting holes, if you need them. Mira's XJ won't have a hitch, but will have a H.D. JCR Offroad rear bumper, and some sort of gas tank skid (yet to be determined).


That being said, a set of JCR XJ Rear Frame Nut Strips are currently en route, and will allow us to easily bolt the shackle relocation kit to the underside of the frame rail. Also note in the very first photo of this thread that the bolt-in brackets & anti-crush brackets have elongated mounting holes. This allows you to sandwich a gas tank skid and/or trailer hitch in-between the shackle relocation kit and the unibody frame rail. Flexible design...we love it!


Here's the actual multi-position shackle mount after having been bolted in place. For most installs, the offset (long portion) of the shackle mount bracket will extend forward. However, if you wanted to run longer leaf springs and extend your wheelbase, you could simply reverse this mount, and gain several inches of wheelbase. Again, it's very flexible in its design.


Here's Mira reinstalling the original upper shackle bolt, which now holds the shackle relocation kit in place. Once the JCR XJ Rear Frame Nut Strips arrive, we can proceed with the shackle relocation install.



The install is still underway, as Mira had to get ready for bed. Not bad progress, though, for an 11-year-old kid on a school night. More to come shortly.

Craig
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Old November 26th, 2011, 07:36 PM   #2
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I just ordered a set of these. How tight did the uppers fit into the shackle box's?
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Old November 26th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREASYHANDS View Post
I just ordered a set of these. How tight did the uppers fit into the shackle box's?
They were pretty tight. I took a pry bar and slightly widened the shackle box. It would be nice if they were a touch narrower, as the shackle bolt torque would cinch up the shackle box anyway. Regardless, I'm looking forward to getting the underside of Mira's Jeep painted and installing these permanently (hopefully next spring).

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