Now that the frame has been prepped. We took the formed frame inserts and gave them a coat of superthane paint. We felt it would be best to paint the inserts before they are welded into the frame in order to provide the best rust protection possible. Once they were dry, we put the inserts in place, sizing them with the reverse shackle bracket, and scribed them with a punch along the contours where they would be welded.
You'll notice the nylon webbing protruding from the front of the frame rails. Our frame was a quarter of an inch too wide. Using a come-a-long hooked between the webbing on each rail, we were able to draw the rails in so that the reverse shackle bracket would fit.
Following the contours, we used a grinder and exposed the metal on the outside of the scribe mark so they will be able to accept a weld. This was done on both inserts on the top and the bottom. We also used the grinder to clean off the edges of the frame rails. The images to the right show the progress.
Once the inserts were welded to the frame, we used our portable sandblaster to clean away the slag and burned paint from the welds. Another coat of primer was sprayed over the entire assemblies to seal them from the elements.
The next step was to drill the fourteen holes necessary to mount the kit. We once again placed the reverse shackle kit on the frame, holding it in place with 5/8" bolts through the bracket and the front factory shackle holes for alignment. Once we had the bracket in place, using a punch, we located the centers of the eight ½" holes that needed to be drilled in the frame and the new frame inserts. With a ½" drill, a ½" dill bit and plenty of cutting oil, we went to work. After the holes were drilled, switched to a 5/8" bit to drill the inserts for the long through bolt that passes through the factory shackle mounting hole. Once drilled, we placed two metal sleeves, which came with the kit, between the inserts and the frame as well as placed two large metal spacers between the outside of the frame and the shackle bracket. Once in place, we were able to pass the 5/8" bolt through and tighten it down. We then secured the other eight ½" bolts as well. Once in place, the frame and the kit were re-painted to give the installation a factory installed appearance.
Next came the modification of the rear frame mounted spring hangers. Using the supplied templates, we located the new holes directly above the factory holes. After removing the templates, we drilled four new 9/16" holes for the pivot shackles. With our sawzall, we then cut off the bottom of the factory brackets so that the cut just passed through the top of the factory holes. A grinder then allowed us to smooth out the cuts and round off the edges. We then coated the exposed metal with some superthane.
The last part of the process was to install the springs. Starting with the rear pivot shackles, we inserted the supplied bushings and secured them in place with the provided 9/16" bolts and lock nuts. Next, we raised the springs into place and inserted the ends of the springs into the pivot shackles and inserted the supplied bolts. Lastly, we then raised the other ends of the springs and inserted them into the reverse shackle kit. Once the supplied bolts were in place all of the nuts were secured with an impact wrench.
The reverse shackle kit is now fully installed. To complete the front suspension, we also installed a set of ORU dual shock hoops.