What You Should Know about Shackles

The other kind of shackles

Alright kiddies, a shackle is not just a handcuff, it’s also used to hold a leafspring and tire together. The spring shackle is attached to one end of the leafspring, allowing it to flex while keeping the tires on the road. Plus, these babies can be lengthened and give a greater amount of clearance to your vehicle.

Shackles and leafsprings

Leafsprings are generally attached and cannot be moved at one end to the vehicle’s chassis, while the other is attached to one of the two flat pieces of steel known as spring shackles. The shackles have been drilled with several holes in it to allow different mounting heights.

If you opt to mount the spring at the furthest mounting hole from the vehicle’s chassis, the spring is lowered and later on it raises the ride height of your vehicle and the distance between the fender and the tire. Now, I’m using a lot of jargons here, so let’s pause for a while and explain a little bit what I meant by “fender” and “ride height”.

 “Ride height”, in plain English, is the clearance of space between the vehicle’s underside and the ground. Meanwhile, the fender is the part of your car that protects the wheels.


The recommended ride height

It helps in car racing if the ride height is lowered, but it can damage your car’s underside if the height is too lowered. By underside I mean your car’s muffler, chassis, and exhaust pipes, among others.

The disadvantage, however, of running a leafspring mounted at the maximum height on the highway, is that you let the vehicle sway on its springs and over time, the leverage will begin to push and pull the leafspring until it becomes loose. This may become a major hindrance on handling the vehicle during emergency situations.

Be sure to put the ride height at the correct level.  I’ll be teaching you how to determine the correct ride height in our next article.  Happy driving!

About Crizia Nicole

Crizia Nicole is a free- spirited young lady whose passion is to travel, dream and live. People would normally be surprised to know that beneath her girl demeanor there lies a car enthusiast. She balances her day job at a major television network and her passion for writing. Check her out on Twitter.

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