New Spring HangersPosted: May 18, 2017
Back in 2009, when I bought my current CJ-7 trail rig, I noticed the U-bolt protection plates hanging down well below the axles. I thought I needed to get more clearance there before too long.
Well, seven years later, countless broken U-bolts later, I finally got rid of those low hanging hangers.
Thank you to Ruff Stuff for make a product I had been thinking about for years.
Spring Under U-Bolt Plates http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/R2198.html
The clearance is clear. The wood represents the leaf spring (sprung under). The old on the right, the new on the left. (It’s only a 1/4″ piece of steel under the spring. The block is to get the ‘springs’ at the same height for demonstration purposes.)
I have a problem that I can’t leave anything stock. I’m not always the one to come up with an idea but I can always figure out a way to make it better. So, in this case, I welded a thick washer in order to better protect the leaf spring bolt (actually the nut) from getting scraped or broken off.
Since I was relocating my anti-sway bar mounts, I had to fab up a new mount. This was an early version, the later version had two cross braces to prevent the bending of the plate. This involves a system to move the axle 1″ forward on the spring for better tire clearance with the back of the front fender.
I have these products on the rear axle of my CJ-7. I think I had to move the brake line mount because the U-bolts are spaced wider with this application. On the front, since this is made for 2 1/2″ spring, I had to install spaces to keep the springs aligned in the center of the bracket. The ‘seams’ of the new bracket were also welded for more strength.
On the front axle, the diff is off to the passenger side so I had to make room for the diff and cover. There was a little grinding of the front diff to get better clearance for the plate and the U-bolts.
Once making the clearance, I had to make braces to make up for my cuts in the original product. The results of my welding shows I’m a little out of practice.
Installed under the rig.
You can sort-of see the extra braces on the anti-sway bar mounts.
The heavy duty steering and tie rod went in at the same time. (see previous ‘knuckle’ post)
It has survived a mellow day of runs in the area. I’ll soon take it out for a true pre-season ruin. There’s still a ton of snow in the mountains so I have time to dial things in.