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2nd Gen Dakota 1997 - 2004 Dakota's

Leaf Shackle

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Old 03-09-2014, 11:30 AM
bpark8824 bpark8824 is offline
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Default Leaf Shackle

So, I haven't been on here a lot this winter, but back in the fall I broke the driver's side rear leaf spring shackle. I cleaned up the truck and put in my parent's garage for the winter (first winter in the truck's life to sit in a garage). Well next weekend I will make the trip down to fix it. I want it back on the road, I miss driving the thing!

I ordered the shackle, which was only about $20 on Rock Auto. It looks fairly straight forward, but I think I will need to take my hitch receiver off to get to the back of the bolts through the frame.

Has anyone else done this before? Doesn't seem like something super common as I don't remember really ever seeing it on this forum before. Just looking for any tips to make it easier if someone has done it before. The biggest problem is probably going to be the condition of the bolts.

Here are a couple photos - It damaged my bed!


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Old 03-09-2014, 11:34 AM
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Likely going to have to cut the bolts off and replace.

Are you replacing the leaf springs too?
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:13 PM
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here is a hint. ALL ways use anti-seize compound on ALL threads on the bottom of truck. 100,000 miles latter you will be glad you did.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:23 PM
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Man am I glad I don't live up north! How do you guys put up with all that corrosion and rust??

Jimmy
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:27 PM
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It is common and yes, I just went through it in December. Luckily my bed didn't get damaged.


Hey, at least it isn't a Toyota!


You do have to take the hitch off. You can't access the bolts for the shackle when installed - on a 4x4 anyways. Pick up some new bolts and bushings for the spring too.


Check the other side. It won't be far behind.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:00 PM
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Now is a good time to do the T/S lift if you haven't already.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 01SilverCC View Post
Man am I glad I don't live up north! How do you guys put up with all that corrosion and rust??

Jimmy
We b!tch and moan about it all winter, that's how! No, seriously I have a lot of friends that buy beater Subarus, civics, jetts, etc. just for winter. I didn't intend to put my truck away for winter but it just happened to go that way. I bought a '02 Legacy GT last May and have been driving it all winter. I hate the thing though and want my Dakota back.

I'm hoping to avoid the torch, but we'll see how that goes. I'll definitely use anti-seize and replace the bolts even if the original ones do come out. Depending on how difficult the driver's side is, I may order another one and do the other side too, just because it's only a $20 part.

Basically it didn't get done this winter because I despise working in a cold garage... If it's 45 out next weekend like the forecast says, it will feel like 65 and I'll get it done no problem.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MoparMan1991 View Post
Now is a good time to do the T/S lift if you haven't already.

Very tempting! Who makes a shackle for the rear that will work?
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bpark8824 View Post
I'm hoping to avoid the torch, but we'll see how that goes.
You don't need a torch. I cut mine with a Sawzall.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:34 PM
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You don't need a torch. I cut mine with a Sawzall.
Yeah, that'd work too. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bpark8824 View Post
Very tempting! Who makes a shackle for the rear that will work?
If I'm not mistaken, on 4x4 Dakotas the leaf sits on top of the axle. In that case, you just need blocks and ubolts. 2wd Dakotas and all Durangos should have the spring under the axle, which is where you need longer shackles to lift the back of the truck.

Good luck with getting those old ones off, it can be a pain. I caught mine just before the were going to rust through all the way, but I had to cut the lower nuts and bolts.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:05 PM
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Ugh, that's right! I've been out of the Dakota world too long! I would just need blocks.

Honestly, the only thing keeping me from lifting the truck is buying new tires. I feel like the stock size tires are going to look silly, and new tires all around just isn't in the budget right now, especially since the Cooper's I have on it are basically brand new.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:07 AM
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I used to work at an Auto Wrecker.
Some of those bolts had to be burned out with a torch.
Yup. Customers would have to go to another store and buy new spring bushings.
Sometimes I would torch just the bolts and the customer would take it somewhere to have the bushings pressed out so new ones could be installed.
Burning them out works though.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:14 PM
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Yeah, I'm hoping to avoid the torch and needing to replace the bushings.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:42 AM
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Stock bushings used to be cheap. No idea now. Been years.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpark8824 View Post
Ugh, that's right! I've been out of the Dakota world too long! I would just need blocks.

Honestly, the only thing keeping me from lifting the truck is buying new tires. I feel like the stock size tires are going to look silly, and new tires all around just isn't in the budget right now, especially since the Cooper's I have on it are basically brand new.
Yeah same here, been awhile. I agree that it will probably look a little funny lifted without bigger tires, but I guess it depends on how big your current ones are. Too bad you're all the way in NY, I'd offer to trade my basically new grabber at2's. They're 31's and just a little too much for the little 3.9.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:59 PM
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If you have the 31" tires on the 16" wheels, it looks just fine. That's what I had on mine.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:29 PM
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Mine are 265/70 which ends up being around 30.5".
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:06 PM
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Mine are 265/70 which ends up being around 30.5".

Yeah whatever it is. I had the 265/70R16s on at first, then I had 235/85R16s. Either way its 30.5" to 31". It'll look just fine, I assure you. It's not like you're lifting it up 8 inches.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:26 PM
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Job shouldnt be too bad. Be easier if you use an impact gun but if not you will prob need to cut it.

For me living in the north its all about how you take care of your truck,weekly washings,spring and fall maintenance with undercoating and oil. My 02 ram has been a pa truck all its life and for 150k its about 95% rust free. I spend about an hr every week spraying off my truck and washing the underneath of it.
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