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AAl vs. Shackle


NAXJA Forum User
I've got a 94 that is bone stock except for 30x9.5's. I want to do just a little boost as I don't get offroad that often. Rusty's Offroad offers both AAL and shackle budget boosts; what are the pros and cons of each. My stock springs are not sagged that I know of, my Jeep sits pretty level, I don't usually load a bunch of stuff in the back, and I drive pretty sensibly most of the time. Which should I use?? I'm leaning towards the AAL, but don't really know why. I know the shackle could be used later (as well as the front spacers) if I decide to go higher (maybe to 3"), but I don't think I'll be doing that as I have a 74 CJ that wants to be the trail rig. From the searching I've done it seems like the AAL is the best for my situation, especially since this may be a fairly permanent modification. What other brands in this price range should I consider? I appreciate all the help.
AAL is most likely the best choice. The only reason I would get a shackle in your situation is if you definately are going to a full pack 3"+ kit in the near future - then you could add the shackle to the 3"pack. Otherwise, if there's a good chance you'll want to stay at ~2" for a while, definately get the AAL. The AAL strengthens the pack and adds stability at the cost of a slightly stiffer ride. The shackle helps flex and pinion angle, but doesnt strengthen or stiffen the springs - which makes it a better addition to a pack lift than an addition to stock springs.
I have had rusty's 3" AAL for 3 years and it is still giving me 3.5" of lift over stock, and I've heard nothing bad about his 2" AAL.

Get the AAL unless you know you're going to buy a full spring pack soon.
I too have a 94 and was looking for something to be permanent. I decided to go with rustys full AAL and it has been in for the past 3 wks or so. THe back settled after a few days and it sits level now. I dont know what will happen in the yrs to come but as of now it sits and rides nicely.

AS far as vibes and noises i think they can be attributed to my u joints, we will see how that goes this weekend.

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Slip Kid said:
The shackle helps flex and pinion angle, but doesnt strengthen or stiffen the springs

nope, in most cases it will hurt your pinion angle...

dont post if you dont know what you are talking about...
Go with the AAL.

If you need explanations why, do a search. This tpoic has been discussed twenty 'leventy times over and the answer always comes back the same. 40% say use shackles, 59% say use the AAL, and 1% ignores reality and says blocks don't kill springs.
You get more boost from the AAL, a stiffer ride too. Remember, with the shackle - a 2" longer shackle won't give you 2" of lift. You'll only get 1".
The Daystar BB kit on my 2001 raised the front about 2" and the back about 1". It wasn't worth it. I got used to looking at it in a week and wanted more height. I went with a 3" and 31s. Much better, but rough ride and death wobble issues. But it looks sweet!
XJ RANGER- Pinion Angles at 2" are hardly anything to be concerned about. Whether it helps it or hurts it who cares. Quite frankly I think you are a JACKASS!
Wether or not you think ranger is a jackass he is right about the pinion angle. When you use an AAL for two inches the angle won't change that much, and most likley you wont have to worry about it. If you use a shackle lift the pinion ange is changed a lot more because the longer shackles move the rear of the leave pack down in turn rotating the pinion up. On a shackle lift degree shims have to be placed with the fat edge toward the front of the truck to rotate the pinion back dowd to spec. On a AAL, or on a full pack lift the shims fat edge could go toward the front, or the rear depending on how the pinoin angle ends up in relation to the angle of the T/C output shaft. Also a SYE, or a T/C drop will effect all of it.
cainraiser21 said:
... Whether it helps it or hurts it who cares.

You give someone advice that may help or may hurt and you don't give a crap.

The internet at it's best.

NAXJA members like to think that a question asked will get reliable information in return. Are you up to it?
I suppose "helps pinion angle" was pretty misleading, sorry about that.

"an extended shackle will point the pinion up" - that's a true statement. if that's good or bad depends on other variables. At 2" lift and no sye, yes that's probably a bad change, sorry, my bad.

My point was that an AAL, in my opinion, is a better choice than a shackle for the guy who asked.

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