I scheduled a half workday on Wednesday the 25th with the purpose of smoothing the ride and troubleshooting a vibration that had developed. I also was told that I should remove the rear shackle center bolt to maximize rear axle flex.
This was the first thing I did. In the end I didn’t have enough “junk” to flex it far enough for this to matter. I still had about 1/2″ before I would have hit the bolt anyway. It doesn’t hurt anything not having it in, so I left it out.
The most important thing I wanted to do was loosen shackles. Originally, the shackles were torqued to factory specs of 95 FT LB at the spring. Bear in mind that I am running boom shackles and during my research I found quite a few were only torquing to 45 FT LB. This was a little too far below factory specs for my comfort so I went with 60 FT LB all the way around.
I also decided to disconnect the sway bar to see if this had any affect, good or bad, on the ride quality. I left it zip tied to the frame until I get a few miles OTR before removing it permanently.
The results of these two things surprised me.
First, the ride quality improved immensely as measured by the scientific audible rattle method. When traversing bumps known to rattle any and everything as well as give me a good jolt were noticeably softer with less darting.
Second, the vibration I had been experiencing from full stop acceleration was almost completely gone. The vibration had been coming from, apparently, the front left. While it does still vibrate, it’s to a much lesser extent. Now I can hit the skinny pedal quite a bit harder and experience very little vibration at all. I attribute this most to the disconnecting of the sway bar and not the shackle work but I can’t say for sure as I did both before taking it for a test drive.
At this point, I have no plans to change anything I did. The benefits have far out weighed the minor body roll I am experiencing when turning. It doesn’t feel unsafe and hasn’t softened the steering to any great extent.
Some other things accomplished were to permanently attach the center console and secure wiring for the new stereo that was installed the week prior. I also upgraded the speakers in the sound bar and will replace the speakers in the dash once the weather warms up a bit more.