Product Review: Revolver Shackles

Full Size Flex!

Jun. 01, 2000 By Shawn Spickler
Going down a tough trail is all about traction and control. Maintaining traction requires keeping as much of the tire down on the trail as possible, and not up in the air. Even if you have a locker or limited slip in both ends, you’re still better off with more rubber down where it can get a grip. Articulation is your rigs ability to keep its tires planted on the ground, even when things get really twisted. The secret is to allow the droop side to drop down as freely as possible without resistance from the droop-side spring opposing the downward force provided by the compressed side spring. It is also critical that the suspension should maintain adequate axle control in every axis of motion.

 border=  border=

The Revolvers expand when the axle droops providing more flex. The shackles are also able to twist with the leaf spring.
Click for larger image

So, you want more flex for your full size rig but you’re not sure how? Well, Metal Made Rite has come up with a unique shackle that replaces your factory units. These shackles called "The Revolver" have super-flex charactoristics. The Revolvers operate by expanding when the axle starts to droop providing excellent articulation. This let’s the spring hang much lower. Another great feature of the Revolvers is that they twist to relieve the additional stress from the spring rotating.

 border=

The Revolver is just a tad taller than the stock shackle but after the installation, it's only 1/4" taller which means 1/8" more lift. We can live with that!
Click for larger image

The Revolver shackle has been tested on and off the road for over two years. From Moab to Las Vegas and the back country of Wyoming, the Revolver has proved to be the single most practical upgrade for Jeep, Toyota, Suzuki and other applications. Well, now they offer a full-size unit to run in the rear. At this time Metal Made Ride is working on a front shackle for the full size trucks so stay tuned or feel free to give them a call to inquire about it.

 border=  border=

The Revolvers are mounted with Offroad Design's Shackle Flip brackets. This is nessassary when installing Revolvers since the factory used a tension style setup.
Click for larger image

The Revolver shackle allows maximum use of your suspension system. These can be used on most leaf spring suspensions from stock to any after-market lift. Due to the Revolvers self-supporting design, it allows the leaf spring to start compression much easier, resulting in a softer action and more comfortable ride. From full compression even with negative arch to extended droop, the Revolver allows the spring eye to stay in a resting position and lets the shackle head rotate. This translates into a more relaxed position for the spring and less fatigue; extending the life of your stock or after market springs. The Revolver has the potential of letting the rear spring droop 10". When the springs are in the normal driving position, the Revolver locks down and has very little side shift; this allows the vehicle to be a stable daily driver. For longevity purposes, the Revolver shackle is rebuildable for any part that might wear out from extended use, and is fitted with grease zirks.

 border=  border=

This is the shackle extended. We could of ramped more but our shocks was the limiting factor here. That will be changed soon!
Click for larger image

To install these shackles, a shackle flip kit from Offroad Design had to be ordered and installed first. The stock shackle setup uses a tension style and the flip kit converts this into a compression shackle which is needed for the Revolver. Please see the article www.off-road.com/chevy/reviews/ord-flip for more info on this. With the flip kit already installed, the installation is fairly straight forward and easy. The rear frame is lifted a little and put on jack stands. The axle is then lowered to remove the pressure on the stock shackle. The shackle bolts can be removed and the new Revolvers are installed. Plenty of greasy was used on the shackle bolts.

 border=

This is the compressed spring on the ramp. Notice the Revolver lets the spring twist for additional flex.
Click for larger image

There are several factors to consider when trying to build a super-flexy trail suspension. Of course stability and safety are the primary considerations, but there are also several other things that can either limit articulation or be damaged when the suspension travels further than your existing components will allow. To increase the effectiveness of the Revolver, brake lines and shock length should was checked. The rear shocks was the limiting factor of our Blazer on the ramp. This can be fixed by mounting the shocks at an angle so they point to the center of the vehicle. The rear driveshaft may have to be modified with an after market fixed yoke style with a longer slip shaft. We stayed with our standard 1350 shaft with no CV joint and everything was fine. For the future, we may order another driveshaft with a longer slip shaft just to play it safe on the trail.

Driving on the street didn't feel much different compared to the stock shackles. It acutally rode a little smoother. The smoother ride could be attributed from the Revolver shackle acting somewhat as a spring. We were concerned the shackles may open or handle worse on corners but this was not the case. On the ramp, we were impressed even though our shocks were limiting us. Without the rear shocks attached, we managed pull a 986 on a 25 degree ramp. The old score was 690. Big difference on articulation!

 border=

Overall, the Revolvers are impressive. Here's 986 RTI on a 25 degree ramp!
Click for larger image

METAL MADE RITE L.L.C.
781 FOSTER ROAD
CASPER, WY 82601
(307) 234-7430
http://www.wyojeep.com
Email- [email protected]
 

Questions or comments about this page should be directed to
[email protected] Back to the Chevy WebPages Back to the Project Potent Rodent


Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!