By Jeff Pollock
Calmini 2 Shackle Reversal Lift Kit
I recently purchased another zook that I wanted to lift but not perform a multitude of other modifications due to lifting the vehicle. The Calmini 2 Shackle Reversal Kit does not require any steering corrections or the need to install longer brake lines.
The kit I installed was a used kit and did not have the poly bushings and the original cross bar/brace. I also removed the factory sway bar prior to installation. It is up to the owner whether or not he/she wishes to remove it.
Starting with the front suspension, I soaked the shackle bolts and shocks nuts with penetrating oil. Otherwise it would require a lot more effort to break the nuts free. Then I removed the front shocks. Check for rust and corrosion that may have built up on the retaining nuts on the original pin style shocks. If the shock starts to rotate as you are attempting to remove the nut, hold the pin with a pair of vice grips. Cutting the stems close to the nut may be required if the it still doesn't come off.
You will need to get longer shocks to use with this kit so here is the information for the shocks that I used.
The next thing is to remove the stock front bumper. Do this by first removing the turn signals and sliding them through the bumper. After soaking the four bolts that hold the bumper on I began to remove them. These bolts were crusty and quickly sheared so the bumper came off easily.
With the vehicle frame supported with jack stands on both sides, unbolt the rear of the front leaf spring from the fixed spring hanger. Do this on both sides. Now install the new SR shackles. I used a jack on the frame to lift front end of the zook to gain separation between the spring and the original spring hanger in order to install the SR shackles.
NOTE: If you use stock zook rubber bushings it may require a little massaging to get the shackles to fit in the spring hangers.
Next I un-bolted the stock front shackles and removed the two bushings in the original frame shackle hangers. This is done on both sides. Aluminum bushings are installed in their place. After this was done, I slid the new front spring hanger over the old front shackle hanger and then inserted two bolts through the frame and spring hanger and secured them. Then I inserted the shackle bolt through the old spring hanger mount where the aluminum bushings now reside. After the new front hanger was secured, I installed the spring and shackle bolt into the hanger but remembered not to put the nuts on yet because I still needed to install the cross bar/brace. This was done on both sides. It was now ready for the installation of the cross bar/brace. I slid the brace in between the front hangers and secured the nuts onto the bolts. Now was the time to install the new longer shocks since the stock front shocks would no longer work (They were too short). Once the front suspension was installed, I re-install the front bumper. You will probably need to use new nuts and bolts to re-install the bumper, I did! Moving on the rear suspension (once again making things easier) I soaked the shackle bolts and shocks nuts with penetrating oil before removing the stock Samurai shocks. I un-bolted the rear shackle bolts. To make them easily removable used a floor jack to lift the zook by the frame until the shackle bolts did not have a load on them and then they could easily be pulled free. Next, I discarded the factory shackles and installed the new taller shackles. After that, I inserted the new shackle bolts and tightened the nuts snuggly. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts or else the suspension will not be able to cycle. Almost done, I just needed to install the new shocks and check to ensure that all nuts and bolts are secure. Then I was ready to hit the road. NOTE: Check the steering wheel position after the lift and see if it needs to be adjusted. This kit combined with the soft gas shocks makes the zook handle and ride so much better than stock. Its really impressive how well it handles and rides.
Contact Information for the original manufacturer:
CALMINI Products Inc.
6951 McDivitt Dr.
Bakersfield Ca. 93313 U.S.A.