Sonoran Steel Shackle Hangers & Warn Hitch Receiver
Application: 1998 4Runner SR5
Tools & Supplies
Socket wrench with 17mm socket and extension
220 grit sandpaper
"Metal Etch" - a paint prep fluid
Crescent wrenches (2)
Black spray paint
Mini-sledge hammer (3lb is good enough)
Steel Shackle Hangers
¾” 20mm bow shackles (McMaster part #3663T44 @ $13.02)
½” Rubber washers (4)
Industrial-size black zip ties (2)
Warn Hitch Receiver Shackle Hanger
Hitch Receiver Pin (locking or non-locking---your choice)
I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes
only. Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform
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9/1/05: Sonoran Steel still produces these shackle hangers.
9/4/03: Added Warn Rear Hitch Receiver to my tow hitch. Added Step 4.
I received the Sonoran
Steel Shackle Hangers through a trade for my used front shocks and
coils with Steve Schaefer. These little guys are heavy---they weigh 4.5lbs
each. Pictures don’t do it justice; they are very stout and well
manufactured. After Pismo
4RJ, I’m glad I got these shackles instead of the bumpstops.
I’ll get more mileage out of these.
1: Painting the Shackle Hangers
I decided to paint the Sonoran Steel Shackles because I wanted to protect
the steel as well as improve the appearance of the shackles. If you do
not want to, skip this step and move onto Step 2.
each of the brass nuts/bolts out of the shackle hangers with two crescent
wrenches, take some 220-grit sandpaper and roughly sand down the shackle
hangers. Next, use “Metal Etch” to get off all the grime and
oils off the metal. Run it under clean water and let it air dry.
bolt reinforces the Sonoran Steel shackle hanger. Note the dimensions
for the shackle hangers when you purchase your bow shackles
a bare, sanded shackle hanger ready for paint etching, priming and
it air dry, spray all the parts down with some flat black colored primer.
Allow it to dry for 15 minutes for each side. Next, spray down the shackle
hangers with flat black colored spray paint. Allow each side to dry for
1 hour before handling and installing the nuts and bolts.
is the shackle hanger primed. So far, so good.
is the shackle hanger painted. Looks even better in person.
Step 2: Removing Existing Hardware – Front Tow Hook and Tie Down
Using your breaker bar and 17mm socket with extension, unfasten
the combined stock tow hook and tie down plate from the front passenger
side of your 4runner. These bolts are considerably longer than the bolts
holding the front tie down plate. Take all of this to the rear driver’s
side of your 4runner. You’ll use everything later.
the solitary tie down plate from the front driver’s side. Leave
the short bolts up in the front. You will use these later too.
bolts (A) with an extended 17mm socket and a breaker bar
bolts (B) with an extended 17mm socket and a breaker bar
In the rear
of your 4runner, you will have two tie down plates fastened to your 4runner
or fastened onto your tow hitch. If you have a tow hitch like me, you’ll
have to support the driver’s side tow hitch with a jack stand while
you remove the tie down plate. To continue, place your jack stand under
the driver’s side tow hitch to support the weight of the tow hitch.
Then remove the two short 17mm bolts w/ your extended socket wrench. Take
these short bolts you removed from the tie down plates to the front passenger’s
side of your 4runner.
the tow hook/tie down plate combo and the longer bolts (that came from the
front passenger side---above) and fasten these parts on the rear driver’s
side of your tow hitch.
the hardware from the front of your 4Runner. Take part group (A) to
the rear driver's side for mounting. Leave bolts from part group (B)
at the front driver's side for mounting of new shackle hangers.
a pic of the tow hook/tie down hardware combination mounted on the
tow hitch on the rear driver's side. Take the bolts that were removed
from the tie down hook here to the front passenger's side
Step 3: Mounting the Sonoran Steel Shackle Hangers
Steve Schaefer of Sonoran Steel says that “You may need
to bend the very top of the factory skid plate” to ensure a good
fit. I did and it was fun! I took my 3lb mini-sledge hammer and bashed
away (with a little care, of course). You don't have to bend it too much.
Test fit until you can see the mounting holes lined up with the existing
frame threads. Next, take the short 17mm bolts and mount the shackles
to your 4runner.
clobberin' time! Use your mini-sledge to bend/bash this part of your
skid plate inwards. Test fit the shackle hangers and bash as necessary
a pic of a shackle hanger mounted. Make sure the brass nut is located
on the inside.
shackles themselves, thread the rubber washers and shackle screw pin through
the bow shackle and through the shackle hanger eyelet. Tighten down the
screw pin. The rubber washers will prevent the side-to-side clanking sound.
Finally for security’s sake, secure the bow shackles down with a
industrial-sized black zip tie and cut the end. Repeat for the other side.
the McMaster Bow Shackle. I purchased the rubber washers separately.
two rubber washers (R) and secure with zip tie (Z).
A good tip
is to keep a 5 or 6 inch bolt in your vehicle to assist you in tightening
down and removing your screw pins.
Step 4: Warn Hitch Receiver Shackle Hanger
For the Warn Hitch Receiver Shackle Hanger, follow Step 1 above
to prime and paint these parts. For vanity's sake, I also painted the
shackle pin with red paint. However, the paint easily chips off, given
the significant amount of metal-to-metal contact, so decide whether or
not if its worth your time.
My primed and painted Warn Hitch Receiver Shackle Hanger
a shot of the Warn Hitch Receiver Shackle Hanger mounted in the hitch
the Warn Shackle shackle pin has a significantly smaller eyelet. I may
replace it with another McMaster D-shackle for this reason alone. In anycase,
remove your existing hitch receiver cover, insert the hitch receiver shackle
hanger, line up the holes and insert/lock your hitch pin. For the WHRSH,
there was no room to use a rubber washer as the tolerace was fairly tight.
Here are some larger pictures of both
the Sonoran Steel and Warn shackle hanger systems.
The paint on the rear shackle hangers and pins wear off pretty
quickly. It is my opinion now that painting it is not worth the effort.
However, painting the Sonoran Steel shackle hangers are a must since it
comes in bare metal and will rust if they are not painted.
A Note About Shackles
This is one of those things where you don’t expect to spend
a lot of time researching. But alas, there is more to know about shackles
than you think. Prices range from $5 to $35 (each) for a single bow shackle!
For an easy-to-read breakdown, check out the following graphic (condensed)
taken from the McMaster-Carr
I selected the Galvanized Alloy Steel bow shackle, part #3663T44 (1).
Galvanized Steel (2) had a lower load limit
as did the Type 316 Stainless Steel (3). Oh, McMaster's is a great company
to do business with---outstanding
three things you need to know before buying your shackles. First, you
have to make sure you’re buying the right size. Second, there are
different types of ways the shackles are secured. Lastly, there are also
different kinds of metals with different rated load limits.
Sonoran Steel shackle hangers, the width of the shackle hanger itself
(A) is 1" wide. The diameter of the shackle eyelet (B) is also 1".
Thus, I needed to select a shackle whose width is greater than 1"
(1 1/4") and whose shackle bolt diameter is smaller than 1"
was a matter of picking the most secure method of attachment. The "Screw
Pin" is obviously the superior choice as the other choices are secured
by flimsier cotter-type or locking pins. Not good.
the work load limit is determined by the metal composition. Galvanized
Alloy Steel is the best choice here with a 14,000lb load limit vs. 9,500
and 8,000 for the Galvanized Steel and Type 316 Stainless Steel, respectively.
or feedback? Email me and I'll try to get back to you. If this article
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