I have 1.5" shackles on mine and is a relatively easy change. I kept the stock leafs and stock shocks. 2" is extreme based on what I gathered when researching to do my own. You don't 'have' to change the shocks but you will certainly want to. I am planning to change mine out within the next month when I throw my 8.8 rear under it. Like everything on my Jeep I have to do it in small bites so my bank account doesnt freak out. Here is a great link I found when researching the longer shackles.
All about shackles - JeepForum.com
Google is a great place to start when you are considering any upgrades to your Jeep, not only because there are at least 100 other people who have already done it to an older Jeep but you can usually save a few pennies along the way in finding the parts. Good luck and happy Jeepin'!
Ya I know im pretty much there but ive done a lot of research on the YJ suspension and the stock leafs have a negative arch from the factory and I really don't want a rough ride by replacing with lift springsFor the price of new shocks and shackles alone your about 1/2 way to the cost of the lift kit.. I say save up a bit more and just get a complete lift kit.
What length shock would you think for a 1-1 1/2'' shackles and a 1'' body?Check out the BDS 5500 series hydro shocks. I love mine. And I'd stay away from the 2" lift shackles. They can bend springs and cause bad bumpsteer. If you want 2" of lift, I'd recommend 1" body lift and 1" boomerang shackles.