What's new

Trailing arms up front?

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
Just joined today and searched the forum to see if anyone had asked this before but couldn’t find anything. Is there a reason why people don’t seem to use trailing arms with shocks or coilovers mounted to them in the front of a rig? I have an 81 half ton Chevy that I’ve been slowly working on. Suspension is under the knife right now and I am inboarding my rear springs to right under the frame rails and putting 52” springs up front with the front mounts at the very end of the frame to stretch it as far forward as I can. I thought about building lower links front and rear to keep axle wrap to a minimum and then thought why not use an anti wobble joint on the frame side and mount shocks to that so I can save a few bucks on shocks by using a shorter shock and i could setup the front upper shock mounts to be at the tallest part of the frame hump in the front. In my head this seems like a good idea but I can’t find any information on people using them up front
 

Attachments

  • 42BEF48D-B1FE-4FC1-A36C-1FB952D314EF.jpeg
    42BEF48D-B1FE-4FC1-A36C-1FB952D314EF.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 68
  • 033B9C67-D83D-43FC-A4AF-C88635016DB0.jpeg
    033B9C67-D83D-43FC-A4AF-C88635016DB0.jpeg
    3.3 MB · Views: 50

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
Because short as fuck arms dont work worth a shit and you fucking wreck your approach angles
I mean coming from under the cab like lower links on a 4 link would be. And yeah the shackles are pretty flat. When I remount them under the frame I’m going to move them back just a bit
 

Treefrog

Book Wheeler
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Member Number
1958
Messages
404
Loc
Central Florida
There have been a few rigs like that. Don't know if any have build threads. Some of the bomber chassis are set up that way, the coilover is almost at the rod end. Biggest issue is usually less room. Between steering and the engine it gets very cramped very fast. Of the two non-bomber rigs I know of, one is mid-engined and the other was very high dollar with a lot of custom stuff.
1652405542572.png
1652404835129.png

1652404839979.png
 

Bebop

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2020
Member Number
1458
Messages
1,027
It's called leading arms.
Far from being rare in the go fast scene.
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
There have been a few rigs like that. Don't know if any have build threads. Some of the bomber chassis are set up that way, the coilover is almost at the rod end. Biggest issue is usually less room. Between steering and the engine it gets very cramped very fast. Of the two non-bomber rigs I know of, one is mid-engined and the other was very high dollar with a lot of custom stuff.
1652405542572.png
1652404835129.png

1652404839979.png
Steering won’t be an issue. Planning on full hydro anyway. Packaging sucks on the front and I want get a long shock in there. Do they work pretty much the same as a trailing arm on the rear or are there other issues I should be worried about doing this to the front?
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
It's called leading arms.
Far from being rare in the go fast scene.
Thanks that might help me find some info. Didn’t know they went by a different name. Any major downfalls should be worried about?
 

Treefrog

Book Wheeler
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Member Number
1958
Messages
404
Loc
Central Florida
Steering won’t be an issue. Planning on full hydro anyway. Packaging sucks on the front and I want get a long shock in there. Do they work pretty much the same as a trailing arm on the rear or are there other issues I should be worried about doing this to the front?
The issue comes from steering angle and the tires hitting the links.

More sensitive to how long and flat the links are, more travel means more caster change. More likely to need a sway bar. Leg room can be challenging.
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
The issue comes from steering angle and the tires hitting the links.

More sensitive to how long and flat the links are, more travel means more caster change. More likely to need a sway bar. Leg room can be challenging.
Good to know. I am planning on putting a sway bar in it but I want to drive it first to see if I think it needs it or not. I’m not super worried about caster angle except close to ride height. I drive to the trails but full articulation will be at lower speeds where caster shouldn’t be much of an issue. They will definitely be long. I plan on making them go to the trans crossmember. Tires hitting the bars would definitely be an issue and I’ll have to measure to see if I will clear. Trying to put 44x12 tires with 4-5” of lift
 
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
248
Messages
1,226
Loc
socal
yes you can do it, ive done it on the rear on a previous truck but it was to maximize shock performance.

packaging on the front of a vehicle would be a challenge. i dont think the cost savings for what you want to do will pencil out in the end.

1652474759407.png

1652474774073.png

1652474795459.png
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
Leaf springs AND leading arms? If so there's a reason you can't find any info on them.
Going to need something to control axle wrap up front with the longer springs. Just figured I’d integrate the lower shock mount into it to get more travel out of the shocks at the same time
 

Biggin

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Member Number
2232
Messages
15
Not sure if im reading this wrong or what but, from what i can tell he is meaning a typical 4 link but instead of the frame side mounts being located in the normal position behind the axle, they are mounted in front of the axle. I remember seeing a white/red scrambler in one of the big magazines 30 years ago that was like the latter i mentioned. The link mounts were integrated into the tube bumper and then the links angled down to the front of the front axle. The liks were obviously shorter that normal but it looked like it would work.
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
yes you can do it, ive done it on the rear on a previous truck but it was to maximize shock performance.

packaging on the front of a vehicle would be a challenge. i dont think the cost savings for what you want to do will pencil out in the end.

1652474759407.png

1652474774073.png

1652474795459.png
I was thinking I’d put the upper mounts on the frame hump up front somewhere. I’m moving the springs all the way forward to the end of the frame so where is have to mount the shock would be in front of the frame hump which seems more difficult to get a shock hoop or tower in there and keep some height to it for long shocks
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
Not sure if im reading this wrong or what but, from what i can tell he is meaning a typical 4 link but instead of the frame side mounts being located in the normal position behind the axle, they are mounted in front of the axle. I remember seeing a white/red scrambler in one of the big magazines 30 years ago that was like the latter i mentioned. The link mounts were integrated into the tube bumper and then the links angled down to the front of the front axle. The liks were obviously shorter that normal but it looked like it would work.
No just like the lower links would be on a 4 link but with shock mounts on there instead of on the axle because I’m moving the axle forward and where it is now is the highest place on the frame to mount a shock vertical
 

Biggin

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Member Number
2232
Messages
15
No just like the lower links would be on a 4 link but with shock mounts on there instead of on the axle because I’m moving the axle forward and where it is now is the highest place on the frame to mount a shock vertical
I understand his post now that i went back and re-read it. I've googled like crazy and cant come up with the backwards front 4 link scrambler i mentioned lol. Now thats going to drive me crazy!
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
I understand his post now that i went back and re-read it. I've googled like crazy and cant come up with the backwards front 4 link scrambler i mentioned lol. Now thats going to drive me crazy!
I didn’t know what I’m talking about is called a leading link.
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
598
Loc
Alaska
Going to need something to control axle wrap up front with the longer springs. Just figured I’d integrate the lower shock mount into it to get more travel out of the shocks at the same time
The problem is it's going to bind like crazy unless you put the shackle out front, as in not even move since the axle moves back under compression. Even then you'll have to get the geometry perfect to reduce binding. The one mobil1syn posted above covers your shock mounting (kind of, since you'd need that vertical link to be long enough to let the axle move, negating the benefits of short shocks) but does nothing for axle wrap.

Two options that I would consider are either use traditional single traction bars with shackles F/R and figure out shock mounts, or just link it completely since you're already halfway there.

FWIW I've run 52s up front on tons and 42s and axle wrap wasn't an issue.
 
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
248
Messages
1,226
Loc
socal
I was thinking I’d put the upper mounts on the frame hump up front somewhere. I’m moving the springs all the way forward to the end of the frame so where is have to mount the shock would be in front of the frame hump which seems more difficult to get a shock hoop or tower in there and keep some height to it for long shocks

you seem fairly set on this endeavor, so party on and keep things updated here.

i think its a bad idea, more work, hassle and cost in the long run. white rockets/monroe/bilstiens will all be essentially useless with motion ratio.
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
The problem is it's going to bind like crazy unless you put the shackle out front, as in not even move since the axle moves back under compression. Even then you'll have to get the geometry perfect to reduce binding. The one mobil1syn posted above covers your shock mounting (kind of, since you'd need that vertical link to be long enough to let the axle move, negating the benefits of short shocks) but does nothing for axle wrap.

Two options that I would consider are either use traditional single traction bars with shackles F/R and figure out shock mounts, or just link it completely since you're already halfway there.

FWIW I've run 52s up front on tons and 42s and axle wrap wasn't an issue.
Ok I had read in quite a few places that axle wrap was bad with 52’s and worse with 56’s. I’ll just go without for the front
 

AK_F250

Red Rocket
Joined
May 19, 2020
Member Number
178
Messages
598
Loc
Alaska
Ok I had read in quite a few places that axle wrap was bad with 52’s and worse with 56’s. I’ll just go without for the front
Don't forget I'm in the land of low traction, so it might be different where you wheel. Worst case if it's an issue slap a traction bar on and call it a day.
 

Frankenchev81

Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Member Number
5172
Messages
14
Don't forget I'm in the land of low traction, so it might be different where you wheel. Worst case if it's an issue slap a traction bar on and call it a day.
I’m in nw Oregon. Sloppy and wet most of the time. I’ll just go that route and see what happens. I’ll start a build thread eventually but it’ll be slow progress.
 

pennsylvaniaboy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Member Number
2192
Messages
380
I read a thread on pirate about a buggy leaf setup with a 4 link. Full elliptical springs with shackles on both ends. Sounded pretty sweet!
yeh, but you are getting the worst of everything.....the cost of a 4 link, versus the simplicity of leafs, the horrible approach angle of leading shackles, etc, versus the great approach of links.

If you are going with leafs, there are ways to combat axle wrap and 16" shocks arent that expensive... If coilovers are out of the budget go ford springs and radius arms...
 

Eddie315

Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
791
Messages
19
I built mine with leading and trailing arms. It rides great and was easier to package. I'm using heims on both ends of the link but no misalignment spacers on the chassis side. That allows for enough rotation to avoid binding but not enough to max out the shock misalignment and bend a shaft. I also have delrin bushings on the shock ends to minimize any rotation. Doesn't cost any more money to build, improves ride quality, and allows you to use a shorter shock for the same wheel travel.
20220510_175842.jpg
 
Top