Linked leaf front ends - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
Rock God
Join Date: Apr 2002
Member # 11484
Location: Salmon Arm, BC
Posts: 2,463
Blog Entries: 1
Linked leaf front ends

Hey, I'm using a full length leaf in the front end of a fullsize GM, I have a Dana 60 and 44" boggers. I plan on adding another shackle to the front of the leafs. I'll build a drop bracket at the rear end and remount the existing shackle in order to adjust the camber(?) properly so my tires will recenter themselves. I plan on using the factory sway bar mounts on top of the leafs which the u-bolts go through in order to mount the links. I believe that the bolts are 5/8 or even 3/4. I'll make the links fairly long, so they bolt up around the transfer case somewhere to the frame.

My questions are these:

1: Would using the u-bolt plates be a good enough mounting point? I plan on welding a piece of flat bar down to the axle tube so the head of the bolt will rest against that, and in effect the bolt will not have any means to travel back and forth, therefore not bending and breaking. (double shear)

2: What should I use to locate the axle? I was thinking more along the lines of using a rod end/heim since rubber bushings would allow too much front/back movement and I tend to think that rod ends would allow more misalignment when articulating. What else could I use for this? Another great benefit of heims is the adjustability. I can locate the axle forwards and back at least an inch this way and adjust any alignment issues I might have.

3: Would you expect that there would be too much lateral axle movement, and I'll have to make up a panhard bar of some sort since I'll have another set of rubber bushings? The links will be fairly long and fairly straight but I'm picturing them not allowing the axle to move around laterally a whole bunch. More vertical movement than anything I think?

Why do I want to do this? To use a flatter leaf for more height, and because I think the leaf spring will free up a bit and I'll get better flex. A key factor here is driveability. I still require this truck to be driven on the street with some sort of reliability and not dart every where in traffic.

Any other associated input from the folks who have done something like this would be great.

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