Part # 2051130 – 3-Link Front Suspension

To open a printable PDF version of this instruction CLICK HERE
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Tools Needed:

  • ⅜ & ½” Ratchets
  • ¾”, 13/16”, ⅞” Sockets
  • ¾”, 13/16”, ⅞”, 1 ⅛”, 1 ⅞” Wrenches
  • Grinder
  • Torch
  • Welder



  • Hammer
  • Floor Jack and Jack Stands
  • Torque Wrench
  • Tape Measure
  • Angle Finder
  • Straight Edge

Installation Notes:

    1. Read all instructions completely and carefully before you begin.

    2. Check to make sure the kit is complete and that no parts are missing. If anything is missing, please contact Trail-Gear at (559) 252-4950.

    3. Park vehicle on a clean, dry, at, level surface and block the tires so the vehicle can not roll in either direction.

Installation Instructions:

    1. Before starting installation, take some measurements of your truck so that you can determine proper set up of your new 3 link kit. Take these measurements at ride height on a level surface. Measure your current wheelbase and front axle pinion angle. Record the data in the table on the last page of these instructions.
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2. Mark the center line of the front axle on each side of the frame. These marks will provide a reference when all brackets are cut off. Determine how far forward you want to move your axle. There are many considerations for this, including desired wheelbase, tire clearance, steering cylinder clearance, and the type of frame.
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3. Remove axle, cut off front suspension of the truck, and grind smooth.





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4. Cut spring perches and shock mounts off of axle and grind smooth.
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5. Position axle on bench and raise the pinion until the pinion angle matches the angle measured in step 1.
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6. Mark axle 3 inches in from flange on each side. Place the outside of the Lower Link bracket on the line and level them to the axle. This will place the link brackets level at ride height with the desired pinion angle. Tack weld them in place.
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7. Mark the location of the upper link mount on the front axle as shown in Diagram A. Tack weld in place.
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8. Place the panhard mount on the axle and rotate into position as shown in Diagram B. Tack weld in place.
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9. Mount the Upper and lower link mounts to the frame. Depending on the model of truck these locations will vary. Pictures show an IFS frame truck and the lower brackets are mounted about 5 inches behind the skid plate.
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10. Slide the upper link bracket in place between the front cab body mount and the skid plate on the passenger side. Some grinding may be required to fit the bracket in place.

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11. Using a transmission jack or jack-stands, position the axle under the truck at the approximate ride height and forward position. Measure and cut tubing for the upper and lower links, tack them together and install the link ends. Install them in the link brackets. The amount of tubing in the kit will allow the axle to be moved forward about 5” on an IFS frame truck (longest links). All other applications and axle locations will need to cut the link tubing to the correct length.
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12. Check the placement of the axle in the vehicle using the marks made on the frame in step 2. Axle is shown moved 3” forward of original location. Measure from frame to knuckle ball on each side to ensure that the axle is centered side to side.



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13. When the front to rear position of the axle is correct, tack the panhard frame bracket to the frame. Slide the bracket forward/backward so that the pandhard link is parallel with the front axle (front to rear) at ride height. Assemble and install the panhard link.
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14. Determine up travel of shocks (3”-4” recommended) at ride height. Verify that the panhard link is parallel with the ground or at a negative angle as shown in Diagram C.

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15. Weld axle shock mounts in place. Standard lower shock mounts are included. Gusseted lower shock mounts and knuckle ball gussets can be found in our Creeper Gussets Kit.
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16. Cut shock “mock-up” strips to the proper application length for the shock that you will use. We recommend 14” shocks for this kit. Note: These shock strips will only work with Fox 2.0 air shocks.
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17. Bring axle to full compression, install compressed shock strips, and fabricate upper shock mounts. (See example installations on the next page.)
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17. Continued - Example of Shock Mount Installation.


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17. Continued - Example of Shock Mount Installation.



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18. Using the shock strips, flex the suspension to full compression, full extension, full flex right and full flex left. Verify that there is no binding or metal to metal contact.
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18. Continued

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19. With suspension at full extension, check drive line engagement and u-joints for binding.
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20. Install air shocks, do not pressurize. Flex suspension again. Check for shock clearance with the frame, tires, and shock mounts. Flex to full compression, full extension, full flex left, and full flex right.

21. Remove shocks and links. Fully weld all brackets, paint as desired and reinstall all shocks and links.

22. Add nitrogen pressure to shocks. We recommend 3”-4” of up travel at ride height.

23. Panhard link must be level at ride height or at a negative angle for proper handling of the vehicle as shown below in Diagram C.

24. Flex suspension with shocks charged and torque all bolts and jam nuts.
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