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Hot Rods Suicide Front End

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Goldy, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Goldy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 476

    Goldy
    Member

    Why is a front end called " Suicide " when the front axle is mounted ahead of the transverse leaf spring ???
     
  2. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Because if something breaks their is nothing above the axle to catch it.
     
    prewarcars4me likes this.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

  4. Goldy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 476

    Goldy
    Member

    Awesome answers, thank you. My son and I are building a Bonneville type fuel coupe with this type design front end. I referred to it as a "suicide " front end and was asked why it is called suicide ? I had to answer " I don't know but I know where to find out" Thanks again. Goldy
     
    Kan Kustom likes this.

  5. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling
    Member

    Everyone told me I was nuts to put a suicide front end under my coupe- "It'll steer like a bus!"
    Well it did extend the wheelbase 12", and it has one helluva turning radius, but it goes down the road like it's on railroad tracks! (12 years and counting).
    Sounds just about right for Bonneville?
     

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  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You cannot ever get the Ackerman angle correct with a suicide setup using early Ford parts.
     
  7. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    I'm trying to figure out why not as long as the tie rod is behind the axle.
     
  8. Or the steering arms are bent outward to the lines if in front.

    I would also like to hear why not.
     
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Way before you get the arms bent to where the tie rod hole out to where it needs to be, you will have hit the backing plate.
     
  10. Probably, but I typically use disks, but I still dont understand how you say that about suicide mounts. I have built plenty of suicide mounts that ackerman was dead on.
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It can't be, or we're talking about two different things. If your tie rod is in the rear, it will work. If it is in the front, it won't. On a Model A chassis, even with the stock wheelbase, the tie rod pivot would have to be out near the outside edge of the brake shoe to meet the specification.
     
  12. I agree with you on the tie rod being in front, if using drums. I am asking the same thing Steel Rebel was asking when you said this above "You cannot ever get the Ackerman angle correct with a suicide setup using early Ford parts." <<<< How so?
     
  13. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I just told you, and you agreed with me.
     
  14. On one post you say it cant be done on a suicide front, then you say it can be done if the tie rod is in the rear. So,,,,,,,,, you agree it CAN be done on a suicide with a rear tie rod, right?
     
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
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    That is no different from stock, so why even talk about it?
     
  16. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Let me try to put a stop to this. All gimpy left out was (and the tie rod in front of the axle) I can agree with that because the backing plates would be in the way of the steering arms being bent out enough.
     
  17. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,925

    brokenspoke
    Member

    I always thought a suicide front end has the tie rod in front of the axel. When the tie rod is behind the axel its not a suicide front end.
     
    Michael Hrischuk likes this.
  18. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Not my definition of a "suicide Front end". To me it means the front axle is in front of the spring mount and if something breaks the frame will dig into the road and well who know what.
     
  19. That was how I was to understand a suicide front end. Spring behind the axle. Steering arms in front of the axle look horrendous, drive horrendous and just do not work right. I know tons of T buckets have them but i cant stand them.
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,212

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's been my understanding as well, for the last 40, or so, years.
     
  21. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling
    Member

    I ended up doing it to avoid bending the arms and ending up with a pile of junk. It works fine, and it's not wrong, it's just different ( like guys with ear rings).
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  22. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 1,058

    COCONUTS

    I am telling you guys, you all have it wrong. Suicide front end is when the tie rod is ahead of the axle, as stated, the suicide part is when you run into something that is not as wide as the as the width of the tires, and the front tires both pull in toward the front, making steering the vehicle impossible, you are just going to plow ahead. For example, you are running down Main Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire when a rather large and heavy women with a peg leg steps out from two park cars and you hit her with the center of your car, right in the peg leg. The tie rod gives in and both tires turn toward the center thus causing the car to plow right into the rest of the peg leg lady. You cannot turn left or right and the heavy peg leg women is unscrewing her cast iron peg leg and going to beat you with it. It is suicide for you to remain in your vehicle at this time.
     
  23. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

  24. I meant it looks wrong to me but i understand the need to do it in certain situations. As for guys with earings. well yeah i'm with ya, i just had to be a dumb ass get my ears pierced to realize that it was wrong for me! My Dad let me now that real quick when i was about 17.....
     
  25. Here is my favorite version of the suicide front end. As shown on my clone of Roth's Mysterion. Geometry here is TOTALLY messed up, shocks non-functional but a thing of beauty.

    IMG_7443.JPG
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  26. Who cares if the geometry is all messed that thing is absolutely awesome!
     
  27. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Message to self. Let it go Gary. Not worth the effort anymore.

    By the way willys36 beautiful work.
     
    falcongeorge likes this.
  28. Thank you. This answered my question as to why the wheel turns excessively on the wrong side at full lock. It's like in a parking lot I'm pushing the tire sideways LOL.
     
    LOST ANGEL likes this.
  29. 58 Mustang
    Joined: Sep 4, 2020
    Posts: 38

    58 Mustang

    So many answers and most of them are wrong. I asked the same question to an old rodder 60 years ago. he splained that it is the perch that makes it "suicide" Typically used on T buckets which often used a round tubular crossmember at the very front of the frame. The perch was welded to this crossmember, sticking out forwards. Then holes were drilled for the U bolts and the spring center bolt. To some it looked dangerous and maybe a few failed. Properly gusseted and welded it is perfectly safe
     

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