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I've always wondered that, too. Hurry, someone pretend to be smart, and we'll see if you can convince us of whatever you make up!
 

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More wheel travel for the shock length like he said and less stress on the A-arm at the shock connection point. Leverage is moved out toward the tire. You end up with more force at the frame, but that is a much stronger connection transferring the force to 4 joints.
But still, you'd have far less stress on the shock connection point of the a-arm if you had the shocks mounted vertically as far out as you could get them. But then you have to add mounting points to the frame to support that, and use much longer (but more lightly sprung) shocks.
 
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