onFront shackles or rear shackles ?
Why are most spring shackles mounted in front? 

Due to spring compression and relaxation the axle moves in an arc up and down.
Upon compression (up) or relaxation (down) tires will move slightly backwards, following an arc around the fixed spring end.

Advantage: With the shackle up front (the shackle allows for longitudinal movement of spring) the drive shaft moves in a similar arc and the drive shaft slip joint experiences very little action.

Disadvantage: Impact on tire (hitting a rock a little too fast) will stress the fixed end of the spring. End of spring will either bend or break.

Here is how the shackle reversal setup looks like.
Shackle movement with arched springs

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