You’ve just received a nice pair of longboard trucks from Amazon or wherever. Now, it’s time to mount those trucks on your longboard. But you’re not sure you can complete the longboard truck mounting process without screwing up.
Also Read: Best Longboard for the Money
And that’s why you’re here. Here, I’ll describe how to mount longboard trucks, leaving nothing out, so you can do it like a pro each time. I’ve even uploaded a bunch of images to make it even harder to do the wrong thing.
Different Longboard Truck Mounting Styles
There are several ways to mount longboard trucks, but I’ll present only two of those methods. That’s because the top mount and drop-through mount are the most common mounting styles.
In Different Types of Longboards, I included a section that describes at least 5 kinds of truck mount styles. You might also want to learn how to choose longboard wheels before you leave this website.
For now, let’s talk about how to set up the drop-through mount as well as the top mount.
How to Drop-through Mount Your Longboard Trucks
The drop-through longboard truck mounting style differs from the top mount significantly. In the top mount style, the baseplate sits on the deck’s underside. You can’t see the baseplate unless you flip the longboard over.
The reason the drop-through style has become pretty popular is that it lowers the deck closer to the ground. A lower deck feels more stable during longboard rides. I should add that pushing feels a tad easier and more comfortable with this mounting style.
But in the drop-through mount, the baseplate sits on the top side of the deck. And you can see the baseplate when you look at the deck from above. One more thing: a drop-thru setup reduces truck height by a number equal to the thickness of the deck.
Also Read: How to Select Longboard Trucks
Here’s how to complete the drop-through setup.
Step #1: Tear Down Your Longboard Trucks
I told you — mounting longboard trucks using the drop-through mount style does involve a little work. To mount your trucks using this method, you must disassemble them first.
So, how do you take apart longboard trucks?
Take your skate tool and unscrew the nut on the kingpin. Then, take off the top bushing.
Next, pull off the hanger and axle. The axle/hanger is the T-shaped part of the truck that makes it possible to attach wheels to a longboard or skateboard.
Then, remove the bottom bushing and washer. Some trucks don’t come with the bottom washer so don’t worry if you can’t see it.
Step #2: Align Drop-through Pad Mount Holes with the Deck’s Holes
The holes on the drop-through pads need to be in alignment with the holes on the baseplate.
You’ll run bolts through these two parts, that’s why the holes need to be in the exact same position.
Regardless of the kind of trucks you have, make sure that the pivot cups face in opposite directions. That is, the pivot cups should point away from each other.
Step #3: Put the Bolts Through the Baseplate and Drop-through Pads
By the way, the other name for drop-through pads is shock pads. Slide the bolts through each baseplate and then the deck.
Step #4: Put the Washers onto the Bolts
Washers protect your deck from damage that could result from frictional forces between the deck and the nuts.
Step #5: Place the Nuts onto the Bolts and Tighten
At this point, put the nuts onto the bolts. Then, grab your skate tool and start tightening the nuts, one after the other. Tighten each nut all the way to keep things firm and stable. You’ve done it, boy!
Step #6: Reassemble the Trucks
First, put the bottom washer on the kingpin (where applicable). Next, slide the bottom bushing.
Then, push the hanger into the pivot. At this point, slide the top bushing and then finally the washer (where applicable).
Step #7: Tighten the Kingpin Nut to Your Preference
Hold your tool and start tightening the nut on the kingpin. Decide whether you want tight, loose, or moderately tight trucks.
The extent to which you tighten your trucks affects how your ride feels.
If you tighten the nut all the way, your board will feel super stable, but your board won’t be super maneuverable.
If you have the nuts moderately loose/tight, you’ll sacrifice a bit of board stability. But your trucks will have better maneuverability. How loose or tight you tighten your trucks is a matter of personal preference.
Repeat steps #1 through #7 for the other truck.
How to Topmount Longboard Trucks
In the top-mount style, you attach your longboard trucks to the underside of the deck. Let’s now do it.
Did you recently replace your grip tape? If yes, use a screwdriver to poke through the screw holes. You should execute this step from the bottom of the deck rather than the topside.
That’s because your new grip tape doesn’t cover the holes on the underside, so the holes are visible. So, pass the screwdriver through the holes and push upward.
Step #1: Put the Screws into the Holes
Each truck attaches to the deck through four screws. So, put all 8 screws in the holes. You should insert the screws from the top and not the bottom of the deck.
Step #2: Flip the Deck Over
Turn the board upside down so that the underside faces up. Now, you can see the tail of the screws.
Step #3: Slip the Riser Pads onto the Screws (Optional)
This step applies only if you’re using riser pads in your setup. Riser pads are a great way to prevent wheel bite.
Step #4: Put the Baseplates Onto the Screws
The baseplate is a flat piece of metal that allows you to connect your longboard trucks to your deck. Align the baseplate with the holes and push each screw so it passes through to the other side of the plate.
Make sure to place each truck correctly. Standard Kingpin trucks are set differently than Reverse Kingpin trucks.
Standard Kingpin Trucks
If you have Standard Kingpin trucks, place them in a way that has the kingpin and bushings facing inwards. The kingpin and bushing of one truck should point toward the center of the deck.
Reverse Kingpin Trucks
With Reverse Kingpin longboard trucks, do the opposite of what you did with the Standard Kingpin trucks above. That is, have each kingpin and its bushing facing outward. One kingpin-bushing set should face toward the tail while the other set faces the front of the deck.
Step #5: Attach the Nuts Loosely
At this point, attach all 8 nuts to the screws. Give each nut a half-turn. The idea here is to hold your trucks in place (loosely) before you finally tighten the nuts all the way. You can use your thumb and index finger to attach the nuts.
Step #6: Tighten the Nuts to Your Preference
Grab your skate tool or an adjustable wrench and put it on the first nut. Then, tighten the nut. Next, repeat the process for the rest of the nuts.
To handle this step right, tighten the nuts in a crisscross pattern. That is, once you’re done with the first nut, the next nut should be the one sitting diagonally across. Look at the image below, that’s what I mean
How much you tighten your trucks is a matter of personal preference and riding style.
I suggest that you give your longboard a spin to see how the setup feels. You’ll then either tighten the nuts further or loosen them a little until you have the perfect setup.
Now that you’ve learned how to top-mount and drop-through mount longboard trucks, it’s time to learn a few other important things.
Repeat steps #1 through #6 for the other truck.
Understanding Mount Hole Patterns
I bet you’ve come across a person online who complained that their truck holes didn’t fit the deck. Sometimes, the mount holes on the baseplate don’t align with the deck holes.
Usually, this is because the trucks are a modern design while the deck holes are drilled in the old-school pattern. And that’s a problem. Fortunately, it’s a problem you can solve with a bit of creativity and a little elbow grease.
You can avoid this problem by gaining a crystal clear understanding of old-school vs. new-school mount hole patterns.
Old School vs. New School Bolt Patterns
If your deck and trucks have incompatible bolt patterns, you’ll have to drill new holes in the deck to solve the misalignment.
Fortunately, most longboard decks feature multiple mount holes (between 6 and 8 holes). Most decks these days have two sets of holes. It’s highly unlikely you’ll face problems when mounting the trucks regardless of the mount style the trucks have.
Here’s how to drill new holes into the deck should you ever need to do that. First, place the baseplate perfectly straight and tighten the two front bolts. Then, with the truck sitting straight, mark where the new holes should go. Next, use a 3/16″bit and drill new holes. Problem solved.
But who likes work? Avoid drilling new mount holes by choosing longboard trucks whose mount pattern is compatible with your deck’s mount pattern.
In the old-school hole mount pattern, the holes are positioned 2.5 inches along the deck’s length. Widthwise, the holes sit 1.625 inches apart.
The old-school pattern was the mount standard skateboard manufacturers used in the 1970s. But decks with the old-school pattern still exist, just as do trucks with the old pattern.
With the new school mount pattern, the deck comes with the holes already drilled 2.125 inches apart along the deck’s length. As for the widthwise placement, the holes sit 1.625 inches apart, just as they do in the old-school hole/bolt system.
Some Longboard Decks Feature the Old School Hole Mount
Even though most longboard decks come with two sets of holes, some re-edition decks come with the old-school mount.
With re-edition longboard decks, you’re forced to use certain longboard trucks that offer truck-deck compatibility. Also, pretty much all vintage street trucks work perfectly with these decks.
Some Trucks Come Double-drilled
Which trucks have two sets of holes? Indy trucks, Mini Logo trucks, and Gullwig longboard trucks come double-drilled. Plus, these are damn good longboard trucks from brands many skaters adore.
If you’re not into DIYing things, I suggest that you buy double-drilled trucks. And always make sure the deck you’re planning on buying will accommodate your trucks and vice versa.
Now that you’ve learned how to mount longboard trucks, step on that board and let’s have some fun outdoors. And remember to helmet up and wear proper knee pads and wristguards. I don’t want you falling hard and breaking those precious and irreplaceable body parts.