My dislike for square u-bolts, and wanting more clearance between the axle and frame rails, and to make room for a different snubber, drove me to a completely different plate design.
Shown here before final welding, two stacked plates, top plate with hex shaped holes (to nest the bolt heads, anti-rotation) and the lower with through holes. I keyed the shock tabs into both for a strong assembly, welded top and bottom plates along their edge. Probably a lot more work than most people want to do, but I was only doing this once
For some reason I was not paying attention and thought this post was from the OP. I do like the work involved with the notched plate and shock keyed insert. The problem is the bolts are still pointing at rocks. No matter what design you make for the lower plate/clamp/bracket it still hangs below the axle. This is vital with some guys that do not want to run bigger rubber as far as clearance. The work is very niceand is still usable with u bolts!!
Life happens and I got pulled off the red van build. But back at it , got it to the alignment shop, it needs a little camber but other than that the toe and caster came out great- time to put a few miles on it and itís going up for sale