Budget Traction Bars

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Budget Traction Bars

Postby RSWORDS » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:03 pm

Follow along as I try to build a set of traction bars on a budget! And by budget I mean under $250...

To do this I will skimp on some spots and not on others, we still need them to work!

To start off I got my hands on some 2" sch80 pipe. While this is not as strong as DOM or even HREW the almost .250" walls and 2.5" OD will make it plenty strong for this application, and its cheaper. I would not use this for a roll cage or as the only support in a suspension but for what we are doing... Its perfect!

One place not to skimp is on the joints, while you don't need top of the line you don't want tractor top link joints either, they get slop in them VERY quickly. To get a good joint I got hold of Dan at Ruff Stuff Specialties and ordered up some Heims and brackets. They have great prices and some of the BEST service around!

Here are the Heims I got. You will need 2 sets... Make sure you get 2 right hand threads and 2 left hand threads. Using one of each on each bar will allow you to lengthen or shorten them on the truck to set preload.
7/8" Rod End Set, 1 LH & 1 RH, 1.5" Tube ID
This is it, the Left and Right hand set of 7/8" Rod Ends with all the trimmings! You get 1 Left & 1 Right hand 7/8" Chromoly Heim with a 3/4" through bore, 4 Zink Plated Misalignment spacers or Stainless Misalignment, a left and a right hand cadmium plated Jam Nut and the pair of weld in Tube Adapters to go with them (For 1.5" Tube ID). All for 1 great price!

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Then I got some brackets, while I could make these it was easier to just hit up Dan and get the on the way!

Frame Side- I Went With the 3/8"
Chassis Tabs, 3/8" & 1/4"
These are the ideal way to set up the bottom link of any 3 or 4 link suspension but to call these Tabs is just a little bit off the mark. These are over 1 pound each! They are meant for the bottom of the rig, the side taking a beating now and then (all the time). We make them .375 thick and with a sloped shape to survive everything you can throw at em', we are pretty sure you can wear them out but you will be very challenged to break them. They are high enough around the bolt to give all but the very largest Heims complete protection and still short enough on the joint end to allow full articulation. These also make an excellent Ram mount off of a truss. Made exclusively of A50 Steel Plate for its density and strength. We have added these in 1/4" also for a couple of dollars less for those that don't need 3/8". These are sold in pairs.

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Axle Side - These Come In 3" Only, About 5min with a grinder and they will fit our 3.5" tubes perfect.
Link Tab, 3.0" Axle, Long
This is our mainstay link tab. Made to fit a 3.0 Axle so it is easily adjusted to fit larger or smaller in a couple of minutes. It, and all of our Link Single Tabs are a seriously strong .375" (3/8) thick. We had to go that big to equal the strength of our .25" (1/4) paired link brackets. Sometimes single tabs are the way to go but we didn't want them weaker than our brackets. The ease of use of single tabs this thick sometimes make them a better choice for your 3 or 4 link suspension & its easy to put a bridge between 2 to create the 4 link bracket you want. These are meant to be interchanged with our other sizes to attain the angle desired. these are 2.625" (2 5/8) from the axle to the bolt centerline. The bolt hole is drilled for .5625" (9/16) bolts but easily drilled to another size.

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Now for the links, the 2" links are 6' long... Thats a Dr. Pepper Can for reference, I would usually use a Bud Light can but its only 9am... :lol:
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Seeing as how the tube adapters are for 1.5" ID tube I need to neck it down some. No problem, some 1.5" Sch80 tube slips in just right! I'll leave out about 2" and weld it up real good!
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I figure total length should be just under 7', that will put the bars right at the middle of the doors. Nice and long! Excuse the poor paint picture but it shows the layout we are going for.
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Thats it for now, the parts are on the way from Ruff Stuff, the tube is sitting here waiting to go in, figure out how I'm gonna brib Mike to weld it up, and I'm itching for pulling season!
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby 1STGENFARMBOY » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:34 pm

Thanks im going to build a set before spring gets here, i think it will help wheel spin :roll: and if i can muster up the guts i'll hook up to the sled, i would crap if i broke an output shaft or somthing even worse. :shock:
93 W250 STD CAB, AUTO 3.55, GAUGES, 80HP DDP STICKS, DENNY T ,16CM HOUSING, 60MM GILLETT, VE MAXED,BHAF, BHFF, 366 SPRING,P/S INTERCOOLER, TIMS COOLER TUBS, TIMMING 1/8 BUMP,4in TURBO BACK TO DUEL 5IN STACKS,33 12.50 BFG, HOLLEY BLACK, CONVERTER COOMING.
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby RSWORDS » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:09 pm

1STGENFARMBOY wrote:Thanks im going to build a set before spring gets here, i think it will help wheel spin :roll: and if i can muster up the guts i'll hook up to the sled, i would crap if i broke an output shaft or somthing even worse. :shock:


Its been said that the stock tranny in teh 1st gen wont transfer enough power to break themselves.... soooo.... LET HER EAT!
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby ahale2772 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:14 pm

cooll!! i was just thinking of making myself a pair that helps alotttttttlike u read my mind...
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby GLHS » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:57 pm

Where do you get those "link tabs" and do they come in 3.5" and 4"?

Oops. I think I see now................at Ruff Stuff?
92 W250 ext cab, 5spd, SPS 62/71/14, ATS 3 piece, Banks 3G intake, Icebox CAI, DDP #4+, timing 1.95 mm, SB 4 puck FE, PDR fuel pin, Hellmann intercooler, Snow water/meth, 60# springs, stock long block, D80 3.54 w/disks, 455+/1005 uncorrected, 13.34@102 7-06; 472 fuel/520 water/meth uncorrected 5-08
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby RSWORDS » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:18 pm

GLHS wrote:Where do you get those "link tabs" and do they come in 3.5" and 4"?

Oops. I think I see now................at Ruff Stuff?


Yeah Ruff Stuff. I could find none anywhere that were 3.5" or 4". Only takes about 5 min with an angle grinder to make them work.
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby lectro_static » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:47 pm

Couple things to keep n mind, first and most important, you can bind your suspension if your traction bars are on a different axis then your leaf springs you are going to bind up. You ad add leaf spring sliders to fix that but they are clanky and not sure how "streetable" they are. The length is the most important part you are changing the instinct center of your truck, there are several books on the subject the best one I know of is "door slammers by dave morgan". It is geared to drag racing but the principles will be basically the same.

I just dont want to see you guys build these and then have NO rear suspension, trucks ride ruff enough now.........
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby PRINCETON_JAKE » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:37 am

theres nothing wronge with tractor joints. 90% of the pullers around here run them, alot of huge mud trucks use them, even some monster trucks use them for the sway bar end links. I have put them through more abuse then you ever will on a traction bar setup, and have never seen a faliure. My newest mud truck is using the bigger cat. 2 ends for all 8 of the fourlink bars.
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby RSWORDS » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:58 am

lectro_static wrote:Couple things to keep n mind, first and most important, you can bind your suspension if your traction bars are on a different axis then your leaf springs you are going to bind up. You ad add leaf spring sliders to fix that but they are clanky and not sure how "streetable" they are. The length is the most important part you are changing the instinct center of your truck, there are several books on the subject the best one I know of is "door slammers by dave morgan". It is geared to drag racing but the principles will be basically the same.

I just dont want to see you guys build these and then have NO rear suspension, trucks ride ruff enough now.........


Its a competition pulling truck, I dont need any suspension travel but yes for a DD these would not be ideal.
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby RSWORDS » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:01 am

PRINCETON_JAKE wrote:theres nothing wronge with tractor joints. 90% of the pullers around here run them, alot of huge mud trucks use them, even some monster trucks use them for the sway bar end links. I have put them through more abuse then you ever will on a traction bar setup, and have never seen a faliure. My newest mud truck is using the bigger cat. 2 ends for all 8 of the fourlink bars.


I have seen plenty get worn out after half a season, they get alot of slop in them very quick. Only seen one or two actually fail. But for around $10 more you can get a full on set of suspension rated, with the tube adaptor, and misalignment spacers that wont wear out half way through a season of pulling.
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Re: Budget Traction Bars

Postby LOGANSTANFORTH » Wed May 05, 2010 7:35 am

lectro_static wrote:Couple things to keep n mind, first and most important, you can bind your suspension if your traction bars are on a different axis then your leaf springs you are going to bind up. You ad add leaf spring sliders to fix that but they are clanky and not sure how "streetable" they are. The length is the most important part you are changing the instinct center of your truck, there are several books on the subject the best one I know of is "door slammers by dave morgan". It is geared to drag racing but the principles will be basically the same.

I just dont want to see you guys build these and then have NO rear suspension, trucks ride ruff enough now.........


I've never seen any of the trucks around me have problems running them on the street if they are built right...

And yes I know Dave's book...I had him for a teacher in college...
THEY PUT THEM ON A PLANE TO SOME STRANGE AND FOREIGN LAND, THEY SAID GOODBYE TO MOM AND DAD AND HELLO TO UNCLE SAM, THEY NEVER THOUGHT THE DAY WOULD COME WHEN THEY MIGHT HAVE TO KILL A MAN, THEY DID NOT SLEEP A WINK THAT NIGHT BUT THEY WON FOR UNCLE SAM
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