Traction Bars Upgrade


Well, for most Dak owners traction is a problem. This little traction bar setup (if you can follow what I took pictures of and what the diagram is supposed to show you) will let you get about 10 feet of rubber (max) if you tighten them up all the way. The theory behind them is pretty simple. Basically what you are doing is pulling on the bottom part of the axle with about 400 pounds of force (or more depending on what kind of valvesprings you use and how much you tighten them). This pulls the bottom of the axle toward the rear of the vehicle and preloads it. So, when you crank on it the axle can't spin any so it just hooks up and goes. Oh yeah, if it DOES happen to wheelhop on you any after you put these on your truck, just tighten the bars up some more. I'll put it this way: I used to get about 80-90 feet of rubber (I've got a posi 3.55 with 235/70's) before I put some decent mods on it (MSD6A, Supercoil, K&N, 3" cat-back), and now I can get about 8 feet when I powerbrake it and get the tires spinning before I launch. Now it bogs it BAD. So, now I don't go through tires nearly as fast. For you guys who have Nitrous, you may want to try this setup. You guys who have the 5 speeds. . . if you want to try this I can't guarantee you how long your clutch/transmission/rearend will last. It will hook up, but dang, it will be hard on it. I've got an auto and it doesn't hurt things any.

Here's an example of how good these things make your vehicle hook up. My dad put a set on a buddy's 67 or 68 (can't remember) Z28. The guy had it cammed so it didn't start making good power until about 4,500 (he took it up past 7,500 multiple times). Anyway, the guy could burn up the tires all the way through 1-3 and get a some in 4th. Then, the trac bars went on. They took it out on the interstate, cranked it up to 5,000, dropped the clutch. . bogged it bad. They tried 500 rpm increments all the way up to 7,500, and when he launched it from there it yanked the front wheels off the ground and spun less than it did when they launched it at 5,000 (better weight distribution if all the weights on the rears, I guess). Oh yeah, he could only bark the tires on his shifts thereafter. Oh yeah, these things work good on dirt track cars, too. No more sliding around the turns. Just put your foot down and hold on.

Anyway, what you're going to need is a set of Chevy S-10 spring mounting pads (the things that go under the rear axle which the U-bolts come down through). You can't use the Dak mounting pads because the Chevy ones have a bolt sticking out of the inboard side of them which you will either have to drill out (if it's really rusty like mine was and you can't use the threads), or you can just wait and try to use it when you hook the bars up. You're also going to need a couple pieces of 1/4" plate steel (refer to diagram), a small piece of 2"X3" angle iron (6 inches long which will be cut in half), 4 small gussets with the 90 degree adjactent sides being 2" long, some 1" ID steel pipe, some all-thread (check diagram for measurements), a couple of old valvesprings, some rubber bushings, and a bunch of nuts, bolts, and regular and lock washers. You will need access to either a good saw or cutting torch, a good drill, and an arc welder.

I think my dad and I have about $50 in all this stuff, and it will take you about 10-12 hours or so to get it all together if everything goes smoothly. So, it's a good Saturday's work. BUT, if you get it put together right I can guarantee you you'll be surprised at what you accomplished.

One more quick note. You want these bars to be as parallel with the ground as possible to allow for the suspension to have proper travel. That's one reason for the valvesprings, too, because they allow the bars to move a little bit. The way mine are set up is to "hide" behind the stock leaf springs. Nobody knows what hit `em at lights. It's great to leave sports cars sitting there spinning. My best ever was to take a 944 off the line and actually got 1/2 a length of him before an idiot pulled out in front of me and I had to stand it on its nose.

Any questions? E-mail me at cobbrob@juno.com

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