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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the DML Home Page
- Back to the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades Section