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Trac Bars? :)
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2020 07:16 pm
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Ranger_Danger_
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Alrighty, so. I went off roading the other day in the forest. And I got stuck. (yes haha funny). 

My boyfriend said he noticed, when I was giving it the beans, my axle and leaf springs went UPWARDS instead of downwards and making power. I feel like a set of traction bars would help. 

Anyone ever built a set? If so, any tips?

My buddies want $650 for them. But I believe I found a kit for $165 + shipping.

Just wanting opinions.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2020 09:40 pm
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I had a set on a Mustang II in the early 80's. It was a stroked, 30 over 302 with worked heads that put out a little over 300 HP. It had problems jumping sideways on launch. They straitened it out by stopping the axle wrap.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 19th, 2020 04:09 am
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I was asking V8 level II about traction bars a while back and this is what he sent. He said these would work well for a V8 and casual offroading but you might want something a little beefier for hardcore offroading. Price is right....

https://www.dufftuff.com/Classic_Traction_Bar_1998_up_Ranger_Anti_Wrap_p/5306.htm




Looks like it might be cheaper than what you found.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 19th, 2020 03:55 pm
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the v8 explorers have traction bars from the factory.
You can easily add these to a Ranger, hack the tabs off a junk yard axle and truck and mount them up on the Ranger

Ranger leaf springs are weak weak they allow lots of axle wrap up
Stronger springs will help, traction bars are cool but avoid ones that rob you of ground clearance........ the explorer ones are a good setup and cheap too



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 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2020 02:09 pm
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410customs wrote:
the v8 explorers have traction bars from the factory.
You can easily add these to a Ranger, hack the tabs off a junk yard axle and truck and mount them up on the Ranger

Ranger leaf springs are weak weak they allow lots of axle wrap up
Stronger springs will help, traction bars are cool but avoid ones that rob you of ground clearance........ the explorer ones are a good setup and cheap too

I am looking to invest in either a set of Deaver Leaf Springs, or get rid of the leaf springs all together, and just say f it and four link the back. Since I have all this time now to work on the truck, as its no longer my daily.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2020 03:29 pm
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everyone calls it a 4 link but it actually has 5 links, upper and lower control arms and a trac bar to keep axle centered as it travels
Sorry Im a stickler for the details
Linked Rangers are wicked cool! You just need to make sure the front end can keep up with the rear otherwise it can actually hurt performance and get you in trouble.......(many IFS rigs with tons of rear axle travel can roll over more easily) So it's good that you would be doing long travel up front as well



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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2020 11:25 pm
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This is the design I would build.
A pivot point at end end, one on the frame by the front of the spring and the other on the rear axle.
Bushings would work but bearings would be nice !
I have a pair of the Superlift Ranger traction on my '03, and never had a problem; they are built close to what is in the picture.

The axle brackets, designed to mount to the top of the axle, above the spring, using longer U-Bolts and maybe a larger diameter U-Bolts, and the front can use either the front spring mounting or mount to the frame.




$120.00

I'm not the best fabricator, but these look like they can be made in the home shop or a local shop.

Still looking for a picture of the SuperLift Bars.

Ltr


Found another picture, similar but just something to look at; I think SuperLift stopped making them !



$110.00

Last edited on Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 12:46 am by Scrambler82



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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 10:45 pm
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I work in a shop with metal and welders, I could not make that for 120.00. I could make 10 for less than that per piece but could not make 1 for that.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 11:22 pm
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Scrambler82 wrote:
This is the design I would build.
A pivot point at end end, one on the frame by the front of the spring and the other on the rear axle.
Bushings would work but bearings would be nice !


These look like the 1966 OEM Shelby traction bars.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-drake-traction-bar-pair-1967-1970/p/TMB2/



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 03:32 pm
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Mike69 wrote:
Scrambler82 wrote:

This is the design I would build.
A pivot point at end end, one on the frame by the front of the spring and the other on the rear axle.
Bushings would work but bearings would be nice !


These look like the 1966 OEM Shelby traction bars.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-drake-traction-bar-pair-1967-1970/p/TMB2/

Looked at the Linked Units and yes they do, I just grabbed pictures for reference but I now have the ones you posted about book marked just in case I need them.
I'm thinking on making my next set, hems on the front Spring mount area, allows for a little adjustment.
Thx / Ltr



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 04:13 pm
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That design looks like a recipe for disaster if used with a leaf spring - leafs flatten as they compress and the movement is taken up by the rear hanger - in the process the axle moves backwards relative to the frame - the bar between frame and axle is fixed length and either the brackets twist or the axle pad breaks the locating pin in the spring.

Common failure with MGBs that have traction bars fitted. The factory tried a panhard rod on the development MGB back in 62 to locate the live axle sideways- it ripped the boot floor out!

Works OK on smooth pavement, but I'd invest in the link suspension with coil springs for serious off road.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 05:11 pm
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Hmm I thought the hanger moves because the leafs become longer (between eyes) when you compress them. If the leaf hanger was fixed it would rip the front or the back out.
So the hanger should move back when the leaf compresses while the axle should NOT move horizontally.

Last edited on Mon Mar 30th, 2020 05:12 pm by Arthur



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 05:19 pm
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Think about it - as the hanger moves back  the distance between the two ends of the spring gets longer - hence the distance between the axle and the front fixing gets longer as well.

That's why propshafts have sliding yokes - to allow the axle to move back & forth relative to the gearbox.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 07:40 pm
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Chris wrote:
That's why propshafts have sliding yokes - to allow the axle to move back & forth relative to the gearbox.
And I thought that was to allow up and down movement of the axle without "polevaulting". Because the driveshaft is at an angle it needs to move back and forth relative to trans or axle. (Higher pinion angle and/or more travel needs longer slip).

But the longer I think about it I think you're right about axle moving on compression. If the distance from eye to eye gets longer, the distance from spring pad to front eye AND distance from spring pad to back eye increases.
Shackle in the back takes up rear difference. Front is fixed therefore the spring pad would be moving back.
No shackle=no suspension
Front and rear shackle= axle flopping about

But by that logic  how do Trac-bars EVER work?

Last edited on Mon Mar 30th, 2020 07:51 pm by Arthur



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 08:27 pm
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Trac bars or ladder racks (for those of us that are old school) keep the axle pinion from twisting upwards. It is not perfect but it keeps the proper angles for the universals for leaf spring suspension. It eliminates leaf spring torque which gets rid of or reduces the rear wheel hop. We could dial in a dragster by lengthening or shortening a rod to make it track strait down the track and not pulling to one side or the other.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2020 09:17 pm
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I know what they're suposed to do, bit per Chris's above theory they shouldn't work, sowething will rip.
At least for those spring over models with 1 pivot point.



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Proper design can minimise the problem especially with vehicles that have small suspension movement.

I believe there is a design that has a tube bolted to the axle or the spring in front and behind the axle that slides inside another tube that is fixed to the frame - this allows the axle to move back and forth but keeps it vertical and resists the spring wind up.

For vehicles with a large suspension movement you really need coil springs and multi-link location of a live axle or independent suspension.

One of my biggest beefs with the after-market tuning accessory sellers is that they sell stuff that either doesn't do the job they claim or can actually make the situation worse.

If a vehicle manufacturer fits traction bars, I would expect the design and mounting of the bars to minimise the discrepancy in movement.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 31st, 2020 01:22 pm
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I am by no means "hard" offroading. It is more so occasional ride outs to the trails. I noticed the other day when I was driving down the road. The truck was hopping/lurching when I would accelerate. 

I am going to do the u-joints in my driveshaft. Just to eliminate that. If that does not fix what happens, I will be doing a set of trac bars. I had a buddy that had the same issue on his Ranger, and he said trac bars stopped all axle/wheel hop. 

We will see. I shall let you guys know!



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IMHO... the Trac Bars with pivot points on both ends will work but the trick is on the Mount that bolts to the rear axle above the spring, instead of just using a single hole to mount the trac bar , you need a slot approximately 1" to 1.5" long, dependent on the size of the Mounting point.   Try and find some mounts on line and see if you can determine the size of the slot.

The hoping and searching MAY BE the shocks aren't long enough to work properly.



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Ltr,
2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15"
Hurst Shifter
Mod'd Backrack to fit Steppie
Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2020 01:02 pm
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Well, I have F250 shocks in the rear, as the Ranger ones were too short when my dad and I lifted it. So I don't think it will be that, but I might get a new set.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2020 02:22 pm
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Shock, designed for the application, work to reduce the bounce out of the springs, the springs take the load.
If the shock are the wrong ones for the application then they won't do their job and you canned up with too much bouncing, when you don't what it.
Shocks designed for an F-250 may be too stiff, creating a bounce of their own, maybe no bounce, more like hopping.

I know it will cost, maybe more than some want to pay, but having a shop, that knows suspensions, fit the proper shock for what you need, both for the lift and what you want to carry, will pay off in Spades.

OK how do I know this... when I had my "03 EDGE lifted, I swapped in an FX4 rear axle too, and used the shocks in the lift kit... I'm guessing the guy I used didn't know sh!t for shin-o-la.   Again guessing, when installing the rear shocks that were actually too short, he must have picked up the rear axle to installed them.
They were extended to the max and when the truck was put on the ground they only closed up about two inches, sounds ok until you get into situation where the axle need to absorb a larger than normal bump in the road and you end up with a stretched out shock that can't absorb any movement.
What you get is a lot of bump steer, sometime not too bad but sometime watch out the truck almost takes off on its own path.

Finally after living with the bump steer for about a year, maybe more... thinking it was what it was, I took my Truck to ORW Warehouse, they sell mostly Jeep Stuff but they know suspensions.  They rebuilt on my Coil-Overs in the front, must have been more than two years, replaced my rear shock with not only new shock but it turns out it needed two different length shock, maybe the FX4 Axle needed it I don't know.
All I do know is the truck, after ORW finished with it, rides like new, doesn't bounce, even stops better, without any rear end movement, and I am happy with the work.
Its been two years since, I think, and it is still working, another two and I will be happier.

The correct parts and proper setup is very important for the suspension to work properly and a must to get it right !

Just a thought, have the truck checked out by a competent shop, one that knows suspensions, not just installs them, one is ORW, they KNOW what works and how to select the correct parts for your vehicle.
You don't have to have the work done, maybe just buy the parts suggested.

That extra bounce going down the road isn't always fun, more a PITA than anything else.

Good Luck  with that !



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2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15"
Hurst Shifter
Mod'd Backrack to fit Steppie
Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2020 02:26 pm
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Me Again... Traction Bars stop spring wrap up, they do nothing about stopping too much bounce, that's the shocks job.

Your application of 4" blocks causes more than little problem with spring wrap up and you should take care of that too, along with the right shocks.

The right Springs for the lift, 2" max Spacer Blocks, the right Shocks, and Traction Bars could end all of your trucks bad manners on the street, off-road... that's the rest of the story !

Last edited on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 02:27 pm by Scrambler82



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Ltr,
2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15"
Hurst Shifter
Mod'd Backrack to fit Steppie
Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Sun Apr 5th, 2020 01:59 am
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Scrambler82 wrote:
Traction Bars stop spring wrap up, they do nothing about stopping too much bounce, that's the shocks job.
This depends, I couldn't find the reference in this thread you were.... referencing but it would come to "define bounce".

If you are defining bounce as what happens when your truck goes over those monster speed bumps they just put in at the local home depot then yes. If you define bounce as "wheel hop" which is what happens when you roast your rear tires and your suspension can't handle it then the traction bars will definitely stop that before a shock absorber will being that wheel hop is caused by spring wrap up or the equivalent of what it would be on cars with rear coils (not our trucks!).

I ripped the control arm mounts out of the back of a pontiac astre (equivalent to a vega) when I was a kid. Previous owner planted a 231 V6 out of a regal and didn't finish it. Boy did I "finish" it.

I first tried shocks then helper springs on the shocks. Still bounced like a pony. After having mounts welded back in it still bounced so I bought... traction bars. That worked.



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