What do ladder bars do ?

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. Brooks James

    Brooks James Dustoff

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    What exactly do they do ?
    Current set up 8 3/4 axle sure grip 3.91
    70 Dodge Dart, Mopar SS Springs, adjustable pinion snubber
    What more will they do Over my current set up ?
    Just want a basic set up, bolt on , no crossmember, no coil Springs
     
  2. Enjoying it again

    Enjoying it again Well-Known Member

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    They reduce the axle from coiling up under heavy acceleration which reduces wheel hop and loss of traction.
     
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    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      They hold the rear axle in place and act as traction devices.
       
    • Brooks James

      Brooks James Dustoff

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      Wouldnt putting extra clamps on the leaf Springs and a snubber do the same thing ?
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      There's ZERO need for ladder bars on any Mopar. Ever. Or any vehicle with a rear leaf spring suspension that's properly set up.
       
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      • K.O. SWINGER

        K.O. SWINGER Meeting in the alley since 1976

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        I am no suspension specialist but I can't see ladder bars helping with the super stock spring setup.
         
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        • mopowers

          mopowers Well-Known Member

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          What are your goals? SS springs will get you pretty far.
           
        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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          Yeah, like in the 8s.
           
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          • pishta

            pishta I know I'm right....

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            I don't think you can have a ladder bar with leafs as they will fight each other for axle rotation control. Both are hard mounted to the axle and pivot at different lengths if you run them. Probably not needed.
             
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            • SGBARRACUDA

              SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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              You can but you have to use Leaf spring sliders. Popular in the 60-70's. I ran a 64 Polara drag car with them.
               
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              • Brooks James

                Brooks James Dustoff

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                11.70 for now, eventually 10.80
                 
              • SGBARRACUDA

                SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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                The 67 Super Gas Barracuda in my avatar was set up with coil over shocks and Ladder bars. If set up correctly,they are the cats ass. Car ALWAYS went straight as an arrow. 60’ in the 1.28-1.30.
                 
              • memike

                memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                Pinion snuber does the job from what I am told, and been told for a long time, set it and go, leave the traction bars alone, seen chebbies put them on if the didn't have a Pinon snuber
                 
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                • SGBARRACUDA

                  SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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                  This was an old post of mine I thought I would re post it. Good information.
                  I had the same problem with my 71 Scamp drag car. the 002/003 worked really well,so well while I was under the car, checking things over . I noticed the rear end was wrapping so hard, the housing had dented both shocks. I control my axle wrap with a pinion snubber.
                   
                • moparmarks

                  moparmarks zippindippintie FABO Gold Member

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                  Ladder bars are for coil spring suspensions such as for a Chevelle. Cal-Tracs work well on leaf spring suspensions. An adjustable pinion snubbers work well on Mopars.
                   
                • SGBARRACUDA

                  SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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                  Or chassis cars. Weather Mopar or not.
                   
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                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    Exactly. That's why I gave the answer I gave. Their primary purpose is to hold the rear axle IN.
                     
                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    Some people say they're useless, but I say they're not makin enough power. I had a friend years ago who had a 74 Challenger with a really nasty 440 and all the goodies everywhere. That car had a snubber, but after the first few passes, we noticed it was pounding the floor pan up where the snubber was hitting. He took the car back to the shop and made a pinion snubber cross member out of 1/4" plate. It didn't do that chit anymore. That was a badass car, too.
                     
                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    Traction bars are essentially the same thing as a snubber, just for each side. They can work better in some instances. I know...here come the "not on a Mopar messages" <rolls eyes> But you're right. They can sure work.
                     
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                    • memike

                      memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I agree, and have seen them on trucks at the race track, mopar trucks use them to control wheel bounce and weight transfer :thumbsup:
                      All my street drivers and fun track time never used them. :thankyou: RRR
                       
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                      • 33IMP

                        33IMP Well-Known Member

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                        Brooks, no crossmember, no coilovers, means no ladder bars. 99% of ladder installations need both. The advantage of a ladder compared to a leaf spring is that the ladder provides axle location and traction angle adjustment, the shocks and coils provide the suspension and control reaction speed.
                        Now for my opinion. You can reach your goal with the ss springs. It would probably be easier with ladders, but it certainly can be done.
                        On my car, pinion snubber, adjustable or not, was worse than useless. It added weight, and did nothing. At launch my car lifts in the rear, and the snubber is four inches away from the floor. Tell me what it does waving in space?
                        Ladder bars can work with leafs, even without sliders. I had a leaf/ladder combo that went 1.36 60 fts.... but I sure don't recommend it.
                         
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                        • pishta

                          pishta I know I'm right....

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                          Ladder bars have the ability to adjust pinion angle "under the car" so what that is worth....I don't know how a leaf and a ladder can coexist unless they are the same length to the eye and mount and the lower bar is inline with the lower edge of the axle. Sure it can be calculated but fully adjustable coil overs would be lighter than SS springs by then. Not saying it didnt work for 33IMP but without the sliders that would be an engineered setup.
                           
                        • Dartswinger70

                          Dartswinger70 Catch a wave youll be sittin on top of the world

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                          Ladder bars, I have always seen them on coil spring rears a la Chevelles and what not... a crusty old Mopar guy told me years ago that a Mopar rear with properly adjusted pinion snubber didnt need Lakewood "slapper bars" as he was chewing me out for running them on my Dart. I would assume the same with ladders. Now if it is a raced out/ tubbed tubualr race frame with a coil rear then yes...
                           
                        • 33IMP

                          33IMP Well-Known Member

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                          This was my ladder/leaf combo, and yes, no sliders, and yes I'm certain it was in a bind situation. And I would certainly not recommend it for anybody. My new car is a four link with coilovers.
                          But this car, with the ladders/leafs has been low nines with a lenco/clutch setup.

                          20210531_120226.jpg
                           
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                          • MoparLeo

                            MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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                            What "ladder bars" were designed to do in theory is to lift the front of the car, acting like a long lever, which in turn plants/pushes the tire down on the pavement. A traction bar at maximum efficiency would make the car do wheel stands.
                            Called Ladder bars because the look like a ladder. 2 semi parallel bars with cross bracing.
                            Here is a link explaining the basics of each type of traction device.:
                            https://www.moroso.com/pub/media/pdf/UnderstandingSuspensionBasics.pdf
                             
                            Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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