Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

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Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Greg_P on Sun 9 Aug 2009 - 15:13

My patience with the cal-tracs system is worn VERY thin. I'm gonna give them one more chance after adding additional front suspension extension..... if they do not work, I'm considering ladder bars with floaters and leaf springs.

I have heard that ladder bars are not good on a street car. What's the real scoop from the guys that know?

Thanks,

Greg

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on Sun 9 Aug 2009 - 18:40

I think by now you probably know my opinion already Very Happy . They just aren't the best idea if you truly want to "drive" the car hard on the street. But if you don't mind having to constantly watch how you drive it on the street (taking corners, going into/out of parking lots & driveways) they can work on the street.

The housing floaters will probably be the biggest pain in the ass of the whole deal having to keep them clean & greased. When Duane had his yellow 69 Mustang on the street he used the old Moroso "floater" style ladder bars. They were a decent compromise for using a ladder bar on the street with leaf springs and not having to deal with an actual housing floater. The down side with the moroso setup was the leafspring still centered the housing (instead of the ladder bar) since there was no rod-end on the front of the floater ladder bar.

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on Tue 11 Aug 2009 - 4:06

Just to point out another option (although the "books" say it won't work) of ladder bars & leafsprings without a housing floater.

Over the years I only know one guy that was really able to make the setup work well without the floater. Since you run at the Denton track you might know him or his brother, David Painter or his brother Richard. Years ago David had an early Mustang with a Cleveland/Jerico combo that some how he was able to get to hook real well for years without using a floater with the ladder bars & leafsprings. And for years all the local "experts" told him he was stupid for not using a floater because the ladder bars & leafsprings were binding against each other hurting his 60 fts & ET's. Finally one year someone talked him into letting them install floaters........and afterward all the car would do is spin it's nuts off & it slowed down.

In the end I feel that one possible reason his car worked so well without the floaters is since the rear suspension was in a bind it might have actually helped by slowing/calming down the initial hit a given amount. And less initial hit might have been what his car needed all along since it was a violent clutch/Jerico car.

Not saying it will work, just that I have seen it work on one car.

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  RapidRuss on Tue 11 Aug 2009 - 9:20

Whats TorinoJoe Running ?? I forget ?

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Greg_P on Tue 11 Aug 2009 - 15:03

Dave, thanks for the info.

I am curious how the bars were set up on the guy's car where the springs were still responsible for locating the axle housing side to side.

Greg

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Greg

Post  70429scj on Tue 11 Aug 2009 - 18:19

Greg,
I hate to here your done with the caltracs. I have both setups one car with caltracs and one with ladder bars.
Both are 70 torino's I'm fighting my own demons with the caltracs. The ladder bar car was bought as is. It has a old homemade type housing floater and ladder bar. It has two clamshells with zerk fittings for grease clamping the rearend to the springs. I have yet to test this setup but I can say I have seen it some older race cars using this same deal and it works very very well. I know you like to fab your own stuff so this may be a option. Maybe this will get some of the older guys to give a opinion!! New springs for the caltrac car should be here this week so I hope that it cures my hopping issue!!!! Neutral
Thanks,
Steve

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on Wed 12 Aug 2009 - 4:08

Greg, if your talking about Duane's Mustang the leafspring was still responsible for locating the housing both side-to-side & front-to-back. This was because Moroso's 36" floater ladder bar setup didn't have a rod-end on the front of the bar. It had a 1/4" (possibly thicker) plate bracket with a long slot machined in it welded to the front. Inside the long slot rode a bushing/sleeve "roller" assembly. The front ladder bar chassis bracket attached to the roller bushing with a bolt.

So the front long slot bracket & bushing assembly allowed the front of the ladder bar to "float" forward & back, but still provide resistance to any bar up/down bar motion providing an I/C lift point.

On his car this setup did work OK for years, but they really wern't as consistent pass to pass as a normal ladder bar setup can be. His car got a lot more consistent when the car was converted to conventional ladder bar setup & coil overs. But buy then it was no longer a street driven car.

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  bbfstang on Tue 18 Aug 2009 - 18:47

I have ladder bars under a 69 fairlane 428cj and never have had a clearance issue not sure how to post pics for my internet is limited.bars are home made though

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  richter69 on Tue 18 Aug 2009 - 19:16

If your gonna do it put a good set of coilovers on it and be done IMO.

How much and how far at a time do you drive it?

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Kens429 on Tue 18 Aug 2009 - 22:10

Greg, I was in your boat this time last year,but worse. One major issue was too weak of a sidewall to absorb the initial hit. I also adjusted the Rancho shocks to #7. Now the tire plants and stays planted. I am using Calvert Racing 90-10 shocks which really extend fast. And they were cheap! These Torino/Falcon/Fairlane's don't work well without really freeing up the front suspension movement and using a stored energy spring like Moroso. It has been awhile since I saw a video of your car, but I do remember the wheel hop and minimal front end movement. I will help any way I can. Ken

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Tore on Wed 19 Aug 2009 - 9:13

Greg I think you know I am running the Cal-Tracs and they work great for me. I just put the Rancho-Shocks on the back last week and they work good. I am going to order some of their new front shocks and give them a try.
My back tires are shot and I am still in the 1.480s for 60 foots and I foot brake the car.

Tore

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Greg_P on Thu 20 Aug 2009 - 9:16

Well, the car used to pull 1.46-1.50 consistently, but then I upped the power and installed a roll bar....

Now the car has gone 1.51 off the spray, but that was a one time deal. high 1.50's are the norm.

On the spray, the car generally loses almost a tenth in the 60 foot time.

We're gonna test next weekend and see if we made any progress.

It just chaps my azz that the home made springs and 10 dollar rear shocks we used to run worked better than the big $$$ calvert stuff has been working.

Greg

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Greg_P on Thu 20 Aug 2009 - 9:24

Ken,

Your car is just fantastic, I love it!

Off the spray the car does this:



On the spray it does this:


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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Northwest outlaw on Thu 20 Aug 2009 - 10:19

Hey Greg was watching the vid... what shocks do you have in the back and you said it started after you put the cage in.

Who did the cage did they put the car on stands or in stall it why the car was on the ground?
How many leafs are in the pack?
What rear shocks?
What front shocks?
Street/strip or just strip?

looks good but its not putting the weight on the rear tires like i like to see. it starts to then just hits a wall and the nose falls back down.

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Re: Ladder bars on the street? Pros/cons?

Post  Greg_P on Thu 20 Aug 2009 - 10:59

Northwest outlaw wrote:Hey Greg was watching the vid... what shocks do you have in the back and you said it started after you put the cage in.

Who did the cage did they put the car on stands or in stall it why the car was on the ground?
How many leafs are in the pack?
What rear shocks?
What front shocks?
Street/strip or just strip?

looks good but its not putting the weight on the rear tires like i like to see. it starts to then just hits a wall and the nose falls back down.

The cage was put in by a good buddy who does race cars for a living.... Other thn that, not sure if it was jacked up or not. I do know that the removable door bars slide right in and out, so there's no preload on the chassis forward of the main hoop.

The springs are Calvert monoleafs

The rear shocks are adjustable Rancho 9000's that Calvert says to use

I have had literally a dozen sets of shocks on the front, everything from normal street shocks to shocks that have been emptied of oil and provide 0/0 damping.

It's a street strip vehicle with a lot (2200+lbs) of weight on the nose.

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