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Old 06-02-2006, 12:37 PM
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69 Nova - no traction

I have been building a 69 Nova for a while and I finally got the rear-end right -- somewhat. It is a GM 8.5" 10 bolt with 3.42s and a gear locker (dont know how to install limited slip so didn't try - oh the regrets, oh well)

I finally have the pinion angle shimmed right, and the slapper bars positioned correctly. With the 383, TH350, 2400 stall, it just burns up the tires. The tires are 25" tall, with about an 8.5" pad on the ground. I even lowered the psi to about 10-15 to get more traction.

I did a huge, huge burnout to get them sticky. Then tried to launch it on the street, and just spun spun spun, even lifting throttle and trying to get back into it.

Since I need to make custom shock mounts for the rear end now, I can move them to the inside of the leaf spring mount, which gives me a lot more room for tire.

Here is my question:

I am about to get online and order some 15" x 10" rims, then hopefully 10.5" slicks x 28" - 30"?

If I do that, will that be enough to get traction on the street? I know they are slicks and all, and a lot wider, but I can't believe I am burning up the tires I have now, so I fear this won't cure the traction problem... plus I need custom backspacing to get the rims to fit, which I guess I will just order some cheap rims and hope for the best....

any thoughts?

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Old 06-02-2006, 12:56 PM
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A couple of observations...
Street tires usually don't get "sticky" when you heat them up. They just get slippery because the compound is not designed to get sticky.
Getting "good" traction on the street, even with slicks, is a crapshoot at best. Dirt, oil, dust and roadkill will limit it to a great extent.
A couple of suggestions...
Stay away from slicks for a street car. a set of ET Streets or Nitto Drag Radials will be safer and will work very well.
Ditch the "slapper" bars and get a set of CalTracs or Slide-a-Links.
Mark
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:22 PM
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no traction on a 69 Nova

Yes, it was a lesson learned long ago, street tires DO NOT GET STICKY. Doing burnouts on the streets only makes the tires slippery more than usual and brings alot of unwanted attention.
Slapper bars are old tech. Toss 'em and get a set of Cal-tracs.
Weight transfer is critical for traction control. Moving your battery to the trunk will help. Also, a rake on your ride height will hurt weight transfer too. Keep the ride height level with decent set of shocks in the front, cheapo's in the rear will make a good combo for an "alleged" street raced Nova. Not that I've ever raced a car on the street, I think that would be illegal, right?
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Old 06-02-2006, 02:07 PM
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I had a 1972 nova with a 375 hp ~400 ft lbs 355 with a similar problem. I eded up using a set of Southside machine lift bars and a set of BF goodrich drag radials. That took care of the problem. Southside machine does not make these bars anymore, but Jegs does. These are supposedly different from regular traction bars in that they lift the chassis when you hit the throttle rather than simply limiting wheel hop. The bars alone did not cure the problem, but along with the new tires, when they were heated up, it did not slip at all. Also, I had a 700 R4 tranny (3.06 first gear compared to 2.48 in a turbo 350) with a 3.90 rear gear. Although your motor probably has a bit more low end torque than mine, I had alot more first gear, so it may be a similar matchup as far as traction issues go. I would shy away from the street racing though, If that is what you are doing.

Here are the bars:
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...tegoryId=23377

And the tires:
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...tegoryId=20233

Adam

Last edited by firestone; 06-02-2006 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:59 PM
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Ah thank you so much for the valuable information everyone.

Well no more burnouts for me with the street tires I have now... and I won't get slicks, I will get the DOT approved tires... so about the BFG drag radials -- do you need to heat those up like slicks or are they going to have the same problem as normal tires?

I actually have a set of Southside bars! I took them off for the new slapper bars because the Southside bars didn't extend far enough on the leaf spring, well when I got the new bars I had the same problem, but not as bad.

Right now the snubbers are too close to the leaf springs I think. The driver's side is touching and the passenger's side snubber is about 1/2" off of the spring. If I cut them down a little, that should take some of the stiffness out of the rear end and maybe help with traction?

How much better can the technology of something like the cal-tracs be compared to the slapper bars I have? I mean if I have my pinion angle perfect, and just enough play between the snubber and spring, isn't that pretty much the same as having the cal-tracs?
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:57 PM
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Caltracks and slide a links are similar to regular slapper or lift bars except for that they are adjustable. You can tune them to your car whereas you cannot with the others. I have heard that the BFG drag radials actually work better when you do a dry burnout rather than in water. I am pretty sure it has to do with water getting in the tread and falling out when you race. Mine definitely worked better after I heated them up.

Adam
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:27 PM
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I ran a 68 nova back in about 71. It was a 302 small block and ran 10.90 very fast for its day. It had lakewood slapper bars on it. Also all the rear spring bushings were solid aluminum, with lock nuts on all the bolts so they would not bind. Put the battery in the trunk as far to rear of the car as possible on the right side. A lot of front end work. All the control arm bushings in the front were replaced with new. ther are little serrations on these bushings which were ground off so as to not bind the front end. 6 cyl springs and the left front shock was drilled so it did not have any oil in it. This let the front end lift and transfer the weight to the rear. Any weight you can get off the front will help a lot. Subframe connectors will help also. It had 10.5 x 28.5 MH slicks on it. A Doug Nash 5 sp with a 3.10 low gear and 5.88 or 6.17 in a 12 bolt rear.
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:39 PM
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If you do get those slicks to hook up it won't be long until you will be kissing that 10 bolt bye bye.

Vince
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
If you do get those slicks to hook up it won't be long until you will be kissing that 10 bolt bye bye.

Vince
You can say that again. Go with a 9 inch ford or a dana 60
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
If you do get those slicks to hook up it won't be long until you will be kissing that 10 bolt bye bye.

Vince
I would be careful too. It's that "betting man" scenario....
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Old 06-03-2006, 01:48 AM
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Hmm this rear end has some play in it too... a little too much for my comfort, but it gets the job done for now. It originally ate up the spider gears shifting into second with the nasty shift kit.

If I go Ford 9" don't I have to re-do the rear frame or whatever?
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratt134
Hmm this rear end has some play in it too... a little too much for my comfort, but it gets the job done for now. It originally ate up the spider gears shifting into second with the nasty shift kit.

If I go Ford 9" don't I have to re-do the rear frame or whatever?
You'd be surprised at the strength of the 8.5" GM axle, there are many 10-second cars running these. With a TH350 you're not going to be putting a lot of strain on the setup. If you use a 9" it will just bolt in, no frame mods necessary.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onovakind67
You'd be surprised at the strength of the 8.5" GM axle, there are many 10-second cars running these.
I agree, the axles are much stronger than even a 12 bolt. I went 10.9 with mine. A $150.00 junk yard rear with a stock limited slip. I did use C-clip eliminators.
Bob
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:25 AM
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I agree, there is nothing wrong with your 10bolt at that power level. Slide-a-links are a great improvement over slapper bars. I picked up 5hundreths on my 60' time and proceeded to get a personal best of 12.41. For tires I would definately go with MT ET Street Radial. These things hook nearly as good as a slick. All of the Drag Radial racers are using them and breaking all the records set with the BFG's. The BFG's are old technology compared to the MT drag radials. You will not have a problem hooking with this combo on a clean street.
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:27 AM
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I also have to vouch for the 8.5 10 bolt. The ring gear on a 8.5 10 bolt is only .375" smaller in diameter, and the pinion gear is the same size as a 12 bolt. That I what I ran,and it never gave me any problems. Also, I had subframe connectors too that helped alot.

8.5 10 bolt vs 12 bolt
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache...s&ct=clnk&cd=1

Adam

Last edited by firestone; 06-03-2006 at 09:32 AM.
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