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Old 08-31-2006, 10:27 AM
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CalTracs on 72 Nova Help

I'm still trying to decide what to do on my 72 back back end this winter. It's totally stock right now. I want to upgrade it. It's a street car NOT a drag car. I still want it to hook up and run 11's in quarter though. I've got a 550 HP BB chevy under the hood.

Has anybody installed CalTracs on the 68-72 Nova's or similar type car? A few people have recommended them to me. I'm thinking of having welding done to the axle housing to strengthen it, install a new ring/pinion, new 30 spline axles and then those CalTrac things. Your opinions please.........

also, it looks like I still have to run leaf springs with those Caltracs. should I have the springs replaced with new ones? what about the shocks and shock mounts.

Help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lee

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Old 08-31-2006, 11:06 AM
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Lee, the CalTracs will basically bolt on with no other changes. Here is a site where some were installed on a Nova although I am not sure of the year...
http://www.novaresource.org/caltracs.htm
I have talked to a TON of guys who have installed these and they say they work very well.
Mark
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:42 PM
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They ain't very cheap tho. I've seen people run 11's with simple traction bars.....I like the KISS principle and keep my money in my pocket.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroracer
Lee, the CalTracs will basically bolt on with no other changes. Here is a site where some were installed on a Nova although I am not sure of the year...
http://www.novaresource.org/caltracs.htm
I have talked to a TON of guys who have installed these and they say they work very well.
Mark
thanks mark. I will check out that website now.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:48 PM
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[QUOTE=crankshaftkid]They ain't very cheap tho. I've seen people run 11's with simple traction bars.....I like the KISS principle and keep my money in my pocket.[/QUOT

thanks for your opinion buddy. I weigh all opinions equally. Those caltrac bars are $400. that' not to bad. I think slapper bars are about $150, so over the long run it's not that much more. Also, I believe the Caltrac bars are adjustable and are supposed to provide better hookup due to the engineering design of them compared to slapper bars.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:28 PM
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John designs his setup to work with his mono springs and if you also get the shocks that he reccommends, the price goes over 700 bucks. Not sure how they do with a GM suspension but he says they work better when you don't use them with a multi layered leaf spring and use his springs and shocks. I'm not a big fan of leaf springs with any system and won't run them if I'm not going to be racing in a class that requires a factory type rear spring to be in place. JMHO, but for a 11 second street car, I feel the Cal-Tracs are overkill.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankshaftkid
John designs his setup to work with his mono springs and if you also get the shocks that he reccommends, the price goes over 700 bucks. Not sure how they do with a GM suspension but he says they work better when you don't use them with a multi layered leaf spring and use his springs and shocks. I'm not a big fan of leaf springs with any system and won't run them if I'm not going to be racing in a class that requires a factory type rear spring to be in place. JMHO, but for a 11 second street car, I feel the Cal-Tracs are overkill.
you may be right - when factoring in replacement leaf springs. that's why I spend weeks, sometimes months researching this stuff. I have been learning about this subject for about 2 months now and still have no decisive option to choose. I do agree with you about spending a lot of money on caltracs or whatever if they are really not necessary for the application. then again I've heard guys talk about slapper bars like they do virtually nothing and are a waste of money. everyone has an opinion. I just have to sort them out.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankshaftkid
John designs his setup to work with his mono springs and if you also get the shocks that he reccommends, the price goes over 700 bucks. Not sure how they do with a GM suspension but he says they work better when you don't use them with a multi layered leaf spring and use his springs and shocks. I'm not a big fan of leaf springs with any system and won't run them if I'm not going to be racing in a class that requires a factory type rear spring to be in place. JMHO, but for a 11 second street car, I feel the Cal-Tracs are overkill.
Dear Kid

who is "John" anyway? I need to communicate with him.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:12 AM
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John Calvert......the guy who came up with the Cal-Trac setup.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:37 PM
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I have to say I have been very happy with my Cal Tracs on my 58 Chevy Flatbed with stock multi leaf springs. I have a set of Monroe sensatrack shocks on the back and KYB's on the front. I was suprised how well they hook up even with little weight in the *** end. In my mind their worth every penny. With that being said you could always find a used set of slapper bars, I just found a set on Craigslist for $20. If they don't work sell them and you wouldnt be out any money.


I'm not sure how the shocks are set up on Novas but the mounts have to be located behind the axel.

If you did end up having to change springs and shocks it might be worth looking into a 4 link system instead.


Jordon
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxllmm4
I have to say I have been very happy with my Cal Tracs on my 58 Chevy Flatbed with stock multi leaf springs. I have a set of Monroe sensatrack shocks on the back and KYB's on the front. I was suprised how well they hook up even with little weight in the *** end. In my mind their worth every penny. With that being said you could always find a used set of slapper bars, I just found a set on Craigslist for $20. If they don't work sell them and you wouldnt be out any money.


I'm not sure how the shocks are set up on Novas but the mounts have to be located behind the axel.

If you did end up having to change springs and shocks it might be worth looking into a 4 link system instead.


Jordon
Thanks dude. I will consider what you said. I'll say this much though, whatever I install on there is staying forever. I don't like doing that stuff twice. It's not a lot of fun especially in a cramped garage during the cold winter which is when I will be doing it. right now I am leaning towards using the Caltracs, but I just got off the phone with a guy who's buddy has a 68 nova that runs 10.5 in the quarter with 9" slick tires and slapper bars... I need to consider that also. slapper bars are cheap. I need to learn more about the physics of what they do (and don't do) and go from there.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:03 PM
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Be sure the front of the slapper bar contacts under the front spring eye, not part of the way to the eye.
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfulco
Be sure the front of the slapper bar contacts under the front spring eye, not part of the way to the eye.
Yup! Very important and most store bought bars do not contact under the eye and contact a few inches back. This can help to bend the spring. I like the simple slappers that are made with the shock plate welded to the bar. They fit close to the spring and if you paint them flat black, they are not so easily noticed and if they are not long enough, it's easy to extend them so that the rubber will contact under the spring eye. The kind of slappers that bolt on over (or under I should say) the existing shock plate hang down and are bulking looking and have all kinds of hardware to bolt them on......those go in scrap pile.....
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankshaftkid
Yup! Very important and most store bought bars do not contact under the eye and contact a few inches back. This can help to bend the spring. I like the simple slappers that are made with the shock plate welded to the bar. They fit close to the spring and if you paint them flat black, they are not so easily noticed and if they are not long enough, it's easy to extend them so that the rubber will contact under the spring eye. The kind of slappers that bolt on over (or under I should say) the existing shock plate hang down and are bulking looking and have all kinds of hardware to bolt them on......those go in scrap pile.....
send me some pics and brand names that you recommend.
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