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Old 12-06-2009, 02:55 PM
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ladder bar adjustment

i am building ladder bars for a 79 elcamino and i want to know the best way to set up the adjustment on the pinion angle and how to set the front pivot point to get maximum traction.

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Old 12-06-2009, 03:11 PM
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Pinion should be 2-3° degrees down relative to the driveshaft. As far as the ladder bar itself, the lower bar should run downhill to the front mount at a 2° angle to the ground for a good starting point, it is good to have a 3 or 4 hole front bracket so that you have one hole lower and one or two higher for adjustment.

By the time you buy the high strength rod ends, bolts, steel plate for brackets, and Drawn Over Mandrel (DOM) 1" OD .156 Wall tubing for the bars you can buy them already made 25% cheaper from Jeg's or Summit. $199 from Jeg's, you will have $150+ just in rod ends and tubing (if you can get a good deal on the tubing).

I'm assuming you are building a true drag race ladder bar and not trying to copy that worthless bolt-on Lakewood junk for coil spring GM cars. All they do is bind up the suspension and cause wheel spin instead of wheel hop.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:09 PM
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Ladder Bar adjustment

If your really drag racing this you need atleast 5deg down from the driveshaft and you cant set the bars at a rule of thumb type angle.The way I locate the mounting point is something Alston Chassis came up with about 20years ago.Its hard to explain without pictures but ill try.You need to figure out about were the back of your camshaft is in your block at the bellhousing mount.Measure this distance from the ground and put a piece of tape on your fender at that point.Than run a piece of string from there to the contact patch of your rear tire.Your ladderbar mount should be on that line. Its the same with a 4 linc only you follow the lincs out with string to come up with your instant center.Most 4 bar setups wind up being like 29"to 33" instant centers just like ladderbar setups
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:19 PM
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ladder bar adjustment

i am just building a street rod with a built 350 with around 450 hp. i just need to know a good angle to set pinion. and weight transfer techniques.
thanks for the info!!
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:48 AM
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czracecar's suggestion as to hole placement will provide a lot of hit on launch. Personally, I consider something closer to 100% antisquat is better. This would mean that...in side view...the slope of a line through the rear tire patch and the hole would be equal to the ratio of center of gravity height to wheelbase.

The slope of the ladder bar is completely unimportant. Since the ladder is rigidly attached to the axle housing, it can be considered merely an extension of the housing. The ladder bar suspension is in a family which includes the truck arm and torque tube suspensions. These suspensions can be considered "zerolink" suspensions, in that a true suspension link is nowhere to be found. A "link" is normally considered to be fully pivotable at BOTH ends. An important feature of such a link is that forces can only be transmitted on a line which passes through both pivot points.

When viewed from the side, I suppose you could consider the entire rear axle assembly as one very large and very heavy "link," having its pivot points at the rear tire patch and the ladder bar pivot. The force line of action of this link would be the same as a line of constant percent antisquat.
http://www.racetec.cc/shope
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:13 PM
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Ladderbar Adjustment

Alot of this IS personal preference.Your absolutly right about alot of initial hit.The first shop I worked in was in the early 80's and it was owned by two ex pro stock racers .A big part of what we did back then was super stock cars and a hard initial hit was what everbody was shooting for but over the years ive seen it done succesfully other ways, but thats still my preference!
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