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Old 06-17-2009, 06:15 PM
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Ladder Bars with Leaf Springs?

As said in my last post, I am building a "gasser" style early 60's Volvo 122s and have been trying to pick my rear suspension. I bought a narrowed nine-inch yesterday to go behind it. Ive been contemplating a ladder bar/leaf spring setup. After researching and trying to find info on this setup, most everybodys answer to this problem is ditch the whole thing and go with 4-link/coil-overs. Or go with Cal-tracs, one of the two... But neither of these setups fit the 60's nostalgic look. **So really what i want to know is what is the "best" way of preventing the binding suspension problem of this setup?** The three ways ive heard of are housing floaters, double-shackled leaf springs, and sliders on the front of the spring. Ive only seen the floating housing in action on "Gearz Tv" on Speed Channel, so are there any advantages to the others and what are your thoughts on the "nostalgia" setup?

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:12 AM
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Use the floaters on the housing,allows the housing to rotate freely so all reaction forces are thru the ladder bar.Leaf just holds the car up.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt1_performance
what are your thoughts on the "nostalgia" setup?
I think its cool, but the nostalgia thing can run you backwards- technology wise- to the point that you have more problems/draw backs than is necessary.

I would at least consider using a more conventional "newer school" rear suspension (like a 4-link, et al- advantage being better adjustability and ease of tuning for track/street conditions) and let the wheels and tires, exhaust, stance, accessories, details, shifter, tack and gages, interior appointments and straight front axle speak "nostalgia".

I guess what I'm saying is- a leaf sprung, ladder bar rear suspension isn't necessary to be a nostalgia-flavored, gasser-styled car. This set-up can also be tuned for most any condition, but lacks the flexibility of other systems, IMO.

Should you decide to use the leaf spring/ladders anyway, I would go w/a CE floating housing mount to allow the rear end to rotate independent of the leaf springs, otherwise the set-up will just not work, and would basically be a trailer queen.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:57 PM
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If you really want nostalgia use the mopar style leafs only with a few tricks they hook very well probably better than ladder bars in the right hands.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnym17
If you really want nostalgia use the mopar style leafs only with a few tricks they hook very well probably better than ladder bars in the right hands.
That's true to a point, depending on how much power you sock to the rear. I've managed to make the stock setup work pretty good even without that dang pinion snubber that most Mopar people seem to like. I hate it. The stock setup seems to give up once you get into the 11's....and that too depends on vehicle weight etc.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:18 PM
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Well the car will be almost all track dedicated so really I dont need a multi-purpose suspension. But I do want to run quick ET's and eventually add a blower or something to push it to the 9's or possibly quicker. Would this suspension be capable of that?
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt1_performance
Well the car will be almost all track dedicated so really I dont need a multi-purpose suspension. But I do want to run quick ET's and eventually add a blower or something to push it to the 9's or possibly quicker. Would this suspension be capable of that?
Yes.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:20 AM
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Ladder bars w/housing floaters will work fine, like Barnym17 said, and give you the old school look you are looking for. Properly set up they will equal the 4-link hook-wise, they just aren't as adjustable if you get on a poor track. You might also consider the leaf springs with Cal-Trac bars, guys are running very fast on them too without problems (8-second ET's 150+ MPH).
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:44 PM
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Well as far as that goes I think thats gonna be my setup, I looked on CE's website a found the bolt-on floater and a weld-on version. I can easily picture the bolt-on floater working but the weld-on looks like it would bind because of the inability of the housing to rotate.. Can anyone help me understand that one?

http://competitionengineering.com/ca...?CatCode=10047
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:20 PM
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Maybe your understanding of what the housing floater does needs some clarification. The rear housing does not rotate in the housing floater, the ladder bar controls this force. The housing floater allows the spring to slide front to back (1/4" or less) in the floater as the suspension is compressed so that the spring and the ladder bar aren't fighting with each other to be the axle locator. The ladder bar is the locator and rotation preventer, the leaf spring is now JUST a spring (load carrier); and not also the locator, rotation preventer, and load carrier all in one package.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:08 PM
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Understood, but what im getting at is as the suspension compresses the pinion angle will change as the ladder bar moves up and down thus changing the angle of the "floater" unlike the spring which will not change angle with the floater would in my imagination would cause binding...
-But even neglecting this idea, the instructions of the weld-on floaters say "clamp main pivot section to leaf springs" which in my mind wouldnt let the spring "slide" atop the spring... sounds wrong to me..
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:30 PM
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The amount of pinion angle change with suspension movement is so minor that it isn't a concern. I see what you mean about their weld-on floater and you are correct. That type of floater will require a slider at both ends of the spring. I've actually never seen anything but the bolt together floater used, but they are usually welded to the housing too instead of just bolted together.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:56 PM
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So with that cleared up I guess it'll be the bolt-on version as I dont wanna have to come up with a slider on the spring too.. Well assuming my S-10 springs arent worn out I can move to the building stage. Ive looked around at the ladder bars available from jegs and CE and think a double-adjustable is the way to go...which oddly brings up another question, will pinion angle and preload be as adjustable with the leaf springs? There looks to be a few more limitations with this setup but it still seems like the best plan...
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt1_performance
There looks to be a few more limitations with this setup but it still seems like the best plan...
Of course it's limited!

It is the "best plan" ONLY because you want it to look like a ca. 1960's drag car, remember?

This whole deal was surpassed years ago. No one uses the set-up unless they're budget restricted or have some other non-performance related agenda, like- in your case- styling.

Can it be tuned and made to work? Of course, but it takes some more time and effort to tune, is all. But it will work.
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:29 AM
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Well who doesnt enjoy a challenge? And a few more bucks in the wallet never hurts... But good answer to the question anyways...
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