traction setup on 71 nova??????? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:41 AM
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traction setup on 71 nova???????

I'm looking for a good suspension setup to maximimize traction. I am wondering what traction bars and shocks I should use. I have been looking at slide-a-links(caltracs) or comp engineering's slapper bars that bolt directly to the bottom of the leaf spring perch, but it says they are not recommended for monoleafs. What is the problem there? Also I was thinking to run comps 3 way adjustable shocks in the front but the ones they offer for the rear says multileaf, can i use those on monoleafs? Or am i better off just replacing the stock monoleaf springs?

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Old 10-07-2005, 08:24 AM
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My experiences with Novas has taught me that slapper bars don't work and the mono leafs have to go. Got to a good multi leaf springand gas shocks, then if you want to gain more traction use some rectangle tubing and tie the front and rear suspensions together to get rid of body flex, and go to a ladder bar system.
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:36 AM
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I had slapper bars on a 70 Nova with mono leaf. They worked OK but here is what I experienced with them. If you are hooking up good you will eventually notice the mono leaf bending at the point where the slapper bars contact the spring. Over time you will also notice the spring perches start to rotate off the housing. This can be prevented by driving out the four bolts per side that secure the spring to the perches and installing U bolts that go completely over the axle housing and through the spring perches.

Of course the ideal method is to convert to multi leaf.

Vince
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:04 AM
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Maybe I will go with slapper bars and put use the u-bolts that come with them instead of the factory. What is a good set of gas shocks for the rear that I can use with mono's? Also right now I have air shocks but they are only set just high enough to keep the inside edge of the quarter from rubbing the outside of the tire. Will I get this ride height with gas shocks?
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:28 PM
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Gas shocks will NOT raise your ride height, only air shocks will, or other mechanical means.

Vince
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:57 PM
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When General Motors made the 68 to 72 Nova SS cars......they ALL came with multi-leaf springs.....for a reason. I bought a New 69 with the 396/375 horse BigBlock ( 4 speed...4.10 rear ). This one had staggered shocks on the rear.....the earlier ones did not.

I added two complete U bolts to the rear end pad attachment.....factory was 1 Ubolt and 2 bolts ( per side ) . With A set of Lakewood J bars ...slappers ..I broke the weld on the rear end where the tube went into the housing... I also had made and welded in sub frame connectors ......( this was late 69 to early 70 ) before they were being made and sold .....

Wish I had NOT cut it up and raced it.......It was a aluminum headed car......one of only 52........

Oh Well, that's why they are RARE today.....
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:21 PM
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HAve you checked out cal trac's from calvert racing? They look to be the ticket. I plan on putting them on the 63.
http://www.calvertracing.com/
Take a look.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:53 PM
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nova traction

I put the frame connectors on my car and it made a huge difference in the stiffness of the chassis. I will be putting some 5 leafs multi springs in my car in a couple of weeks becuase theres too much wheel hop with my monos and airshocks.
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Old 10-09-2005, 10:20 PM
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While you're diddling with traction bars, etc., check the leaf spring perches and see if they're welded to the axle tubes decently. The ones on my '69 Nova looked like they were just tacked, and one came loose while I was driving down a crowded city street. Oh what fun that was. Get them welded to the tubes properly, and use the U-bolts as mentioned above.

While you're at it, get the axle tubes welded to the center section, because they will slip around under strain since they're only pressed in. This makes the car feel a little squirrely, and once they start moving around, they will begin to leak gear lube.

If you use slapper bars, be sure you get the ones that are long enough to contact the spring at the eye. Shorter ones will bend the spring, and they won't work as well.

Last edited by jimfulco; 10-09-2005 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 10-09-2005, 11:16 PM
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home made caltracs

One of our guys made his own and This is how Go to section on the 53 chev pickup and then go to the section on home made caltracs..

Shows exactly how to set those up..

OMT
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Old 10-11-2005, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
I had slapper bars on a 70 Nova with mono leaf. They worked OK but here is what I experienced with them. If you are hooking up good you will eventually notice the mono leaf bending at the point where the slapper bars contact the spring. Over time you will also notice the spring perches start to rotate off the housing. This can be prevented by driving out the four bolts per side that secure the spring to the perches and installing U bolts that go completely over the axle housing and through the spring perches.

Of course the ideal method is to convert to multi leaf.

Vince
Mono leafs were made for ride quality. Even GM put multi leaf suspensions on the performance cars.

But you don't really have to convert. Try this first:

Proper slapper bar set up requires that the snubber be directly under the spring's front eye bolt, not hitting the leaf several inches back. Of course the bars are made too short.

The proper situation for max traction is to lengthen the bars and use poly snubbers and poly bushings in the leaf spring. (or even solid bushings and snubbers) Essentially, slappers, SSM Lift Bars, etc. make your leaf springs into ladder bars.

Absolutely on the U bolts, and double weld those perches and tubes.

After you stop that spring wrap-up with the bars, proper rear shocks are extremely important to control loading and unloading and reloading the tires on the launch. Ever seen a Nova hop twice out of the hole? (a multi leaf Nova without bars will still do this) Ever seen a car do two wheelies in first gear, and he isn't getting off the throttle. They don't realize it is the REAR shocks. Think about it.

You can always go to the multi-leaves later. Everything you just did still fits.

Some cars are running 1.4s / 11s and even a few in 10s with slappers ...

Last edited by xntrik; 10-11-2005 at 02:48 AM.
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