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Ladder bar Q's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mr T body, May 5, 2013.

  1. St. Louis Cummins
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 124

    St. Louis Cummins

    Pics of said street car!
  2. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    Lakewood - ladder bars?
  3. Hate to disapoint, but I am hoping the build will start this fall. I have gathered a;; the drivetrain and have been collecting body pieces and rubber, glass. Look at my home page for more info in my albums.
  4. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    cutaway al, you are correct in all that you wrote. i have to admit that. but i too hvae run ladder bars on almost every car we have built. used floaters when we had to but almost every car got them.why. well one they work great.and the cool facter is there also.i used to have a friend that was a engineer and he went over every design he could think of and he said there is something wrong with every one ever designed.but most on the factory cars were sufficent.every one of them had its draw backs. some not as bad as the others.he tried to talk me out of using laddder bars on a 37 ford i was building but he didnt.i put in a 520 hp (dyno) big block chevy in her with a narrowed ford 9 dont remember what i took the leaf springs out of but i do know they were long, like real long..slapped on a pair of bars and away we went.did run them parallel..this was in the early 80s so i might get some of this wrong.but i think we made those bars almost 4 ft long.bushings in front and bolted the reafr of them to the brackets welded to the wouldnt want to take a turn real fast but then the speed limit was 55.and i never drove them cars more than 40 45 on those twisty ass roads.powwer to the ground was GREAT.but if we took a curve to fast seemed like the car wanted to jump around the curve instaed of rolling around it.i put long bars on my wifes 67 chevelle and that thing handled great. no matter how or where we drove it. im not sure how many cars we built but the only one that had any problems on the street was that 37 ford in the curves.and most of them were very fast cars.there is always going to be draw backs with any kind of set up.i think it depends on what you are willing to put up with.but so far ive been real lucky.hope it stays that way, we are buildin more now and all with ladder bars.hell ya still need to look
  5. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,619


    3Kross here on the HAMB will make any length ladder bar you need. His workmanship is out-of-this-world-awesome.
    I bought some from him (custom length) and am just going to shoot clear over them. They are beautiful and built like a tank.
  6. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,595


    I used soild cold rolled bars for a set of front hairpins. The diference in weight will never be noticed and the cost is certainly less. The bars are stronger than tubing also.
  7. CutawayAl...

    You know alot, and you say alot.

    Maybe you should start a thread "WARNING!! ladder bars on the street!!" :) I'm sure it'd be well read.

    Ignorance has nothing to do with my stance on the subject.

    You're using your knowledge to start a debate that doesn't need to be had. It's already been had...your team lost!

    I many rear ladder bar kits (the kind that are turned in towards the frame mount) do you think Pete N Jakes have sold?? How many frames have So-Cal speed shop built with the exact same engineering. The list goes on and on....How many of those setups have failed and resulted in major damage/lawsuits?

    Do you think these guys are sticking their necks out from a liability standpoint? I don't think so! After taking generations to develop a reputation/fortune...none of these big name guys are going to put anything on the street that could risk them losing it all.

    I'd like to believe that most people on the HAMB have the common sense to understand the obvious differences between a drag race rear ladder bar suspension and a ladder bar rear suspension that works on the street. And if they don't...they can ask and quickly get the right answer.

    Maybe your time is better served explaining the physics to why the Pete N Jakes style setup doesn't fail on the street... vs the setups you have seen fail on the street.

    I think that'd be beneficial, and I for one would like to understand it better.
  8. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    Accepting facts that compliment one's needs and rejecting facts that don't is counterproductive. Although I really don't care to argue with anyone about this, and I am in no way trying to "start a debate", nothing you posted changes any of the facts I provided.

    I have already said that if someone decides to use ladder bars on the street, I just want them to understand the trade-offs. Pointing to what this or that guy does or sells, or someone saying they or someone they know has used ladder bars on the street for years and isn't dead, has nothing to do with whether it's a good option. I could care less what everybody else thinks is ok. So long as innocents aren't endangered I could care less what people do to their cars. On the other hand, I can't remember a hot rod show/meet where I didn't see something ignorant and/or unsafe.

    I have been involved with "hobby" cars, race cars, and prototypes since my late teens; long enough to have seen a lot of bent and broken parts. The years I spent working for the durability testing lab of a car manufacturer taught me that lots of hot rod and racing parts wouldn't come close to meeting SAE or manufacturer's standards. I think what greatly helps is that most hot rods aren't driven as many miles, and aren't abused in the same ways that "real" cars are.
    - Does everything always need to be engineered to manufacturer levels.... no.
    - Is it a good idea to ask for trouble you don't want.... no.
    - Does ignoring the laws of physics mean you a free
    - If you don't break your leg everytime you jump off the garage roof does that mean it can't happen.... no.

    I sincerely don't care whether or not you want or have ladder bars, just don't see them as anything more or less than what they really are.
  9. Your reply is a non-answer man....

    You say you've provided facts? I think you've provided your opinion based on common sense engineering principles. That's all I've put forward opinion...based on common sense engineering.

    I just can't even comprehend how somebody can argue with such a tried, tested and true setup? It makes no sense to me. If you think P&J and so many others are doing it wrong...I'm sure they sincerely don't care what you think you know.

    If you know so much...just tell us...and show us the math...Why don't the Pete n Jakes style setups fail? From an engineering standpoint?
  10. Scumdog
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 622


    Not surprised!

    Try this: If you have a parallel set-up jack your cars rear-end with the jack under one end of the axle, preferably without the coil-overs/spring in place .

    Chances are the whole shebang will bind-up and go 'tight' at some stage- SOMETHING will give after a few miles with that set-up, either the mounting bracket on the rear-end or the 'eye' ay the front of the ladder-bar or similar...even the frame if there's enough flexing - it's because the ladder-bars & rear-end housing are trying to operate like some giant sway-bar.

    Of course if all your driving is on smooth roads and you don't turn tight corners the parallel set-up will last a bit longer...or if you don't drive it very often...

    Triangulated you won't have the same worries....
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  11. I mean...since when does the practical success of an engineering design not come into play? Everything can be pushed to its limits...that's on paper physics for ya.

    The fact that practical and actual use comes nowhere near pushing a product to its failure point...that's where the balance has always been held.
  12. i was going to take my `28 tudor with pete & jakes style ladder bars for a cruise tomorrow....after reading all of this i better rethink that
  13. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    Per what I already posted, "Accepting facts that compliment one's needs and rejecting facts that don't is counterproductive."

    What you seem to be saying is that I should write a technical treatise on ladder bars for you. Why would I do that? To remind myself of what I already know? Do you want me to lay this out so you don't have to figure it out on your time? I believe no amount of drawings, calculations, documentation, or first hand observation would change your present beliefs, so what's the point?

    Like I said, I have no interest in arguing. You can believe me or not, do as you wish, and choose the reality you like. You will need to find someone else to disagree with because I made the points I wanted to make and have nothing to add. Hopefully some were exposed to considerations not previously thought of.
  14. What I'm saying is that I already have figured it out. And so have many, many, others...

    It's your stance that goes against the vast majority of opinions on this subject...the onus is on you.

    So rather than me writing a technical treatise to prove why the P&J type setups are used without fail on the street...I'd like for you to convince me, and the rest of us (using real numbers and not opinion based statements)...that those type setups will fail or result in uncontrollable ride characteristics. More importantly, exactly what would a guy have to do to hit the limit?

    If we see the numbers, and it's proven that failure/handling hell is imminent under a particular set of circumstances...we can go forward with our rear suspension decisions, knowing fully the risks and the physics at play.

    As much as this is about me being argumentative...there is a greater point to this:

    Greater understanding for all, for those who "don't want to have to figure it out on their own time", or just don't have the tools/knowledge to really figure it out.

    Just remember...everything that has ever been put on paper by an engineer gets put to the test. Many theoretically sound designs have failed throughout history, and many borderline/suspect designs have proven to be much more stout in the field than they look on paper.

    And that's another point I've been trying to make here all along...theory be damned...this style setup works when set up to the manufacturers specs.
  15. And for anybody looking to make their own...what's commonly available in the aftermarket, and accepted in the industry as good, safe practice....that's a good place to start looking.
  16. St. Louis Cummins
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 124

    St. Louis Cummins

    I ve made several sets for high horsepower applications yet driven on the street with no problems for years.
  17. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 420

    from Kissimmee

    Came in this thread to find info on proper location for my ladder bar brackets on the rear end housing.
    Maybe bringing it back up will help me find that info?

    Also, I bought a partial project and have read the brackets should be welded 360 degrees around the tubes, but I'm missing the back portion of these brackets. Should I get new ones and cut and fully weld them on, or is this only critical for avoiding distortion and may not be any issue?

  18. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,016

    from Auburn WA

    I just built my own.


    Sent via my typewriter

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