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setting up Lakewood Traction Bars!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by n847, May 27, 2012.

  1. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706

    n847
    Member

    I've searched this a few times and haven't found anything like my situation so here goes?

    I got a pair of "Universal" Lakewood bars at the swap meet and put them on Friday.
    I took the car out and ran the crap out of it taking my brother for a drive, when I got back I noticed the passenger side Lakewood bar had a gap between the snubber and the spring about an inch or more. I grabbed the bar and could move it around with my hand, I don't think the nuts backed off I'm wondering if I didn't install them properly the instal instructions on the Jegs website say under no circumstances should the snubber end of the bars be pointing down but as you can see in the picture they are. Should I just shim the crap out of the back U bolt on each bar? Something just isn't right! I had the bar as far foreward as it would go but the snubber needs to be moved foreward to the last adjustment point to get closer to the spring eye. I know its doing something different because all the paint on the spring wrapping is cracking off, and its been on there for a while. It is however keeping the pinion from smacking the floor! Whats the proper way to set these or did I already trash my springs? When I set it up I had less than a 1/2" gap between the snubber and the spring.

    Before Picture!
    [​IMG]

    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->After Pictures:
    Note the drivers side is firmly planted into the drivers side, but the passenger side is gapped out!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 662

    "T'RANTULA"
    Member
    from Ohio

    I used them same traction bars on my 55 and they bent the front of my leaf springs. So I extended them so the rubber tip hits the spring eyes. Your springs seem to be a bit warped?
     
  3. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706

    n847
    Member

    Agreed Trantula, they looked a little warped before, I'm gonna go back through my project thread and see if I can fine the pics! I'm hoping I haven't finished them off! If they are junk I guess I'll just buy another set from Speedway and make them work. its got generic shackles in the back anyway!
     
  4. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

    In the pic, it looks like you still have enough threaded area to tighten them up.
     

  5. SKULL ORCHARD
    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 431

    SKULL ORCHARD
    Member
    from KS
    1. The Gas House Gang

    i have used these years ago, we drilled a new hole for each snubber closer to the end of bar and shimmed for a tight fit to spring and snubber, also later cut snubber of flat on top to tighten up rear end and pinion roll.
     
  6. whiskerz
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 148

    whiskerz
    Member
    from Ga.

    Put the rubber snubber on the spring eye . You will bend the springs . Use the gap between the snubber and spring eye to tune them. they will affect ride
     
  7. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706

    n847
    Member


    I assume you mean the thread on the front U bolt on the pass. side. I will do that and see how it reacts. Thats what concerns me because when i put it on there it was tight! Maybe it was in a bind and the first time it unloaded it poped loose.

    I'm assuming I should be setting these while the weight is on the axle. Thats how I did it previously.

    What about shimming the rear U-bolts to angle the bar up or atleast level in the front?
     
  8. repoman
    Joined: Jan 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,276

    repoman
    Member

    Those are worthless. You need to get the type that uses the J-jolts that go over the axle. Then you still need to get the snubber under the eye. I used to modify them by adding a couple inches by welding more tubing to them.
     
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,716

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Cal-Tracs are a superior product by comparison but there's nothing like an old traditional part. Measure the centre of front spring eye to the ground on both sides and on the front chassis to see if car is sitting evenly. Don't worry about the rake as it's irrelevant. Then measure lengthwise on the springs to make sure they are located evenly and in the same place each side. If a snubber touches on one side but not on the other the springs are sagging. As stated, if the snubber is hard against the spring it will definitely impact on ride quality.
     
  10. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706

    n847
    Member

    Yes I would like to run a set of Cal-Tracs, but will likely go with ladder bars eventually just to be a little more traditional in style. But for now this is what I can afford, and it really irks me to think I can't make something work as good as it can before I replace it!
     
  11. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Back in the day, when Lakewood was making these by the score, and you couldn't find a chevy without them, the installation called for the snubber to be 1" below the spring for rear travel.
    I think the idea of putting the snubber under the spring eye is a good idea, especially since those springs are pretty dang old, and where the snubber hits, all the weight of the car is being transferred to.
     
  12. I seriously doubt (NOT positive) that your springs were made with that reverse arch on the front half only. IMO, the springs have taken a permanent set and are shot.

    Park on a level spot and measure the distance up from the floor to the top of the slappers at the tip. If they are the same height, your springs are the problem. If not, make sure both spring perch angles are the same on the rearend housing. It doesn't really matter what the angle is as long as both sides are equal.
     

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