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Technical Shorten ladder bars

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Omarsvette, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    I need to shorten my ladder bars 2”. They will be 42” after I’m done. I’m planning on doing the cut about 6” from the rear, heim joint then weld it. Is this ok? Thought I’d ask....
     
  2. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,561

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I would get a new weld in rod end that fits then cut and weld in the new end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
    fauj and Deuces like this.
  3. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,301

    lake_harley
    Member

    If you shorten the rear of regular ladder bars, like most that I've seen, where the top and bottom tubes form a "V" going toward the front, cutting length off the back will move the ends closer together vertically and they won't properly fit your rearend brackets any more. Just cutting off 2" won't make a huge difference, but you would have to bend something, redrill the brackets or make new ones for them to fit. You could heat and bend the ends of one or both tubes, but they might end up looking a bit odd.

    Lynn
     
    rpm56, 427 sleeper and Omarsvette like this.
  4. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,090

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Why not either make some new ones or have them made? I order custom length ladder bars from P&J's from time to time to fit my various chassis. I figure the center to center length and then give them the cut tube length.
     

  5. DWBlietz
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 405

    DWBlietz
    Member
    from California

    first is this a drag car or a street car first take a pic of your ladder bar then post it so we can evaluate the problem
     
  6. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    It’s a street car, 31 ford roadster, stock 354 hemi, T5. Ford 8 3/4 3.0 gear, nonposi
     
  7. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    I just completed the task... 34EC563C-3023-4258-85F0-846F906C6884.jpeg
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  8. I see you've completed the task but that tubing looks like it was threaded to accept the rod end (not uncommon on ladder bars). My preference would have been to shorten the tube and rethread rather than cut and weld (if it is as it appears to be). That being said, you could add a second brace that joins the upper and lower tubes, having the second brace situated so it is welded to the tubes on both sides of your new welds. At the very least your butt weld should have an insert in the tube with rosette welds on either side of the butt weld.

    Don't know for sure how you handled it but hope it works out for you.
     
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  9. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    I did think of cutting where you said. But like lake_harley said the hiem joints won’t line up to the holes on the bracket. As it is, there is a slight bend in connecting the two tubes. So I couldn’t use an insert either. Although good idea and didn’t think of it. Thank you.
     
  10. Do it. Will work fine.
     
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  11. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,557

    Marty Strode
    Member

    You could add an upright post at the weld joint, if you know someone with a bender, you could do something like this. IMG_4616.JPG
     
  12. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    I’ll do that Marty strode...
     
  13. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,431

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Be careful welding too close to threaded ends! I've done it and had to re-tap the threads as my heim ends wouldn't screw in after welding. A lot of metal gets moved during the weld process, so if it's close to the threads it can cause issues.
     
  14. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    Thanks, my welds are almost a foot away. The heims went in fine. After everything went in, my bars point 7deg down and I have the pinion at 90deg. Should I drop the pinion down a bit?
     
  15. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 340

    Phil P
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You should wait until you finalize your drive train angle.

    Phil
     
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  16. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    So I added a tubing on both my welds.
    How do we feel about the gas tank position, I think there’s room for coilovers? Gonna mock tomorrow
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    image.jpg There still some moving around I can do.....
     
  18. Regarding your tubing brace ... my original suggestion was that you fabricate a brace that welds to the tubing on both sides of your splice. A piece of flat plate, possibly cut to mimic the shape of the original brace, could have been located in such a position that it braced the tube on both sides of your splice. It appears to me that your new tube brace doesn't do that.

    That being said, if you are comfortable with the end result ... great, it's just not how I would have approached the issue and that's fine too.

    I added a drawing in the post below to explain what I meant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  19. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,332

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Look's like shock mount/cross member need's to move forward closer to axle from this angle...
     
    Omarsvette likes this.
  20. "After everything went in, my bars point 7deg down and I have the pinion at 90deg. Should I drop the pinion down a bit?"

    Here is my opinion on pinion angle ... with the chassis at ride height, the pinion can then be set to whatever the engine/transmission angle dictates the pinion angle needs to be.

    If your engine/trans angle is down three degrees (just a random number), then your pinion angle will need to be UP three degrees.
     
    Omarsvette likes this.
  21. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

  22. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,431

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    The plate is a great idea, but could still be installed on the inside edge of the joint area where you spliced it. Just grind the welds on the inside of your tube brace smooth, and then make up a plate that can lay over the whole area. I would drill holes in the plate to plug weld to the various tubes, and then perimeter weld around the plate also. This should add strength to the spliced area.
    I would have also sleeved the joint inside the tubes also, and plug welded the sleeves in place. A butt welded joint is the least strong, so a sleeve inside, and a plate outside should make it super strong.
     
  23. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,557

    Marty Strode
    Member

    For anyone trying to solve a problem such as yours, I would cut and re-tap the tubes, and simply bend the tubes to the proper spread, to fit the link plates. The bends would be minimal, would be cleaner looking.
     
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  24. cut n spliced in the middle of a run is sketchy
     
  25. This is what I was suggesting earlier ... see how the new brace is welded to your existing tubing, on both sides of your butt weld. The second drawing is what I think you've done ... the original tubing is not supported on both sides of your splice. I would still have liked to have seen the splice with an insert ... a solid insert could be heated to conform to the new shape you need.
    IMG_3675.JPG IMG_3676.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  26. Omarsvette
    Joined: Dec 7, 2013
    Posts: 524

    Omarsvette
    Member
    from Arizona

    Borntoloze, I put the tube underneath the welds... not to the side. Although it Might look like that in the photo.
     
  27. I figured a plate several inches wide would spread the load over a larger area, creating a stronger joint but just because I have an opinion doesn't mean I am correct :)

    Your car, you need to do what you feel comfortable with :)
     
    Omarsvette likes this.

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