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I'm well aware of Cal-Tracs traction bars for leaf spring cars. They may well be one of the best available for dedicated dragstrip cars, but for street driven hotrods, there are some pros AND cons that come with using them, depending on the particular application. So I was wondering what kind of success people have had using traditional slapper traction bars on cars with serious hp. Competion Engineering has longer ones that come up right under the spring eye, which is no doubt the way to go, but even at that, they say they are only for up to 450hp. That seems a bit low to me, so my specific question is:

What is the highest hp street/strip leaf spring car you've seen have good success with those traditional slapper traction bars?
 

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Most all hi hp cars I have seen , use caltracs or simulair. Don't trust slapper bars, I know people use them. Mark LW would tell you what Caltracs do for him. Mark? Beyound that, I would go to 3 or 4 link set up.
 

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I've never liked slappers. Agonized for a bit over cal-tracs or slide-a-links, and bought the slide-a-links this winter.

Been told the caltracs are stronger, but I finally decided on the slide-a-links because it seems they will be more "street friendly" They are clamped solidly to the spring, and if you relax the preload adjustment, they basically are no longer there. Tighten the screw and turn em on when you need to. That big poly bumper should help take some of the harshness out, too.

We'll see. One things for certain, I'm not making enough power to bend them.
 

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theres a guy here locally, Slapper bar Sammy, that has a 67 camaro, minitubbed that runs in the 8s with slapper bars. I think they are ok to 9s, but anything faster I'd consider Caltracs or just back 1/2 it. There are plenty of slapper bar cars that go on the bumper too... but I think that takes some time to get them to that work well.
 

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The reason I originally wrote that 450 hp limit for the slapper bars was due to the fact that Arnold Greene running a 69 Camaro in Stock Eliminator bent three pairs! I made him a set out of 1/4" wall tube but he wouldn't run them due to the weight. He was the first one to test the slide-a-link design for the camaros and he still runs them to date.
The slide-a-links are good for the street as long as you keep the slider tube well greased. They don't clank like the cal tracs in stop and go traffic due to the solid clamping in front.
 

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I've never liked slappers. Agonized for a bit over cal-tracs or slide-a-links, and bought the slide-a-links this winter.

Been told the caltracs are stronger, but I finally decided on the slide-a-links because it seems they will be more "street friendly" They are clamped solidly to the spring, and if you relax the preload adjustment, they basically are no longer there. Tighten the screw and turn em on when you need to. That big poly bumper should help take some of the harshness out, too.

We'll see. One things for certain, I'm not making enough power to bend them.
I like the way JimM has summarized this, I agree, and yes, you can bend a Slide-A-Link at around 750HP. See pics:(
Even the shock tab is bent:mad:
I actually liked them for a street/strip application, up to maybe 600 HP:confused:





---Bill.
 

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Something I forgot to say in my above post.
I Emailed CE/Moroso, (with those pics) every day for 2 weeks, about that bent bar. I was asking if I could replace just the one bent piece. I was willing to buy it if not a warranty part.
The tech/warr dept did not even bother to tell me to go pound sand :confused: Never did return Email me. :mad:

I will never:noway: buy another part from CE/Moroso, unless nothing else is availible.

---Bill.
 

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Something I forgot to say in my above post.
I Emailed CE/Moroso, (with those pics) every day for 2 weeks, about that bent bar. I was asking if I could replace just the one bent piece. I was willing to buy it if not a warranty part.
The tech/warr dept did not even bother to tell me to go pound sand :confused: Never did return Email me. :mad:

I will never:noway: buy another part from CE/Moroso, unless nothing else is availible.

---Bill.
did you try calling them, Bill?
If you didn't, and it's not too late, maybe you should?
A TON of emails are getting eaten by spam filters these days. It's gotten so I no longer use my html stationary and company logo on my work emails, cause they don't get though to half my customers.
 

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Cal tracs are the best for leaf spring traction, bar none. But I would agree, nines and slapper bars are pretty common and (nearing the limit), but the chassis has to be spot on with them. Its far easier to hook with caltracs, plus I think slapper bars hanging down is about the hokiest looking thing I see anymore, their time has come and gone IMO, but of course that doesn't mean they wont work.
I'm curious as to the disadvantages of caltracs on the street, and how the CE bars are any more streetable. Unload all the preload from caltracs and they are quiet, at least mine are. I actually leave the preload on them now, and rarely do I hear any noise from them, small price to pay for the best in leaf spring traction, IMO :thumbsup:
 

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Slapper bars aint exactly the most comfortable riding thing on the street either.
I drove with them for a while, and i think it was a worse ride then my 3/4 ton truck.

I have a set of CE J-bolt slapper bars and i'd love to sell them to you, but you're Much better off with Caltracs, and will be money ahead of the game, if you want to have a suspension that works on the track.


Slapper bars CAN work, however they're old technology, and will require a much better working front suspension to hook.

There are plenty of cars out there using them, but what you wont find out, until you try them yourself, is that these slapper bar cars are spinning on the summer, and spinning in conditions that a better setup will hook on.

Every Local racer who hadnt used Caltracs all told me the same thing.....slapper bars work great.... let me tell you after having used both.....Slapper bars SUCK.
The first day out with my Alf suspension it hooked on a 120 degree summer track that i wouldnt have had a prayer of hooking on with the beloved slapper bars :D
 

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well i aint to fast ,as you can see in my signature,but alot of these guys would like to have my 60ft times.i am using comp eng slappers and anti roll bar.i have thought of the slide a links but for 350 dallars and no better sixty ft times i just cant see it.the slide alinks hang down just as far as my slappers.if you are starting out it may not be as costly to go to the slide alinks.the one thing i do like about them is they do canect the axle housing to the frame incase you break a spring.also on the street you may be better off because of the ride.my nova will probably never see the street untill my son gets the car after im gone.
 

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Brian,

Please tell us more about your Alf modified leaf-spring rear suspension.

I don't like C-T's b/c they hit right at the weakest part of a mono-leaf spring just like too short slappers do!! And that is BAD, imho...

pdq67
 

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I don't like C-T's b/c they hit right at the weakest part of a mono-leaf spring just like too short slappers do!! And that is BAD, imho...
Au contrier! or whatever the quote is, C/T's hit the top of the spring, the opposite of short slapper bars, and keep the spring level/even and transfer the load to the spring eye.
 

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well i aint to fast ,as you can see in my signature,but alot of these guys would like to have my 60ft times.i am using comp eng slappers and anti roll bar.i have thought of the slide a links but for 350 dallars and no better sixty ft times i just cant see it.
SO you have tried Caltracs or Slides on your car and didnt improve your 60ft any?

Shawn
 

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540,

I made the switch from slapper bars to Cal Tracs with split monos and the adjustable shocks last year and the moral of my personal story is I would have saved myself a lot of money just sticking with the slapper bars and buying the shocks only. I loved my slapper bars but reluctantly sold them to pay off the $900 Cal Trac bill.

You can see the specs in my sig so I am obviousely not the fastest guy around. At the time I had slapper bars, stock 35 year old springs all the way around the car, $12 Red Rider shocks on the back and cheap 90/10's on the front. The car worked extremely well down to the mid 1.50's 60'. When I switched from a 10" to a harder hitting 8" converter I started to have consistancy issues. On a well preped track it would hook all the time, but on a marginally preped track it would hook 2 passes, spin the 3rd which is instant death in bracket racing.

So I decided I needed a change and went all in with the Cal Tracs, split mono's and Rancho shocks. Much to my surprise the car wouldn't hook a lick the first 2 times out. I chased and chased, and adjusted and adjusted. I was told by Calvert to remove the stock rubber front end limiter which I did. They also wanted me to cut off the mounting bracket for the bushing but I didn't like the idea of a sawzall at that point.

But eventually I did get the car hooking up well and am very happy with the Cal Tracs. They are an excellent product and the customer support is second to none. My point is that I think the front end adjustments and the adjustable shocks were all I needed to do. If I had done those with the slapper bars, they would have been adequate for me for a few more years and I would have saved myself about $650.

Shoot me an e-mail if you want any more details.
 

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Greg makes a good point about front end setup. Doesn't matter if you have a pro-stock rear suspension -- if the front ain't working right it won't hook.
 

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no i aint tryed them and wont for the 350 dallars.i would just go ahead and ladderbar and coil over it.what im saying is if you have good tracktion bars already i dont see spending the money for the slide alinks or cal tracks over the tracktion bars.
 
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