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  • 4 Post By Stu Cool
  • 1 Post By Mike P

Thread: One way to make simple traction bars for a Studebaker
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Stu Cool's Avatar
    Stu Cool is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    One way to make simple traction bars for a Studebaker

     



    I shared this over on the Studebaker Drivers Club page, thought folks here might like it too. Might have application for other cars too. These clearly are not for a hard core racer, but should work well for street car.

    Credit for design of these goes to Dan McDonald of Arizona. I saw them on his gorgeous orange custom '53 Studebaker at the 2010 International Studebaker Meet in Glendale. He was gracious enough to take some detail pictures and send them to me. I have been collecting pieces since then and finally got around to building my own set:

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7056/6...b8ddb187_b.jpg

    I was fortunate to come across some free steel in a trash can as one of the vendors tore down his display at Hot August Nights. The bridge steel on the left is 5/16ths and pieces on the right are 1/4. I found the threaded (swaged) tubing and rod ends at Carl's Racing Products (Stock Car Products From Carls Performance Products - Stock Car, Circle Track and Oval Track Parts For Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Street Stock and Mini Stocks). They are actually used as tie rods for stock cars so should be plenty strong for my application. I got those plus the tabs for the front mount for $60 plus shipping.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7204/6...3ba05d35_z.jpg

    Fabrication was actually very simple. I used a sawzall, a grinder and drill press to cut and drill the steel, quality blades and cutting oil really helps.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7197/6...29f22df5_z.jpg

    I have long u-bolts from previously removed lowering blocks. I measured carefully to make sure the rear mount did not hang lower than the wheel rim.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7043/6...85f5e887_z.jpg

    I recently purchased a Lincoln Mig welder and this was the first real project I used it on. Because of the thickness of the steel, I used flux core to weld the tabs onto the plate for the front mounts. My welds are not as pretty as I would like, but I have good penetration and they are plenty strong. Once I had the mounts completed, I attached the tubing and clamped them to the frame where it starts to kick up right behind the front spring mount. I had carefully measured the width of the frame to determine hole location before drilling the plates. I then used the holes in the plates as a guide to drill though the frame. This was the least enjoyable part of this project as I was laying on my back under the car to do it. I stopped several times to sharpen my drill bit which made the going so much better.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7048/6...9a50b488_z.jpg

    Once everything was fitted, I took it all off and painted it flat black. After installation I took the car for a short spin. In initial testing, wheel hop is completely eliminated. The ride is not adversely affected as far as I can tell from the brief test drive. The tubes are adjustable and I may play with that to see if traction can be improved further.

    Pat
    Last edited by Stu Cool; 03-12-2012 at 09:33 PM.
    Mike P, 34_40, IC2 and 1 others like this.
    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  2. #2
    Stu Cool's Avatar
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    All right, why can't I link to my pictures on Flickr to put them in line on my post?

    Pat
    Last edited by Stu Cool; 03-12-2012 at 09:31 PM.
    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  3. #3
    stovens's Avatar
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    Nice job Pat. I also have trouble linking stuff on here at times. Youtube videos especially!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  4. #4
    IC2
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    Pat - those look pretty darn good to me!!
    And linking photos - sometimes it's the phase of the moon, how the wind blows and the way you grit your teeth is how it works here.
    Last edited by IC2; 03-13-2012 at 04:57 AM. Reason: Spelling!!
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  5. #5
    Mike P's Avatar
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    It looks good Pat.

    I have to say though that I wonder about suspension binding issues when street driving with a setup like this however. Iíd be real interested in hearing your comments about after you put some more miles on it.

    I really appreciate the link to the Carlís site. Iím getting ready to hang the new rearend in my 37 and am planning on fabbing up a set of Cal Trac style bars for it. I suspect Iíll be giving them a call for some odd and ends.



    .
    pat mccarthy likes this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  6. #6
    IC2
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    Mike - I had the old Traction Masters, which were similar on several cars in the '60s-'70s and there was no suspension bind. They actually made for flatter twists and turns on the windy Upstate NY roads. Those old bars I had were closer to parallel to the springs though which might make some difference in handling.
    Dave W
    I am now gone from this forum for now - finally have pulled the plug

  7. #7
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    They should work great Pat! Going to make a few passes with the car again this summer??
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
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  8. #8
    Stu Cool's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I will report back on driving impressions. Yes Dave I do plan a trip or two down the track. I am also planning on figuring out some sort of cool air inlet. I will be interested to see if the traction bars improve my 60 foot times. My best ever is a 2.16, but more common is in the 2.30 range. This is all on street radials.

    Pat
    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  9. #9
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    those look nice,,,good job

  10. #10
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Traction bars and softening up the shocks a bit on the rear will definitely pick up the 60' times.... Was that with a street tire with tread or the DOT drag radials? I've got a pair of 10.5" wide Hoosier DOT drag radials that do a very respectable job on the track, plus bought them used at a swap meet for $100.00!!!!
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
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  11. #11
    Stu Cool's Avatar
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    Dave, Those are Yokohama 235R70-15 Radials that Diamondback was using to vulcanize their wide whitewalls to a while back. I drop them down to 22 lbs at the track. I do have airbags and normally raise the pressure with more on the right side. The air bags are in front of the axle and my theory was that would reduce spring wrap. Now that I have the traction bars I may reduce the air pressure over all but keep it higher on the right.
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    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  12. #12
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    Cool.... track time with the stude, at sac raceway....? by the way saw your Stude at the ford towe museum....
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  13. #13
    Stu Cool's Avatar
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    Rich, Glad you got to see the Studebakers at the California Auto Museum. We really enjoy putting them in there and January is the best time to do it! Usually not a lot of chances to drive your classic in January. Yes my best time, 13.68, is at Sacramento Raceway. It was on a cold November day. I hope to get it out there again in May or so when the track surface will be warmer, but not hot. I also managed a 14.16 in 100+ temps in the Phoenix area when we drove it to the Studebaker International Meet in Jun 2010.

    Pat
    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

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