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Ladder bars with leaf springs!
Mark Gronau
Hello, I'm new to SEGA but after watching race videos of the different cars and the idea of 1967 period correct gasser race cars was very appealing so it was time to join. My hopes are to start construction on my car this year and have been gathering parts for many years. My first question to the group is would Speedways 42" ladder bars be considered period correct? Secondly, what have you used/seen to incorporate ladder bars on the rear axle on a leaf spring car. I know there are different kits out there to minimize binding but wanting to maintain the period correct look but have it functional also. Maybe I'm over thinking this all but I want to stay in the guidelines of the group. Thanks
Quain Stott
Yes the 42" bars are legal but not the best constructed for serious racing. You are right in wanting to use some type slider on the leaf spring because it will bind since the ladder bar and spring pivot in different spots. I will send you pics tomorrow of how we make the sliders when I get to my computer at the shop. If I don't for get LOL.
Mark Gronau
Awesome Quain! I appreciate you doing this and I do understand the forgetting thing, I'm a member of that club. Just a little history here, I had purchased a set of 38" Speedway Motors ladder bars several years ago when I bought the straight axle and spring kit as I was collecting parts for the build. After reading the rules I realized I had purchase too short of bars and had planned to be taking them back as they are still in the box and trading them for the 42" bars that they also offer, Speedway is good about doing that. I'm looking for some guidance though, would mind sharing your thoughts on the Speedway bars. When I looked at them I felt there should be more vertical bracing. I also questioned the 5/8" rear hiem joints too but felt I could alter both. Maybe there is a better bar out there that I should be looking at instead. I greatly appreciate you responding to me, this is one of the reasons I wanted to join SEGA! Just being a new member a little over a month I am totally impressed with the organization. Thanks again!
Michael Coger
You can go with a totally nostalgic bar before the store bought ones were available.
this is my version of the Stott bars. I used a coil spring rear setup, but they can be used with leafs and floaters.
Mark Gronau
Great looking traction bars! Thanks for sharing! Just studying the picture, what size of rectangular tubing did you use for the lower and round upper bar, also what size heim joints did you end up using? It looks like you punched holes in the lower bars then welded in tubing, am I see correctly? Your bars are really cool and look very period correct! Previously I had planned on exchanging out my Speedway Motors 38" for the 42" and adding support to the bars. I did the one way 2-hour trip this morning to accomplish that however it turns out I have had the bars over a year so "no-go" with Speedway's policy! Guess I should have stayed more focused! Thanks again for the reply.
Quain Stott
Mark the ladder bar length rule is a request. So your 38" ones are legal. But I will say this the longer the better the car will work unless it'a a heavy car. You was asking about the 5/8 rod end, A 5/8 bolt is plenty strong (grade 8) but the shank of the joint needs to be 3/4.
Mark Gronau
Quain thanks for the clarification on the length of bars and the added info on the heim ends size and bolt hardware. When time allows, I would still like to see pictures of the leaf spring sliders you have made. Just a little info, the curb weight of my car was in the 2800# range from factory with a wheel base of 102". I have owned the car since 1973 when I was driving by it on a daily base going to school and was finally able to purchase it. I am to the age if I am going get this project done I need to be doing it, it's been long enough. Again thanks for the response and info.
Quain Stott
Here's some pics i had of the sliders. Keep in mind if multi leaf you will have to build the sliders to have at least 1 inch clearance from the spring bold that holds the spring pack together.
Quain Stott
Another angle
Mark Gronau
Quain, having a visual greatly helps me get the floater concept, thanks. I wasn't sure if the leaf spring rolled or just slides on the spacers. Am I correct in that it looks like the leaf spring slides on the spacers and the spacer doesn't actually roll? I see in the picture the spacer bolts are grade 8, by any chance are they 5/8" in size? The more I think about the ladder bars needed for my car I am strongly considering building my own. The bars I have now are made from 1" OD DOM tubing and guessing maybe .188 wall but the rear heim ends are approximately 5 1/2" from CL to CL on the axel mounting plates. Looking at others it seems their mounting bolts are farther apart and thinking that would be a good thing. Would you mind sharing what you have seen or found works good on the bars you have built. Again, thanks for taking the time to send the pictures, the info shared and the guidance you have given me.
Quain Stott
I didn't make them roll on my car because I would keep an eye on them and keep them greased but it would be better if they were on some sort of bearing. I have the spacer in there so I can tighten the bolt and still have clearance on the spring.
Mine are 1/2 bolts and if kept tight is all you need.
5 1/2 inches is not enough spread on the rear rod ends.Plus you need 3/4 shank. 5/8 bolt is plenty but the shank of the rod end needs to be 3/4.
Mark Gronau
Quain thanks for explaining on the sliders as well as the hardware you used. When I looked at the 5 1/2" spread on the rear heim ends on the ladder bars I have it looked like a weak point, not much of a lever for the bar. I appreciate you validating my concerns, now back to drawing board. At least they are still in the box!
Mark Gronau
I greatly appreciate all the info you have shared Quain, it has given me great direction on what I need to do for my ladder bar and rear leaf spring slider assemblies. I am in the design stage with planning on the bars to be constructed out of 1" DOM with .156 wall and being in the 48" range. On the rear brackets I am looking at 8 1/2" spacing on the 3/4" rear rod ends with 5/8" bolts but wondering if that is too much. I also see some brackets with 7 1/2" spacing. Any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks
Michael Coger
The lower bars are 2x3 tubing 1/8th wall. I used a hole saw to punch the holes. Then used
exhaust tubing to fill the holes . It was more for looks than anything . The top bars are
1 1/8 tubing the bungs are welded in to hold the heim joints. The front lower uses 3/4 inch as that's were the most stress is the rest are 5/8. I bought the the bungs and the joints from Speedway .
The lower bars are split and narrowed on both ends with a piece of 3/8 steel plate with a hole for rear support of the bung. It's bored to the size of the bung and welded in place.
then the plate is welded to the lower bar tubing. The front of the bung has another piece of 3/8 bored and fitted to the opening in the bar. Then it's all welded up.
I will look and see if I can find some picture of when I made them. Probably overkill, but I didn't need them breaking and sticking into the track.
Mark Gronau
Michael your traction bars look awesome! Thanks for sharing what material and hardware you used along with how you went about it. If time allows for you I would appreciate any additional pictures you care to share! Again, thanks for sharing what you have used and done.
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