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  #1  
Old 05-26-2011, 02:43 PM
AgitatedPancake's Avatar
AgitatedPancake AgitatedPancake is offline
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'67 Camaro Caltrac bars

So I have a friend with a nice '67 camaro with a fabbed 9", 4.10's and pushing 450HP+ . Well the fabbed 9" and 4.10s are a new addition, the first time he really got on it the pinion wrapped so bad it hit the floorboards . Needless to say, it needed a little help haha.

He showed me the common solution, Caltrac bars (and how expensive they were). After looking at them and how they work for a while, I told him I'd build him a set. So, here's what I did!

I got some new OEM replacement front spring eye bushings, and cut a little over 1/4" of width off the rubber of each side. I left the actual bolt sleeve full length, so it could become the hinge point for the swing shackle. Gotta love the torchmate for makin these things


Then I welded tabs to the bottom of the u-bolt plate to catch the other end of the bar






And then we got them put up under the car (he also dropped back in an add a leaf he had)




They don't hang too low either



I must say, the test drive after installation...this car is a whole new beast haha. They work great, and snap any gear letting the tires loose with no problems
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:06 PM
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Pics aren't working for me, but I know what you're talking about. I have set of the Competition Engineering Slide-a-links on my Nova. They have a slightly different design to do the same thing. Like you said, they made a huge difference. Mine came with a solid bushing at the front spring eye (include from CE); I'm not sure what Calvert recommends with theirs or why CE uses the solid. If I had known then what I know now I would have just built them myself.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:05 PM
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Off Road that is called a two link and I will be building it into the rear suspension on my 4WD rides, a world of difference!
http://www.autofab.com/16rear1.htm

Just on a side note putting the link under the springs is the only way that will eliminate spring wrap. Putting the link above the spring is... dumb.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:21 AM
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Logged back in later and the pics are working for me now. Nice work!
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:39 AM
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Those look awesome ! Does the length affect how the tire plants ?
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtrnev View Post
Those look awesome ! Does the length affect how the tire plants ?
it changes the instant center. The front bushings should be urethane or aluminum to reduce deflection. Also, raising or lowering the point where the front of the bar attaches will change the instant center and how hard the car "hits" the tires. lower the bar- softer hit, raise- harder hit. A 1" difference can make a big difference in how the car reacts.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:11 PM
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AgitatedPancake AgitatedPancake is offline
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Ah man long weekend wheelin, time to catch up! Thanks for all the kind words guys, I appreciate it.

Bandit, I actually checked out the slide a links also, but it seems to me that the Caltracs would have less overall effect on the suspension when your not putting torque through it trying to make it twist. They still allow the leaf to do it's natural range of motion, which it seems the slide a links might limit a little bit. When you purchase kits from the companies they come with an aluminum bushing, but through a lot of my research I found a lot of people who also street their cairs REALLY disliked the aluminum because of the harshness. In fact many instances I noticed people ended up tearing everything back apart just to get rid of the aluminum bushings. If these OEM bushings hold up to the abuse, I think they will be the way to go .

Curtrnev, you can change the length of the actual bar itself to actually preload the axle, so the bushings are already under pressure and ready to take the torque. When we installed the ones I did, we just threaded them until the lever bolt hit the leaf at ride height, and stopped. It seemed to work pretty dang well! And as wedged said, the actual length of the mounts for the bars make a huge difference also
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:53 AM
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I had the opposite opinion on Caltracs vs Slide-a-Links with regards to constraining the natural motion of the leaf. On the SALs you can loosen the compression bar into a loose free-sliding state for street driving. I found however that I liked it better with a little preload. I have no complaints about the ride with solid bushings, multileafs and budget KYB shocks.

Both systems are well reviewed so I don't think you can go wrong here.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:25 PM
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I'm going off of memory here. So, somebody correct,if I screw up. 67-69 Camaros and Firebirds used 3 different springs. 1 set was a mono-leaf,like what your friend has. This spring was found under 6 cylinder and low horsepower v8s. Z28s used a 4 leaf spring and the RS and SS cars BBC and SBC used a 5 leaf spring. Some drag racers used the mono-leaf with a tight traction bar. I tried this years ago made my cars ride like a hay wagon. But, worked great with slicks. I use to set my bars with something of my weight in the driver's seat of the car. Bar bell weights, I would leave 1/2 inch between the spring and the rubber on the traction bar. Sometime, I would just cut the rubber on the bar. Most people run a ladder bar or a 4 link now. The best set of traction bars, I ever owned was a set of J-bolts from Competition Engineering. Good Luck, and PLEASE PUT SOME frame connectors on this car.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2011, 02:12 PM
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Mike C Mike C is offline
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Nice work!

Can you list materials you used? Thickness of side plates, bar diameter, heim links, etc? I want to build a set of these for my Camaro and also for a new little short bed Chevy I acquired.
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