How to Install Traction Bars

by John Stevens

When a vehicle accelerates rapidly from a fullstop, the power of the engine twists the rear differential. This twisting motion actually pulls the passenger side tire away from the road surface, resulting in wheel hop and reduced traction. Traction bars are designed to minimize this phenomenon by strengthening the vehicle's rear suspension. Most vehicles would realize no significant benefit from traction bars, but for those vehicle's which are used for drag racing, the difference can be substantial since more power can be transferred to the track's surface.

Raise the rear of the vehicle and support the weight of the vehicle with jack stands. The jack should be used to lift the vehicle under the rear differential, while one jack stand should be placed underneath each axle.

Identify the components of the traction bars. The rear of a traction bar has two metal plates welded to the bar, each plate containing two holes. Each plate attaches to the leaf spring with a single U-bolt. The front of the traction bar has a rubber snubber located at the tip. The front of the traction bar points towards the front of the vehicle.

Place the rear of the traction bar underneath the leaf spring, just underneath the portion of the spring where the axle shaft attaches to the leaf spring.

Insert a U-bolt through each plate at the rear of the traction bar. The U-bolt must be inserted over the leaf spring and through the holes on the traction bar's mounting plate. These U-bolts are used to secure the traction bar to the leaf spring.

Slide a lockwasher over both ends of each U-bolt, followed by a nut.

Tighten each nut on the U-bolts with a wrench to secure the traction bar into place.

Repeat the process to install the remaining traction bar on the other side of the vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.