Slapper bars with 1951 Chevy leaf springs OK?
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Thread: Slapper bars with 1951 Chevy leaf springs OK?

  1. #1
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    Slapper bars with 1951 Chevy leaf springs OK?

    I'm about to get back to working on my 51 BelAir after working another project

    I'm thinking of using the stock leaf strings, which I know will rap up easily with a big block and a stick shift.

    I'm thinking of building a set of Lakewood style slapper bars that replace the axle/shock mounts & are long enough to put the snubber under the leaf spring eye.
    Any thoughts about how well this will work?
    Wondering if I should change to stiffer springs & use slapper bars?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Slapper bars have worked pretty well for many years. The key is to keep the snubber close to contacting whatever point it bumps against. They wont stop all wheel hop, but they will do OK to help control pinion wrap up. The longer they are the better they will control. But if you're going to have them long enough to contact the spring eye, you might consider just using a shackle at that end instead of a rubber snubber to connect the end of the bar directly to the spring eye bolt. That will make it work even better, but the shackle will allow the springs to still compress, but not allow as much pinion wrap, or wheel hop. Plus you wont need the U bolt in the middle to contain the bar.
    Vall

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    Vall, thanks for the reply.

    So what can I use to control wheel hop & pinion wrap up (and have a late 1960s/early 1970s look)? I thought Grumpy Jenkins ran slapper bars successfully on the 68 Pro Stock Camaro?

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    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot rod dan View Post
    Vall, thanks for the reply.

    So what can I use to control wheel hop & pinion wrap up (and have a late 1960s/early 1970s look)? I thought Grumpy Jenkins ran slapper bars successfully on the 68 Pro Stock Camaro?
    Ladder bars were still used at that point, and would be appropriate. Using them with leaf springs requires either doing the axle asa floater, or do like the 4x4 guys do and run a shackle up front. I went this route on my last 4 builds, and the shackle system works well, but also allows normal ride on the road.
    This is my present '39 Chev setup.





    The front end of the ladder bar has a 3" shackle, and i add safety loops to ensure if the front ever broke it wont drop and launch the car into the atmosphere.

    Vall

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    Vall, Years ago I built a 29 roadster with 36 rear radius rods mounted parallel (like ladder bars). It didn't articulate well. Whenever you hit a big bump, it would get a little squirrely, like the radius rods were torsion bars and one side was unloading.

    I like the look of ladder bars (especially ones made of square tubing) but I'm not sure how well they'll work on the street. Maybe if they were long and angled toward the center like the Pete and Jakes ladder bars.

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  8. #6
    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot rod dan View Post
    Vall, Years ago I built a 29 roadster with 36 rear radius rods mounted parallel (like ladder bars). It didn't articulate well. Whenever you hit a big bump, it would get a little squirrely, like the radius rods were torsion bars and one side was unloading.

    I like the look of ladder bars (especially ones made of square tubing) but I'm not sure how well they'll work on the street. Maybe if they were long and angled toward the center like the Pete and Jakes ladder bars.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They will bind if they don't have the shackles at the front. But with a shackle they work great. I have them on my Austin, but not with leaf springs; with coilovers. Had them on my '63 Falcon gasser and it rode and handled great. Ran them way back in the late 60's on my '55 Chevy gasser, and no problem.
    Haven't driven my '39 but a few times around the neighborhood, but expect it to also work fine. All of these cars were true parallel ladder bars, with heim ends. The longer they are, the better they work. They hold the axle better, and allow for uneven pavement better.
    You can see in these images my car is sitting on uneven ground in the frontyard, and the ladder bars allowed the axle to correct and sit higher on the low side just as it would without them.





    So turning into our driveway, or going off camber they have plenty of movement to allow spring compression.
    Vall

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    Thanks. If you have any pics of the shackle I'd be interested.

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    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot rod dan View Post
    Thanks. If you have any pics of the shackle I'd be interested.
    I'd have to take pictures, but it's pretty simple. Just a typical shackle like you'd see on any leaf spring end, except mine are 3" centers and angle back about 20 degrees to allow the axle to move back under compression.
    I am moving the '39 out of the shop tomorrow to do a much needed cleanup, so I'll take a picture and post it then.
    Vall

  11. #9
    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Here's the image of the front shackle. As I mentioned, not much to see there.

    Vall

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    Thanks for the picture. Looks good & so does your coupe!

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