Henry Ford, the industrialist credited for developing the first assembly-line car, believed he hadn't invented anything new at the time of the transportation revolution. Instead, he declared, “So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.” Whether or not the initial invention of automobiles was inevitable, there’s no denying how advanced cars have become in our modern times.
The progress of vehicle enhancement and improvement is possible today because of centuries of work. Each and every part that comprises a modern car has a distinct purpose and design. Whether the car components are internal or external or on top or bottom, each part equips the vehicle with a function. After proper assembly, the car's ready for working performance.
For every turn, acceleration, or stop your car makes, there is a part that provides the means for effectivity on the road. One such part is a traction bar. Traction bars are essential for better handling, as your car’s axles are continually at risk of negative rotation. Its bushings are equally vulnerable to displacement.
Fortunately, a traction bar works to prevent the axles from slanting, which secures the bushings from slipping whenever the car is in motion. If you’re still wondering about the true function of this car part, here is an outline of everything you need to know about a traction bar.
Vehicle Suspension Systems: Leaf Springs
Before we talk further about taction bars, we need to have a framework understanding of a vehicle’s suspension system. The connectivity of these parts is paramount for a well-performing car. A suspension system has several main functions. These functions include supporting the vehicle, absorbing impacts soundly from bumps or potholes, and allowing the vehicle to turn in response to the driver’s steering inputs.
Springs are the core parts that assist the performance of these functions. Leaf springs especially function as support while absorbing bumps on the road. Interestingly enough, leaf springs were used on carriages and carts before the invention of cars and trucks. In fact, these springs were transferred over to automobiles and were employed in the first cars, such as Ford’s Model T. Since leaf springs are attached to the ends of a vehicle’s frame, they disperse heavy loads over the vehicle’s surface area.
These days, leaf springs are the norm within modern SUVs, vans, and large trucks, but some older cars still have these springs in their suspension system designs. Due to these factory settings, the automobile’s axles float on springs and shocks. Leaf springs can become bent or deformed and cause axle wrap. This is where the employment of traction bars comes into play.
Axle Wrap Prevention: Traction Devices
For a traction bar, everything you need to know has to do with their objective: prevention. The design of traction bars is purposeful to prevent axle wrap. Traction bars are prevention devices that mount to the rear axle of a vehicle and are connected elsewhere to the frame. Their design effectively halts buckling and bending during hard acceleration or driving down rough, rugged roads.
Remember that leaf springs are attached to the vehicle’s frame at each end. Axle wrap is a particular problem that plagues vehicles with these leaf springs, especially soft springs that are set up over the axle. Axle wrap can break driving shafts, yokes, and even the pinions of a vehicle due to the unwanted suspension movement from “dropping the hammer.”
You may even notice that your car “hops” forward. This kind of movement can greatly damage your vehicle. If you accelerate too hard or rapidly, your leaf springs can bend and rotate into the wrong shape—unless you have a traction bar that eliminates the danger of axle wrap. Because traction bars force a vehicle to turn forward for higher-level traction, they are the premier solution to prevent an axle from twisting itself backward.
The Truth About Traction Bars
A varying assortment of anti-axle wrap devices is available on the automotive market today. These solutions serve a similar purpose but differ in design. A common misconception regarding traction bars is that they are one-and-the-same with ladder bars. This is surely not so, as a ladder bar attaches to the rear axle a bit diversely.
As the name applies, these solid bars act as a ladder. Ladder bars are attached at two respective places on an axle. One side is attached to the bottom, and the other is typically in the middle or at the top. There is also a single mount to the vehicle’s frame. This kind of support system is popular for off-road vehicles instead of street use or higher horsepower performance applications. These setups are typically very noisy as well due to their geometry.
Contrastingly, traction (or “slapper”) bars are rigid steel bars that are attached to one side of the rear axle and one side of the frame with heim joints. Bar versions may differ for specific models, but all traction bars have similar hurdles in geometry. To avoid binding and misalignment, these bars should be about the same length as the driveshaft. The right length of the bar will help the rear axle to remain in the correct angled position.
Why You Need Traction Bars
If you desire a car that performs well, you need to have the right parts for the job. Roaring horsepower means nothing if it cannot be fully harnessed on the road. Traction bars might be only half the story, but their sophistication is the key to achieving responsive steering and no wheel hop. As a cost-effective method to battle axle wrap, traction bars prove themselves to be worthy improvement solutions for a variety of vehicles.
Here at Private Label MFG, we offer a selection of traction device options, such as the lightweight and high-strength steel Integra traction bar. Its key features include increased traction to the ground, better handling, and an easy fit for installation.
As fellow car-enthusiasts, we can assure you that our aftermarket car parts provide consumers with the best-performance-per-dollar. If a car part isn’t good enough for our own vehicles, then we won’t supply it for yours. Our company ensures that each product we manufacture has superior durability to guarantee a good performance. Shop by vehicle type or browse through our online collections today.