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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1964 Fairlane. I want to improve handling and traction. Traction Master tells me their bars will fit with an Addco rear swaybar. Addco doesn't list a rear sway bar for my car, but Quickor does. The folks at Calvert Racing tell me they can make a set of CalTrac bars for my car and that they will also help in the corners. Anybody out there have experience with either set up? What would you recommend? As the Fairlane is a little uncommon, what are your experiences with other Fords (Mustangs)?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 8BBL427 on 4/5/02 1:48pm ]</font>
 

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I made a set of Cal-Trac type bars for my Maverick and I like them alot they sure do help the traction at the start, mostly drag and street car has run 12.70's so not real fast the 60 foot times were like 1.50s or so on 26"x9" Hoosier slicks with 4.62s in the 8" rear end. Good Luck with your project.
 

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I have traction masters on my comet and they work great. Also, see project 11.99. Check out the 60 foot times they achieved with the same bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Other than traction during acceleration, do Caltracs offer any real handling benefit? (I want to drag race, but I like corners too.) After staring at the pictures, I don't see how the Caltracs can help in corners, and am absolutely convinced they have no effect on spring wrap-up during deceleration.

OK guys, time to provide me wrong with a little discourse on the physics of automobile handling. Anybody up to the task?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 8BBL427 on 4/6/02 3:04am ]</font>
 

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Tim R what did you set the preload at. Just made some cal-tracks for my 64 Fairlane. All cars are differant. Has any body added more preloal then 1 tune? Dose this make the tire hit harder? I know that going to rancharo shoucks will help, just havent got there yet.
 

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The only handling advantage I can see is from the front bushing which is replaced with a solid bushing (I think). As far a decelaration, I agree with you.........
 

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I use from 0 to 1 1/2 turns of preload on mine more at the track and less on the street because it tends to make the suspension feel tighter to me so I like it a little loose for the street. And I tune it from side to side to get the car to go straight and provide even pressure on the tires at launch. As for corner turners I think that if you are running a little preload it would stiffen up the roll center of the car a bit and make it provide a very good feel for how the car is rolling over in hard turns this should make it much easier for a good driver to tell when they are pushing the car to hard through a turn. Just my perseption of the way my car feels. And yes as posted earlier the solid front bushings are a real plus to a road car as well as a drag car so I think there is a benefit to using them.
 

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Just a bit more for those that want to tune their bars. The upper holes in front give the quickest reaction and the most violent I think and the lower holes give a slower reaction to power and a little less violent. My thinking is that if you have lots of stall and torque and not enough tire to contain it then use lower holes and only as much preload as it takes to get it to stick, my theory is that this position will give the longest reaction time for the suspension and provide for a greater chance for the tire to get hooked up. As it lets the suspension travel upward over the greates amount of time.
Now if you have the tire to get it hooked up with more hit then move the bars up in front and set them with a little more preload and you will get the hardest hit to the tire, but may run the risk of unloading the suspension if the suspension tops out to quickly. so use this only if you have enough tire and motor to get the front up and load the rear end with weight transfer to keep it from unloading the tires before you get to the 60 foot mark. I hope that this makes sense, Good Luck
 

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Richy, How much power you making? I ran 12.70's with my Maverick and I never needed the Rancho shocks, just used good gas shocks and had no trouble at all. Just thought you could save a few bucks if you don't need them, but if you are making big power then by all means I would get them as I have heard they are a nice piece that works good for such applications.
 

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My guesstament is around 330 hp. the engine is your basic rebuilt 351w with your bolt on hot rod suff,3000conv,c4.9in.4.11s. my thunder-nut whighs 3300lbs alittle nose havy.The best it has run is a 13.35 at102.3 my 60ft is between 1.88&2.05 . the shocks Im running now are chas/eng. thee way adjustabals. ether no rise or thay let the car squat. the rancharos will let it seperate and has all kinds of adjustment.
 

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The 13.35 et was with home made slapper bars. Havent tried the cal-tracks yet.
 

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The CalTracs will help cornering because the side that is being compressed will be stiffer kinda like a sway bar that is only working on one side.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the compressing side is stiffer, is it safe to assume that the effective spring rate is higher for both sides under compression? That is, will Caltracs make the ride harsher?

The attractive thing about an anti-sway bar is that it only has an effect when one side is compressing/extending at a different rate than the other side. It appears to me that the Caltracs may limit the compressing side, but have no effect on the extending side. Is my understanding correct?

Is it also true that once the top bar on the Caltrac is in contact with the spring, the spring is at its highest rate? (I am theorizing that by contacting the top of the spring, it changes the effective length/rate of the spring, thereby giving a variable rate spring. If graphed, the rate of this spring would have a definate knee point where the top bar contacts the spring.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 8BBL427 on 4/9/02 3:27am ]</font>
 

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I used a set of Cal-Tracs. The top hole puts more leverage on the suspension, and plants the tire harder. The bottom hole doesn't plant the tires near as hard.

Most cars that NEED MORE traction run best with the bar in the top hole.

If the car seems to be biting TOO well (it's throwing the rear of the car WAY up in the air and FULLY extending the shocks until they hit their stops, unloading the suspension) the bottom hole will calm things down a bit.

It's neat, If the car was heading for a bump that would make the tires rub, application of the throttle right as the car was hitting the bump would push up on the body and keep the tires from hitting the quarter panels.


The bars work well. Upon installation, just be sure the pivots move freely. This may take some clearancing and fiddling, but is very important.

My car did not like much preload at all. Being a 4-speed, it needed quite a bit of rear suspension movement to absorb the shock of dropping the clutch WFO. Very much preload would make the rear too stiff and kill traction.

For best results with a hard hitting stick car, use fairly soft (but not worn out) springs, and adjustable shocks. Use the shocks to tune the seperation rate. The rebound (extension) resistance is what is adjustable with the Ranchos. '1' is full soft, and '5' is full firm. There is quite a bit of difference between the settings. The springs on the mustang were pretty stiff (probably TOO stiff) and anything over '1' was just too much. My car needs softer springs and a higher setting on the shocks.

Of course if you don't NEED all that rear suspension movement to absorb the shock of dropping the clutch on nitrous, a suspension that moves less will waste less power and make the car go quicker. (auto tranny cars) These cars can also benefit from using the top hole on the Cal-Tracs (if they are getting plenty of traction), as it wastes less power lifting the rear of the vehicle.

Clutch tuning also works it's way in there (if you've got one of those McLeod Soft-Loc sintered iron units). With one of those, a stiffer suspension that moves less can be used, and that extra power can be absorbed by the adjustable (slipping) clutch.


Good Luck!
 

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Thanks Mike Every body seems to allways making power and why not, butvary little on puting it to the ground.
 

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Hey guys, along the same lines of this post I am also going to be making a set of caltrac style bars for my car. I've got a few pics off the net but it's pretty hard to accurately judge the dimensions so was hopeing someone can help me out with some more accurate dimensions;
1) vertical distances from centre of spring front eye bushing to the two different front tie rod mounting positions
2) horizontal distance from centre of same bush to the bolt that goes across on top of the leaf spring.
3) vertical distance from bottom of spring/shockie plate to the rear tie rod mount under the spring/shockie plate.


Thanks...
 

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Where can i buy Cal-Trac bars. I need some bad on my mustang.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the replies guys. FYI, while Calvert Racing does not list bars for the 1964 Fairlane on their website, they have made them in the past, and are more than willing to make them in the future. They quoted me a price of $319 plus shipping, back in October.

Due mainly to the price, I think I am going to order the Traction Masters and a rear sway bar. I want to drag, but I will spend much more time on the highway and back roads.
 
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