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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I would like to put Lakewood Traction Bars on my 74 Nova. I love the looks of them on a Nova. It currently has air shocks. I see some traction bars say to not use air shocks. What is the main reason for this and are there any traction bars that can be used with air shocks?

Thanks

Tony
 

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I ran my 69 Firebird with the J-Bolt style slapper bars with air shocks for 30 yrs with no problems. There is a difference on the lower mounting of the shock between mono and multi leaf springs, does your current shocks lower mount on a stud or do they mount between two ears with a bolt going through them? All the traction bars I have seen , use the stud type of shock mounting.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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What type of traction bars are you thinking of installing?
The "universal" type that just attaches to the leaf springs (see below)?
400388

... or the type that replaces the lower shock mount brackets (see below)?
400387

Several years ago, I also ran air shocks with traction bars on my 74 Nova with no issues. I used the Competition Engineering bars that replaced the lower shock mounts. The manufacturer's warning may be due to possible damage the the shock mount ear on the traction bars if the air shocks are inflated to maximum load.

The reason I selected the Competition Engineering (CE) traction bars over the Lakewood bars is because the CE bars placed the rubber bumper under the front spring eyes. IIRC, the Lakewood bars were not as long as the CE bars and the rubber bumpers would hit the portion of the leaf springs in front of the spring eyes (not recommended due to possible bending of the leaf springs).

As firebird69racer (Wade) has already mentioned, I had to remove the stock lower shock mounts with the "ear mount with bolt"... and change to a stud mounted type of shock when installing the CE traction bars.

I now run Caltracs with gas charged rear shocks.... much better ride now!
 

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The reason is, the spring is designed to hold the car. The shock damps the movement of the spring. Using air shocks is trying to support load with the shocks that the mounts were never designed to do. People have done it, the manufacturer is just stating a fact and eliminating their liability.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ran my 69 Firebird with the J-Bolt style slapper bars with air shocks for 30 yrs with no problems. There is a difference on the lower mounting of the shock between mono and multi leaf springs, does your current shocks lower mount on a stud or do they mount between two ears with a bolt going through them? All the traction bars I have seen , use the stud type of shock mounting.
Hello
Thank you. I have a plate under the springs with an ear that a bolt goes through the shock. The lower shock is not a stud mount, but has a bolt that goes between two tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What type of traction bars are you thinking of installing?
The "universal" type that just attaches to the leaf springs (see below)?
View attachment 400388
... or the type that replaces the lower shock mount brackets (see below)?
View attachment 400387
Several years ago, I also ran air shocks with traction bars on my 74 Nova with no issues. I used the Competition Engineering bars that replaced the lower shock mounts. The manufacturer's warning may be due to possible damage the the shock mount ear on the traction bars if the air shocks are inflated to maximum load.

The reason I selected the Competition Engineering (CE) traction bars over the Lakewood bars is because the CE bars placed the rubber bumper under the front spring eyes. IIRC, the Lakewood bars were not as long as the CE bars and the rubber bumpers would hit the portion of the leaf springs in front of the spring eyes (not recommended due to possible bending of the leaf springs).

As firebird69racer (Wade) has already mentioned, I had to remove the stock lower shock mounts with the "ear mount with bolt"... and change to a stud mounted type of shock when installing the CE traction bars.

I now run Caltracs with gas charged rear shocks.... much better ride now!
Thank you. i would like to use a style like the Lakewood or CE that bolts under the springs. Thanks for mentioned the CE are longer-I do recall that they should contact the spring eyes in front and not on the leaves themselves. I have the ear and bolt mount on the bottom too. Are these able to use the air shock with the bolt and ear style lower mount? Thanks Tony
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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I have the ear and bolt mount on the bottom too. Are these able to use the air shock with the bolt and ear style lower mount? Thanks Tony
I do not recall seeing any traction bars (that bolt to the spring perches) that have "bolt and ear style" lower shock mount... but you may be able to modify your existing shocks to work on a stud mount by using the procedures shown below:

I seem to remember that I was able to remove the metal sleeve that was in the lower rubber bushing by...
1 - Taking a very small flat blade screwdriver and prying the rubber bushing away from the metal sleeve just enough to squirt some PB Blaster (or any other type of lubricate) into the space between the sleeve and the bushing (I did this in a few spots around the circumference of the sleeve).
NOTE: Be very careful with the placement of your hands/fingers so you do not hurt yourself just in case the screwdriver slips! ? ?
2 - I then placed the portion of the bottom end of shock over a deep well socket, so the lower bushing was against the deep well socket... but the metal sleeve would slide into the socket as I pounded on the other end of the sleeve with a hammer. Once the metal sleeve was even with the bushing, I was able to take HD vise grips and grab the other end of the metal sleeve and twist/pull it out. The bushing should stay within the shock.

You should now be able to install the "modified" shock on to the traction bar stud using the large washer and nut that should come with the stud type shock mount (you may need to lube the stud and the inside of the lower shock bushing during installation).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do not recall seeing any traction bars (that bolt to the spring perches) that have "bolt and ear style" lower shock mount... but you may be able to modify your existing shocks to work on a stud mount by using the procedures shown below:

I seem to remember that I was able to remove the metal sleeve that was in the lower rubber bushing by...
1 - Taking a very small flat blade screwdriver and prying the rubber bushing away from the metal sleeve just enough to squirt some PB Blaster (or any other type of lubricate) into the space between the sleeve and the bushing (I did this in a few spots around the circumference of the sleeve).
NOTE: Be very careful with the placement of your hands/fingers so you do not hurt yourself just in case the screwdriver slips! ? ?
2 - I then placed the portion of the bottom end of shock over a deep well socket, so the lower bushing was against the deep well socket... but the metal sleeve would slide into the socket as I pounded on the other end of the sleeve with a hammer. Once the metal sleeve was even with the bushing, I was able to take HD vise grips and grab the other end of the metal sleeve and twist/pull it out. The bushing should stay within the shock.

You should now be able to install the "modified" shock on to the traction bar stud using the large washer and nut that should come with the stud type shock mount (you may need to lube the stud and the inside of the lower shock bushing during installation).
Great idea-Thank you very much!

Tony
 
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