Solid Hook Up—Longhorn Fab Shop Traction Bar Kit

Torque. It’s the biggest reason most diesel owners are diesel owners to begin with: The massive torque these trucks can produce is what gets a 14,000 lb. trailer moving from the stop light and it’s what helps push an 8000-lb street truck into the 11’s at the drag track. The big three manufacturers (ie: GM, Ram, Ford) all know it and are releasing new engine tune-ups and stronger transmissions every year to continue to be the ‘torque’ leader in an ever so competitive market. However, there’s an often overlooked negative effect to big torque output, and that’s unwanted drivetrain stress and axle wrap, which can create wheel hop under load and heavy acceleration.

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THE SOLUTION

In short, all that torque can put so much load on the drive line, u-joints and rear pinion that the rear axle will try and wrap itself downward as the tires are grabbing traction and trying to propel the truck forward. This wrapping motion will throw the pinion angles off and create a bind in the u-joints leading to premature wear and failure. It can also affect traction with the tires on the ground and create wheel hop and tire slippage, which is an obvious pitfall when trying to get a load moving or get down a sled pull track. To overcome axle wrap issues in high torque applications and even some stock applications, the crew at Longhorn Fab Shop in Brookville, Ohio, looked at creating a budget friendly, easy to install traction bar kit that just about anyone could install themselves in just a few hours.

There is an often overlooked negative effect to big torque output, and that’s unwanted drivetrain stress and axle wrap.

Traction bars are exactly what the name implies, an additional bar added under the vehicle to help locate the axle and prevent it from rotating or “wrapping” under load. Depending on your budget and power level, Longhorn Fab Shop offers traction bar kits to fit both Dodge Cummins and GM Duramax trucks (available with a universal kit that can be used in just about any other application). Their Standard kit uses 2-inch heavy wall tubing, Hot Street rod ends, and Hot Street axle brackets that work well for average daily drivers and towing applications. The slightly more expensive, professional grade kits uses an even heavier walled 2-inch tubing, sturdier axle bracket and a stronger nylon injected Baja Race inspired rod end design for the ultimate in strength for high horsepower competition applications.

NICE BOLT-ONS

As a complete bolt-in kit, the rearward axle brackets will slip right onto your factory axle U-bolts and snug up in place using all the factory hardware. The frame side bracket will need to be marked in place on the frame rail, with three holes per side being drilled through the frame for mounting with the supplied ½-inch Grade 8 hardware. Pre-load on the traction bars can be fine-tuned with the bars installed on the truck, thanks to threaded rod ends. Making the bars longer or shorter by loosening the jam nuts and rotating the bars one way or the other will change the force being put on the axles “idle” location. Offering two different lengths of traction bars to fit short or long bed applications, the Longhorn Fab Shop kits offer both functionality and great looks with the powder coated bars being visible under the truck. Regardless of whether you’re daily driving your truck or using your truck to compete, bolting on a set of traction bars can be a worthwhile investment. It can save you time and money on broken drivetrain parts while helping you plant all that torque to pavement, or dirt, for that matter. DW

1. The Professional Grade Traction Bar Kit from Longhorn Fab Shop will eliminate axle twist under hard acceleration, reducing drivetrain wear and tear, all while reducing wheel hop and gaining traction. As a complete bolt-in kit, it can be installed in just a few hours in the driveway with basic hand tools and the help of a friend.

1. The Professional Grade Traction Bar Kit from Longhorn Fab Shop will eliminate axle twist under hard acceleration, reducing drivetrain wear and tear, all while reducing wheel hop and gaining traction. As a complete bolt-in kit, it can be installed in just a few hours in the driveway with basic hand tools and the help of a friend.

2. Longhorn Fab offers two versions of their traction bar kit, a standard and a professional grade. For this particular application, the professional kit was chosen due to its sturdier axle bracket, thicker bars, and beefier rod ends, which were designed for higher horsepower and sled pull or race oriented trucks.

2. Longhorn Fab offers two versions of their traction bar kit, a standard and a professional grade. For this particular application, the professional kit was chosen due to its sturdier axle bracket, thicker bars, and beefier rod ends, which were designed for higher horsepower and sled pull or race oriented trucks.

3. The first step to the install is removing the factory axle U-bolt nuts and washers. The Longhorn axle bracket will bolt-up using the factory U-bolts and hardware; you’ll simply slide the new bracket onto the U-bolts below the lower axle clamp plate.

3. The first step to the install is removing the factory axle U-bolt nuts and washers. The Longhorn axle bracket will bolt-up using the factory U-bolts and hardware; you’ll simply slide the new bracket onto the U-bolts below the lower axle clamp plate.

4. Notice the stock lower axle U-bolt clamp plate is retained; the professional grade traction bar bracket is just slid onto the axle U-bolts and the stock washers and nuts are reinstalled. The nuts will need to be torqued to 118ft-lbs. Try to tighten these evenly, so all four have the same length of stud showing when tightened.

4. Notice the stock lower axle U-bolt clamp plate is retained; the professional grade traction bar bracket is just slid onto the axle U-bolts and the stock washers and nuts are reinstalled. The nuts will need to be torqued to 118ft-lbs. Try to tighten these evenly, so all four have the same length of stud showing when tightened.

5. One advantage to the Professional Grade kit is the massive rod end links that are supplied. State of the art rod ends use nylon injected, oil impregnated races that were originally designed for Baja race trucks and NASCAR. These provide a long, service and rattle free life.

5. One advantage to the Professional Grade kit is the massive rod end links that are supplied. State of the art rod ends use nylon injected, oil impregnated races that were originally designed for Baja race trucks and NASCAR. These provide a long, service and rattle free life.

6. For GM applications, Longhorn Fab Shop offers two lengths of traction bars, both offered in their standard or professional grade kits. For short bed trucks, a 72-inch bar and long bed applications get an 86-inch bar. The 2-inch heavy wall tubes are pre-welded with threaded bungs and powdercoated.

6. For GM applications, Longhorn Fab Shop offers two lengths of traction bars, both offered in their standard or professional grade kits. For short bed trucks, a 72-inch bar and long bed applications get an 86-inch bar. The 2-inch heavy wall tubes are pre-welded with threaded bungs and powdercoated.

7. Heavy duty threaded bungs accept the massive rod end links, with one reverse thread bung on each bar. Preload on the bars will be able to be adjusted in length (while installed on the truck) just by loosening the jam nuts and turning the bars.

7. Heavy duty threaded bungs accept the massive rod end links, with one reverse thread bung on each bar. Preload on the bars will be able to be adjusted in length (while installed on the truck) just by loosening the jam nuts and turning the bars.

8. After determining which rod end needed to be threaded into each end of the bars, the jam nuts can be spun clear to the rod end, and then the rod end can be inserted into the bars, leaving about a quarter inch of threads sticking out. Remember to allow room for future length adjustment once its installed on the truck.

8. After determining which rod end needed to be threaded into each end of the bars, the jam nuts can be spun clear to the rod end, and then the rod end can be inserted into the bars, leaving about a quarter inch of threads sticking out. Remember to allow room for future length adjustment once its installed on the truck.

9. With the rod ends installed, the bards can be placed under the truck and the Grade 8 ¾-inch bolt slipped through the axle bracket and rod end holding the axle end of the bar in place. No need to tighten the bolt just yet, as the bars may come back out a couple times before final installation.

9. With the rod ends installed, the bards can be placed under the truck and the Grade 8 ¾-inch bolt slipped through the axle bracket and rod end holding the axle end of the bar in place. No need to tighten the bolt just yet, as the bars may come back out a couple times before final installation.

10. On the frame end of the bars, the frame bracket can be attached to the rod end with the supplied 3/4" bolt and then held up against the frame rail so the furthest forward mounting hole can be marked on the bottom of the frame.

10. On the frame end of the bars, the frame bracket can be attached to the rod end with the supplied 3/4″ bolt and then held up against the frame rail so the furthest forward mounting hole can be marked on the bottom of the frame.

11. Setting the bracket and bar aside, the previously marked location on the frame can then be drilled, first with a ¼-inch bit, then finished with a larger ½-inch bit. Only one hole needs to be drilled at this time, as the bracket can then be installed and bolted into place.

11. Setting the bracket and bar aside, the previously marked location on the frame can then be drilled, first with a ¼-inch bit, then finished with a larger ½-inch bit. Only one hole needs to be drilled at this time, as the bracket can then be installed and bolted into place.

12. Bolting the bracket into place with the first hole allows you to use the other two holes already in the bracket as the template for drilling the last two holes in the frame. This ensures they are drilled in the precise spot of the frame so all three holes line up perfectly.

12. Bolting the bracket into place with the first hole allows you to use the other two holes already in the bracket as the template for drilling the last two holes in the frame. This ensures they are drilled in the precise spot of the frame so all three holes line up perfectly.

13. With the frame side bracket holes drilled and the hardware installed and torqued to spec, the traction bar can be installed for the last time. Repeat the process for the opposite side of the truck. All the hardware will need to be torqued to spec, supplied with the kit’s instructions, but be sure to re-torque all the hardware again after driving a few hundred miles.

13. With the frame side bracket holes drilled and the hardware installed and torqued to spec, the traction bar can be installed for the last time. Repeat the process for the opposite side of the truck. All the hardware will need to be torqued to spec, supplied with the kit’s instructions, but be sure to re-torque all the hardware again after driving a few hundred miles.

14. After just the first few miles of driving, you can definitely feel the improvement under harder acceleration. Not to mention, the bars look good and help plant all that power to the pavement while doing it.

14. After just the first few miles of driving, you can definitely feel the improvement under harder acceleration. Not to mention, the bars look good and help plant all that power to the pavement while doing it.

SOURCE:

Longhorn Fab Shop . 855.797.8478 . LonghornFabShop.com