Traction bars? Are they worth it? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 08-02-2005
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Traction bars? Are they worth it?

Hey everyone, I was looking at some traction bars for my truck... Are they really worth it? I really like the one's that James Duff has, the long link ladder bars. Do they make anything like those? Cuz I heard that you have to drop the gas tank & do a lot of modification to make the James Duff ones work. What are some good traction bars that work well off-road & on road?

Brenton
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Old 08-02-2005
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I dont know if they're good or not, but i've gotta get something to get rid of this damn axle wrap! I'm sure they'd help out alot!
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Old 08-02-2005
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I dont think they are.... The following have broken a set.

1.) Me
2.) Coy
3.) Dano

So no, i got rid of my axle wrap by taking out the rear blocks..
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Old 08-02-2005
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Well, I stand corrected.
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Old 08-02-2005
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If I'm not mistaken, the 3 trucks listed above all had modified engines. The light-duty JD over-the-axle bars that most of us use may not be up to high performance street use but they are fine for the casual off-roading that many of us do.

Besides, the original post was about the heavier duty JD ladder bars. These should be able to handle a high output engine or more aggressive off-roading.

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Old 08-02-2005
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I agree with Bob. Axle wrap is no fun and you need SOMETHING to damp it. I've been running the over-the-spring lighter JD bars and they have not been just "nice" they are, in fact, ESSENTIAL with 35" tires and 4.56 gears!

I ran the truck without them for a time when I did the FX4, 31 spline axle swap and it was not a happy thing.

Those low down ladder bars should be reserved for high horsepower or big tires though as I think they could be a problem with ground clearance without big tires.

Guys running modified engines, doing burnouts, and generally abusing the drivetrain have broken more than the JD bars! They've broken springs for instance (Dan) and what not. So, the small JD bars are fine to prevent axle wrap for normal power and offroading.

If you're going to up your horsepower 50 to 100+ over what it is, and do burnouts or spin the tires climbing rocks or whatever you need something heavier. But I might also suggest you may need heavier axle shafts and so forth as well if thats the case. A heavier (than a 'Stang) truck with high horsepower probably needs something better than a factory 28 spline, 8.8" rear.
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Old 08-02-2005
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I agree with rwenzing and n3elz on the James Duff above the rear springs traction bars. I put on a set 22 months ago and they are the best mod I've done for the money. In addition to reducing axle wrap, they significantly reduce rear wheel hop on bumpy or pothole surfaces. And I've had no problems with mine.
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Old 08-02-2005
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I've had my light duty JD bars on for... well, two whole weeks!

So far I like 'em.. and based on the reports here I don't expect to have any problems w/ them.
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Old 08-02-2005
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I liked mine, till I snapped the plates, then their use was all for naught.
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Old 08-02-2005
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Will I have to modify anything for the smaller JD bars?

Brenton
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Old 08-02-2005
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i dont think there is much clearance issues with the heavy duty bars

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Old 08-02-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGe_wannabe
Will I have to modify anything for the smaller JD bars?

Brenton

i think there is but i thought i heard someone say they were coming out with something for our year range
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Old 08-02-2005
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I thought that that guy w/ the chrome JD bars had to drop his gas tank & a lot of stuff to get them to work?

Brenton
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2005
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I donno but those chrome bars look badass. I bet they cost an arm and a leg though...
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Old 08-02-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGe_wannabe
I thought that that guy w/ the chrome JD bars had to drop his gas tank & a lot of stuff to get them to work?

Brenton

idk if he did or not i could ask him

email sent...
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
i dont think there is much clearance issues with the heavy duty bars

I've seen that truck before.. It is severely modified and lifted IIRC. I think it's running quite large tires too.. at least 33's if not 35's..
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGe_wannabe
Will I have to modify anything for the smaller JD bars?
Yes, but probably not extensively. JD has recently revised the mounting brackets, I've heard they will fit the spring plates on regular 28-spline 8.8 axles. However they require additional modification to fit the wider 31-spline 8.8's found on FX4/LII trucks. All late model trucks will need to have the front mounting plate flattened, which is fairly easy.
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Old 08-02-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
I've seen that truck before.. It is severely modified and lifted IIRC. I think it's running quite large tires too.. at least 33's if not 35's..

look at where they mount tho, he is running on 35s superlift and a 3inch body lift.
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2005
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Uh? So what are you trying to say? That there would be no clearance issue w/o the lift and larger tires? .. If so I'm not sure I'd agree. This photo (from the JD website) is what would worry me:



Given that's under what is probably pretty agressive flex, but there doesn't look to be a helluva lot of clearance there.
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2005
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Good god look at the ground clearance those things sucked up! Lol no clearance problems? maybe if you are climbing over parking lot curbs...
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Old 08-02-2005
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The angle that that pic is taken at is very unfair to the ladder bars. If you look the plate that they mount up too is almost identical in size to your shock mount. and the fact that they angle up and get narrower shows that they do not take up THAT much clearance. Some yes, but not alot. If those would work on my truck I would have them in a heartbeat, but I havent gotten a deffinate word in yet from JD. I called them and they said they would get back to me with an answer...its been months
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2005
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pff...

THESE are heavy duty traction bars...

Name:  tractionbars040.jpg
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i really like mine. i didnt get any wheel hop out in pismo in the sand, didnt get any on trails...none...ever
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey
pff...

THESE are heavy duty traction bars...




i really like mine. i didnt get any wheel hop out in pismo in the sand, didnt get any on trails...none...ever

your are lucky... they are still in test fase with those rcd ones.... im gettin cranky... i want them bad... might go with the jd hd ones....
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2005
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Will the JD one actually work on our trucks without having to make any new plates or anything? I don't mind having to bend the original one or flatten it for that matter, it's just a matter of will it actually work, and who has done it thus far that can speak up on exactly how_to?
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Old 08-04-2005
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  #25  
Old 08-04-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sychodemeanor
Will the JD one actually work on our trucks without having to make any new plates or anything? I don't mind having to bend the original one or flatten it for that matter, it's just a matter of will it actually work, and who has done it thus far that can speak up on exactly how_to?
If you are asking about the simple above-the-axle JD's, the newest version is a near bolt-on for the current trucks. The only thing left to do is to remove the slight bend in the mild steel bracket that mounts the front of each traction bar - very easy to do.

The exception is the FX4 Level II 31-spline axle assembly which has larger axle housings and wider U-bolt spacing. It will take some additional grinding and hole slotting to adapt the JDs to the 2002 FX4 or the 2003-on Level II.
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