Traction bars? Are they worth it? - Page 2 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 08-04-2005
zabeard's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: IN
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here is the info on those chrome JD bars.

JD made "trial" brackets for me to use, and said that
they would be available for sale in other kits soon
thereafter. I don't know the status on that, because
mine worked fine.

Basically there is are front and rear brackets. The
fronts mount (holes have to be drilled) to the frame,
and it was kind of a PITA because I had to lower the
gas tank a bit so that the drivers side bracket could
be mounted. The rears "slip" (it takes some work
getting the u-bolts lined up) over the top of the
u-bolts and mount on top of the stock spring hold down
plate. Then of coarse the bars are mounted in between
the front and rear brackets. Hope that help.
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Old 08-04-2005
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: East Helena, Montana
Posts: 166
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?
A lot of people have bought and installed the "above the rear springs" James Duff traction bars. They're easy to install. But you better have a high quality drill bit that's very sharp, because you have to drill 6 holes through thick steel. Yes, they'll fit. The bars were originally made for Rangers from 82-97. To fit them on Rangers made after 1997 you had to flatten the slightly bent brackets that the front of the bars mount to. Then you also had to saw or grind away part of the rear brackets (which mount under the U-bolt on the middle of the top of the leaf springs) in order to make those brackets fit. As rwenzing say, and I've also read this elsewhere, the kit now sold by JD has those rear brackets modified so that you no longer have to cut them to make them fit the 98 and newer Rangers. When I installed mine 2 years ago the kit came with excellent instructions.

Here's a How-to from TRS:

In reading it, bear in mind that now you probably don't have to cut or grind the rear brackets because JD has apparently modified them to fit the Rangers from 1998 and up. If you order the bars, make sure you tell JD that you have an 01 Ranger and need the kit with the rear brackets cut to fit the 98 and up Rangers.
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Old 08-04-2005
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"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."

Coy has a stick and was launching at very high RPM's. Leo and I are just abusive to vehicals to begin with

Last time I was in Centralia, I rode with Neil in LilBlue. We went to go up a nice hill and the axle wrap was pretty bad. I told him ( like that dell dweeb ) ' Dude, your gettin duff bars '.

I think mine broke more from my own .. ' stupidity '. I tightened down the bushings pretty hard which left no play, thus the plates tore right off the axle taking a U-bolt with it.

I broke a U-bolt on the lakewoods I run now.. nothing is indestructable and everything will break given time.

I'd suggest Duffbars to people running offroad. for the price they can't be beat!

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Old 08-04-2005
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Posts: 4,351
I have a bunch of detailed photos from my recent install on my pbase account below. I have been meaning to do a proper writeup for some time now. Installation is pretty easy.. It would be even easier for a non 31-spline axle, like most of ya'll have in your trucks. The bigger axle in my LII makes for about 4x more work.
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Old 08-04-2005
Sychodemeanor's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 213
Yes I am well aware of the fact that the top mount traction bars will work. I'm more interested in the latteral traction bars that mount underneith and far forward on the frame. I personally like the look better for one and believe that they would work better than the top mounts...I could be wrong though.
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