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amcjunky 01-02-2010 04:36 PM

ladder bar help
hello all this is probly going to be a stupid questions but i am trying to install my ladder bar suspension on my 1971 amc javelin and i am having trouble with leveling the car out

what are some ways of going about this? i don't know what to use as point of reference to start with

thanks justin

Tod74 01-03-2010 09:41 AM

I highly recomend the book "DOORSLAMMERS" it is about $30 but well worth it.

amcjunky 01-03-2010 11:07 AM

well its level now and i got the front cossmember in and everything " mocked up.

the problem i am having now is the cross member it self is 5 1/4 lower then the rest of my car. I am using the square 2" X 3" cross memeber at the moment. would the round cross member give me much more ground clearence?

sorry if i sound dumb and what not just i have never done this kinda thing before and i am young and this is a new world for me

thanks for any input you guys can give me

Tod74 01-03-2010 11:28 AM

My car is a ladder bar car,it has the round crossmember. It is pretty low but not anywhere near 5 inches low I don't think.My car also has the 2x3 rear frame. I would want to start out with the bar level to the ground while in the middle hole. Level to the ground is usually where they work good at so if you are level and in the middle hole you will have adjustment either way. JMO I bought my car as a roller from an old guy and it has always worked well so no real experience tuning it.

amcjunky 01-03-2010 12:24 PM

well what i was told and from reading on the net is that when you put in the ladder bar system you put everything in the middle so you have all of those adjustments. and this is a unibody car with home made frame connectors( not done by me)

Tod how much lower is your cross member then the bottem of your from?

thanks justin

Tod74 01-03-2010 01:22 PM

My crossmember is between the frame railes not below.My car has a full 2x3 frame from the stock clip back... My front mount on the bars is in the lowest hole on mine...if you squat down on your knees and look under the car you can see the heims joint and bolt just below the frame and the bar is level with the ground. I would go out and measure it for you but I'm not at home right now.

cam67152 01-03-2010 02:35 PM

Does your cross member install on the rockers or on the frame? Is this a street car or drag car? What brand bars are they?
You need to make sure you have the car at ride height when you mount the x-membre and your brackets to your housing so your pinion angle is correct with the front of your ladder bars in the middle hole, the bottom bar should be level with the car. Make sure every thing is square, I measure from the grease nipple on the bottom ball joint back to get the lenght equal on the X-membre, then measure from the front right ball joint to the left rear of the front ladder bar bracket, then front left to right rear. this measurement should be equal. This is tedious work that is time consuming double check everyting.


amcjunky 01-03-2010 02:47 PM

ok so what I did to get the car level was took a level on the door sills to find out if the car is level from front to back and then to level from side to side I put the level on the front rad support and on my fuel cell in the trunk.

the ladder bar setup itself is from competition engineering and the cross memeber is between the frame rails (well between the frame connectors)

I have the jack stands located on the front frame and on the "slapper" bars in the rear the rear end is still attached to the orignal leaf springs.

cam67152 01-03-2010 03:26 PM

Okay, are you using your leaf springs to support the car or are you going to use coilovers? If this is a drag car with solid rod ends on the ladder bars you'll want 0-1 degree pinion angle. If you are using the springs to support the car you will need a rear axle floater kit or you'll have serious binding! I suggest coilovers.
If your using coilovers, remove the springs, have your car at ride height with the size of tire your using, you can support the rear of the CAR, support the rear AXLE and centre it under the car, rotate rear axle to the pinion angle, assemble the bars according to the instuctions, make sure they are equal. install brackets to bars, with the bars in middle hole they sould be level with ground, make sure they are square and tack them on.
Once tack double check everything! then weld up solid if everything check out.


cam67152 01-03-2010 03:35 PM

make sure you have two of the large washers on each side of the front rod ends (between rodend and bracket)when you mount them, or the small bolts on the retainer brackets wont clear.

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