lakewood ladder bars ...

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by muscl car, May 28, 2009.

  1. muscl car

    muscl car Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    i'm looking at getting the lakewood ladder bars for my camaro and these are a bolt on application .......... how hard and what's involved in mounting these ladder bars up

  2. bmeyer

    bmeyer Veteran Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    Pennsville, NJ. USA
    I "had" a set on my 72 that were put on buy the previous owner. They bolt to the front spring eye bracket, under the back seat through the floor pan and under two of the bolts on the spring support plate. You would think with that many connections they would work to stop axel hop but they did not. Also found the ears that are next to the U bolts that fasten them to the axel housing were effectively cutting into the axel tube. If you welded everything you may be OK. Needless to say I went back to a set of slapper bars.
  3. masparks

    masparks Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Gas, Kansas
    Thanks for that head-up!!!!!
  4. MadMike

    MadMike Administrator

    Feb 11, 1999
    Dawsonville Georgia
    I had a set too back in the 80's.
    They looked really spectacular, but were about as beneficial as air shocks.
    And we know how useless air shocks are.

    My understanding of ladder bars is they're effective on a coil sprung car or when the rear end is floated. On a locked housing with leaf springs, they'll fight the suspension.

  5. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    I've looked at those before and never understood how they would work better than slappers.

    Sounds like they don't work better. :(
  6. MadMike

    MadMike Administrator

    Feb 11, 1999
    Dawsonville Georgia
    slappers hit the front of the spring, supposedly driving the rear end down.
    Ladder bars lock the rear axle and the front of the spring mounting point together. If the spring tries to flex, the ladder bar will fight it.

    I put slide-a-links on 2 of my cars... the 80z (which probably doesn't need them) and the 73Z, which probably does (4 speed).
  7. CamaroMan79

    CamaroMan79 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    Selah, WA
    I ran them for years with no problems. Didn't have any wheel hop problems either.
  8. muscl car

    muscl car Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    mike what about using housing floaters ........will that help keep them from binding up the rear suspension ?? .right now i'm running landrum mono leafs with aluminum spring eye bushings and has a firm ride right now but tolerable .i'm just trying to build a period correct 70's camaro and ladder bars were popular back then

    looking at your pic of your 80Z those ladder bars look like they're really close to the pavement ...... i don't remember them being that low
  9. MadMike

    MadMike Administrator

    Feb 11, 1999
    Dawsonville Georgia
    I think the floaters is the key. That'll allow the rear axle and the spring to float independant of each other, yet the ladderbar will hold the axle solidly square and everything'll work properly.

    I don't recall how low the bars were, on level with my mufflers up front.

    I never had wheelhop problems either because I have an automatic. So if I floored it I would simply incinerate both tires - but they wouldn't bounce.

    On the other hand, my friend got lit up one night and I wound up driving him home. He had a 4 speed firebird. I dropped the hammer on that thing and the rear axle was bouncing up & down sideways and I about knocked the windshield out of the car. I can recall the glove box door flopping open and all sorts of junk falling out (the car had air shocks). Ladder bars or slapper bars might have mitigated that but not eliminated it (due to the shocks).

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