Word of the Day: Slapper Bars

Know how you could instantly I.D. one of the cool kids in high school back in the day? Their Chevelle sported slapper bars–ideally yellow ones, but plain black was also acceptable. You can still buy a new pair for 50 bucks from Summit Racing.

 

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Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/23/20 9:20 a.m.

[portal] The rest of the story is a lie. [/portal]

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/23/20 9:29 a.m.

One of the football players at my high school had a '74 Camaro. Blue, slot mags, jacked up in the rear. And, yes, traction bars. 

I rode a Honda scooter. Beep, beep. 

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
1/23/20 9:35 a.m.

I thought about getting a pair for my jeep. The old springs are 295k soft and I wheel hop sometimes. Haven't figured out if they actually do anything.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/23/20 9:37 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

(I figured that makes it funnier.)

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
1/23/20 10:42 a.m.

I am really enjoying the words of the day the last 4-5 days.  I still have a pair of vintage ones in the barn at my dad's, but everything i build now has link rear suspension and coilovers.  One day maybe 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/23/20 10:46 a.m.

Slapper bars are cooler than cal tracs any given day.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/23/20 11:51 a.m.

I didn't fully understand Slapper Bars until the day in high school when I drove past a gas station and saw a kid trying to pop the clutch on a '69 Camaro with a dead battery. Then it all made sense.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/23/20 8:11 p.m.

See also: Did everyone's high school have tire marks leaving every speed bump?

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/23/20 8:20 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

Slapper bars are cooler than cal tracs any given day.

I mean, yeah, they won't work nearly as well, but neither do N50-15 Pro-Trac tires compared to modern rubber.  But you just GOTTA do it.

 

(who remembers the Pro-Trac ads with the gloved hands pulling strings of gooey rubber off of a tire?)

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/23/20 8:23 p.m.
Woody said:

I didn't fully understand Slapper Bars until the day in high school when I drove past a gas station and saw a kid trying to pop the clutch on a '69 Camaro with a dead battery. Then it all made sense.

 

Yes it's backwards.  No I don't care.

 

 

Chrysler used to have special drag racing springs that had extra short front halves that were clamped together tightly.  Like having slapper bars without the bars.  Chrysler did a lot of neat stuff in the 60s.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
1/23/20 10:05 p.m.

I put a set on my 65 mustang. Sure they seem hokey but they made a dramatic improvement on those ancient leaf springs. $20 well spent at the swap meet. 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
1/24/20 8:39 a.m.

A Chevelle with slapper bars? Really? OK How?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/24/20 8:44 a.m.

In reply to NOT A TA :

remove 4 link and install... come on it's not that hard.. 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
1/24/20 8:47 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

In reply to NOT A TA :

like that.

OK then! Never saw a set and I grew up in the 70's era when there was a whole parking lot full of Chevelles at the high school I went to. But I parked in the 1st gen Camaro lot so maybe there was one I didn't see. Only leaf spring cars were seen with them where I was.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/24/20 8:54 a.m.

In reply to NOT A TA :

it's a joke cause you're removing the 4 link.. don't know what happened when I edited my post.. hahah :)  and they're ladder bars and not slapper bars... 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/24/20 9:01 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

In reply to NOT A TA :

[A]nd they're ladder bars and not slapper bars... 

No, THESE are ladder bars - note their similarity to, well, ladders.  Also note that the forward end is solidly mounted to the frame in the second pic.

 

What Starburns posted are slapper bars, because the snubber out at the end of the lever arm was not secured to the car, and didn't touch the suspension when at rest.  Under load, it would rotate into contact with the front leaf spring mount, 'slapping' it.

 

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
1/24/20 9:12 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

All of the MoPars had shorter front sections that rear, but the Direct Connection Super Stock springs were based on the A body spring length, which was shorter than the B and E body front sections.  They also had different spring counts between left and right, and would run half leaves that would only go from the axle forward on performance models.




I spent a ton of time pouring of the Direct Connection "Chassis Secrets" book (another cool thing that MoPar did for the little guys) when I had my Challengers and Road Runner.


Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/24/20 9:19 a.m.

In reply to Cooter :

That's kind of the advantage to leaf springs, they work a lot like ladder bars.

 

The downside is, they work a lot like ladder bars...  smiley

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/24/20 9:21 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

the video shows ladder bars..  It's a joke..

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/24/20 9:24 a.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

Ah, I didn't watch the video. yes

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
1/24/20 9:29 a.m.

Made a set sized for the S10 that didn't make it to the challenge last year.  Hoping I still get an opportunity to use them.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
1/24/20 5:30 p.m.

Just proves, any suspension will work if you don't let it.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/24/20 8:09 p.m.
noddaz said:

Just proves, any suspension will work if you don't let it.

Oh no.  The suspension is allowed to move.  The beauty of slapper bars is that by making the front half of the spring rigid after a certain amount of rotation, the axle's instant center is where the spring eye is.  This translates into huge amounts of antisquat to drive those hard old bias-ply tires into the ground and generate traction.  If the suspension wasn't allowed to move, this couldn't happen.

 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
1/24/20 11:20 p.m.

Chevelle with Ladder bars yes, slappers no. I didn't watch the video or notice it said LADDER ahahaha.

I've got a set of the good Lakewoods ready to go for 67-8 Camaro! Only a couple hundred miles on them and no track use. Who needs um? I'm hoping not to not put them back on my '67 but don't have any stock shock plates.

[URL=http://s240.photobucket.com/user/NOTATA/media/car%20stuff%20to%20sell/20170610_125220_zpsmjnbah5v.jpg.html][/URL]

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/25/20 8:43 a.m.

Berk it.  I was going to make my RX-3 into a severious rallycross machine with a Volvo 740 front suspension and a Gp4 Escort 4-linked rear suspension,  but now I'm going to drag race it and do all the 13B+Nitrous at it and run slapper bars on the leaf springs because fusion of modern  and seventies.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
1/25/20 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Yes please

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
1/25/20 1:57 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

No, you should do the rallyx thing. Anything that moves you out of PF I'm in favor of. I'm tired of getting destroyed by a Volvo that's 1000 pounds heavier than my car.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/25/20 2:25 p.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

I haven't run PF since 2017 because I sold that car off... and it weighed about 3000lb.

 

Alex on the other hand is very happy that I'm not in PF anymore smiley

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