A ladder bar is a component used on a vehicle's suspension, and its function is to prevent wheel "hop", on vehicles which have coil springs. The ladder bar attaches to the vehicle's rear end, at the spring perch, and is connected to the chassis, in front of the rear tires. When the accelerator is applied, and the tires begin to get traction, the ladder bar prevents the rear end from "wrapping up", and allowing the rear tires to "hop". It is imperative to prevent wheel "hop", because this can cause damage to the rear end, and many components around the vehicle's rear end.
Ladder bars are commonly used on drag racing vehicles suspensions. In drag racing vehicles, the ladder bar is connected to the rear end, and mounted to a cross member, which is typically located behind the driver's seat. This type of suspension typically uses a coil-over spring shock package, which is mounted behind the rear axle. This design prevents wheel "hop" by stopping the rear end from rotating, while under full throttle conditions. Braking is also enhanced by ladder bars, which prevent the rear end from being rotated, while under severe braking conditions.
The length, and position, of the ladder bar, controls the vehicle's instant center point. The instant center point is an imaginary line, which begins at the rear axle, and goes to the center of the chassis, where the top, and bottom control arms intersect. By making this point close to the center of the vehicle, traction is aided, by placing more downward pressure on the tires. The ladder bar got its name from its resemblance to the common ladder. The ladder bar consists of two long bars, with several smaller bars, which run between the longer bars, like the rungs on a common ladder. The bars on this component, are wide at the rear, and join together at the front. Ladder bars are attached to the vehicle's suspension with heim joints, and grade eight bolts.
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