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4 link or CalTracs
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aharris05
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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 34

1444.66 points


1968 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: 4 link or CalTracs Reply with quote

anybody have advice on which one to go with? It looks like the Caltracs are a bolt-on upgrade, and lotsa people run them, but is it as good as a 4-link? Most of what I do is driven by cost, and looking thru the catalogs, the 4-link seems less expensive, but how difficult is the install? and then is it less streetable? By the way, the car is a 68 Camaro, multi-leaf 8.5 rear, SBC stroker & TH400.
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Paul P
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Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Posts: 2404
Location: Townsend, Mass.
81616.60 points


1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bang for the buck and ease of install the Cal-Tracs hands down. They do work as good as a 4 link for most applications.
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2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi


Last edited by Paul P on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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af2
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Posts: 5558
Location: grassvalley, ca
71227.76 points


1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul P wrote:
Bang for the buck and ease of install the Cal-Tracs hands down.


Yep bolt up is the easiest..
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the 4 link installs I have seen require a lot of cutting and fabrication for installation and I can't see how it will cost less in the end. Another thing is 4 links have a lot of adjustment which is great if you have a good handle on where everything needs to be as far as upper and lower link postions front and rear, shock settings, spring rates, ride height, etc. Caltracs still have some adjustability but not as much which I personally think is better since you can find your cars "happy" spot quicker. I run Caltracs and love them. Jeep_406 also runs them. Both of us have Nova's which is all but identical suspension wise to your Camaro. I highly recommend the entire package of their springs and shocks also. I have gone through monoleafs, 5 leaf multi's, and finally the Calvert racing split mono's. The split mono's are by far offer the best drivability. Let us know if you need or want specific information to help you decide. Welcome to Smokemup. Clay
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clay wrote:
All of the 4 link installs I have seen require a lot of cutting and fabrication for installation and I can't see how it will cost less in the end. Clay


i dont know crap about Claytra....uhh....Caltracs Wink but i do know that 4-links take some work. good advise here.

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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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aharris05
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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 34

1444.66 points


1968 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend switched his setup from Comp Engring Slide-a-links to Cal-tracs, with spit monos and found no improvement in ET or 60'. I have also heard some stories about the Slide-a-link bending. Have any of you heard of this?
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I initially thought the Slide-a-links would be a more streetable version of the Caltracs but after running the Caltracs myself I can say they don't affect street driving in any way at all that I can tell. I don't personally know of anybody running the Slide-a-links so I can't give any information good or bad. I do know there are guys running low 7's at around 200 mph in the 1/4 using Caltracs so there shouldn't be any issues with parts failure. Clay
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squeeezer
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Joined: 02 Mar 2007
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Location: new richmond WI
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1991 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must not be class limited!!!!
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C'mon - lets not let rules get in the way Very Happy . I'm for making it hook whatever it takes. Clay
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aharris05
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Posts: 34

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1968 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clay - that wheels-up pic of your Nova has me convinced! I'll start saving up for the Caltracs. Thats a nice ride!

One more question - I want to change the gear ratio in the rear before I put it in the car. It came with a 3.08, I bought a 3.73 to swap into it. I did lots of research on the setup, and I think its pretty simple. Do you have any advice on doing this? The most intimidating thing is how to tighten the pinion nut to seat the crush collar. Do I need a massive breaker bar & pipe?
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squeeezer
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Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 2427
Location: new richmond WI
191524.76 points


1991 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont crush it untill you know its set up right...ie pattern
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

throw the crush sleeve away and get a solid spacer with shims. no need for a six foot cheater pipe and 1" breaker bar. work smarter, not harder.
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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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Paul P
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Joined: 15 Aug 2002
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Location: Townsend, Mass.
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long pipes and control creeping up on the preload is not hard. You have to be smart to know how much to tighten the pinion nut incrementally get to the preload on those bearings without going over. If you go over you need to replace the crush collar.
_________________
2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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aharris05
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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 34

1444.66 points


1968 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Clay Bars Reply with quote

Clay - I was just reading an old post where you said you had made the trac-bar setup on your car. I would definitely like to give that a try too. I have been looking at calvert's & comp engrgs pics and the parts look pretty simple. I have an old set of lakewood slapper bars that I could modify as the lower mount. Can you repost the pics that you had on that thread from 2008? I would like to see your approach to the front bracket.
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran the crush sleeve for years but every time I took it apart to swap gears I saw signs where the inner race on the large pinion bearing had been creeping around. I switched to a solid spacer and crank it down and it's what I prefer now. I think it really depends on power level, how hard it hooks, how much you run it and how good your luck is. If you want to use the crush sleeve it isn't that bad to crush it. I have a 3' aluminum pipe wrench for the yoke and a 3/4" drive ratchet. I always have the rear end out and I use a 55 gal. drum to put it on to work on it. Some quick steps for gear setup. 1. Use whatever shim is on the old pinion you take out. Several of us have seen this is very close to where you will wind up. 2. Get another pinion bearing and clearance it with either cartridge rolls, stones or take it to a machine shop and get them to throw it on a rod hone so it slips on easily. Then you can change shims easliy. When you're finished press on the new bearing. 3. As squeezer mentioned, leave the sleeve out until you get the pattern you want. Put both bearings and the yoke on then snug the nut to get some light preload when you check preload. 4. After you have the final pinion shim installed leave out the pinion seal for now and start to crush the sleeve. When you have it crushed until you have some light preload on the bearings take it back apart and install the seal. This prevents wallowing the yoke around in the seal so much while you are crushing the sleeve. Most everything else is standard and you can easily find instructions on it. I'll get some pictures and dimensions on the traction bar setup I made. Do you need shocks or front springs? I have learned over the years you have to look at the total package- front and rear springs, shocks, gearing, converter, tire pressure, launch rpm, etc. to make a car really work. Clay
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