how to make traction bars

Traction bars, also known as ladder bars or traction devices, are aftermarket components that can improve traction and stability in vehicles, particularly in trucks or vehicles used for towing or high-performance purposes. These bars help prevent axle wrap, which occurs when the axle rotates excessively under heavy acceleration. Here’s a general overview of how to make traction bars:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Steel tubing: You’ll need steel tubing of appropriate size and thickness for your vehicle’s weight and purpose. Common sizes are 2×2 or 2×3 inches with a thickness of around 0.120 inches.
  2. Steel flat stock: For the mounting brackets and other components.
  3. Welding equipment: You’ll need a MIG or TIG welder, welding helmet, gloves, and welding consumables (welding wire or rods).
  4. Measuring and marking tools: Tape measure, marker, square, and level.
  5. Cutting tools: A metal-cutting saw, angle grinder, or reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade.
  6. Drill and drill bits: For creating holes for bolts and fasteners.
  7. Bolts and nuts: To attach the traction bars to your vehicle’s frame and axle.
  8. Paint or primer: To protect the finished bars from corrosion.


  1. Measure and Plan:
    • Start by measuring your vehicle’s frame and axle to determine the appropriate length and positioning for the traction bars. The bars should attach to the frame and the axle at specific points to prevent axle wrap effectively.
  2. Cut Steel Tubing:
    • Cut the steel tubing to the desired length for your traction bars. Make sure the cuts are square and clean for accurate welding.
  3. Create Mounting Brackets:
    • Fabricate mounting brackets from the steel flat stock. You’ll need two brackets for each end of the traction bars—one for the frame and one for the axle. The brackets should have holes for attaching the bars and should be strong enough to withstand the forces generated during acceleration.
  4. Weld Brackets to Bars:
    • Weld the mounting brackets to the steel tubing at the appropriate locations. Ensure that they are level and securely attached. Proper welding is crucial for the strength and safety of the traction bars.
  5. Drill Holes for Fasteners:
    • Drill holes through the brackets to accommodate the bolts that will attach the bars to the frame and axle. The size of the bolts will depend on the weight and intended use of your vehicle.
  6. Test Fit and Weld in Place:
    • Test-fit the traction bars on your vehicle to ensure they align correctly with the frame and axle mounting points. Once you’re satisfied with the fit, weld the brackets to the frame and axle securely.
  7. Paint or Coat for Protection:
    • To prevent rust and corrosion, paint or apply a protective coating to the traction bars. Ensure that the paint or coating is applied evenly and allowed to dry thoroughly.
  8. Recheck and Adjust:
    • Double-check all welds, bolts, and fasteners to ensure they are secure. Make any necessary adjustments to the bars’ alignment or tension.
  9. Test and Fine-Tune:
    • Take your vehicle for a test drive and monitor its performance. If necessary, fine-tune the traction bars’ tension or alignment to achieve the desired results.

Please note that installing traction bars may affect your vehicle’s handling characteristics, so it’s essential to follow proper installation guidelines and consult with professionals if you have any doubts. Additionally, ensure that your modifications comply with local laws and regulations.

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