While hanging out at Circle City Hot Rods recently, we noticed a Model A roadster which had been brought in to have some seriously bent ladder bars replaced. With no braces between the upper and lower tubes, the lower tubes had bent, as had the clevises at the axle brackets. Though Jimmy White and his crew had already fabricated a replacement pair, with two braces for added strength, we thought it'd be cool to show you how to make a set of ladder bars, and followed along the next time the guys at CCHR fabbed a pair of their regular ladder bars, which they fit to most of their builds.

They have a purpose-built jig for this job, but it's nothing that couldn't be replicated easily, and it ensures that every ladder bar made is identical. This is important even if you only intend to build one pair for yourself. We also photographed a pair of front hairpins going together, using a temporary jig, which not only shows how simple such a jig needs to be, but also highlights how to fabricate different styles of bars, as the hairpins have curved ends and a Ford tie rod end to mount them to the chassis, though a urethane bush could be used as a substitute for the tie rod in a rear suspension application.

It should be noted before we start that 7/8-inch diameter, 0.156-inch wall DOM tubing was used for both the ladder bars and hairpins. Don't use solid bar or regular steel tube with threaded bung ends, and especially not cheap steel pipe, unless you want your handiwork to fail catastrophically. Also, don't be tempted to use bolts any smaller in diameter than inch for the front mounts on the ladder bars. These two bolts are all that are holding your rear axle in after all, so ensure they're of sufficient diameter and grade. This isn't the place to use cheap hardware store bolts!

SOURCE
Speedway Motors
P.O. Box 81906
Lincoln
NE  68501
4-02/-474-4414
Pete & Jakes
Circle City Hot Rods
866-696-0400
www.circlecityhotrods.com
So-Cal Speed Shop
Pomona
CA
www.so-calspeedshop.com