# Material selection calculations for DIY traction bars for my truck

• jc0515
In summary, the conversation discusses the complexity of mechanical design and the importance of properly defining the problem and choosing the right formulas. It is noted that most after-market mechanical designs for cars are done through trial and error, which can be costly. The importance of testing and considering potential failures is emphasized. The conversation also mentions Newton's 2nd law of motion as a useful formula in engineering and suggests steel as a suitable material for load-bearing structures in vehicles. The discussion is ultimately closed due to safety concerns.
jc0515
TL;DR Summary
Good afternoon. I am wanting to build a set of traction bars for my truck.They go from the rear of the frame the the axle tube to help limit wheel hop due to the torque. I also want them Because they look cool LOL. What formula could I use so that I pick the correct material to make them out of? My truck weighs around 7k, thank you I attached a photo of what they are.

Welcome to PF.

What material is used to make the ones you can buy off the shelf?

jc0515
Unfortunately, mechanical design is a bit more complicated than someone giving you a simple formula to put numbers in. There are lots of formulas. The knowledge is in choosing and using them properly.

You can't choose the right formula with defining your problem. Like how much force, and in which direction, your structure will experience, how far can it deflect, etc. I don't think you're going to get a "formula" from us unless you can completely define your problem in real engineering terms. The better your definition is the easier it is to choose the formulas (note the plural form here).

I suspect nearly all after market mechanical designs for cars is done by trial and error. The problem with this is the cost of the errors. In any case, whatever method you use, testing with the expectation that things might break is really important.

OTOH, I'll toss one out. Probably the single most important and useful formula in practical engineering: F = ma; Newton's 2nd law of motion.

BTW, I vote for steel, which is what the rest of your truck's load bearing structures are made of.

Spinnor and jc0515
Thread closed temporarily for Moderation (while I try to figure out what the consequences of a traction bar breaking at freeway speed might be...)

Update -- thread will remain closed. A DIY discussion about how to build structural members for vehicles is inherently dangerous, so it's a conflict with the PF rules.

Last edited:
anorlunda and jc0515

## 1. What materials should I use for DIY traction bars for my truck?

The materials you choose for your DIY traction bars will depend on the weight and power of your truck, as well as your budget. Some common materials used for traction bars include steel, aluminum, and chromoly. It is important to choose a strong and durable material that can withstand the weight and force of your truck.

## 2. How do I calculate the length and thickness of the traction bars?

The length and thickness of your traction bars will depend on the size and weight of your truck, as well as the type of material you are using. It is important to consider the weight distribution and balance of your truck when calculating the length and thickness of the bars. You may also need to consult with a professional or do some research to determine the appropriate dimensions for your specific truck.

## 3. What factors should I consider when selecting materials for my DIY traction bars?

When choosing materials for your DIY traction bars, you should consider the weight and power of your truck, the terrain you will be driving on, and your budget. It is also important to choose a material that is strong and durable enough to handle the weight and force of your truck. Additionally, you may want to consider the weight and size of the bars themselves, as this can affect the overall performance of your truck.

## 4. Can I use any type of metal for my DIY traction bars?

No, it is not recommended to use just any type of metal for your DIY traction bars. It is important to choose a strong and durable material that can withstand the weight and force of your truck. Some common materials used for traction bars include steel, aluminum, and chromoly. It is important to do some research and consider the weight and power of your truck before selecting a material.

## 5. Are there any safety precautions I should take when building DIY traction bars for my truck?

Yes, there are some safety precautions you should take when building DIY traction bars for your truck. It is important to wear protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, when working with metal. You should also make sure to properly secure the bars to your truck and test them before driving to ensure they are stable and safe. If you are unsure about any aspect of the construction process, it is always best to consult with a professional or do additional research.

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