Traction bars are a great addition to any diesel and are a necessity in high-power trucks. Traction bars are designed to prevent axle wrap and wheel hop. Axle wrap happens when the torque at the rear wheels causes the axle to go the opposite direction of the tires.
From the factory, the rear axle is basically floating on springs and shocks, only attached by U-bolts and the driveshaft. Axle wrap can cause major damage because it stresses the leaf springs till they become deformed, bend, or break the driveshaft.
Traction bars are a solid bar on either side of the axle that connects to the frame with heim joints. This allows the suspension to still function properly while preventing axle wrap. Traction bars make sure all the torque is applied to the wheels and helps keep you going straight down the road without slipping.
Once you lift a truck you are amplifying the amount of axle wrap that the suspension allows. Lift blocks move the axle off of the leaf springs and axle wrap is amplified even more.
Without traction bars, you could have multiple part failures all at once in a high-stress situation; like the person in this lifted Cummins, whose axle literally walked out of his truck!
While the lack of traction bars in this situation are not completely to blame and a boosted launch on lift blocks is never a great idea. Traction bars would have undoubtedly saved this individual’s truck and thousands of dollars of damage.
Traction bars are a necessity if you intend to race or run a lift kit, especially one with lift blocks. If you plan on doing any boosted launches, you can easily gain enough traction to rotate the axle till the driveshaft, or u-joint snap. Do you run traction bars on your truck? Tell us in the comments below!