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Boost Your Performance: How to Adjust Caltracs for More Bite

To adjust caltracs for more bite, tighten the spring adjustments to increase the load on the rear suspension. This will provide better traction and improved performance.

When it comes to getting the most out of your vehicle’s suspension, making adjustments to the caltracs system can greatly enhance its performance on the road or track. Caltracs are designed to help control wheel hop and provide additional traction during hard acceleration.

By tightening the spring adjustments, you can increase the load on the rear suspension, resulting in improved bite and traction. We will discuss how to adjust caltracs for more bite, providing you with the knowledge you need to optimize your vehicle’s suspension and achieve better performance. Follow these steps and get ready to take your driving experience to a whole new level.

Boost Your Performance: How to Adjust Caltracs for More Bite


Understanding Caltracs: An Introduction

Caltracs are an essential component when it comes to enhancing the performance of your vehicle. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or simply looking to improve the traction and stability of your daily driver, understanding caltracs is crucial. In this section, we will delve into the basics of caltracs and highlight their impact on your vehicle’s performance.

Additionally, we’ll emphasize the importance of adjusting caltracs for optimal bite, ensuring you get the most out of this upgrade.

What Are Caltracs?

  • Caltracs, short for “traction bars,” are mechanical devices installed on the rear suspension of a vehicle.
  • They are designed to improve traction, reduce wheel hop, and enhance straight-line acceleration.
  • Caltracs consist of a pair of steel bars attached to the rear axle and the chassis, creating a triangle-shaped linkage mechanism.

How Do Caltracs Impact Performance?

  • Caltracs play a crucial role in transferring power to the ground effectively, optimizing traction for maximum grip.
  • By reducing wheel hop, caltracs ensure that the rear tires stay firmly planted on the road or track during acceleration, allowing for smoother launches.
  • Improved traction achieved through caltracs can result in quicker acceleration times and reduced 60-foot times, making them especially beneficial for drag racing applications.

Importance Of Adjusting Caltracs For Optimal Bite

  • Adjusting caltracs is essential to achieve the desired level of traction and bite based on your vehicle’s specific setup and conditions.
  • Proper adjustment ensures that the caltracs provide optimal control and stability without sacrificing ride quality.
  • By fine-tuning the caltracs, you can maximize their performance potential and reap the benefits of improved traction and reduced wheel hop.

Understanding the fundamentals of caltracs is key to harnessing their full potential for your vehicle’s performance. As we explore further, we’ll dive into the step-by-step process of adjusting caltracs to enhance their effectiveness. Stay tuned to learn how to fine-tune this valuable suspension upgrade for optimal bite and unleash the true potential of your vehicle’s traction.

Factors Affecting Caltrac Adjustment

When it comes to adjusting caltracs for more bite, there are several factors to consider. These factors play a crucial role in optimizing your suspension setup and weight distribution, ensuring your caltracs system performs at its best. Additionally, the type of vehicle and application, as well as the terrain you’ll be encountering, can also impact the effectiveness of your caltrac adjustment.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:

Suspension Setup And Weight Distribution

  • Proper suspension setup is essential for maximizing the performance of your caltracs. Consider the following points:
  • Ensure your suspension components are in good condition and properly aligned.
  • Check and adjust your shock absorbers to optimize their dampening characteristics.
  • Fine-tune your rear leaf spring stiffness to achieve the desired weight transfer during acceleration.
  • Optimize the placement and adjustment of your sway bars to improve stability and reduce body roll.
  • Balance the weight distribution between the front and rear of your vehicle to achieve optimal traction.

Type Of Vehicle And Application

  • Different types of vehicles and applications require different caltrac adjustments. Take into account the following factors:
  • Heavy-duty trucks or vehicles with high torque output may require stiffer caltrac settings to handle the increased power.
  • Lighter vehicles or those used for drag racing may benefit from softer adjustments to allow for improved weight transfer.
  • Consider the specific requirements of your vehicle and its intended use to determine the most suitable caltrac adjustment.

Terrain Considerations

  • The terrain you’ll encounter plays a vital role in determining the ideal caltrac adjustment. Consider the following factors:
  • If you frequently encounter uneven or bumpy surfaces, a softer adjustment may be necessary to maintain traction.
  • For off-road applications or rough terrains, stiffer caltrac settings can help prevent bottoming out and maintain stability.
  • Different terrains may require fine-tuning of your caltrac adjustment to optimize traction and vehicle handling.

Remember, the key to adjusting caltracs for more bite lies in understanding the factors that affect their performance. By taking into account your suspension setup and weight distribution, the type of vehicle and application, and the terrain you’ll be driving on, you can make informed adjustments to optimize traction and improve overall performance.

Step-By-Step Guide To Adjusting Caltracs

If you’re looking to maximize the performance of your vehicle, adjusting your caltracs can provide the extra bite you need. Caltracs are an effective traction system that helps transfer power to the ground, particularly in drag racing applications. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to adjust caltracs for more bite:

Determining The Starting Point For Adjustment

Before making any adjustments, it’s essential to establish the baseline settings. Here’s how you can determine the starting point for adjustment:

  • Measure the ground clearance of your vehicle both at the front and the rear.
  • Take note of the weight distribution between the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Understand the current setting of the caltracs by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions or manuals.

Adjusting The Front And Rear Tension Bars

The tension bars play a crucial role in controlling the suspension movement and weight transfer. Follow these steps to adjust the front and rear tension bars properly:

  • Loosen the bolts on the front and rear tension bars.
  • Adjust the length of the tension bars according to the desired setting.
  • Tighten the bolts and ensure that they are secure.

Setting The Pinion Angle Correctly

The pinion angle refers to the angle between the driveshaft and the pinion gear in the rear differential. Setting the pinion angle correctly helps prevent driveline vibrations and ensures optimal power transfer. Here’s how you can set the pinion angle:

  • Use a jack to raise the rear of the vehicle, allowing the suspension to fully extend.
  • Measure the angle between the driveshaft and the pinion gear using an angle finder tool.
  • Adjust the pinion angle by shimming the rear axle or using adjustable control arms until the desired angle is achieved.
  • Secure the adjustment by tightening the bolts.

Ensuring Proper Preload On The Bushings

Proper preload on the caltrac bushings is essential for maintaining stability and preventing excessive suspension movement. Follow these steps to ensure proper preload on the bushings:

  • Loosen the bolts that secure the caltrac bushings.
  • Apply a preload by tightening the bolts until the bushings compress slightly.
  • Check for any excessive movement or binding in the bushings.
  • Adjust the preload if necessary, ensuring a proper balance between firmness and flexibility.

Fine-Tuning The Caltracs For Optimal Bite

Once you have adjusted the basic settings, it’s time to fine-tune the caltracs for optimal bite. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Adjust the angle of the caltrac bars to fine-tune weight transfer and traction.
  • Experiment with different adjustments to find the sweet spot for your specific vehicle and driving style.
  • Monitor the performance of your vehicle after each adjustment and make further tweaks if needed.
  • Seek expert advice or consult with experienced caltracs users for additional tips and guidance.

Remember, proper adjustment of caltracs requires patience and experimentation. Take the time to understand your vehicle’s specific needs and make adjustments gradually. With these steps, you’ll be on your way to achieving maximum bite and improved performance on the track.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to adjusting caltracs for more bite, there are a few common mistakes that many people make. It’s important to avoid these errors to ensure you get the best performance out of your vehicle. In this section, we’ll discuss three key mistakes and how to avoid them.

Over-Tightening The Tension Bars

One of the biggest mistakes people make when adjusting caltracs is over-tightening the tension bars. While it may seem logical that tighter bars would provide more traction, this is not always the case. Over-tightening can actually cause the rear suspension to bind up, limiting its ability to transfer weight to the tires, and resulting in reduced traction.

To avoid this mistake:

  • Start by loosening the tension bars until they are just snug.
  • Gradually tighten them in small increments, testing the vehicle’s performance after each adjustment.
  • Pay attention to how the vehicle reacts and stop tightening when you find the optimal setting for your specific needs.

Neglecting To Check And Adjust The Pinion Angle

Another common mistake is neglecting to check and adjust the pinion angle. The pinion angle refers to the angle between the driveshaft and the rear axle. A misaligned pinion angle can result in driveline vibrations and poor traction. Here’s how to avoid this mistake:

  • Use a digital angle finder or a protractor to measure the angle of the driveshaft and the angle of the axle.
  • Adjust the pinion angle by using shims or adjustable control arms to align the two angles.
  • Test the vehicle’s performance and make further adjustments if necessary.

Ignoring The Importance Of Bushing Preload

Lastly, many people overlook the importance of bushing preload when adjusting caltracs. The bushing preload refers to the amount of compression in the bushings, and it plays a crucial role in the suspension’s ability to transfer weight and provide traction.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Start by checking the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended bushing preload.
  • Adjust the preload by tightening or loosening the bolts that secure the bushings.
  • Test the vehicle’s performance and make fine-tuning adjustments if needed.

Remember, when adjusting caltracs for more bite, it’s crucial to make incremental adjustments and test the vehicle’s performance after each change. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to optimize your vehicle’s traction and get the most out of your caltracs system.

Benefits Of Proper Caltrac Adjustment

Properly adjusting your caltracs can greatly enhance the performance of your vehicle, particularly in terms of traction, stability, and control during acceleration. By fine-tuning this important component, you can experience several key benefits, including:

  • Improved traction and launch performance: Adjusting your caltracs allows for better weight distribution, ultimately improving traction. This improved traction results in better launch performance, enabling you to get off the line quicker and with increased confidence.
  • Enhanced stability and control during acceleration: Caltracs adjustments help to keep your vehicle stable and maintain control during acceleration. By preventing excessive squatting or lifting of the rear end, you will experience improved stability, which in turn leads to better control on the road or track.
  • Reduction in wheel hop and axle wrap: Wheel hop and axle wrap can significantly hinder vehicle performance by causing unnecessary vibrations and reduced stability. Proper caltracs adjustment mitigates these issues by reducing wheel hop and limiting axle wrap, resulting in a smoother and more controlled ride.
  • Increased overall vehicle performance: By optimizing the adjustment of your caltracs, you can enhance the overall performance of your vehicle. Improved traction, stability, and reduced wheel hop contribute to a more efficient power transfer to the wheels, resulting in increased performance and better lap times.

Adjusting your caltracs to achieve these benefits can be done by fine-tuning the angle of the caltrac bars, adjusting the spring preloading, and ensuring proper suspension alignment. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek professional assistance if needed to ensure that the adjustments are done correctly.

So, if you’re looking to maximize the potential of your vehicle, optimizing your caltracs adjustment is an essential step. With increased traction, enhanced stability, and improved overall performance, you’ll be well on your way to dominating the road or track.

Troubleshooting And Fine-Tuning

Addressing Issues With Excessive Wheel Hop

Excessive wheel hop can be a frustrating issue to deal with when it comes to maximizing traction and performance with your caltracs. Luckily, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to address this problem:

  • Inspect for damaged or worn components: Check all the caltrac components, including the bars, bushings, shackles, and mounts, for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any parts that appear to be worn out or broken.
  • Adjust the caltracs: Fine-tuning the caltracs can help reduce wheel hop. Follow these steps for optimal adjustment:
  • Loosen the locknut on the front mounting bolt of the caltracs.
  • Turn the adjuster on the front mount clockwise to increase preload or counterclockwise to decrease preload.
  • Tighten the locknut once the desired adjustment is achieved.
  • Consider the pinion angle: Improper pinion angle can contribute to wheel hop. Use a pinion angle finder tool to measure the angle and make adjustments as needed.
  • Check tire pressure: Inflating or deflating your tires to the recommended pressure can also help reduce wheel hop. Make sure all tires have equal pressure.
  • Inspect the rear suspension: Examine the rear suspension components, such as the shocks and leaf springs, for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts.

Fine-Tuning Caltracs For Specific Track Conditions

Fine-tuning your caltracs for specific track conditions can make a noticeable difference in traction and performance. Consider the following tips:

  • Adjust preload: Increasing or decreasing the preload on the caltracs can optimize traction for different track conditions.
  • For a stickier track, increase the preload to maximize weight transfer and traction.
  • For a looser track, decrease the preload to allow the suspension to absorb more of the track’s surface irregularities.
  • Experiment with hole positions: Caltracs typically have multiple mounting holes, allowing you to adjust the leverage and weight transfer.
  • Lower hole positions provide greater leverage and weight transfer, suitable for tracks with minimal traction.
  • Higher hole positions reduce leverage and weight transfer, beneficial for tracks with better traction.
  • Fine-tune with weight distribution: Adjusting weight distribution can further enhance caltrac performance.
  • For optimal traction, try shifting weight towards the rear of the vehicle.
  • Experiment with different weight distribution techniques, such as relocating batteries or using ballast weights.

Understanding The Impact Of Adjustments On Other Suspension Components

When adjusting your caltracs, it’s crucial to understand how those adjustments can affect other suspension components. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Increased stress on rear axle: Increasing the preload on the caltracs can result in increased stress on the rear axle. Ensure your axle and associated components are sturdy enough to handle the additional load.
  • Potential changes in ride quality: Adjustments to the caltracs can impact the overall ride quality of your vehicle. Be prepared for potential changes in stiffness, handling, or comfort.
  • Alignment considerations: Fine-tuning the caltracs might require adjustments to the vehicle’s alignment settings. Consult with a professional or utilize alignment tools to ensure proper alignment after making caltrac adjustments.
  • Regular maintenance and inspections: Monitoring the condition of caltrac components, as well as other suspension parts, is essential. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify potential issues before they negatively impact performance.

By troubleshooting excessive wheel hop, fine-tuning the caltracs for specific track conditions, and understanding the effects of adjustments on other suspension components, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your caltracs for more bite and improved performance on the track.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Adjust Caltracs For More Bite

Can Caltracs Be Adjusted For More Bite?

Yes, caltracs can be adjusted to increase traction and improve your vehicle’s performance on the track or street.

What Are The Benefits Of Adjusting Caltracs?

Adjusting caltracs can enhance traction, prevent wheel hop, improve launch consistency, and provide better control and stability.

How Do I Adjust Caltracs For More Bite?

To adjust caltracs, you can tighten or loosen the bolt on the lower bar, depending on your desired traction level.

Can I Adjust Caltracs Myself Or Do I Need Professional Help?

You can certainly adjust caltracs yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions, but professional assistance is recommended for optimal results.

What Are Some Tips For Adjusting Caltracs Effectively?

Ensure that you have the right tools, consult the instruction manual, make incremental adjustments, and test the results to fine-tune your caltrac settings.


After reading this guide on how to adjust caltracs for more bite, you should now have a clear understanding of the steps involved in optimizing your vehicle’s traction and performance. By properly adjusting your caltracs, you can enhance your vehicle’s launch characteristics and overall stability.

Remember to start with a baseline adjustment and then fine-tune based on your specific needs and preferences. Pay close attention to your vehicle’s reaction to each adjustment and make small incremental changes until you achieve the desired results. Keep in mind that proper maintenance and regular inspections are also important to ensure optimal performance.

With the knowledge and guidance provided you are now equipped to take control of your vehicle’s handling and enjoy a more exhilarating driving experience. So, go ahead and put these tips into practice to unlock the true potential of your vehicle’s caltracs.

John Thompson

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