"How to Pull" Part 1: Truck Setup
Well Ive finally had some time to write this up. First time I was almost done and my computer went haywire and I lost it all.
I was going to write it last night but the website was having some problems.
The purpose of this write up is for the pulling rookie who wants to make a few hooks, or the street stock guy who plans on pulling a lot, but doesn’t quite have the full blown truck. The majority of this is just how to pull and what to do to the driveline of your truck. None of it is power related as that is a different topic. There are many other things to do for pulling, but these are the basics.
So here it is, its lengthy but I tried to space it out. Enjoy.
Preparing your Duramax:
1. Front End As many of you know, the IFS on GMs provides a smooth ride, however it has its weak points. The most common failed part in high stress 4x4 applications is The tie rods. To prevent having to walk home from the pull take a few simple steps to relieve stress on your tie rods and/or strengthen them.
a. Lower the torsion bars into the dirt. This not only helps prevent tie rod breakage, but it also gives you a better CV angle and thus less stress on the CV joints. It’s a simple easy thing to do at the track, just let the bars a few turns and away you go. It costs nothing, and should be done no matter what you have done to your truck, from a stock daily driver to a full blown twin everything truck.
b. Tie Rod sleeves. These are massive pieces of solid steel, stainless steel, or billet. They simply slide over your existing tie rods and replace the factory jamb nut. They will prevent tie rod breakage as they basically turn your wimpy tie rod into a 1-1.5” thick tie rod that is virtually bullet proof, but not completely.
c. Centerlink. Our factory centerlink gets the job done, but it has its flaws in competition trucks. Our factory centerlink is curved at both ends which creates a steeper, less straight angle on the tie rods. Replacing it with an aftermarket straight centerlink will give the tie rods a better angle and also keep your front wheels pointed straight. Without it youll be fighting the steering wheel the whole way down the track and will loose some distance because of it. It’s a fairly cheap mod and is easy to install. However it is not 100% necessary.
d. Weight bracket. Hanging weights on the front will help keep the front end down and give you more traction to the front wheels. The rear end will always get traction as that is the physics of pulling. The easiest approach is to make a bracket that slides into the tow hook holes. Look for a write up on this in the future. Check with the sanctioning body first though, as some don’t allow hanging weights in the smaller more stock classes.
e. And finally if you want to get the most out of your front wheels you can install a locker.
2. The rear end on the truck. You can drop the front as much as you want but without doing any mods to the rear suspension your front end will still be in the air and you wont get as much traction to the front as you could.
a. Traction bars. Any form of traction bars will help but for pulling, longer bars will be more suitable. You can make these yourself or buy them. A lot of times they aren’t necessarily streetable though.
b. Suspension blocks. These are a key part in keeping the rear in the air. They are simply just blocks that prevent the rear leaf springs from compressing. Check with the sanctioning body as some require a minimum of 1” travel. If they don’t then jack it up. However, these really shouldn’t be used without a set of traction bars as you may start hopping. And hopping is no good.
c. Overload spring clamps. These are a great addition to the traction bars and blocks. Basically what you are doing is clamping to overload springs to the rest of the spring pack. All you need is square axle u-bolts, and some homemade plates for the bottom. Slip them on a crank them down with a cordless impact.
3. The hitch area.
a. The factory hitch willl work for a couple hooks, but if you plan on pulling a lot, and upgrade is in store. Most every puller runs a Reese Tow Beast. And a lot of sanctioning bodies require it.
b. Pulling hitch. An adjustable hitch is best so that you can always adjust at the pull for the maximum hitch height. If you plan on building one make sure it has at least a 3” eye. Look for a write up in the future. For those guys who just want to pull a couple times, a big twisted clevis will work.
c. Bump stops. These serve one purpose, to prevent the sled from smashing up the back of your truck. Look for another write up in the future as well.
a. Driveshaft loops and u-joint explosion shields, these are for he safety of you, the crowd and the track officials. Check with the sanctioning body for the requirements on how they should be built. The driveshaft hoops will also help prevent a hole in your bed when the driveshaft snaps. Again look for another writie up
b. Turbo cross bolts. A lot of organizations require cross bolts in the exhaust as close to the turbo as practical. These help contain shrapnel when the turbine explodes.
c. Exhaust, most all organizations also require that the exhaust go down or up. So stack(s) and turndown tips are what you are looking at. They don’t have to be permanent, just for pulling.
d. Engine kill switch, when you get up into the bigger pullers youll need some sort of a shutoff routed to the back and terminating in a closed loop. This can simply be a battery cutoff or a full blown air shutoff.
e. The rest of the safety includes helmets, fire extinguishers and SFI approved parts, such as flywheels and tranny blankets. As long as you are pulling work or street stock and under 4500RPm you shouldn’t have to worry about these.
This basically concludes part 1 of the how to pull series. The next two series will be what to do at the pull and how to pull.
If there are any additions or corrections let me know.
Last edited by Durallymax; 11-03-2008 at 10:02 PM.