how to re index a torsion bar?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by dj_mindframe_99, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. dj_mindframe_99

    dj_mindframe_99 Full Access Members

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    I want to torsion crank my truck (99 Expy. E.B. converted from air) I got underneath and noticed that the drivers side has about half the threads showing than the passenger side.

    I would like to re index the drivers side so I can get maximum lift out of this mod. how do I do it?

    has anyone ever heard of getting MORE than two inches of lift?

    I read that about 4 revolutions is equal to 1 inch of lift, I would bet there is more than 8 turns on the pass. side, is what I read accurate?

    does this require me to have an alignment done after I lift the front and back and get new tires? (keeping the stock 17's)

    assuming the lift is 2 inches in the front, with a 17in wheel what can I fit without rubbing at lock? 315/70? 315/65? 305/70? 305/65?

    what if I can get 3 inches out of it?

    the stock running boards are already off.
     
  2. Thermo

    Thermo technical advisor

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    DJ, the torsion bar on the end has a hex piece. When you re-index the torsion bar keys, what you are doing is pulling the arm off of the end and then putting on a new key. THe new key has the hex in a different orientation. This new orientation causes the bar to have more loading on it when the key is in the same position. The additional loading causes the front suspension to sit higher.

    As for the height that you can get, getting up over 2" of lift, you start to max out the front suspension and will lead to the front suspension being limited in downward motion.

    As for needing an alignment, it would be a good idea as you will be causing the tires to run more on the outside edge of the tread.
     
  3. panda24619

    panda24619 Full Access Members

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    and one he missed. the driver side has less thread b/c theres more weight over there. gas tank, and more than likely only the driver. my driver side it torqued up all the way as my passenger side is not.
     
  4. dj_mindframe_99

    dj_mindframe_99 Full Access Members

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    do I need to buy a set or torsion keys? or can I turn the Hex head bolts that are under there to get the lift? this is all brand new to me and whereas everyone seems to know how to do it, I can not find a set of instructions to follow.

    a simpletons explanation would be greatly appreciated. I posted some pictures in the members photo section, there are two photos in that series of the drivers and pass. side torsion bolts.
     
  5. panda24619

    panda24619 Full Access Members

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  6. Thermo

    Thermo technical advisor

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    DJ Mindframe, to get up and over 2" of lift, this will take some work. You can max out the torsion bars as they are now by simply taking a 18mm (?) socket with wrench and turning both bolts in the tighten direction by the same number of turns. I would start with the driver's side as that is going to be the more limiting one. Count the turns on one side and then turn the other side the same number of turns in the same direction. Tada, done. Don't forget to roll the expy a few feet right after doing this as you have caused the tires to shift a little and you are putting additional stress on the suspension until you roll the truck (you are forcing the tires under the truck a little bit). May be advisable to get an alignment done if you are putting in more than 6 full turns. Less, should be good. Steering wheel will tell you if you have a problem or not (wobble side to side as you drive that gets worse the faster you drive).

    Now, to get the 3" like you are wanting. You will need to following things:
    -high lift jack
    -tall jack stands (enough to hold the wheels off of the ground by atleast 3")
    -18MM socket wrench (see above)
    -short piece of metal rod to use as a punch (1/2" to 1" in diameter, about 6" long)
    -Big F'n hammer
    -PB Blaster (apply some at each end of the torsion bars once a day for 3 days prior to doing the job, TRUST ME, YOU WANT TO DO THIS!!!!!!)
    -torsion bar unloader tool (can be rented from any auto parts store for free, just need to put down a deposit)

    Now, for the job. What you are going to do is to lift the front end of the truck up in the air high enough to get atleast 3" of clearance under the tires (more is better, about 6-9 would be ideal). Support the truck by the frame (not the A-arms) in this position. Using the socket wrench, count the number of turns that both of the key bolts are screwed in (this is vital information, not counting can result in the truck not sitting level once done). Write down the number of turns for each side!!!!!!! If needed, use the torsion bar tool to take the load off of the supports that the bolts screwed into. With the keys off of the supports, push the supports out and then ease off of the torsion bar tool to remove all stress off of the torsion bars. At this point, you are going to need the metal rod and the hammer to push the torsion bars forward a few inches. When the bars move forward, the torsion bar key will remain inside the channel of the crossmember. once the key comes off of the torsion bar, drop the key down, find the key that is identical to the one you removed (except for the center being rotated slightly) and then put the new key on the torsion bar. Now, from the front of the truck, push the torsion bar back to where you found it. Using the torsion bar tool (will be needed now), push the new key up a little bit till you can slide the bolt support back into the cross member. Remove the torsion bar tool, insert the bolt (counting the number of turns) and tighten the bolt till it is installed the same number of turns as you found it. Repeat for the other side.

    Your big problem is going to be getting the torsion bars broken loose to slide forward a little bit. This is where the PB Blaster is going to be your friend. You can either bust a knuckle trying to beat the torsion bar out or spend a little time using the PB Blaster. Your call. You may still find the torsion bar a little bit difficult to move even after spraying it a few times.

    Any more questions about installing the keys. It is pretty straight forward once you start doing it.
     
  7. JTKustoms

    JTKustoms Full Access Members

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    i know i went the opposite direction with this ( i lowered instead of lifted) but its the same basic idea. i just got new tbar keys from canuck motorsports which were adjustable for 1-3" of lowering (realistically around 5"). Thermo is right, getting the keys broken loose was the hardest part....mine needed to be persuaded with the torch and an air hammer
     
  8. 2000 Ebony XLT

    2000 Ebony XLT Active Member

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    OK so I am resurrecting this thread ... can the T-bars be fully removed easily once broken free? Mine are showing age and the powder coating is rusted off. I'm thinking of replacing then -- either 7700s or new stock standard suspension

    Thanks!!

     
  9. Thermo

    Thermo technical advisor

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    Ebony, yes, you can break the bars loose. I would recommend soaking each end with some PB Blaster each day for a few days before hand to allow the rust to be dissolved. This will make getting the bars off easier. You can use a 1" steel rod and a BFH to push the torsion bar towards the back bumper. This will get it out of the lower A-arm and then a good hit on the side of the key should allow you to pull the key off of the bar. From there, you can get the bar out of the truck. Worst case, you will have to break the bars loose from the lower a-arms and then remove the cross member to go after the key/bar joint on the work bench.
     

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