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Author Topic: Adjusting Torsion Bars  (Read 19983 times)
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dday
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« on: 04/06/03 01:28 PM »

Anyone adjusted the torsion bars to level the front and back of the AV out??  If so any problems?  I adjusted mine and not sure if Im happy with it.   Only lifted the front end.  It looks good but want to make sure Im not going eat tires or mess anything else up.  Wanted to get your opinions.  Thanks in advance.

dday
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« Reply #1 on: 04/06/03 01:39 PM »

Anyone adjusted the torsion bars to level the front and back of the AV out??

I've adjusted mine all the way but my truck still wasn't level. I've got the front one inch over stock at the moment.
Only lifted the front end.

Thats all it should do.
It looks good but want to make sure Im not going eat tires or mess anything else up

You will eat tires unless you have your truck aligned...NOW.
We've got a few threads already on this topic if you want to read more about it, run a search.

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« Reply #2 on: 04/06/03 01:42 PM »

My bars are cranked all the way up - I agree with Simtech - My Av was in the shop for other work when I asked them to crank them up - they wouldn't do it without me agreeing to have it aglined on the spot - it cost me $100 and it took them about an hour to get it all adjusted.
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dday
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« Reply #3 on: 04/06/03 03:00 PM »

From the sound of it I guess I'd better get them aligned tomarrow at lunch.  Thats probably why it feels so much different driving.  Thanks!

dday
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11H
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« Reply #4 on: 04/06/03 04:33 PM »

dday,,,

Here's a post I posted a while back concerning this ...

"""

To Answer:

I have had 3 trucks from '00 to '02 with this new "revised" front suspension... The primary parts that are stressed when "cranking" the torsion bars, or should I say increasing the pre-load on the torsion bars, are the Lower Ball joints, and the Half-Shafts...

The older body style Chevys were notorious for the above parts failing pre-maturely when cranking the torsion bars... The new trucks have "better" control arm geometry, and this is less of a concern, but a concern nonetheless!

Another thing that happens that hardly anyone thinks of when cranking the torsion bars is, suspension down travel... The factory ride height is about 60/40 on the front right now... This means out of the 100% range of movement of the front suspension, the distance available is 60% downward, 40% upward... If you have the bars cranked up, this ratio goes the other way... So, if you go over a large enough dip, or have an emergency stop, the truck re-bounding into the air CAN reach it's downward limit, and pull a shock apart, or destroy the valving inside of itself...

As far as the new truck's half shafts, cranking the factory keys shouldn't increase the shaft angles to the point of being hurtful... Unless you are off road, and have that tire in the air, and crank the wheel all the way to one side, and apply power... This even in stock torsion bar setting can hurt a CV boot/joint ...  

I put 40,000 miles on my 2000 Silverado Z71 Xtra Cab with cranked torsion bars, and had no pre-mature wear or failures... BUT, I did grease the front end every 5,000 miles ... Personally, I would stay away from the Aftermarket or Ford Keys ... You're asking for trouble ... The temptation is there due to the cost factor, but if you want something for nothing, you will probably pay later ... The guys that sell these things TELL YOU it's ok, but are they gonna repair your truck for you if it's not? ... Just trust me on this one...

I have a good friend who is Shop Foreman of a Chev Dealership, and also he's been a Driveline Specialist on GM trucks for 17 years... He told me when I wanted to crank my torsion bars up, to leave 2 threads showing on the adjustment bolts MAXIMUM AND NO HIGHER !!!

You will get about 1-1.5 inches out of that much ... Make sure you lift the truck before adjusting the bolts, because it's a lot of stress on them to turn the torsion bars loaded ... Try to keep your side to side adjustment the same ... Do this on level ground only to assure good measurement ... Once you make an adjustment, measure from the ground to the center of the wheel well in a straight vertical line ... I usually draw an imaginary line through the center of the wheel, and measure above and below that point ... After making an adjustment to both sides, drive truck around the block, and park in same place... Measure, and try to keep both sides the same... This might require different adjustments on either side, but not excessive... Have a full tank of gas, and if you like, have a person sit in driver's seat ...

Finally, you will have to re-align the truck... THIS IS A FOR SURE THING, DON'T DRIVE TOO LONG !!! ... CAMBER WILL BE OFF, ALONG WITH TOE A LITTLE BIT ... And depending on your Caster setting from factory, it might need to be nudged too ... I have found that some of our AV's actually come from the factory with NEGATIVE CAMBER, I think for comfort reasons... At this point, if you have NEGATIVE CAMBER, it's a good thing to turn up the torsion bars a little...  

The final result will be about a 20-30% harsher ride than what you have now, and a little more stress on the front suspension, that might wear your parts out a little faster, but it's probably a minimal concern...  The downtravel issue is a concern, but if you're not attempting to get airborne or nearly airborne, then cool... Just be aware of the issue when you decide to hit railroad tracks at 80 MPH ...  


11H
« Last Edit: 04/06/03 04:34 PM by 11H » Logged
RedHotColoAv
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« Reply #5 on: 04/06/03 04:59 PM »

GREAT info 11H!! I never did run across this post when researching body lifts, but I do feel more confident that tightening the tortion bars won't do much damage. Just got a PA 3" body lift / tightened tortions and I really don't feel that much difference in the ride. Just an FYI for anyone who wants to know.
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« Reply #6 on: 04/06/03 10:20 PM »

11H,

 Great info...gotta get that alignment today.   Thank you.

dday
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« Reply #7 on: 04/07/03 02:20 AM »

I've been driving about 20K on adjustments, without an alignment... I guess I'm a minority.

My truck's not severly cranked (still got 1/2" of thread on the adjusters), but tire wear is better than I want.  Undecided  (yeah, I want to run different tires)
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« Reply #8 on: 04/07/03 10:42 PM »

Had the truck aligned yesterday and cannot believe what I had been missing.  Did not even realize it was driving as bad as it was.  Thank you guys!!!

dday
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« Reply #9 on: 04/08/03 02:20 AM »

Gotta get mine done.  Embarrassed  It drives horrible in the wet.
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« Reply #10 on: 04/25/03 07:19 AM »

I have had 14 new GM trucks and never had one with a decent alignment. I took my 98K1500 back to the dealer for a bad pull to the right with only 1000 miles on it, got it back and wasnt much better. I crawled under it and all they had done was turned the tie rods to turn the toe in on the right front tire.
Needless to say I wasnt pleased about having to go back a second time to get the alignment I should have gotten the first time.
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« Reply #11 on: 09/29/02 04:50 AM »

How far can you adjust the torsion bars to level out the Av? I'm assuming that I need to have it realigned.?
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« Reply #12 on: 05/12/02 04:47 AM »

 banghead
« Last Edit: 11/03/03 07:38 AM by Irontrain » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: 05/12/02 08:13 AM »

Irontrain,

I tightened up my torsion bars six full turns on the drivers side and four full turns on the passenger side, and it didn't even lift the front end one full inch.  The ride was noticeably "stiffer" and it reminded me of my last truck when I hit deep potholes. veryangry
After reading about the potential life-shortening implications for various parts, I cranked them back down.  I don't feel that comprimised comfort and potential suspension damage are worth 3/4" in front end lift.
I would seriously consider some aftermarket bolt-on alternative means.

Good Luck,

helmet
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« Reply #14 on: 05/13/02 07:44 AM »

I don't plan on raising the front end of the Av..so I haven't actually looked into what's out there...but I have to agree with Butch..you probably better off going with a bolt on mod that would help you achieve the look that you want, rather than cranking you torsions and putting undue stress on your system.... chevy
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« Reply #15 on: 05/13/02 08:41 AM »

IMO . . . the front is fine!  I want to get the butt down, and retain the load capability.  Seems as if a pneumatic load leveling system could get the job done, but I haven't looked into it yet.
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« Reply #16 on: 05/13/02 09:24 AM »

I have spoken with others who have suggested I level the Avalanche.  Personally, I feel its current stance is aggressive, tying in nicely with the front end appearance.  Your cause for concern when hauling a load is also warranted.  During heavy trailering, you want your front wheels firmly planted on the ground.  Leveling your Avalanche can serious compromise this when a lot of weight is resting on the back end.
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« Reply #17 on: 05/13/02 03:10 PM »

http://www.hill4wheel.com/

Someone had posted this link for a kit to level the Avalanche/Suburban in a previous discussion.
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« Reply #18 on: 05/13/02 05:07 PM »

http://www.hill4wheel.com/

Someone had posted this link for a kit to level the Avalanche/Suburban in a previous discussion.


As some of you know the 1500 Hill keys seem very similar to Ford keys, whatever, here are comments from a couple of knowledgeable folks:

Quote
Dogmeat - LS1.com 11278 posts ...
Took my "Ford" leveling kit off today...
My *GOD* .... I can't believe how much better it rides, steers, and handles now...
I dunno WTF I ever thought I had to do this "mod" anyways...
For no more ground clearance than I actually got, the wear and tear on the front end is DEFINATLEY not worth it..
I measured the height to the frame at a somewhat "stock" setting, and I barley got 1" of clearance where I needed/wanted it ...
I dunno....
I guess after having tried this both ways I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this, I'd say just save up for a lift and safe yourself a lot of trouble and time... heh


Thread on leveling
« Last Edit: 05/13/02 05:10 PM by gandolphxx » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: 05/13/02 05:33 PM »

I haven't tried the keys... and I'm not going to.  "Dogmeat" from LS1.com pretty much covers my sentiment.  That's how I feel about the torsion bar tweak.

If you really want to try it, go ahead.  My money says you'll crank'em back down like I did.

The AV behaves better while grazing. Grin  Trust me.  She's always hungry...

helmet
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« Reply #20 on: 05/15/02 01:31 AM »

If you have the 2500, it is easy to lower the rear 2" using longer shackles because the 2500 has leaf springs.  The 1500 has coils and the only way to lower is to use shorter coils.  Check with Trader's  562-204-2044.
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« Reply #21 on: 05/15/02 05:37 PM »

Folks, yet another set of opinions: Leveling and things from PUTC

Quote

That's not really true.
When you crank up the bars, you're not twisting the bars any more than if you didn't crank them. Twisting is a change in rotation between the front of the bar and the back of the bar. The bars are twisted by the weight of the truck. That and suspension travel is the only force that will twist them. As you crank them up, the truck lifts up but the bars do not have more twist in them. They simply are rotated to another location.
The issue with pre-99 trucks is if you crank them up too much, the control arms get too close to the bump stop. When you hit a bump. the suspension bottoms out on the "down" travel, prematurely, giving you a very harsh ride. They fixed that problem in the 99-up trucks by redesigning the suspension with a much better bump stop. It's soft and relocated so it doesn't hit hard even with the bars cranked up substantially. My HD is cranked five turns.

Response:

That's only partly right, though.  With the stock torsion bars/adjuster cams, you DO have to put more preload into the bars to increase the ride height.  I know this from experience, because at 4 turns (approx. 1" of height) on my 2500HD 4x4, the ride became very harsh and skittish without actually hitting the bump stops.  A kit such as the Hill 4-wheel Drive leveling kit changes the "at rest" position of the torsion bar.  To increase height beyond the "at rest" position you have to preload the torsion bar more.  The down side to the Hill kit and similar methods of changing the "at rest" position, or ride height, is that it changes the front suspension geometry to a much less than ideal situation.  I'm looking at making my own cams to only give me about 1" extra lift at about 1 turn on the torsion bar adjusters over "stock".  This, I feel, is an acceptable compromise between height, ride quality, and geometry.
Grin
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« Reply #22 on: 05/16/02 07:05 AM »

So instead of stiff ride will a leveling kit still give you a rough ride or not???  Yes the ride won't feel exactly the same as stock but is a leveling kit an improvement over 4 and half turns on the torsion bars?  My tires won't fit under the front fendors unless it's lifted.
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« Reply #23 on: 05/16/02 10:12 AM »

So instead of stiff ride will a leveling kit still give you a rough ride or not???  Yes the ride won't feel exactly the same as stock but is a leveling kit an improvement over 4 and half turns on the torsion bars?  My tires won't fit under the front fendors unless it's lifted.


This seems to be one of the mysteries of life, I, frankly have decided to avoid it for the time being, leveld side to side, a smidgeon, aligned and drive. Grin
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« Reply #24 on: 07/22/02 08:44 PM »

After leveling your AV you might want to check your headlight aiming. just a thought...
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