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Chevy 1/2 ton 4x4 torsion bar swap

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by fishgeek, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    Have any of you guys with ½ ton Chevy 4x4’s tried putting in torsion bars
    out of a base ¾ ton into the half ton? I was talking to the owner of the 4x4 shop by me and he says that the only difference between the two is on a ¾ ton it has the 8 lugs wheels and larger brakes and different torsion bars with heavier rear leaf springs. The control arms are the same and the hex on the end of the torsion bars are the same. Has any body tried this? I’m tired of having my plow frame hit the curbs. I did put the re-indexed keys on the torsion bars and cranked them up, but it’s still not sitting level. I still do have the small tires on it, I know if I spend $1000.00 for the 33" tires will get me up another inch.

    Thanks
     
  2. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    you need to hit the big search button.

    but yes easy swap. if you swap in 3/4 or 1ton bars you must swap the left bar to the right side and the right to the left side. the position of the index is off set diffrent on them to 1/2 ton stuff.

    here is the t-bar decode sheet.

    tbar specs.jpg
     
  3. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    And to add, all bars will fit......88-current
     
  4. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    Is the spec sheet you sent just for the 3/4 & 1 ton trucks? Do you think
    the Max torque is the GVW of the front end? The 1/2 tons have two GVW's and
    the one my truck has is (if I'm remembering right) 3960 GVW on the front end. Where
    did you find the spec sheet?

    Again thanks for the help
     
  5. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    thats all bars 1/2 - 1ton and member b&b has posted it before.

    and most half tons run the 3900 range stuff.
     
  6. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    3980 would be the factory front rating!
     
  7. acornish

    acornish Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    wow that is nice to know am thinking of adding a lift and was wondering if i could swap t- bars for a stiffer ride so this just answered my question --- cool thanks
     
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    The max torque rating does not equal the FAWR
     
  9. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    Does anybody know on a ½ ton if I was to put the 4800 lb bars in would the front end be higher than the rear? From what I was reading on another post that the truck equipped with a plow package have the 4800 lb bar, is this correct?

    This must be one of the first times that GM or any other auto manufacture didn’t make every part different. I would have thought that the ¾ ton would have had beefier control arms than the ½ ton and maybe a boxed frame. At least for me this is good, I’m going to have to crawl under and get the codes off the bars and make a final decision which bar to go with. This site has been very informative for me, I have learned so much about the plow business in the last 6 months.

    Thanks
     
  10. Mxrider069

    Mxrider069 Member
    Messages: 85

    The control arms are very different, climb under and 2500hd and a 1500 you will see a very noticeable size difference. And the frame between the two is also very diffrent. 2500hd frame is thicker steel and a lot taller than the half ton.
     
  11. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    Just trade your truck plus the $1k you're thinking about dropping on T-Bars on a used 3/4 ton and get what you really want and need. It'll be cheaper in the long run.

    I've seen this done, time and time again. Don't try to make a 1/2 ton into something it's not. There's alot more differences between a 3/4t and and 1/2t besides the spring rates: Full floating axles, thinker/larger frames, bigger cooling systems, bigger brakes, bigger steering linkages.

    All that happens when you rig that half ton truck with heavier springs is you'll break everything else. When your truck bottoms out on stock springs, you're at your MAX GVW rating. When you stiffen the springs to prevent bottoming out, you're just allowing yourself to overload the axles, brakes, frame and everything else.
     
  12. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    I knew it was to good to be true that the auto manufactures would make the same parts for 2 different trucks. I wish I could just go trade it in and get a 2500HD but that isn’t happening now. I’ve tried cranking my bars up a little but the drivers side won’t go up, the passenger side goes up with no trouble. I just want to get the front end up a little higher. If I just put the 4500 lb bars in do you think I would get another 1” or so out of them without cranking them up? Then maybe put some tall tires on it. What do you guys think?
     
  13. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I haven't read of any mention yet, but what are you doing for ballast?
     
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Stiffer bar does not necessarily equal higher ride height. The ride height is determined by the rotational index of the bar. The index is adjusted by the keys

    There are many 1/2 tons riding mulch higher than one tons.
     
  15. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    when I'm plowing I have 700 to 800 lbs of salt in the back.
     
  16. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    i installed a set of bars for a guy in a short bed std cab.

    he had stock light bars in it. he went 2 steps higher in there and stock keys. it only got him about a 1" or so higher and he was running a snow way plow.

    he wished he had went more on the tbars. but like said its just a bandaid for a wana be 3/4 ton or 1ton truck at a 1/2 ton price.
     
  17. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    Where in the bed? If it's not BEHIND the rear axle, you're applying that weight to the front axle also.
     
  18. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    I would like to get 1-1/2" and then I can gain an 1" or so with the tires. I just want to make it thru this winter and in the summer I'll get a 3/4 ton.
     
  19. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 36

    I guess that's another problem I have the salt on a skid and it is up front more. I will have to cut a board to hold it at the rear of the truck.

    Guys thanks again
     
  20. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    If you do this, check your shocks afterwards, you may need longer ones depending how your torsion bars are adjusted.

    On my 97 I swapped the bars to the GL coded ones and for about a year and a half afterwards i heard this banging noise over bumps. It was my shocks getting slammed at full extension because my ride height had been increased by about two inches in the front. Just another thing i learned by my own experience to check for when doing this kinda stuff!