1/2 ton IFS trucks with plow?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cjtatar, Sep 11, 2000.

  1. cjtatar

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    Question about the suspention on my 94 Z71. Since I'll be adding a plow to it, roughly a few hundred pounds, do I need to be concerned with the front end sagging drastically? I've asked the question on a 4x4 message forum and some people said to tweak my torsion bars to gain height for leveling. Others recommended putting 3/4 ton HD torsion bars in.

    Anyone have some advice or experience?

  2. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    From what I understand all of the parts in chevy front ends are the same from 1/2 to 1ton. Turning up the suspension can be a problem with the plow off(front end jumps) and involves realignment so it is hard to change back at the end of every season. What I do with my 1/2 ton with an 8' boss is timbrins in the front and a couple hundred pounds over the rear axle.This makes this truck very stable, it has some nose dive but it is acceptable.
  3. OP

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    Can you explain to me what a Timbrins is? Is it an add-on suspension leveler? Costly? Difficult to install?

  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    We started with an 8' Sno-Way on our 89 K1500. No problems with suspension at all. The 8' now rides on an S-10, it sags more than the 1500 did but it's a long way from bottomed out. Incidentally, the local spring shop says there are a bunch of torsion bars available for the GM IFS. According to them they will all interchange from 1500 to 3500 and vary the spring rate accordingly.
  5. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    Timbrins are rubber pieces that replace the rubber stops on your front suspension.They look like two squashed pool balls sitting on top of one another , when your A arm rises up in its travel it hits the timbrin and is provided with extra support.
  6. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    It takes 5 minutes to turn up your torsion bars in the fall and back down in the spring.

    # 1 PLOWTECH WES/MEYER Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    We like the timbrens the best. Any person with basic hand tools can install them in about 1/2-3/4 hour. 20 minutes if you have done them before. We usually turn the torsion bars up about 6-8 half turns (3-4 full turns) without sacrificing ride and it supports the plow nice. I leave mine like that for the whole season w/ or w/o the plow.
    Also always have the proper ballast over the rear axle.This Is extremely important and most overlooked. For proper ballast see your install instructions that come w/ plow.Good luck #1 PT.
  8. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I have turned the torsion bars up too with satisfactory results. For your info, I'll submit the following.

    The six- bolt front is essentially the same in design as the 3/4 ton (an bigger) 8-bolt front end, thought all the components in the 8-bolt front end are larger in size and capacity.

    Each complete turn of the torsion bar screw will raise or lower the front end by approx 1/8" .

    The torsion bars have tags on them and the tag shows a 3 digit code. The first letter refers to Left or Right. The next refers to the model of the vehicle they fit onto (in this case, full size trucks).

    The third letter is the important one. It indicates spring rate. I know of the letters D,F,G,H,K and L.

    D's are the weakest - often on short-box 1/2 tons
    F's are standard on regular half tons
    G is probably what is on your Z-71- one upgrade
    H is the heavy duty torsion bar for the gas-powered 1/2 ton
    K is heavy duty for the Z-71's, diesel 1/2 tons and standard rate for the gas-powered 3/4 tons
    L is what is on my truck - HD 3/4 tons with diesel, on upwards to the one tons.

    You can plow with a 7.5 foot with F/G's, you need H's for and 8' and K and L's for vee plows in my opinion - to be legal, not just hold up the plow.

    Regards, John
  9. OP

    cjtatar Member
    Messages: 32

    Wow, thanks for all the great information. As soon as I finish fabricating the plow frame to work with my Z71, I'll evaluate it from there. I'll see just how much she lowers when the plow is on. For now I'll get under the truck and check the codes on the torsion bars.

  10. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I would not touch the torsion bars ,but if you have to don't tweek them up to the weight of the whole plow set up but just the frame that will stay on all year.Because to will be opening yourself up to alot of tire problems.I would get the Timbren load bosters for the front they are very good for IFS systems i have them on my HD 3/4 ton chevy and they work great and i never touched my torsion bars.Hope this will help you out call 1-800-263-7581 for Timbren load bosters best of all you can mount these yourself.
  11. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    I have had the some of the same issues as cat320 reguarding alignment and toe when the torsion bars are adjusted
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I have plowed for years with a many 1500 IFS GM's.My family has 3 GM 1500's 1 excab with a 7'6" Boss Vee plow.All have been fine,but they will sag quite a bit,no one has raised there bars to compensate for them we just live with it.There is a big difference in the torsion bars on a Z71 and the ones on a 2500 LD 7200 gvwr.I put the same plow on my current GMC 2500 and it drops less than 1 inch,as opposed to about 3-4 inches with the 1500.So maybe you can get a set off a 25-3500 at a wrecking yard,they will stiffen up the ride a lot though.