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Should I crank the torsion bars?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by gino, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    Hey guys,
    I have a 2005 2500hd with a 7.5' Fisher MM2. We all know about the front end sagging on these trucks so I installed Timbrnes. This has made a big difference carrying the plow. I have considered cranking the torsion bars but the guys at the plow shop and the chevy dealer say dont bother. They said the truck will ride harder and its hard on the front end. Plus I will need a front end alignment each time I adjust up or down. But, it seems like many people on this site do it. I have gotten more good advise from this site than any I have gotten at my local chevy dealer. Can someone steer me in the right direction here? Should I bother? If it raises the front end by 2 or 3 inches it might be worth it to me. Otherwise I think the Timbrens should really be enough. I only do residential driveways. Any input would be great.
  2. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 770

    IMO I wouldn't bother screwing with it.
  3. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I have a fleet of 2500 Gmc's and I raise the front end with the torsion bars
    every year before the winter. It does not effect the alignment at all. Keep notes on your truck on the amount of turns it takes. As far as the ride is concerned I really dont notice that much of a difference. I for one have never used timbrens and we run 8ft Western ultra and unimounts. I think a combination of both sounds pretty good. You could always turn the torsion bar bolts back!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  4. GetMore

    GetMore Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    First, I'd like to disagree with the statement that adjusting the torsion bar bolts will make the ride harsher.
    This is like saying that you will make time go faster by turning the clock. Picture a clock with the hands on it-if you turn it you will change where the hands are pointing, 12:00 will no longer be straight up, but both hands will still be pointing to 12.
    When the torsion bars are turned it moves the lower a-arm to compensate. This raises (or lowers) the front of the truck. The spring rate has not changed. As a matter of fact, with the nose raised you should have a slightly softer ride because you will not hit the bump stops as soon.

    Now, on to your alignment: If you only adjust the torsion bars enough to bring the front end back up to the same height it would be at without the plow you have not really changed anything and your alignment will not be affected. Yes, without the plow it might be off a little. That's why you would want to lower the nose when the winter is over.
    Personally I think the alignment issue is overblown. If you crank the bars up all the way you will need to have it realigned, but small adjustments in ride height won't really make a big difference it tire wear.

    I wanted to leave the challenge of the claim that raising the ride height will be "hard on the front end" for last, because there may be something I don't know and someone else can elighten me on.
    It may be easier on the front end to keep the stock height. After all parts wear a lot less if the travel is only 2" instead of 5".
    Plus, with shallower angles to the axles and tie rods they won't wear as much either.
    Hell, while we're at it, let's limit how far you can turn the steering wheel. Now front end parts will last even longer!
  5. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    This is good stuff...point noted.
  6. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    sorry, but that goes against everything I have ever read, heard, learned or seen about GM torsion bar front ends. I think somebody is misinformed. Go to fullsizechevy.com, or it may be FSC.com, I'll try to do a link for you. There is tons of hands-on info there from people who know IFS inside and out. Cranking the torsion bars up DOES change the front end geometry, it does shorten the travel and makes it ride harsher, and it does place the balljoints in an altered position that will lead to premature wear. It is not necessary to align it after, unless you care about your tires. I'm not saying you shouldnt do it, just make sure you know what you are doing and why. I even found a step by step set of instructions with photos at FSC. I'm going to go look for the URL so I can give you a link.
    try that, see if it works. Go to forums, offroad, sticky for Ford keys and torsion bars
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  7. Bowlerdude

    Bowlerdude Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I will agree that the ride quality is a little stiffer, but not that much different. I had my Truck done at the local Chevy Dealer (Where I bought my Truck) this dealer is also a Western Dealer.

    The dealer's service manager suggested the Torsion Bar adjustment but no more than one and a Half inch upward lift.

    Since the Chevy 2500HD's front end is very low to the ground with the new Western Ultra Mount you need every fraction of an inch or you can have trouble demounting your plow as the feet can't be locked into their down position on any sort of uneven ground even with the Balast weight in the back of the truck.

    Since I had my Truck done I can't tell you how much better it is, besides the Truck doesn't sag as much when I lift my Plow either. I have a 7.5 Poly Pro which is slightly heavier than the 8 foot steel Pro Plow.

  8. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    GINO.............In my experience cranking the torsion bars will NOT
    effect anything. I crank mine up and down every season to gain
    a lousy inch or so for plow clearance.

    But on these new lowrider GMs you take what you can get !
    I have NOT had a front end alignment or had ANY unusual tire wear.

    Jack up front of truck slightly to take the tension off the t-bars.

    Mark your crossmember and t-bar bolt head for reference.
    (count the amount of turns- 5 does the 1 inch lift for me)

    Turn the bolt clockwise to raise......COUNTER clockwise to lower.

    NOTE: T-bar bolts may or may not be turned in evenly when you look
    at them (before or after you adjust) so don't be worried.
  9. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    I agree with you.
  10. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    Thanks for the sound advise.
  11. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Going like an inch or maybe 2(absolute tops IMO) wont cause any harsh ride ect or premature wear.

    What do you run for ballast?
  12. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    There's alot of bozo's on this board this week huh?

    My bars are cranked almost to the max. Got barely 1 1/4 inches out of it. Your truck may be different. My ride changed a little. It now responds much better to steering input than it did from the factory. It's not stiff as in jar your brain, it's just a little more tight so to speak, but keep in mind I cranked the hell out of mine, almost to the end. The best way is to see for yourself. Grab a socket and a ratchet and test it. Just remember how many turns you make to each one so if you want to you can go back. Just don't go too far where you are putting your steering components at crazy angles. I would start with two full turns on each side, then take it for a ride and see if it did anything.

    Also keep in mind all these fools trucks are different. 5 cranks on my truck bottomed out the passenger side. 5 on your and you might have half the thread left. This is why some guys have problems, and some don't.
  13. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    GM has limited the amount of travel in the adjustments due to everyone cranking the bars I think, thats where all these different key options come from. For the most part the bad ride comes from the suspension topping out. If you crank them all the way up your using you available down travel in the suspension
  14. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    I did 4 on one side and 4.5 on the other to level it out the day I brought the truck home. 11k later... no issues at all. Rides fine, almost the same as my 1500. Over all, it rased about 1.5 -2 inches from the bottom of the fender. Just measure before you start.. most trucks are a little tilted from the factory.
  15. GripTruk

    GripTruk Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    You are basing your info on people who do this to LIFT their trucks HIGHER than stock, not to LEVEL it back up to STOCK due to increased load.

    That is why everything you say does not apply to this situation.

  16. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Well, I don't know what the difference is between cranking for lift and cranking to bring a loaded frontend back up to where it was. Do you suppose there is a bolt to turn for lift, and a different one for weight?? It is the exact same thing, regardless of what reason you do it. The only difference would be during those relatively brief periods when the plow is on and raised. So, if you want to leave the blade on all year, then what you say is reasonable. If you take the plow off, then your frontend will be a tad higher than stock, and it WILL be stiffer and it WILL wear balljoints a little bit faster, and you SHOULD have it aligned. I'm not saying not to do it, most GMs need it to carry a plow, I plan on doing mine this week to carry the 810. I just wanted to point out to the person who originally asked, what some of the negatives to cranking are. And unless you crank it right to the max, the stiffer ride is certainly not likely to be unpleasant, especially on a 2500 or 3500 truck. And in my opinion, you can't do anything to a Chevy suspension to make it ride as poorly as a Ford or Dodge anyway.
  17. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    Gotta love it. Ask one question and get half a dozen different answers. That's what makes this county great! :salute: All I can provide is my personal experience; I about maxed out my T-bars on my '04 and got nearly 2" out of it which is all I needed to haul my Meyer poly plow around w/o problem. From the factory, I had major dragging issues. Couldn't even pull into my own driveway w/o scraping the frame. :mad:

    On my '02 'Burban, w/285's the frame didn't drag, but the tires rubbed the inside of the fender with the plow on and turning so I got adjustable torsion keys and they really did the trick. I hope this helps.
  18. Merc1100sc

    Merc1100sc Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    ok, i dont know ***** about *****, but, heres what i did.

    installed a 8.5 fisher V on my 05 2500HD ex cab, stuck some timbrens in there, and left the rest alone. i plowed w/ it once so far this year. the timbrens do squish down quite a bit, but, i guess they're suppossed to. with the plow off, u can feel them in there every once in a while, and, i had no problem w/ ground clearance while plowing..

    ive been told too by my chevy guru buddies that cranking the bars puts a strain on your ball joints.. so, i left them alone.
  19. Merc1100sc

    Merc1100sc Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    OH, and, i havent rnu any ballast yet...
    w/ a 7.5 on an HD w/ timbrens, id think ud be fine w/out touching the bars,, especially w/ 400#'s in back..
  20. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    This site is awsome! Thanks!