Torsion bars

surfpunk1

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my brother has a 97 z71 and wants to make his front better than it is right now, without going LT... it has torsion bars, and i dont know much about them and wondering how exactly they work? are they any good? i told him that he should get rid of them and just build a basic engine cage to mount up coil overs. is that a good idea, or should he just keep the torsion bars? i really dont know anythign about them so lemme know what you guys think... also, who has good torsion bars? i know sway away makes some, but thats about it... anywhere better than sway away?
 

cleartoy

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I wonder if coilovers would fit with those stock arms, let alone with the 4wd halfshafts.

If it did fit, lets say he did dual rate 2.5-3" coil overs on hoops\engine cage.....the quality of the travel he already has will be greatly improved. However that in itself will not increase travel.
 

01Baja4x4

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You would be suprised at how well properly valved shocks, say 2.5" 8" shocks would do on that truck. All you would need is upper and lower mounts for the shocks and some limit straps.

-Tim
 

orvacian

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I had some double bypass 8" travel 2.5" shocks made up by King for me but I would recommend not using bypass shocks unless they are 10" or longer. The shaft speed never gets fast enough open the bypass tubes so it's like having a $500 shock that works like a $250 one. I say run a non bypass shock and airbumps.
 

AaronDixon

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Sounds like you didn't have your shocks set up correctly. The reason you run bypass is to get a progressive increase in shock valving. You either had your bypass valve open too much, or not enough valving at the piston.
 

orvacian

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Actually, I have valved the front shocks many times and even closed off the bleed holes in the piston with double stacked .020 shims. Even with the bypass tube almost completely closed off it still was not enough, and with the tubes closed, it's not a bypass shock anymore! Trust me, 8" travel shocks do not have enough stroke to give you much progression, and deffinitely not enough to eliminate the need for airbumps. I would not post a recommendation to anyone if I did not have experience to speak from.
 

drtdevil93

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with the motion ratio his had, there wasnt enough shaft velocity to do any good. if you had a 8" shock on a 1:1 motion ratio, it might work alright, but then you only have 8" of travel.

erik
 

surfpunk1

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thanks for the info guys... i do know how much of a difference shocks make. my brother would just get a 8 or 10 stroke shock, without bypasses, and probably cage his bed and throw some 16" stroke shocks in there... but, i was just wondering if torsion bars are insightful or not? so far ive concluded that its not really worth getting rid of them until he wants to go LT up front, then he might as well put on coil overs... but anyways, anyone know where to get good torsion bars?
 

orvacian

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Erik has it exactly right, and like he said, I would need longer shocks mounted further out on the arm for the bypass to work correctly. Another reason to get at least 10" stroke shocks and make sure you mount them in a manner that uses the full stroke if you want bypasses!
 

orvacian

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Surfpunk, the opinion that I have come to believe from my experience and from talking to a lot of people who know is that springs(or torsion bars) are just there to keep the truck at ride height. The shocks should do most of the work. The shocks make all the difference in the world. I can not say much about Chevy torsions but for Toyotas the Sway-a-ways work pretty good for pretty cheap. The nice thing about coilovers though, is the big choice of different spring rates and dual rate setups. Also, torsions allow a certain amount of twist before you surpass its mechanical limit, after that the torsion bar will start to loose its spring properties which will make your truck sag. Torsion bars made of 300m material will allow more twist and will not sag but they are expensive. Torsion bars are not crap and can work very well.
 

jeff

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Where is the "daddy didn't love me" for that one?

A torsion bar is a straight coil spring. Made of the proper material, in the correct diameter, and of the right length, can work pretty darn good. The problem as I see it is in the packaging.

Aloha
 
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