Will new torsion bars correct that POS, bucket-o-bolts feel I have?

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. cudaracer

    cudaracer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    Car is stock height.
    Visual inspections are good, since I did the work myself, I know what to look for. Nothing obvious anyway.
    KYB's being suspect sounds odd to me. If I swap them out, should I swap them back once I get 1" T-Bars.
    I would like to have it re-aligned once I put in TBars. What do I tell them?
     
  2. toolmanmike

    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Hey huys, which bushings do you replace and then tighten them up with weight on the car? I didn't and I have some clunking and banging when I pull in and back out of the driveway (while turning of course) Mine sounds like it is falling apart also. I think the guy that did mine took the torsion bars out and either swapped them side to side and/ or put them in backwards. New bars might not make a difference but it might. tmm
     
  3. sireland67

    sireland67 Well-Known Member

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    Alignment sounds like the main issue.
    You said the steering box was loose, how much play did it have?

    A loose box, I am talking when you hold the pitman arm tight, you should feel NO play if you feel any, it will wander, jump all over the road etc.

    Steer and gear in Ohio sells excellent rebuilt units that are reasonable priced.

    Also check the steering box mounting bolts to the K member, sometimes they come loose and cause the issues you are having.
     
  4. sireland67

    sireland67 Well-Known Member

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    Also look at the lower steering column bearing, if it is riding the side of the column, it needs rebuilt.
    Every E-body I have ever had the lower bearing is shot.
     
  5. Robbie2734

    Robbie2734 Lambcharger

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    The lower control arm pins are tightened with the weight on the front wheels. The ride height should be set first. The lower control arm strut bushings too. I believe it's 145# for the pins and 40#? for the struts. I re torqued mine after a couple of weeks. I bet your steering box is a little loose. The torsion bars are easy to check, look for the numbers (892/893 in my case) on the rear of the bars. If I remember, the 893 or odd number is on the right. Maybe somebody can verify that.
     
  6. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    KYB's are notoriously stiff. Coupled with really soft, tired torsion bars you have a total mismatch between wheel rate and shock rate. It might not be your problem, but it isn't helping. I wouldn't swap them back in regardless, unless you enjoy a really harsh ride quality. Also, take a look and see if you can see any marks to indicate that your lower control arm bumpers are hitting the frame (shiny spot). Even at stock ride height, the stock torsion bars can bottom out, especially if they're worn out.

    As for the alignment, just tell "them" that you want -.5* camber, +3* caster, and between 1/8" and 1/16" toe in. "They" will probably have no idea how to set that toe setting though, so you'll probably have to tell them .07* to .14* toe in for each side, or about .14* to .28* total toe in.

    Unfortunately, most chain wheel shops will not set a custom alignment. You can kinda cheat, if "they" let you, and tell them to plug in a 2009 Mustang. That setting will call for -.75* camber, +7.1* caster, and .10 to .20 degrees toe in. Of course, "they" won't be able to get that much caster, but you can just tell them to get as close as they can as long as its equal. Sometimes that works better than trying to get them to do a custom spec.

    I typically just rough in the alignment myself, then have it checked at the local shop. Usually I'm close enough that they'll tweak it for me to even things up without charging me for a full alignment. But I start off by saying that not one single part of my suspension is stock, and that setting the stock factory alignment would probably kill me. It helps that I have 17 or 18" rims on my cars with 275 or bigger tires and all kinds of tubular and adjustable components.
     
  7. 6pk2goDemon

    6pk2goDemon Mopar Mod Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Just the opposite & I know it's hard to remember sometimes...

    Odd # is on the left
     
  8. C130 Chief

    C130 Chief Mechanical Genius

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    You have 245 section 14" BFG's? On what rims? If your rims are too narrow for your tires, you can get get some squirrely handling.
     
  9. jerry6

    jerry6 Banned

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    What brand frame connectors are you using ? I like how they are built compared to the ones I have , look a lot stronger , mine are open on top , not boxed .
     
  10. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Brand? Um, mine I guess.

    I built them myself using 1.5" x 3", .120" wall tube. I sectioned the tubing in the back and used 1/8" plate to extend the connectors up to cover the frame rails all the way back to the spring mounts. I also boxed the end of the tube where I sectioned it. I then used some 1/8" thick angle to make the front landing plates. In the rear they're further reinforced by the torque boxes overlapping them.

    [​IMG]

    I used 1.5 x 3" tube so I wouldn't have to cut the rear floor pan. The 1.5" tube sits nicely against the floor. So nicely that I could weld them to the rear floor pan if I wanted to. Maybe one of these days when I've got the carpet out for something else.

    The car feels very solid, no squeaks or creaks. Door gaps are all maintained when jacking the car up or sitting on jackstands.
     
  11. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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    Mmmmm.. just thinking about this from the opposite end of the car... the best I can make of the car's description and the symptoms above is that your car's rear springs are far too stiff for the shocks, making the rear suspension is seriously underdamped. That would cause the rear to bounce and jump around a lot, which may equate to what you call 'a tizzy'. If you have stiffer rear springs and just stock type shocks, then this underdamped rear springing will be the case. Using oddly mismatched up and down shock rates could cause issues on the road too.

    And a high rear ride height will just add to that problem. A high rear ride height will take weight off of the rear, and this will become even worse under braking, and the rear will be light in corners and bounce around even more easily; the underdamped suspension will exaggerate that even more. High, stiff rears springs with soft shocks are about the worst you can do to cause these sysmtoms under the condtions you describe: braking into rough corners.

    It would be useful to know what shocks you have in the rear. It would also be useful to see pix of the rear springs to see if there are any clamps or extra bolts that are making then non-linear. If you can ID the brand/model of the rear springs with a link, that would be good too.

    Stiffening the t-bars will not do anything to cure an underdamped rear suspension. You need to either put the softer springs back into the rear and try that, or upgrade your rear shocks. With the stiifer rear springs, I would move to Bilstein's not KYB's.

    In general these live axle, leaf sprung rear suspensions are decent for straight line racing, but suffer a lot when put into turns, especially rough ones. The springs when clamped can become non-linear and so become hard to match the shock rates. And the rear roll centers tend to be high, and get worse with a higher rear stance.

    Do you drag race this car? Or do you want this car to be it's best in cornering? These 2 uses are fairly opposed to each other when it comes to rear suspension parts and set-up.
     
  12. toolmanmike

    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Thanks for that. Everything was tightened on the hoist with the suspension unloaded and I know the torsion bars were out and on the floor. Whether they got put back where they belong I won't know until I check. (Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance) Neither the alignment guy or I had ever rebuilt a Mopar front end before. A scary thought I know. Just a note, I have adjusted the steering box and rebuilt the coupler. It steers great and is real good at highway speeds, just noisy when turning and going over bumps. especially when backing up. tmm
     
  13. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for this news: If the LCA pivots were torqued down with the suspension at full drrop, there is a good chance that the LCA bushing rubber is now torn.
     
  14. ir3333

    ir3333 Well-Known Member

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    yes,upper control arms,torsion bar pivots/bushings...even the shackles must be tightened with the suspension loaded
     
  15. abodyjoe

    abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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    at least with rubber lower control arm bushings the lower arms should be tightened with the weight of the car on the front end.

    did you guys at least use a service manual when ya did the front end??
     
  16. 340_dart_power

    340_dart_power Well-Known Member

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    x2....
     
  17. BigBlockMopar

    BigBlockMopar BigBlockMember

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    I upgraded my bone stock '73 Dart with the following items which made it pretty much handle like a modern car;

    - Hellwig front swaybar
    - 1" Torsion bars (Want thicker bars now)
    - Modern tire alignment with more caster with help of MOOG offset bushings.
    - Borgeson powersteering box
    - Reinforced steeringbox mount
    - Welded in homemade subframe connectors (made the car quieter and feel more solid)
    - 17" Aluminium wheels with 50-height tires.

    My Dart also had slider type calipers which made clunky rattle noises like something was about to fall off the car at times.
    After the upgrade to pin-type calipers this went away completely.

    Personally, I would start by loosing your 14" wheels and too-wide tires and go at least to 15" aluminum wheels with a better brand tire. This will smooth out your ride.
    Install welded subframe connectors. This also will remove some of the body rattles.
    Lower the car about 2" and upgrade the torsion bars AT least a 1" bar.
    For my dailydriven Dart I would like to go to 1.06" or 1.12".
     
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