How to Adjust a Chevy Torsion Bar for Front End Lift

by Eli Laurens

Chevrolet cars and trucks use torsion bars where normal coil or leaf springs will not fit. The bars have the added advantage of being adjustable. The torsion bar suspension has become popular in Chevy's 4WD truck line, in which the switch to independent front suspension (IFS) leaves little room for a standard coil spring. The average backyard mechanic can adjust the torsion bars on a Chevrolet in about 20 minutes.

1

Lift the Chevy with the floor jack, placing the jack head underneath a frame rail and pumping the lever until the desired wheel is in the air. This relieves the torsion bar of the weight, and makes it easier to turn the adjustment bolt. Place a jack stand near the jack head on the same frame rail, for support.

2

Crawl underneath the vehicle and locate the rear torsion bar mount, attached to the frame. On most Chevrolet models, it is just behind the brake assembly on the frame rail. By viewing the mount from the bottom, the adjustment bolt is visible, nestled into the mount's twin supports.

3

Turn the adjustment bolt clockwise with a socket wrench to increase the spring rate of the torsion bar, and lift the vehicle's suspension. Most Chevrolet and GMC trucks will use an 18mm socket head. Every half turn of the bolt head is about an 1/8 of an inch of lift, so be sure to remember the number of turns for the bolt on the opposite side; both front torsion bars should be adjusted an equal number of turns, to keep the ride level. Adding spring rate will also make the suspension harder on bumps, and firmer around corners.

4

Remove the jack stand and lower the vehicle. Repeat the procedure on the opposite wheel.

Tip

  • check Don't turn the adjustment bolt all the way in, this is too much spring rate and could damage the suspension.

Warning

  • close Use extreme caution when working underneath a lifted vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.

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