Hi all. I just aquired my first IFS Chevy. I have owned about a
zillion '87 and older Chevys, but this '88 is my first truck with IFS.
I'm looking to gain about an inch or two of lift in the front. Can I
just tighten up the torsion bar adjusting bolt to accomplish this??
How much lift can you safey gain buy doing this????
it depends on how often you like replacing ball joints.. cranking the
torsion bars causes them to wear out pretty fast. you can probably
get an inch or so, but you'll need an alignment after.
An inch or so is correct on how much you will gain. I don't see the
premature ball joint issue though. I can't see why the joint would
care what angle it's at. That's why it's a ball. You can't over extend
that front end either. The stops on the upper control arm will see to
that. Keep in mind that you should do it on an alignment rack. Don't
go so far as not being able to correct camber/caster.
The angle isn't only what kills the joint:
It's the added load, and the extra angle, that the joint wasn't designed to
work at constantly. The ball stud will be almost against the ball cup at
curb angle, then hit a bump, and the stud hits the cup edge. Leading to
premature joint failure.
That's why they make lift kits, to keep the suspension geometry at the
factory designed angles.
That is an understandable point but I still don't see it here. Added
load......from what? With only an inch, the ball studs will still not
contact the cup edge. No matter what you do with the torsion bars,
suspension travel will still not exceed factory design. Put the truck
on a lift with the control arms hanging and look for yourself, there
is more room in those joints than you think. That's what suspension
stops are for. I gained an inch and a half out of the fr of my K3,
60,000 mls ago. I don't have any joint problems.
I have a 2000 Silverado Z71 extended cab that I wanted to ride level.
I cranked the torsion bars about 4 turns and got the truck level two
weeks ago. I decided an alignment was in order just to make sure
everything was okay. On the way down the freeway, the truck rode like
a lumber cart. It was all over the road (may be due to the road
condition) and it almost felt like bump steer @65 mph. When I got to
the alignment shop the caster was so far off the computer couldn't
even give a reading for the caster. I then backed off the T-Bars (on
the alignment rack) until the caster cam into adjustable spec and
finished the alignment. By the time all was said and done, I had
backed the torsion bars off 3 turns. It now rides like before and the
aligment is within spec. I gained about 1/4" with the one net turn
that I now have of the bars. If it were me, I'd look at some other
method. Doc recommends lowering the rear and even though I hate to
lower a 4X4, that's what I think I am going to!
OMG, I can't believe we have so much discrepancy over such a simple
issue. I don't to want to appear as an an ass but the explanation for
what you experienced is, for no other reason, you went about it
completely backwards! You "blindly" crank up the bars to a random
level (a guess), then drive it (before an alignment) and are shocked
because it handles poorly!
Bottom line. Turn them 2.5 turns (May differ a tad between K1, 2HD or
3 and if you have a 5.7, 6.5/7.4). DRIVE IT, CK your ride hieght both
sides. Adj as nec. Probably adj/drive it a couple more times. Don't
just bounce it on the rack because it will not be the same as it will
after a 1 mls drive...... you will waste a lot of time. CK the
alignment and make sure you can compensate (after the knockouts are
That's all there is too it.
I've been following this thread now for a few days and decided to give it a
shot seeing as how it's going in for a FE alignment on Monday anyway. It
seemed pretty straightforward and worked out all right although it seems
that the front end is a little more twitchy. Rocking the truck from side to
side while driving at approximately 20mph felt very different and more
pronounced from before and eyeballing the front wheels it looks like the
alignment will definitely be needed.
The front end is now only slightly lower than the rear and as I rarely carry
a heavy load it should work fine.