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ipapilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Red face Help with lowering rear end

OK, after mucho frustration attempting to get the rear end set at a decent height, I have been unable to find any middle ground. The car started at about 25 1/2" in the back and I can only get the radius arms to set at that height or slammed down just under 24". Is there a trick to getting these things adjusted any better? The entire torsion bar pulls out 99% of the time, so I am really adjusting the inner part of the t-bar and not the radius arm side. If I need to separate the t-bar from it to get more adjustability, how do I do it?!

I am going nuts now, my one day project turned into 1 1/2 and will now include tomorrow. By the way, it looks great slammed but I don't think the factory t-bars and tires could handle it.

Brian

PS
I do have Waynes book but no fancy gauges. I don't think a gauge would do any good at this point since I haven't found a setting which works for the ride height.
Old 02-28-2003, 07:21 PM
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To get a fine adj. you have to be able to remover and rotate the radius arm also. Other wise it is a very corse adj. as you have found out. Some times it is hard to remove the radius arm. I don't know any tricks just keep pullin
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Old 02-28-2003, 07:46 PM
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Formerly bb80sc
 
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I have a little article here which may help.

http://members.rennlist.com/bb79sc/SC lowering project.doc

You do have to remove the spring plate to *fine* adjust. If you rotate the inner splines one way and the outer the other way, you should get close.

What year car? Do you have the factory adjustable spring plates?

Good luck!
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Old 02-28-2003, 08:49 PM
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One end of the torsion bar has 40 splines, the other end has 44. So, when you move one spline on the inside,i.e. clockwise, you now have to move the outside one spline counter-clockwise. That way you only raise, or lower, by approximately 1/4 inch. Take your time. I found it easiest to disconnect everything (Shocks, sway bar, etc.) and found that it took more time than expected. I went up and down about 5-6 times and ended up with what I wanted: 24.5 inches.
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Old 02-28-2003, 09:18 PM
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I had to post the same question-drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the torsion bar end cap, then insert a punch through the hole to tap on the torsion bar end while holding the radius arm. Once the bar has been separated from the arm, your subsequent removals will be easy if you will grease the splines. Good luck
Old 03-01-2003, 05:23 AM
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I used a gear puller on the outer splines of mine. Must have gotten lucky. Went from snake-scraping height to stock in two tries. (And believe me- on the broken-up frost-heaved roads around here, you need the stock settings.)
Les
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Old 03-01-2003, 05:48 AM
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I had to buy a gear puller and crank the radius arm off of the torsion bar. If you do that, clean all the splines off well with a wire brush, lube liberally with lithium grease, and then you will be able to slip the r-bar on and off easily to make finer adjustments. I wound up relying on the measurement of the height of the wheel end of the radius arm from the ground, and found that one inner spline clockwise (for the passenger side) and one outer spline anti-clockwise resulted in roughly 1/8 inch increase in the height of the back end of the bar from the ground (i.e., lowering the rear end by slightlly more than that.)

One cautionary note: I found that the torsion bar could easily be pushed too far into the inner spines, leaving too much distance between the outer end of the torsion bar and the outer end of the radius arm. Make sure the outer end of the torsion bar is flush with the end of the radius arm (so, fully engaged), leaving enough room only for the dust cap.

Be patient, and you'll find you can make pretty fine adjustments by re-setting the torsion bar, and if everything is all well lubed up, the dis-assembly and re-assembly winds up going pretty quickly. By the third or fourth time.

good luck.
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Old 03-01-2003, 06:27 AM
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Getting fine adjustment on the tbar requires rotating both sides simultaneously.

Do you know that the spring plates on your SC are adjustable without removing them from the tbars? Total range is about 1 inch.

You didn't mention that in your post.
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas on removing the t-bar from the radius arm. Sounds like I will have to go the route of drilling a hole in the dust cap and then punch the bar out. I'll also be sure to lube it up like crazy to make subsequent attempts easier. Car is an 83 with adjustable plates and considered slamming it and then raising with the plates, but then I could only go lower to fine tune it. I appreciate the moral support. It looks like I will be putting the rest of the project off til at leat tomorrow as my wife is demanding equal time!
Have a great weekend guys, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Brian
Old 03-01-2003, 09:47 AM
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Smile

Thanks for all the recommendations on getting the rear end of my car lowered. Believe it or not, I just needed a day or two away from it and everything worked out fine. Sat down to start working and both t-bars and radius arms came apart with minor effort and no gear pullers or drill bits. Now sitting at 25 front and 24 1/2 rear. Once I add the CTR bumpers I assume it will raise a bit. Thanks for the help, again!
Brian

Old 03-04-2003, 03:23 PM
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Picture didn't quite take the first time......


Old 03-04-2003, 03:30 PM
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For the sake of the archives, I thought I'd add the following. If your rear torsion bars are truly stuck, I found it useful to use a two or three foot length of thin metal cable. I knotted this around the end of the torsion bar. Then I ran the length through the hole in the body and knotted something heavy to the other end. If I recall, I used a big pipe wrench because it was handy.

Anyway, by continually jerking lightly on this cable I worked out my torsion bars in the rear which were stuck in there rather tightly. Don't get aggressive and yank too hard because you might end up with a flying t-bar impacting the inside of your body panel. Successive and moderate yanking got mine out.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:40 PM
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IPA, I like the color of your car, what is it? Looks really nice lowered like that!

Good job...
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:42 PM
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Thanks guys. The car color is Kiln Red, I hope you don't like it a whole bunch. Once I get my new bumpers I am going the color change route and either going red or yellow. Red would be easier, but my wife said even she would drive it more if it were yellow. For many folks that would be a negative, but I enjoy keeping her a part of this hobby with me!
So, next question, what color would everyone else like to see an 83 SC with yellowbird bumpers and cup wheels?

Brian
Old 03-04-2003, 03:55 PM
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I would like sexy chocolate brown.......must be the hood in me.
Old 03-04-2003, 05:24 PM
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:43 PM
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Fly yellow, but I'm biased!
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Old 03-04-2003, 07:08 PM
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A bit of advice for others planning this job.

When you remove the torsion bars and radius arm/spring plate, take the time to center the spring plate if it is indeed the adjustable kind. The factory sets the plates so that you can only RAISE the car. If you center the adjustment, you can fine tune your ride height much more easily. Reindexing the t-bars is a pain in the rear, so use the adjusters when necessary! A thin (as in ultra thin = 0.1 in.) 36mm wrench is needed to reach the adjuster bolt head between the chassis and the spring plate (if the spring plate is still on the car). The wrench is $28 from Pelican.



$28 is a little pricey, but i'll glady pay that small amount to make my suspension adjustment MUCH easier.

Also, i'd recommend using a Moly EP grease or a quality synthetic grease for the t-bars' splines. Some general/all-purpose "lithium" greases don't last very long and are rubbed off too easily. The term lithium is misleading sometimes. Lots of greases use lithium as the base thickener. But all lithium greases are not the same! You can't go wrong with a good CV joint or wheel bearing grease.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:25 AM
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Get a similar wrench - a headset wrench - from your local bike shop for $15.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:34 AM
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I tried that. They looked at me like I had a third arm.

Maybe i'll try some online places?

Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:37 AM
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