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Chuck Moreland's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 5,666
How to: Spring plate replacement, part 3

This is part 3 of three threads that covers spring plate and torsion bar replacement. Part 1 covered removal. Part 2 covered bushing replacement. Part 3 will be replacement. See part 1 here and See part 2 here

Click any image for a larger view

Start by assembling the spring plates. The large eccentric bolt provides a height adjustment capability. Position it in the center of its range. This will give you +- .75 inches of range to make final adjustments.

Next install the spring plates.

Apply a good quality grease to the bearing surfaces. Try to fill the grease grooves.

I recommend doing a dry run, installing the spring plates without torsion bars to ensure the plates are moving freely. Pull the trailing arm back so it does not interfere with the spring plate. Slip the spring plate into place, install the spring plate cover and torque it down.

The spring plates should move freely without binding or friction. If they are tight, inspect the bearings to be sure they are full seated. With the plates moving freely, remove the spring plates covers and plates.

Grease up the torsion bars. It's a good idea to grease the entire bar for corrosion protection and the splines for easy installation. Slip the bar into the torsion bar tube.

Slip the spring plate over the torsion bar. Carefully compare the scribed line to the edge of the spring plate. You will note that indexing the torsion bar one spline makes a large change in the angle of the spring plate. Not to worry.

The torsion bar has a different spline count on each end. This makes it possible to make very fine adjustments in spring plate angle by rotating both splined ends simultaneously. I'll leave it as a homework assignment for anyone who wants to compute the affect of rotating each end. I find it easier to simply pull the torsion bar out, rotate the inside a spline or two, then do another test fit. Repeat until you get the desired angle. It usually only takes a few attempts to dial it in.

If you are re-installing the same torsion bars and want to maintain the same ride height your job is relatively easy; make the lines parallel.

If you are installing stiffer torsion bars and / or are adjusting ride height, you need to install the spring plate at an angle different than scribed line. Stiffer torsion bars will droop less under the weight of the car. The stiffer the torsion bar, the less droop. You will need to take a guess at how much to compensate for the new torsion bar stiffness and / or ride height. Fortunately the spring plates offer some adjustment for ride height, so you just need to get close. Careful here, too far off and you will be pulling this apart again to re-index the torsion bars.

Install the spring plate cover. Attach spring plate to trailing arm using two bolts.

You may need to lift the trailing arm with a jack to get the rearmost lower spring plate cover bolt and spacer into place.

Install the inner trailing arm link. The fit is tight, tap it into place using a mallet.

Next attach the front bushings to the tub. Use a jack to raise entire torsion tube assembly up into position. It is helpful to have two jacks, one on each side.

Once the bushing lines up, slip the bolt in. It probably wont go through the backside yet, you'll come back to this.

While you are raising the assembly up, make sure it aligns properly with the little hooks on the torque tube. A little pushing and prodding should be all it takes.

Attach the rear mounting bolts.

With the rear mounting bolts in place, the front bushing bolt hole should now line up better and the bolts should be fully installed.

Now it's just cleanup. Reinstall the sway bar, lower shock bolts, driver side axle, and spring clips for the brake lines. Go through and check all bolts for proper torque. Give a couple squirts of grease to each of the grease nipples for good measure.

All put back together, it looks like this:

To finish off the job you'll need to fine-tune ride height using the spring plate height adjusters. This is a straight forward process of loosening the bolts and turning the big eccentric nut. You will need the special 36mm wrench made for this job. Then get a good four wheel alignment and corner balance.

Now go out and drive. Appreciate your car's new-found handling precision.

See part 1 here and See part 2 here
Chuck Moreland - -
Old 07-26-2004, 02:42 PM
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