Setting torsion bars from scratch

Various setups, tips, etc.

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Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » February 22nd, 2013, 1:44 am

I'm doing a CRX/civic Manual rack swap, but have some 27mm torsion bars to go in (and I have a spare set of torque tubes as well). So I want to set up the entire subframe first with T-bars, tubes and new bushings for a bolt-out-bolt-in swap.

I have removed the stock t-bars and tubes, and it appears that the lowre control arms don't have a key way (win), but visually, without any load, they appear to be set at different angles. Just wanted to get a few opinions on how to proceed.

1. when installing the torsion bars, how far should the torque tube nuts be wound up?
2. should the control arms be at an equal angle when unloaded/neutral? is it even possible to adjust/rotate them? and if they do need to be at an equal angle, what should that be?
3. my hyperflex master kit lists "front lower control arm bushings". but just to confirm, they're actually the radius arm bushings?

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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby MinkelR » February 22nd, 2013, 2:04 am

It might be a little difficult to get it set right without doing a trial and error on the car if you've never done it before.

1. It all depends on what ride height you want. If you drop it a spline to lower it your torque tube nut will be tightened more vs stock.
2. They should be at an equal angle for an even ride height on either side although I've got mine 1/4" higher on the drivers side. On a stock car they normally come down around 30-40 degrees in the down direction. They'll be slightly higher up on a lowered car.
3. The control arms they list are for the radius arm bushings.

If they come out all funky you can adjust them with the subframe on the car. If you back the torsion bar out of the torsion tube (or lower arm, whichever doesn't have a keyway) you can turn the bar one spline up or down, whichever way is necessary. Then tap them back in. You can use your current rack for reference when it's out of the car too.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » February 22nd, 2013, 3:30 am

cheers, thanks for the reply. i get the feeling that this may be a trial and error situation, and i'll likely need to adjust it whilst mounted on the car. i'm just hoping to minmise the level of adjustment required.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » February 25th, 2013, 2:19 am

i'm trying to adjust the lower control arms on their own so that at an unloaded state, they're equally angled, but they don't seem to want to rotate freely. when i apply force they turn a little bit, but that just appears to twist the LCA bushing, and it springs back into place as soon as i let go.

obviously LCA's are supposed to be able to rotate on their axis, but how am i supposed to adjust them without taking them off? or will it be a matter of rotating the LCA to the correct angle by force just before inserting the torsion bar. Should i be concerned with the amount of extra load placed on the bearing - i don't want the bearing to be over-twisted, which i imagine would cause premature wear...?

am i missing something? or just worrying needlessly about things that i shouldn't be concerned with?
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby MinkelR » February 25th, 2013, 12:08 pm

The lower arm for the t-bar will only drop so far while it's bolted to the radius arm. Unsprung, the lower arm will rest lower than the radius arm.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby Biscuit » February 26th, 2013, 11:15 am

The LCA bushings should not twist that much. Lube the mating surfaces with any synthetic grease!

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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » March 3rd, 2013, 11:52 pm

so the torsion arms refused to budge, they're solidly set in place, so could not really adjust or rotate them. i think that the majority of adjustment to get the height settings correct will occur on car.

given that t-bars are non-progressive springs, even if the height adjustment nuts are at different levels in order to get the same height, the spring rate will sill be the same on both sides yeah? (ie. even if one t-bar is twisted slightly more than the other...?)
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby MinkelR » March 4th, 2013, 6:47 am

qikteg wrote:so the torsion arms refused to budge, they're solidly set in place, so could not really adjust or rotate them. i think that the majority of adjustment to get the height settings correct will occur on car.

If there is any torsion applied to them, such as the radius arms being bolted on with an unloaded suspension, then they won't budge. Also, make sure the snap ring and clip are off the bar.

qikteg wrote:given that t-bars are non-progressive springs, even if the height adjustment nuts are at different levels in order to get the same height, the spring rate will sill be the same on both sides yeah? (ie. even if one t-bar is twisted slightly more than the other...?)

I believe your assumption is correct.

You can adjust the spline position while they are on the car. Don't even have to remove the wheel. Just undo the height adjustment nut almost all the way. Then jack up the car until you see the torsion tube untension (look for it to move up off the adjustment nut). Pull off the torsion adjustment nut, torsion tube cap and snap ring. Then carefully remove the torsion tube just enough to disengage the splines and rotate it in the direction needed. Reassemble and drop the car.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » March 5th, 2013, 4:59 am

cool, thanks for the tip. i think i may need to set aside a weekend to do all this, as it seems like it may get a bit fiddly.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby MugenBOI » April 1st, 2013, 2:26 pm

Do you have pics of what you worked on qikteg ?
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby 87g1teger » April 1st, 2013, 3:57 pm

I would file down the reliefs in the sub frame tubes..
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby 87g1teger » April 1st, 2013, 3:57 pm

The key-way..
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby Mako » April 2nd, 2013, 5:19 pm

Not to thread jack but I recently replaced my suspension and steering, now the car sits 4/5 fingers high off the top of the tire. Obviously the torsions need to be rotated but is it high due to new shocks/structs upfront or should I have jacked up the whole knuckle with new radius arm installed and them tightened the radius arm bolts?
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby evtsteward » April 2nd, 2013, 6:20 pm

IIRC, the FSM states from the garage floor to the highest arch of the fenders s/b 24.5 inches. My SE has always had 4-5 fingers between the tire and fender at that ride height. :? If you're not bottoming the struts out when cruising then that's stock. :geek:
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby MinkelR » April 2nd, 2013, 10:19 pm

That's normal ride height. Our stock suspension is that of a Jeep. lol
If you want to drop it down a little to even it with the rear you can loosen the torsion bar adjustment nut on the torsion bar tube.
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Re: Setting torsion bars from scratch

Postby qikteg » April 2nd, 2013, 10:30 pm

MugenBOI wrote:Do you have pics of what you worked on qikteg ?

yeah heaps, i'll throw it all together in an FAQ thread tonight or tomorrow - it also shows the install of some of the energy suspension bushes.

achieved a satisfactory outcome in terms of equalising the ride height, i think one nut is wound maybe 4 turns more than the other - but working on the premise of non-progressive spring rates, i don't see how this would affect the balance or handling of the vehicle.
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