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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 1991 Trooper II with 92,000 miles. Its a little tired, but with a little sweat and elbow grease, i should be able to make a presentable daily driver, occasional trail truck out of it.

One of the first thigns I have to do is to replace the shocks. Not a problem because I have the Haynes manual, a good workspace, all the tools I need, and all the parts I need. However, I'm looking for any pointers anyone may have about how to install the shocks and/or shackles on my truck.

FOr instance, what's the best way to turn the torsion bars up front so that the truck's stance will level out after the shackle installation? Any secrets I need to know about? Tips? Tricks? Anything you guys can tell me would be appreciated. :D
 

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Howdy. Well, shocks are fairly straight forward. Just take the weight off the corner or end of the vehicle you are changing shocks on. Sometimes they take a little wrestling to get in there. Solid axles are super easy. Never force anything. I've only seen one weird shock set up where stuff had to be removed to replace the shock. Struts are a completely different story, and don't get the two mixed up. Incorrect strut removal can injure you badly.

On the shackles, same rules apply. Generally speaking you want to unload everything for ease of operation and your personal safety. On the torsion bars, mark the torsion bars on the adjustment mechanism so you know where there were originally. There are little locker pieces on torsion bars. This will be the smaller bolt 10-13mm usually that holds the little clamp. Much like a distributor clamp set up.

The actual adjuster for the torsion bars is held back by the big bolt 20-30mm. Pretty basic, unscrew to release tension, and tighten to add tension. I wouldn't suggest tightening up the torsion bars beyond their specified settings. You can do a little leveling, but if you're trying to gain more than 3/4 of an inch you probably should look into getting a heavier duty torsion bar. If you overtighten they can break on you violently either while tightening or while driving. Hope this helps.

-Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply!

Ok, the info about the torsion bars was good to know. I actually bought some 1.75" lift shackles from Independent4x. I was planning to use the stock torsion bars with them, but now I'm thinking that's maybe not such a good idea, huh? :(

Anyway, I guess I need to find some new torsion bars, too? Anyone have any experience with the ones from Independent4x? Calmini? Anywhere else?

And as for the shocks, I've had a little experience with those. I just got out of a modified (header, throttle body, HF cat, catback, cams, short shifter, etc - 'bout 130whp) Ford Focus and into my '91 Trooper. My Ford was lightly modified, including KW suspension at all four corners. (MacPhersons in the front - what a PITA those are! :x ) So, I guess what I need the most input on is how to install the torsion bars to lift the truck the appropriate amount. After fooling around under the truck today, I think I have the rest of it figured out. :D
 

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I'm going to vote for just cranking up the torsion bars. If you get a heavy front bumper or a winch, some replacement torsion bars will help, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who actually has them in stock. Sway-A-Way makes them, but only in batches. Last I heard they needed 20 orders to make a batch.

99% of the lifted Isuzus out there have stock t-bars. The worse case is that you don't like it and start looking for a set of HD ones. If I recall correctly, 4 turns = about an inch. That varies truck to truck, but it is a good rule of thumb. Crank them up 6 turns (for 1.5 inches), drive around the block a few times to settle things in, and see if the truck is level. Also, jack up the truck by the frame in the front to relieve the strain on the torsion bars. This will make adjusting them easier.

-Tad
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually found a set of Torsion bars at 4wheelparts.com. They were being sold under the Draw-Tite brand name, but the part number was SAW1566. I'm guessing that they're the same thing being sold on other sites under other names. While the site listed them as being available only for Isuzu pickups, a little research revealed them to be nearly identical in terms of length (within literally a fraction of an inch - and my math could have been off) and exactly the same in diameter. Further, they have the same part number as a few other Isuzu specific places that I found them.

Well, now I've got one vote for replacing the torsion bars, and one for simply adjusting the ones already on the vehicle. Because I'm new to all of this, I could use a little extra help here.

The possibility of catastrophic failure while I'm driving my truck to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving (with my 3-yr.-old in it) is a pretty persuasive reason to replace, though... Other people must have used their stock running gear to do this. Any input from them? Longevity? Durability? Drivability? Does the fact that I currently have 31"x10.50" tires on the truck matter in terms of switching to new t-bars or keeping the old ones?

Help... :cry:
 

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COTrooper said:
........ I've got one vote for replacing the torsion bars, and one for simply adjusting the ones already on the vehicle. Because I'm new to all of this, I could use a little extra help here........
Now you have two votes for using your stock bars. Cranking them up puts absolutely NO more of a load on them than they were at stock height. :roll: The weight they are supporting is the same no matter how high or low the mass of that weight is. I've had mine cranked for years with ZERO PROBLEMS! Just do it!! :?

COTrooper said:
Does the fact that I currently have 31"x10.50" tires on the truck matter in terms of switching to new t-bars or keeping the old ones?
Nope, tires/wheels are unsprung weight so that has no effect on the load put on the t-bars. FYI.....I'm running 32X11.50's
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I just got a great e-mail from a web site owner. :D He's going to cut me a deal on some t-bars because I found 'em cheaper elsewhere. I guess I'll go ahead and buy them because I do plan to add a new, heavier bumper and maybe a winch at some point in the future.
 
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