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This is regarding the 1990 K1500 stroker FAST EZ EFI 2.0…

This is regarding the 1990...
This is regarding the 1990 K1500 stroker FAST EZ EFI 2.0 project. I have replaced every chassis bushing with energy suspension polyurethane bushings. I had everything together once, drove it for approx. 7,000 miles, then took everything apart to recondition the frame. It took some adjusting, but had the suspension set with the rear approx 1” higher then the front (measuring from center of fender well quarter panel to ground). I put everything back together. To get the the 1” higher rear than front, now 1 torsion bar is adjusted a lot more than the other. When I went to torque the front sway bar links, the upper control arm is too close the L top link, the R side appears to be correct. I don’t believe it is possible to install the upper control arms by switching L and R sides. I replaced the upper ball joints. There is approx 1/8” gap between the dust boot and joint. I called moog at the time. They said it was normal. I know that those ball joint gave since been redesigned with a metal ring around the top to hold the boot tight. What is my best option here? Replace the torsion bars and upper control arms? Those torsion bars are difficult to find. Coil overs?
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
10/21/2017
K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3,576
Experience: ASE Certified Technician, Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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Could you post some pictures of each side? I have a feeling that one bar the is overly adjusted might be sprung so to speak

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I’m there right now, but will take some pictures and post when I get there. To adjust them I took all of the adjustment out, so that the torsion bar keys/bolts were loose. One of the torsion bars takes a lot more adjustment/torque to get the truck to sit right than the other. The torsion bars that are in it are the originals from the factory.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
When I adjusted them, I went approx 1/4 turn at a time.

Sounds good. It does sound like an issue with that bar. When adjusting did they both go up level for a certain amount then that one side just kind of stop moving as much? Are these aftermarket keys? How high over stock are you adjusted too?

You can reply anytime tonight. I'm going to grab some supper but will be back in a bit and on late as usual.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I had to adjust several times to get the measurements right. I measured all both sides front and rear every time. All of the measurements kept changing. This happened before, when I replaced all of the bushings and then drove it. Although that time, there wasn’t an obvious issue with the front sway bar. I know that the lower control arms are good, new lower ball joints. The keys are original, in good condition. I’m not sure what the stock adjustment is other than the 1” rule.

Did you preload the bars? I'll post the factory adjustment info below

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I did not pre-load the bars. How is that done? I know that there L and R sides. They are on the correct sides. It’s possible that one or both might be in backwards. How do I identify the front and back of each torsion bar? Do you have the oe part #’s? I will double check to make the L and R bars are on the correct sides. I did follow that procedure. I don’t think that it can be put together any other way.

Thanks for your patience, I was gathering part #'s and speaking with a colleague who does more torsion bar builds than myself.

The bars should have the last 3 digits of their part number stamped into the front of them, Along with an arrow that indicates their intended"force" direction. The driver side bar is normally 1 digit lower than the passenger side bar. There will also be a load rating on the bar. Part numbers can be found in the chart HERE

If the bars are in properly they are definitely fatigued, at least that one. If you cannot find a replacement bar by googling part #'s what I would suggest is this kit which is a key made for this issue. If you click on the installation tab it shows how the bars are preloaded.

So in conclusion check the part #'s on the bars to make sure they are in proper sides then you could either go new bar, if we can find them, or the kit with 0-3" adjustment

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Actually the driver’s side is 1 digit higher. Please check those numbers if they are correct. If so, I am going to purchase them. I know that the ones are are in my truck now are worn out. I got these numbers from gmpartsnow.com. I entered the vin. That’s what came up.

I crossed them over at gm parts direct and they do fit and they have them listed a few bucks lower. I believe part #'s in that chart I posted have been superseded. Link to gm parts direct

Nalley GMC is in Georgia and is usually the lowest on prices I use them a good bit. I don't have parts dept # on hand put you may want to call and check with them monday.

SERVICE(###) ###-####/a>

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
For the keys, they list a standard duty and a hd, for my vin. What works best?

The HD key will give you a little more lift capacity. More lift is going to equal a little harsher ride.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
For the rear suspension, I had the rear leafs re-arced, added 1 leaf. The tires are 285/75/16 (33”). I want a hard core ride, but don’t want the front higher or harder than the rear. I need the rears 1” higher than the fronts. Given that information, what keys would you recommend?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Overall the suspension should come out to a 2” lift above oe.

If you go with the HD key it's going to be winding pretty hard on the bars for 2"

There's a reasonably priced aftermarket key HERE that I've used in the past with no issues

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I also recommend this tool over the other design for loading/unloading the bars. The c clamp kind can get pretty sketchy.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The cost between the GM parts direct standard duty and the ones that you just posted are really close. I’m leaning towards going with the standard duty GM ones because I am about to order an all new torsion bar setup. I trust your judgement. If the results would be the same, I’m going with the GM ones. If the ones that you recommended would be better for my setup, then I will go with them.

I would go with the non gm ones as they are designed for a lift. The factory GM one's will lift the vehicle but there is going to be more tension on the torsion bar resulting in a stiffer ride. If you do want that stiffer feeling than the GM key is the way to go.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I want the front and rears to feel stiff, but symmetrical with the 1” rear higher than the front. Would the non-GM ones that are designed for the 1-3” lift work better for that result?

I feel the non gm ones would. I suspect with the rear being raised you'll be adjusting the front up to the 2" or so range which will stiffen things up but still be mannerable on the road.

K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3,576
Experience: ASE Certified Technician, Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you.

You're welcome, hope you have a good night.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
It’s better now that this problem is about to be resolved...thank you for all of your assistance. I really appreciate it.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
In order to install the adjustment screw nut into the crossmember, the tool must be used to tighten the key, to provide for enough space to install it. When the tool is removed, and the screw nut is installed, the torsion bar is has tension in it, loaded some. That is the pre-load you were referring to correct?

That's correct.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Then, yes I did that. There is no other way to install them. I will get back to you when the parts arrive. Thank you.

You're welcome

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I have another question when your online.

I'll be around the rest of the day.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The ends where the links connect also seem to have more of an angle compared to what was in it. The one that I pulled out of it is aftermarket. I know it was correct for year/series of truck, not 100% sure is was right for model. It seems like if I install the GM one, there will be an angle between the lca and sway bar, that the bushings might not sit square. Thank you.

Hello, I see it most on that last picture, where it looks like the newer one has more of a right bend. I would mock everything up and see how it sits.

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It does look like there's another bend up by the curve to compensate

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It just looks there is a bend in the bar where the bushings (that are straight) would sit. Also, ends look like they will not be parallel to the lca once they are installed. The one I pulled out was parallel, just off. My intention is to install the new torsion bars first, adjust for proper ride height. Then install the sway bar. What do you think?

That's what I was going to suggest. Seeing where everything ends up will help greatly. I'm happy to see you've gotten some more time to work on it.

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