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Level front end - Tbar and sway bar equalizing

  #1  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Level front end - Tbar and sway bar equalizing

I replaced the rear shocks because I suspected one of the two was totally inop by the way it got squirrelly on the highway when i hit a dip or rise.
Not so. When I jacked the right side, I looked forward and saw the right end of the front sway bar hanging down.

Setting the car back on the ground, I looked at the sway and lower control arm

Note the difference.. about 3/4 inch with pass side still connected

Then I did a quick of the height each side

Driver side..



And the passenger side



So I cranked the Tbar on Driver side till I could just wedge that bushing between the sway and and the stack
Then I rechecked the height of the fender lip above the tire each side. Now it was the same.

This is why you disconnect one sway link when you change the tbar sets.

I had done that same check previously and there was a difference but not nearly as much as above without the influence of the sway.

Installing the new links, wheels on ground, the first side was a little tough getting the bushes compressed enough to start the nut*. I tightened it first, then installed the second side, had to jam the stack in but was not too hard, no prying necessary.. and the difference was I had a couple threads to work with.

If I had not equalized the tbars, it would have been a real pain.
* On afterthought: I should have used the bolt, 2 washers, and nut on the other side to pull the bar up and compress the first side enough to start the nut. Work smart. not hard.

Summary:
1. You can not adjust Tbars accurately without disconnecting the sway on at least one side.
2. If the height is equal on each side with link disconnected AND the ends of sway bar are same distance from control arm link mount, your frame is not bent or torqued.
 

Last edited by pettyfog; 03-28-2012 at 09:59 PM.
  #2  
Old 03-29-2012, 09:42 PM
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Adjusting the T bars does level the body. Only problem with that is the T bars aren't meant to adjust the body. They are for adjusting front chassis ride height, (suspension).

Straight from the GM dealer issue shop manual:

Front chassis ride height is the vertical distance between the lower-most inboard point of the steering knuckle, nearest the ball joint, to the center of the lower control arm pivot bolt.

1996 & newer:
4WD (except ZR2 & Z85) = 4.6 to 5.0 (4.8 is preferred)
4WD ZR2 & Z85 = 4.6 to 5.2 (4.9 is preferred)

It is to be adjusted with the vehicle normally loaded on a level surface. Nothing about disconnecting anything, gotta be just as the vehicle normally sits. If you really want accuracy, half tank of fuel and driver in the drivers seat. If the body is not level after adjusting front chassis ride height, look for a problem with the body or body mounts. The purpose of adjusting ride height is to keep the suspension at the proper height so all suspension and steering linkage parts operate within their designed range of motion. After any torsion bar adjustment, the wheel alignment should at least be checked, little bit of crank equals big difference in alignment.
 
  #3  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:54 PM
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I had my T bars out because of a repair I was doing. being a little over confident put them back in, the front end looked droopy so while it was on a level surface I measured the distance from the floor to the top of the fender well, on all four wheels and adjusted the T bars until they were all equal. this might have not been the right way to do it but it was at the time the best logic I had. since then I have replaced both lower ball joint and one upper ball joint and replaced all four shocks, and the front stabilizer bushings.then took it to the alignment shop. I told them what all I had replaced & done. The steering running down the highway pulls a little to the right, and little bumps make it pull to one way or the other. (like bump steering like I need a steering stabilizer shock) this problem was not there prior to all the work that had been done. could I have to much tension on one side than I do on the other. Should I take the sway bar loose and see if I am level side to side as pettyfog was doing? things just have not be quiet right since the T bars was out and the other work was done. I am not beyond adding a steering stabilizer to the vehicle but it didn't seem to need it before. and the alignment shop I took it to don't have the best track record. but it was the only other choice I had except for the dealership we have in town.
 

Last edited by dano440; 04-20-2012 at 07:56 PM.
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