Isuzu Torsion Bar Adjustment
Date: 2004, Jun 13
Author: Joe Berry
This article is to help those that are unfamiliar with IFS (Independent front suspension) style trucks raise the front end of their ZU.
The tools needed:
• ½” ratchet or ½” breaker bar or a ½” impact wrench
• ½” drive 27mm socket (1-1/16” works too)
• Cheater bar (piece of pipe to slip over the handle)
• Jack stands
• Floor jack
• Penetrating oil
• Measuring tape
Before you try to do this, spray the threads of your adjuster bolts several times. If they are very dirty hit them with a wire brush then oil them. These can be tough on older rigs like my 88 Trooper was.
Lift the front of the truck a bit with the floor jack, not necessarily off of the ground but enough to relax the torsion bars. Put the jack stands under the frame. Never work under any vehicle with only a jack, always use jack stands.
Next to find your adjuster bolts, look at the lower a-arm and you will see a bar coming out of the back of the a-arm (about an inch in diameter - see pic below) called a torsion bar (this is your front spring) follow it back to the cross member where there is a large bolt head on the underside of the cross member. This is your adjuster bolt for your torsion bar:
see image 1
Here is the torsion bar where it comes out the back of the lower a-arm:
see image 2
Here is the other end of the torsion bar where it goes into the adjuster:
see image 3
To lift turn it clockwise, to lower turn counter clockwise. You may need to use a length of pipe to add some leverage. These things can be a bear if you are working on an older rig. My 88 Trooper drivers side adjuster was frozen solid. I broke a ½” Craftsman ratchet like it was nothing. I ended up using a ¾” breaker bar and about a 4’ piece of pipe. A rule of thumb is 4 complete turns is an inch of lift. This will vary from truck to truck depending upon the condition of your torsion bars. I used the impact wrench method (once mine broke loose) so I didn’t do much counting of turns.
Drive around some bumpy areas to let the springs settle in a bit then re-measure. Adjust as necessary. Drive for a few days and measure again. Adjust if necessary. Go get an alignment. Your tires will probably look like \--/ This can and needs to be fixed at the alignment shop.
This should be all anyone should need to adjust your own torsion bars. There are some cases where you may run out of threads to adjust, you will in these cases need to “re-index” your torsion bar(s). This isn’t typically necessary. To re-index you have to take your t-bar adjuster completely loose and take the t-bar out of where it attaches and rotate one end to pre-load it. Then adjust it as necessary.
I hope this helps some people become more familiar with their trucks and gets them into their driveway or garage instead of a 4x4 shop.
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