Rachgier's Transmission Debacle. Now with more torsion bars!

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Rachgier, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Well I was going to keep it going, but I just had to order another $60 worth of truck parts and still can't find the right gasket set for the housing between my trans, tail shaft extension cover, and transfer case. Frustrated is putting it mildly.
     
    hillcogolfer likes this.
  2. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
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    Damn Dodges. You should have gone with either a Ford, Nissan, or Toyota.
     
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  3. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    And i think the guy I bought it from cheated by pulling the torsion bar support beam, so I MIGHT have to split the shaft housing from the new transfer case. Another gasket...
     
  4. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
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    How did the torsion bars stay attached without something on the end to which to be attached?
     
  5. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Are you familiar with the torsion bar system? Basically, for anyone who isn't, the torsion bars have hex head ends that fit in to the lower control arm on one side, and a torsion key on the other end towards the middle of the vehicle. The key end has a bolted on cross bar the spans the width of the frame. In this bar there are removable half moon bolt blocks and reinforced slots to support them in order to add or remove torque from the torsion bars in order to level your front suspension. Basically tighten the bolt down to rotate the key and increase the height, or loosen it to lower. I bought lift/level keys last year and a 1" rear lift with longer shocks and moog heavy duty coils. Raised the rear a full 1.5" and took the sag out of the front end, plus raised it level with the rear. I still have another 2" of lift I can get by cranking the keys to max. Not something I recommend, unless you want to eat up tie rod ends. Those were also replaced when I replaced my entire front suspension from the frame out.
     
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  6. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
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    My knowledge of torsion bar systems is veeery broad and sketchy, so I just picture a bar going from an A-arm to a crossmember. When you say he cheated by pulling the support beam, do you mean he altered its dimensions to tug the torsion bars to achieve his desired effect instead of just cranking them to get the effect?
     
  7. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    No. The truck i got this transmission from was rolled. I believe the guy who was parting it out pulled the torsion bars, keys, and cross member out to sell them before he pulled the transmission. While it doesn't allow for a fully connected trans/t-case removal, it certainly makes it a whole lot easier. I'll get pictures of my burban's set up tomorrow. I just finished replacing the cooler line on the Silverado and already vacated the shop.
     
  8. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
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    Pictures are good. Speaking of Silverados, I had one that blew out its intake manifold gasket at about 55K. That thing was a disaster of a vehicle. I actually walked over to the Nissan lot the very last time I was having work done on it (I don't have the tools and a shop to do more than change out minor things like plugs, oil, hoses, tires, and stuff). When the truck was finished, I traded it in for the vehicle I'd identified for purchase. That thing might as well have been a Dodge.
     
  9. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Two 1k sqft shops at my old place full of tools, 3 rolling tool chests, big old stand up compressor, mill, lathe, drill press, reloading equipment, saws, hand tools, electrical stuff, plumbing stuff, work benches, and a couple of motorcycles. Plus my garage in the new place has a rotating stock of the chit I use working on this place.
     
  10. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
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    Quite the jackpot.
     
  11. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Alrighty than!

    So. Torsion bars and transmission removal. In pictorial form.

    Front end of torsion bar where it fits in to the lower control arm.
    20200912_160031.jpg

    Rear of the torsion bar and the torsion bar cross support.
    20200912_160046.jpg

    Torsion key and adjustment bolt/block.
    20200912_160102.jpg

    Where the transfer case used to live.
    20200912_160156.jpg
     
  12. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    @Think1st , with the pictures you can see how the torsion system works. To remove it you need a special C-clamp with a dowel locator on it to prevent it from slipped off of the cross member when you take the load of the key to remove the bolt and block before unloading the torsion bar with the clamp to remove the key.

    About a foot of the transfer case lives above that bar, making it impossible to slide the transmission back far enough to remove it, without making it nose dive off the jack.

    I say the guy cheated because he split the trans and extension housing, where a i split the t-case and extension housing. I barely had clearance to tip the transfer case down for removal. My case is below the newsed case.

    20200912_161714.jpg

    He would have had to clear 4" of shaft with an extra 5" of housing on the end. I only had to clear the 1" bolts because the shaft isn't longer than the extension cover.
     
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  13. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    8,772
    2,246
    Florida
    That looks like a royal PITA. Years and years ago, I helped a buddy swap out an engine in his vehicle at the installation's auto craft shop, and he pulled the engine with the transmission attached, tilting it as he raised in on the hand-cranked engine lift. I remembered wondering how the heck you'd ever drop a tranny with the crossmember being in the way if you didn't want to pull the engine. Also, I remember there not being a lot of room to get to the bolts between the rear of the engine block and the firewall. That was just a 1980 Monte Carlo, so there weren't any 4WD components to deal with.
     
  14. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    It's easy have a mechanic do it. They have all the equipment
     
    Think1st likes this.
  15. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Or be a man.
     
    Chef Duane likes this.
  16. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I had to pull the transmission crossmember and Y pipe to get to the transmission. And 20lbs of mud...
    received_1328157000849241.jpeg
     
  17. Yeah, I remember back in the day when your buddies would brag that they 'did a lift on their truck' when all they did was jack the torsion bars to max out. You'd get a minor lift but your teeth would rattle going over a speed bump.
     
    Merle likes this.
  18. ... and half the battle is having the right tools and work area to do it. :) ... and knowledge of course.
     
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  19. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    You so funny.
     
    Think1st likes this.
  20. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    And taller than you, your wife, and your camo kid.