Author Topic: '86 Pickup torsion bars  (Read 1689 times)

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Prospectors77

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'86 Pickup torsion bars
« on: May 07, 2017, 09:59:27 AM »
1986 Pickup on 31 bfg's (going 32's once these wear out), steel wheel and front tube bumper; anyone have any experience or know of anyone who used SAW torsion bars or can point me in the right direction on a review on them?  Trying to figure out if I just should get new OEM bars or SAW for the extra weight up front.  The bars on the truck now are over 30 years old and probably are a little tired.  Yes, I realize everything is about SAS but don't exactly have the parts or budget for that as of now. I'm working on becoming a better driver first and not being that guy who has a $10,000 rig and can't even drive it. 

Snowtoy

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 12:21:12 PM »
If the t-bars haven't been cranked up for lift, or have a noticeable sag, they are likely fine, if you are wanting to restore the stock suspension, there are better things to spend the $200 on, like upper/lower control arm bushings, upper/lower ball-joints, tie-rod ends, body mounts, etc,
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

Prospectors77 [OP]

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 12:50:32 PM »
All those things listed, minus the body mounts have been replaced in the last month.  That's how I got the thinking about the t-bars.  I believe they haven't been all cranked on, at least they aren't now, but over 30 years i don't know what they've been though.  They don't look to have a sag to them but I don't know what new/never been messed with looks like either.

Snowtoy

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 04:58:40 PM »
Unlike leaf springs that do sag from age, t-bars don't seem to have that problem.  The t-bars usually become an issue when people crank lift into them, or install a heavy bumper and winch, w/o doing either of theses, the stock ones should be fine.

 I have owned my '90  it since new, it now has just under 200k on it, most of which have been clocked weighing 1000-1500 lbs over stock, and there has never been an issue with t-bar sag, the same with my '91 with 220k.
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

H8PVMNT

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 10:20:36 AM »
I used sway-a-way torsion bars back when I had IFS in the late 90s and they were pretty nice.  Rode better than stock for sure.

I think I still have them in the shed. They were powder coated white instead of red back then. I guess I've always supposed I would have an IFS daily driver to put them on some day but it hasn't happened yet :).

If you want them I could maybe sell them to you.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 10:26:21 AM by H8PVMNT »
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
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"I plan to hit 300k in this truck"  :)bestgen4runner

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Prospectors77 [OP]

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 06:01:03 PM »
so there is a noticeable difference over OEM?

Snowtoy

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 11:17:42 PM »
so there is a noticeable difference over OEM?

No, with a 20-30% increase in spring rate, there will be a noticeable difference.  The higher rate on stock setr-up will cause a stiffer ride, better for cornering(less body roll) and high speed travel over rutted out roads(not as likely to bottom out the suspension), but not so good for highway crusing
'90 black X-cab mod'd 3.0, 33's/4.88's, rear ARB, custom bumpers, sliders, safari rack, etc.
'91 Blue X-cab 22re, 35's/5.29's,Truetrac front, ARB rear, dual cases, and custom Safari flatbed, bumper, interior.
The money pit '87 Supra resto/mod

H8PVMNT

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Re: '86 Pickup torsion bars
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 07:31:20 AM »
Well they ride slightly firmer but nicer if that makes any sense.  If you are trying to crank in a little lift with stock bars they feel more harsh and still bottom out more.  The larger aftermarket bars don't require as much preload to achieve the same lift and you won't be smacking into the bumps as much.


I had some Old Man Emu bars on a '95 4runner and they were just as good as the sway a way bars.  Ran some Downeys on an '86 pickup and they were good too.  The oversized torsion bar is definitely an upgrade if you must run IFS.

The best thing to do is to use low profile bump stops, at least on the down travel side, so you don't loose down travel from cranking in a little lift.

It also really good to make a cross member to bolt up in between the rear of the lower control arm mounting points.  If you put a cross member in there to brace things up you won't have to get an alignment every time you go wheeling :).
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
Steve McQueen

"Except for maybe Seattle."  -H8PVMNT

"I plan to hit 300k in this truck"  :)bestgen4runner

 "I'm jealous of your shop. It has concrete and doesn't smell like pickles like the old shop  "  300K

 
 
 
 
 

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