I installed the new torsion keys and shocks yesterday. I was gonna post up pics last night but the wife was on eBay and then my boy just HAD to get on CartoonNetwork.com. Fair enough. Anyway, here's a walk through of how it went...
1 - Here's how she sat prior to the leveling:
2 - Fender measurement on drivers side prior to level:
3 - On the stands, wheels removed:
4 - Removing the drivers side shock. I had to position the ratchet against the brace for the upper arm to keep it from turning the whole shock when I was removing the nut for the top shock mount. I was too lazy to just hold it myself:
5 - Old and new shock. Most of the tools in the pic were never used, I just grabbed everything I had and spread them all around me because I didn't know what I was gonna need:
6 - No shock, front suspension mostly unloaded:
7 - Ball joint press applying tension to the key so I can remove the bolt and retainer. Not the best tool for this, but it's usable. I had it slip off more than once while I was tightening it. That and the exhaust got in the way big time on both sides. That torsion bar bolt was rusted TIGHT. Even with no tension on it, it was very difficult to turn.
8 - Soaked it with WD-40 and that helped a LOT:
9 - Bolt and retainer removed.The only shiny part of the bolt was an easy way for me to be able to tell how much to screw it in once the new key was on because I wasn't smart enough to mark it ahead of time:
10 - Old rusted key vs new pretty shiny key. You can see the offset between the two here:
11 - New Key installed:
The instructions that I read somewhere said that you have to simply slide the torsion bar forward and let the old key easily and gracefully fall out. Not quite. I actually had to slide the bar towards the rear of the truck to completely remove it from the lower control arm that it sits in and then aim it toward the middle of the truck and push it forward. Then the old rusty key wigged and squirmed and finally fell off. One of the biggest hassles of the whole experience was that the passenger side bar was stuck in the lower arm and I couldn't pull it free. I wound up having to get a pry bar and apply pressure down
on the top of the key where the bolt usually pushes it up from the bottom of the key. Getting on top of it and prying it down eventually jarred it loose and I was able to manipulate the bar and get the old key off.
12 - Drivers side all done and ready for the tire:
13 - Passenger side key being installed:
14 - Passenger side shock installed, pic taken after the wheel was back on cause I was tired and filthy and didn't think to take the pic before hand:
15 - Level in the garage!!!
16 - Level in my driveway (crappy picture taken at night in the rain, sorry)!!!
17 - Level in a bank drive thru!!!
I wound up raising both sides about 3 inches and then took it for a test drive. The first thing I noticed was that it was definitely harder to get in the truck, which is AWESOME! A couple of inches makes a big difference (where have I heard that before??). I drove over a couple of speed bumps at about 25 mph and I could tell the ride was a bit stiffer but the new shocks seem to keep things in order pretty well. By the time I got back, it had settled down to a 2 to 2.5 inch lift. Right now both front sides measure about 39.75 inches where they were 37 on the drivers side and 37.5 on the passenger side beforehand. I tested it in 4wd and there was no shudder or vibration, and the CV angles don't look too bad. Now I need an alignment, bad, I can tell the wheel slants at an angle now, so hopefully I can get that scheduled by Wednesday or something.
Hope you enjoy the pics and if you have any questions, lemme know. I know this was not a complicated install, but it's the most aggressive thing I've undertaken yet. I'm VERY glad I wound up doing this myself rather than paying a shop to do it. I'll try to get some more outside pics once it stops raining here in northern IL. That might not be for a while, the way things are looking lately.
Thanks for looking.