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Torsion bar lift?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Phizinza

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 04:40 AM

When you clock your torsion bar 1 notch how much lift do you gain?
I have a 2" lift all round but with the more weight on the front from the EJ I find the rear sits to high. And instead of adjusting the torsion bar I thought I may be able to get more room under my diff by removing the rear 2" lift and clocking the torsion bar to get an extra 1" so I loose 1" of wheel to fender hight on the rear to even up the car.

#2 Qman

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 03:48 PM

In theory it will work. I reclocked the torsion bar on my old Hatch. The ride is much stiffer. And more tension is placed on the axles. Your choice but the slight rake front to rear is sort of a Subaru trademark.

#3 Phizinza

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:36 PM

Hmm, I would gain more positive camber on the rear doing this. I would also loose down travel. But I gain ground clearnce.

At the moment my rear axles only have about 1.5" drop to the hub. So I reckon they could take more angle.

As for the spring. Surely because the spring rate is the same in both positions, and the weight of the car is the same, the spring would stay the same stiffness? Turning the adjuster bolt on the torsion bar in theory should only change the ride hight as the spring is still twisted that same amount. So clocking the torsion bar should just bring the arm and hub down and further forward but the torsion bars stay the same rate.
Or am I completely wrong?

I have another idea, but it costs a fair bit more.
Make 3" lift blocks for the front, change the steering lift, buy new lift bolts, and have a 3-2 lift. I like the angle on my front shafts now as I did go through 2 shafts in 2 years the way I had it before. So I don't just want to adjust the front springs.

#4 Numbchux

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:13 AM

Hmm, I would gain more positive camber on the rear doing this. I would also loose down travel. But I gain ground clearnce.


nope. the trailing arms maintain 0 camber in the rear throughout their entire range of motion.

why would reclocking it reduce down travel?

My buddy did this on his '88 hatch. reclocked it 2 notches, and then backed off the adjustment bolt a bunch (4" AA kit, didn't use the blocks for the torsion bar, he saw the damage done to the poopenvagon :eek: ). it travels very nicely, obviously a substantially softer ride than with the cranked adjustment bolt, and way more flex. He says he thinks it might even ride softer than it did before cranking up the torsion bar.

we're planning to do the same on another buddy's '84 brat.


obviously with blocks to drop the diff down a few inches. and longer rear shocks.

#5 Phizinza

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 06:38 PM

nope. the trailing arms maintain 0 camber in the rear throughout their entire range of motion.

I'm not sure if I am correct on this one but... I've seen a Brumby with the torsion bar set how I was saying and you could see the positive camber on the wheels. It looked pretty bad. Plus on a mates 88 wagon we put 4" strut lift in with only a 2" lift and he was getting pretty bad looking positive camber. :-\

why would reclocking it reduce down travel?

Because it sets the sitting position lower on the shocker, thus giving it less room to move down. If I remove the 2" lift blocks and then try to gain another inch of lift with the torsion bar the shockers would be like that. Unless I kept the shock extensions, which if I remember correctly on my car I have to because the shocks mount differently and the extensions are more like adapters.


I still don't seem to grasp why changing the ride hight of the torsion bar would stiffen or soften the ride. I'm going to go research springs next to find out why they do what they do when you do what you do to them. That was an interesting sentence.

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:25 PM

I'm not sure if I am correct on this one but... I've seen a Brumby with the torsion bar set how I was saying and you could see the positive camber on the wheels. It looked pretty bad. Plus on a mates 88 wagon we put 4" strut lift in with only a 2" lift and he was getting pretty bad looking positive camber. :-\


Seriously? In the rear?! Must have bent something :-p

I'll try to find pics of my buddies hatch after the lift. 4" lift, torsion bar mounted to the body, reclocked 2 notches. camber looks fine....in the rear....and he says it rides awesome compared to the cranked adjustment bolt.

Because it sets the sitting position lower on the shocker, thus giving it less room to move down. If I remove the 2" lift blocks and then try to gain another inch of lift with the torsion bar the shockers would be like that. Unless I kept the shock extensions, which if I remember correctly on my car I have to because the shocks mount differently and the extensions are more like adapters.


I still don't seem to grasp why changing the ride hight of the torsion bar would stiffen or soften the ride. I'm going to go research springs next to find out why they do what they do when you do what you do to them. That was an interesting sentence.


oh yea, definitely leave the shock extension! or get longer shocks.


I don't understand WHY the torsion bars behave the way the do, but they definitely do. It's even true of the bars on the front of an IFS toyota. If you tighten them a bunch for a cheap lift, they get much stiffer (although I don't think there's anyway to reclock those...). and from the firsthand experience on my buddies hatch. WE went out with him stock once, and it flexed pretty well, then we cranked up the suspension, cut the crap out of the fenders, and stuffed 29" swampers in there, and he had zero travel. now he's lifted it with the reclocked bar, and it flexes at least as well as it did stock.

#7 Phizinza

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 05:20 AM

Yeah, I'm running on air adjustible shocks in the rear that look like they have 3 or 4 inches more movement then originals.

At the moment my rear camber is screwed up... It's positive. The way my brother measured it was in his garuage with a builders square on the floor and then measured the difference in distance from the top of the wheel and the bottom of the wheel. My left side was a 4mm difference and my right side was a 9mm difference... Pretty screwed up. But I guess it is 18 years old now and it gets a hell of a thrashing every so offen.

I'll get a confirmation that the torsion bar won't change camber angles and then I'll decide what to do. So, anyone else have experience with this? Every subie seems to be different. :rolleyes:

#8 BlueSteel

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 07:01 AM

you can fix up the rear camber by starting with new bushings on the rear control arm thingy where it bolts to the torsion bar tube

and if its still screwed up you can drill another hole on the torsion bar tube a little bit lower on the same bolt to push it further towards negative camber


also with the rear torsion bar all it is really doing when you try to lift the car with it, is adding preload to the spring (torsion bar)

so it will stiffen it up just the same as when you move the big adjustment bolt in the middle

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:52 AM

I know EA82s use a different setup, but the position that the control arm is bolted to the trailing arm determines both toe and camber for the rear wheels. Adjusted by the 3 bolts that hold the trailing arm to the inner control arm. There is even a few diagrams in the FSM about adjusting it. I have had to mess with my allingment in the rear of my wagons. Also, take a look at the rubber bushings that the control arms pivot on. One car I had they had shifted in the arm, or rather the arm had shifted on them. The arm was pushed all the way to the edge of the bushing, and was rubbing against the pivot bracket. Gave me pretty bad rear allingment. I had to remove the arms and repress the bushing to it's correct position.(I know I should have changed them, but this was in the winter rust mobile. I can't justify the money on a car that is disintegrating)

#10 Phizinza

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:10 PM

Ok.. Haven't thought of looking harder for adjustments. I jusyt thought they were made to not be adjusted. I'll have a look later when I fix my front suspension up (again, mycamber adjusters aren't happy, need some more work.)

If I can set the camber right then I reckon I will remove the rear lift blocks and clock the torsion bar. That way I get best clearence, best tire wear and best prop wear. Although my axles will hate me, but they can take it..
Cheers guys.

#11 Numbchux

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 12:11 AM

If I can set the camber right then I reckon I will remove the rear lift blocks and clock the torsion bar. That way I get best clearence, best tire wear and best prop wear. Although my axles will hate me, but they can take it..
Cheers guys.


just make a spacer to drop the front of the diff down an inch or 2 like the one SJR makes. that's what my buddy has on his hatch. and blocks on the mustache bar mounts.

#12 ezapar

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 10:31 AM

If I can set the camber right then I reckon I will remove the rear lift blocks and clock the torsion bar. That way I get best clearence, best tire wear and best prop wear. Although my axles will hate me, but they can take it..
Cheers guys.


I really don't see how the camber can be set on an ea81. . . It all just swings like a pendulum.
Clocking the torsion bar will gain you some clearance under the diff. But it will make it super tight in the rear, and you will lose up travel.
Tire wear won't be affected.
Prop wear? not sure what you mean, the drive shaft can take quite a bit of angle.
Axles will only complain if you use shocks with longer down travel than the stock ones.

Here's what an ea81 looks like with a PK/BYB 3 inch lift in the front and no lift in the rear. Only the torsion bar clocked. I chose to do it to my first lifted hatch.

Posted Image



I've found that in order to get the best performance out of an ea81 lifted rig is to unwind the bolt that tightens the torsion bar. Just let it relax, your butt will sag a little, and your wheels will be mush free-er to travel. You'll lose a bit of clearance under the diff, but who cares. You only need as much as the y-pipes or skid plate in the front. After all, that area goes thru first.

#13 Phizinza

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 10:35 PM

I've seen two worn out propshafts from subies in onyl 2 years of working with them. one 1 piece one and one 2 piece one. And seems my new 2 piece shaft has smaller joints I likw the idea of giving it the easiest of time possible.

I'm still having trouble understanding how it would make the torsion bar stiffer. After all, it still has the same weight so the bar shouldn't twist anymore then it was originally. I do trust that when the people have done it and say it's stiff that it is stiffer. I just don't understand why, and I don't like not understanding....

My car flexs pretty good how it is right now, 2" all round with full hight on the rear torsion bar. But it looks a little weird now with the rear so high and the front so low because of the extra weight form the EJ on the front springs. I do like the less angle on the front shafts now so I don't just want ot lift the front springs more. What I wanted was to lower the rear but without lowering my ground clearence. But liek you said zaper, not much point having so much clearence under the rear diff if the sump and exhaust sits so low anyhow. I might just adjsut the torsion bar bolt.

I had a good look at the rear suspension under the car in the pit and I couldn't see any adjustment without cutting, drilling and or welding.
Anyone want to point out with a pic where the camber adjustment is possible?

#14 Numbchux

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 12:53 AM

I want to clarify that when you say 'clocked', you're not just referring to tightening the adjustment bolt.

Because, as I said, I've ridden in, and driven, my buddies hatch in all 3 configurations. Stock, cranked adjustment bolt, then after the lift, with reclocked rear end.

And I will tell you that with the adjustment bolt tightened way up, it was EXTREMELY stiff. but with the adjustment backed all the way off, and the tbar clocked up 2 notches, it rides like stock.

and with a 2" diff shim, and 3" mustache bar blocks, the axle and driveshaft angles are fine (3" engine and tranny xmember blocks, 4" front strut extensions).

#15 Phizinza

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 03:55 AM

Because, as I said, I've ridden in, and driven, my buddies hatch in all 3 configurations. Stock, cranked adjustment bolt, then after the lift, with reclocked rear end.

And I will tell you that with the adjustment bolt tightened way up, it was EXTREMELY stiff. but with the adjustment backed all the way off, and the tbar clocked up 2 notches, it rides like stock.

That's what I would of thought. Maybe I misunderstood someone when they said clocking the torsion bar makes it stiffer.

Really, my main question was, how much hight to you gain when you clock the torsion bar 1 notch. And it sounds like around 2" is the answer..
Thanks everyone.

#16 Numbchux

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 12:05 PM

That's what I would of thought. Maybe I misunderstood someone when they said clocking the torsion bar makes it stiffer.

Really, my main question was, how much hight to you gain when you clock the torsion bar 1 notch. And it sounds like around 2" is the answer..
Thanks everyone.


that sounds about right. my buddy went 2 notches, and it matches his 4" front lift very well.

#17 Scott F

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

nope. the trailing arms maintain 0 camber in the rear throughout their entire range of motion.


This is an incorrect statement. If these arms were a true trailing arm, pivoting perpendicular to the chassis longitudinal centerline, there would be no camber change. But this is not the case. These are semi-trailing arms, meaning they pivot at an angle to the centerline. This causes camber change throughout the travel, positive at full droop, and negative at full bump. The more you clock or droop the arms, the more positive camber you will have.

#18 Numbchux

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:38 PM

This is an incorrect statement. If these arms were a true trailing arm, pivoting perpendicular to the chassis longitudinal centerline, there would be no camber change. But this is not the case. These are semi-trailing arms, meaning they pivot at an angle to the centerline. This causes camber change throughout the travel, positive at full droop, and negative at full bump. The more you clock or droop the arms, the more positive camber you will have.


if that's the case, the change is so extremely minimal that you won't notice. I've never seen any older soob with any camber in the rear. whether it was either of my lifted EA82 wagons, throughout their entire range of motion, or my buddies lifted hatch, or another buddies brat....

My loyale had some camber on one rear wheel when I started driving it. But my dad did hit a curb at an angle at about 50mph....so nothing on that side was really pointed quite where it should have been.

#19 Phizinza

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 03:56 AM

if that's the case, the change is so extremely minimal that you won't notice. I've never seen any older soob with any camber in the rear. whether it was either of my lifted EA82 wagons, throughout their entire range of motion, or my buddies lifted hatch, or another buddies brat....


That's really weird..
I just went out and jacked out both sides of the rear of the car to take the lift blocks out (which didn't happen, too rusted in there and i didn't want ot shear one off so it looks like I'll keep the lift) and from sitting on the ground and being almost no positive camber, you can just see it a little, to fully jacked off the ground the difference was HUGE. As in, just say 1 degree positive camber with the adjuster bolt up full, let the arms go down 3" and there is about 4 or 5 degrees positive camber.

Anyway, I just set the adjuster bolt down a little and I'll see how I like it. Can't tell a difference in stiffness from bouncing on it. But I'm pretty sure there should be no difference at all..
I have a photo of the rear's camber on my brothers phone, I'll try and get it.

If these arms were a true trailing arm, pivoting perpendicular to the chassis longitudinal centerline, there would be no camber change. But this is not the case. These are semi-trailing arms, meaning they pivot at an angle to the centerline. This causes camber change throughout the travel, positive at full droop, and negative at full bump. The more you clock or droop the arms, the more positive camber you will have.

This is exactly what I thought. And upon closer inspection it's pretty obvious how it won't stay at 0 degrees throughout the travle.

#20 Numbchux

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 10:34 AM

huh, I noticed nothing of the sort on the hatch when we were working on it....


I'll have to run over and check it out the next time I'm in the cities.




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