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Would you be interested in higher-rate torsion bars?

14874 Views 149 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  LumaWJ
Edit: Thanks to the efforts here we now have an option from Sway-A-Way for our AWD vans: Would you be interested in higher-rate torsion bars? --AstroWill

Hello all, I'm in the midst of some upgrades on my lifted van and I wanted to get a sense of how many other people might also be interested in some upgrade parts.

For most of us with lifted AWD vans, the only real front suspension adjustment we've been able to make thus far is to the pre-load on the torsion bars; either via the stock adjusters, or with re-indexed keys that add additional preload. I would like to have the option to also use a higher spring rate on the torsion bars. With my pop-top conversion and camper additions, my van is already heavier than many folks. In particular, I have been hesitant to add an aftermarket bumper and winch to my van because of the additional weight that would still be borne on the OEM bars.

I am working with a company that manufactures aftermarket torsion bars for offroad and race use. They already produce a line of upgraded torsion bars for other GM trucks, Hummers, Suburbans, etc. These bars range from 15% up to 30% stiffer than stock. I am early in the process with them, but it sounds like they may be able to produce similarly uprated bars for the Astro/Safari platform.

I know that demand will depend greatly on price (which I do not yet have), but it may help things along to know if anyone here would be interested in a pair of these?

There are a lot of things to work out, but I believe such bars should provide a mild torsion bar lift over stock while using the OEM keys, in addition to being a better option for those of us running with greater weight over the front axle.

What say you?
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Very good stuff.Will throw out some things.GM dropped the old longer bars,to the newer ones,because of so many failures.Consequently,the shorter bars are a bit stiffer,and most people like that."Rate" will not be adjusted by adjusting the key links,only the ride height.I have never seen a adjustable,or progressive rate torsion bar,as you can do with coil springs.Therefore,they should offer several options,for,as said above,v8 conversions,winches,plows.The only way to change the rate of a torsion bar is thickness and length.Finer splines are great,for leveling a van,VW and many others used this system for years,but does have a drawback,they strip out under high load.Perhaps a replaceable,keyable insert like SuspensionMaxx makes would be better.I could see a market for 2 bars/systems, one for mostly stock vans,slightly heavier,and a heavy bar/system, for the v8/winch,plow,heavy bumper guys.
oh,don't get me started on longer a-arms,and remounting them on the frame,lol real expensive.But,yes,i would be interested in a slightly heavier bar for one of my vans.
Hey,MM love your mod vans,and your great info,here.But your post seems to ignore lots of other van owners.yes,you have great vans,great mods.Ever go off road?Sand does not really count.Go into the mountains. Go into the desert. Find some rock ledges.OK,made my point.As far as the slightly heavier front torsion bars,look at all the posts that show the new,young generation,buying the old astros,and modifying them.Forwarding front bumpers from jeeps,winches,anything that protrudes forward makes the load of the front end,by a high ratio,very much higher.Which makes the load on the torsion bars 30% or more higher.Time to go with the flow,youngsters are taking over.Lets help them
This looks bad,like maybe they went under.

OK, called one of their vendors. They could not contact them. So, convinced them to try and order something, they could not, order would not go through.
So, called their number, went to answering service.Left message. We shall see.
1-818-700-9712 is their number.
Get your bars in yet?
Ya, I been kinda waiting for someone to actually get them, and report on the visual quality. Meanwhile,I picked up a set of bars,links, cross member and all, for spares. Wrecker knows his stuff, knew how to get them out in a hurry, they are still stuck in the links and cross member. I asked for low mileage, he apolligised, as the van had 140k on it,LOL!
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OK, there was a post earlier, about a broken torsion bar, but I cannot seem to find it, so, will add here. Getting tired of waiting for a "ride report", I called Sway A Way. Well, they had been informed the cross member had to be modded, but nobody sees it as an issue. They got feed back, all good. Remember,these are about 14% stiffer. Everyone that gave feedback liked this, improved handling and steering, but barely affected the ride.One purchaser, possibly a member here?, installed his, then left on a 1400 mile road trip, and is very happy with them.
Bad news, all 10 sets are gone.
Good news, they consider 10 sets of limited run sold in 3 months a good thing, and another batch is going to be made, about 8 weeks out.
Bad news, manufacturing took longer than estimated, and now steel has went up.they will be $795.
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Softer compared to what? A different vehicle?
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