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Discussion Starter #1
where can i buy the GM torsion bar unloading tool? i've called around a couple of places and nobody seems to have it. I even tried the dealership.

Also, should i even bother and buy one? i've heard that you can use a rented balljoint press or buy a craftsman gear puller for cheaper. how safe are these to use?
 

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is probably detailing...
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I've rented from autozone before and not had a problem... they said not to use airtools with it, but I think thats more b/c they don't want you stripping the head. If you're careful should be fine.
 

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I just swapped out my torsion keys last Saturday. I jacked up the truck, loosened the torsion bolts all the way out. Then I used a large c clamp, the kind that you turn one end and it tightens up. I put that so it clamped the torsion key enough to pull out the torsion bolt stopper thing, then I loosened the c clamp. Took my 20 minutes to do both sides. When the truck is up in the air with the front tires off the ground, there isn't a lot of pressure on the keys. But enough that you need a clamp of some sort.
 

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At the bare minimum you should use a ball joint press with an air chisel punch to fit the dimple of the torsion key in conjunction with a 2 jaw gear puller. I did a writeup on this once, people have repeated the process with safe results.
The GM tool is clearly the best though, I can't remember who has them in stock, maybe gmpartsdirect?
I would also recommend using an impact over a wrench as an impact will tighten the thread without spinning the compressing tools you decide on compared to a wrench.
 

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jacked up the truck, loosened the torsion bolts all the way out. Then I used a large c clamp, the kind that you turn one end and it tightens up. I put that so it clamped the torsion key enough to pull out the torsion bolt stopper thing, then I loosened the c clamp. Took my 20 minutes to do both sides. When the truck is up in the air with the front tires off the ground, there isn't a lot of pressure on the keys. But enough that you need a clamp of some sort.
Ive heard of people doing it this way, but its up to you
 

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Prob 5 or 10 bucks, it just needs to seat in the ball joint press, give me a bit and I'll dig up some pictures
 

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Yea man, I used to have pictures but I can't find them. Anyway, the air chisel punch will withstand the tension necessary to load the bars, while something like a regular hand held punch will shatter. The mentioned good punch will also have a flat base that will not allow it to fall inside the ball joint press threaded area.
I recommend using both in conjunction for safety as well as ease. If you have a lot of indexing, it will require a lot of torque. Using a compressing tool on the dimple with more leverage(which happens to be the one that the torsion bolt uses) makes life much easier for you. Not to mention that as long as you chase that dimple mounted tool with a backup, you have a nice safety backup incase the main tightening tool comes off. Once you use the more leveraged dimple to get the key up enough, just run the second tool up to that height, holding the key at the necessary preload. Remove the original tool, and install the torsion key/bolt assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
is this what it looks like?

tool4.jpg


so you put one tool on the dimple with less leverage, raise the key a bit, remove the bolt, and use the other tool on where the bolt was, and use the second tool to unload it right? thanks for all the help.
 

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Yep thats the pic I was looking for, there was another one too with the tools used on the ground
 

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To unload the bars, crank the crossmember mounted torsion bolt until the bottom of the key is flush with the top of the opening so the torsion block will be able to come out. Once it's high enough, put the ball joint press or gear puller(whichever) in place. remove the bolt and block. then you can back down the gear puller to release the tension on the bar.
 

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i agree with big wheel i had a friend get knocked out using a gear puller i use the right tool now i think i got mine off amazon
 
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