Car does not sit level after installing subframe connectors
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Thread: Car does not sit level after installing subframe connectors

  1. #1
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    Car does not sit level after installing subframe connectors

    After levelling the car on jackstands and welding in subframe connectors my Dart does not sit level on the ground anymore. After the initial panic set in I left the car for a few days to clear my head. Carrying its own weight on the suspension the car is low by 3/4 an inch on the passenger side rear and about 3/4 of an inch in the front right. I then placed the car back on the jackstands and measured the car in various locations from the frame to the floor and found the car to be square again. My car always had a sticky passenger door which is now free and smooth.

    My question is this. Is it possible that over 40 years the torsion bars weakened at uneven rates, but rather than cause the car to sit cockeyed the unibody absorbed the difference over the years, and now that the car has been staightened this problem is showing itself? I realise one mistake I made was having the rear jackstands under the axle when it was welded, however the fronts were under the frame. Shims were used and measurement and levels were checked and rechecked before any welding took place, it was level. Like I stated earlier the car does sit squarely on jackstands when placed under the frame on 4 corners now, just not on its wheels. I should mention the rear springs are brand new while the torsion bars are original. Some friends of mine suggest the problem lies in the torsion bars and I should adjust them accordingly or get new ones. Has anybody had this situation occur before? This is very stressfull as I worry I have damaged a perfectly good original car. I should also mention it is a solid southern US car with no structural rust or problems.

    Regards, Chris

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  3. #2
    Senior Member fourspeed's Avatar
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    I can understand why you're worried. You have never adjusted the torsion bars? For starters, adjust them until the front end sits properly. Take the car around the block so things settle. Then, with the car on the ground, take some measurements and go from there. Generally, people recommend the torsion bar sockets as a good reference point along with the front leaf spring mounts.

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    "I should mention the rear springs are brand new"

    What springs are you running, SS springs? Are you sure you don't have them switched? When I installed mine the passenger side sat about 1" higher measured from the top of the wheel cutouts on the body. This is normal as it's "preloaded" for the torque factor on acceleration.
    It seems strange yours appears to be the reverse. If you measure the heights of the front fender cutouts (spindle centers, left and right) what are you at?
    I'm no expert by any means but logic prevails that if you were to jack the backend up to where you where the heights on the left and right side where the same at any common point (discounting the suspension) the front should be the same height when measured at a common point on each side (ie, the top of the wheel wells). If not then adjust the torsion bars accordingly.
    After you drop it back on all fours the passenger side should be higher on the back then the driver's side. I am assuming the front tires are the same size and inflated correctly (side to side) and the back also (side to side) even though the front and back may be different sizes.

    Hey guys, if I'm wrong on this call me out cause, I'm no expert and I'm just using some logic here (which might not be logical, ha ha)

    Jim
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER YOU HAVE AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MVRCorp View Post
    "I should mention the rear springs are brand new"

    What springs are you running, SS springs? Are you sure you don't have them switched? When I installed mine the passenger side sat about 1" higher measured from the top of the wheel cutouts on the body. This is normal as it's "preloaded" for the torque factor on acceleration.
    It seems strange yours appears to be the reverse. If you measure the heights of the front fender cutouts (spindle centers, left and right) what are you at?
    I'm no expert by any means but logic prevails that if you were to jack the backend up to where you where the heights on the left and right side where the same at any common point (discounting the suspension) the front should be the same height when measured at a common point on each side (ie, the top of the wheel wells). If not then adjust the torsion bars accordingly.
    After you drop it back on all fours the passenger side should be higher on the back then the driver's side. I am assuming the front tires are the same size and inflated correctly (side to side) and the back also (side to side) even though the front and back may be different sizes.

    Hey guys, if I'm wrong on this call me out cause, I'm no expert and I'm just using some logic here (which might not be logical, ha ha)

    Jim

    I am running new Cal Trac split leaf mono springs so there should be no side to side difference. Just thinking that if the front right bar is weak then that would make the rear left high also causing the difference at the rear. The more I think about this the more I suspect the front right bar. When the connectors were put in, the front jackstands were just outboard of the torsion bar sockets and the rears where under the axle.

  6. #5
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    ok dude, the guys are correct, don't panic. you just need to adjust the torsion bars. no biggy. loosen up the drivers side bar and tighten up the passenger side until you're happy with it. AND before you start make sure the cowtracks don't have any preload on them while sitting on the ground.
    Last edited by bOb shingler; 10-11-2010 at 08:50 AM.
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    Are you sure the ground and jackstands are level? You should put the jackstands under the subframes, not the axle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy01 View Post
    Are you sure the ground and jackstands are level? You should put the jackstands under the subframes, not the axle.
    Yes, it will now sit level on the frame on leveled jackstands. The jackstands are placed just ahead of the rear spring front mounts, and just outside of the torsion bar sockets at the front. While sitting like this (perfectly leveled with shims on the stands) the car measures square in various location including front frame rails, body openings, bumper brackets, etc. It squares perfectly on stands, but goes low on the front right corner when placed on its wheels. I think I will try the torsion bar adjustments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bOb shingler View Post
    ok dude, the guys are correct, don't panic. you just need to adjust the torsion bars. no biggy. loosen up the drivers side bar and tighten up the passenger side until you're happy with it. AND before you start make sure the cowtracks don't have any preload on them while sitting on the ground.
    i have to adjust my torsion bars all the time, not a big deal at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 HEMI GTS View Post
    i have to adjust my torsion bars all the time, not a big deal at all.
    Would it be fair to say the bars on your car are not adjusted equally (amount of thread exposed on the adjuster bolt, or number of turns)? Mine used to be, and now will not be to level the car. This isn't a problem to worry about? Thank all of you for your input on this matter.

    Regards, Chris

  11. #10
    BBD LEGEND qkcuda's Avatar
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    There is no problem with the adjusters being uneven. Just adjust it until the car is level. If you were able to put a scale under each front wheel you would probably find out the weight on each wheel was not even.

    By the way, I welded my subframe connectors in with the car supported on stands under the rear axle and the front frame as well, and I have had no issues. The fact that your passenger door now works smoothly tells me you corrected 40 years worth of sag.
    Last edited by qkcuda; 10-13-2010 at 08:06 AM.

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    Measure from ball joint to floor, then ( pick a spot) from lower control arm at k member to floor. Get them the same. Then start looking at the rear.

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    Would it be better to weld them in with the car's wieght on the wheels

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    Have you moved the car since you put it on the ground? When you lower it off the stands, the tires want to move outward as they move up. The friction of the tire on the ground prevents this, and holds the front of the car up in the air, and probably unevenly. You need to roll the car around a bit to settle the suspension, then adjust the torsion bars. The front moving will affect the rear too. Just turn the torsions. Nothing's wrong with your car.

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    thanks for all of the replys folks. I appreciate the input and reassurance you guys have provided. I am just beginning to do a lot of my own work on the car rather than paying others, and this site is a great help for people like me. A little unnerving when you take on a project like this and change the cars geometry so much. Innitial response is shock, and a feeling of (what the hell have I done), but with science and reason and all of your personal experiences one can begin to rationalize things. Anyway I am rambling on, thanks to all for your help.

    Regards, Chris

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    Sub Frame connecters

    I was told by a couple different manufacters and suppliers that the car should be on its suspension to weld them in. That's how I've done them with no issues. Good luck.

  17. #16
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    and i have always welded them in with the hotrod on jackstand under the frame but also with it leve front to back and side to side.
    "bOb Built" (no matter how many times it takes)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sb3854 View Post
    I was told by a couple different manufacters and suppliers that the car should be on its suspension to weld them in. That's how I've done them with no issues. Good luck.
    That's how I did mine, more or less.. the back I had jackstands under the axles (tho not on the tires I felt it still simulated how the car supports itself) and I had the front tires sitting up on 4 paver stones. The doors worked fine when it was supported like that so I went ahead and welded the connectors in.

  19. #18
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    subframe connectors

    Are they okay to weld-in with the car on a rotisserie?
    cesarbee440

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