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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:43 pm
Posts: 115
Location: North Attleboro, MA
Car Model*: 1973 Plymouth Valiant Sedan
Hi folks. Been a while. Recently retired the '73 Valiant I've used as a daily driver for the past decade. Couldn't have had that 10 year run without this forum... so thanks for that! Unfortunately though, New England winters finally caught up with her and I decided it was time for the old girl to get some rest.

So, of course, I went out and found myself another '73 Valiant with a lot more life left in the body. Will be swapping the reupholstered interior from the former Valiant and should have a very, very nice ride when I'm done.

Anyways, enough backstory. Here's my issue:

The new Valiant is VERY low in the front end. I have no idea what previous owner did and he's not around to ask (bought from his neice... not sure if he's even still alive).

Checked the front ride height as per FSM procedure. Difference between lower ball joint and adjusting blade should be 2 1/8" if stock. It's currently only around 3/4" difference on both sides!! YEAH. Like I said... LOW.

Here's the thing that throws me for a loop. The adjustment bolt appears to be in its normal "average" position. It doesn't appear that the car was lowered via the adjustment bolt. Which leads to my actual question here:

Is it possible that previous owner lowered the front end by relieving torsion bar tension by positioning the torsion bar off by a "degree" (not sure how else to phrase this). Is that a thing? Do people do that? Would it explain the low ride height but apparent lack of adjustment via adjustment bolt? Or is there something I'm missing here?

Is it reasonable for me to theorize that if I remove torsion bars and reinstall with more tension (by one "degree" of the hexagon, or whatever it is) that it might return to somewhere approximately close to its stock ride height?

NOTE: Don't worry, I will definitely be having the car re-aligned IMMEDIATELY following any procedures done to get back proper stock ride height.

THANK FOR ANY ADVICE!!

-Matt


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:28 pm 
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EFI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:05 pm
Posts: 454
Location: Desoto Texas
Car Model*: 1962 Dodge 770 Lancer Station Wagon
Not really. It all works together when you align the rear hex to the lower control arm hex. All with pressure off. Then when you load it, it twists due to load. Does it look like some work has been done to the suspension? Have you looked at the t-bar crossmember? Maybe some rust repair was done. If all looks ok, I would put a socket on the adjuster and give it some turns to see if it will come up.

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:57 pm 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:43 pm
Posts: 115
Location: North Attleboro, MA
Car Model*: 1973 Plymouth Valiant Sedan
Thanks for weighing in hyper-pak.

Nothing looks out of the ordinary to me... and structural rust is at a minimum.

It's just odd to me that my previous Valiant and the new Valiant both have their adjusting bolts in roughly the exact same position, but the previous Valiant is at correct 2 1/8" ride height while the new Valiant is at 3/4".

I could be wrong but it seems like I'm going to have to seriously drive that bolt in a significant distance to get to the proper ride height. I suppose I can give it a try.

-Matt


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:53 pm 
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Supercharged

Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 11:50 pm
Posts: 6107
Location: So California
Car Model*: 64 Plymouth Valiant
Don't know if this is possible...……

Could they have been switched L <=> R

?

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64 Valiant 225 / 904 / 42:1 manual steering / 9" drum brakes
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 5:04 am 
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Turbo Slant 6

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:25 am
Posts: 722
Location: Tompkinsville, KY
Car Model*:
I think the 'turn it one tooth' concept comes from old VWs, but as has been stated doesn't apply to Mopars.

I think the bars will fit on the wrong side, but that shouldn't radically affect the adjustment - just the longevity.

My guess is the bars have sagged or are simply smaller than what your other car had.
If you remove the rear retaining clip you should be able to read the ID numbers and find out what size they are and whether they are on the correct sides.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:20 am 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:43 pm
Posts: 115
Location: North Attleboro, MA
Car Model*: 1973 Plymouth Valiant Sedan
Here's some pics. The torsion bar stamping pics are pretty muddy but it looks like both cars have 891L and 890R installed on correct sides. The adjustment bolts on NEW Valiant aren't threaded quite as deep as the ones on OLD Valiant but they're in approximately similar positions (sticking out about 1" or slightly over). If NEW Valiant is riding so low I fear that adjusting bolt will have to be pushed in significantly to get the ride height where its supposed to be. I'm still having trouble not thinking that something is wrong with how the torsion bars are installed on NEW Valiant...

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:27 pm
Posts: 12150
Location: Park Forest, Illinoisy
Car Model*: 68 Valiant
Try adjusting the bolts and see what happens.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:08 am
Posts: 13390
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Car Model*:
Yeah, just turn the bolts to put it where you want it.

Lou

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:54 am 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:25 pm
Posts: 175
Location: SW PA
Car Model*:
Be sure the sockets aren't starting to twist loose from the crossmember, I had one that looked "OK" from the outside, but started setting down on Me, one day it just slowly sank to the ground while I was standing 10 ft. from it! LOL! Apart from that, the new Valli's bars look correct R&L, so they may be givin' it up. You can try crankin' 'em back up & see what happens, good luck!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:07 pm 
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Turbo EFI
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:07 am
Posts: 2062
Location: SF Bay Area
Car Model*: 67 dart 2 door hardtop
I took a test drive in a '65 dart for sale once, Killer 6, and it was going lower while on the test drive. The front end was so loose and falling apart, control arm bushings were completely wasted, steering box shot, on and on. I immediately pulled over and told the seller she shouldn't be driving the car, to have it towed. I walked two blocks back to my car....

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