How to Change an S10 Torsion Key

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The Chevrolet S-10 comes in pick-up and Blazer body styles. The vehicle uses torsion bar front suspension. A torsion bar is a long bar attached to the lower control arm and a crossmember at the middle of the frame. As the lower control arm moves with suspension travel, the torsion bar twists. The bar's resistance to this twisting, and its desire to return to its original shape, provide the spring action for the front suspension. An adjusting arm, or key, is attached to the rear of the torsion bar, in the frame. To replace the key, the torsion bar must be removed from the crossmember.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wite-Out
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Two-jaw puller
  • Park the S-10 on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Raise the front of the S-10 with a jack and support it with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and wheels

  • Paint a line on the back of the lower control arm and torsion bar. Move to the other end of the torsion bar where it mounts in the crossmember. In the center of the crossmember you'll see the torsion bar key and adjusting nut. The adjusting nut has a bolt in it that pushes on the end of the torsion key. Paint the threads on the bolt with Wite-Out. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the bolt. When you reinstall the bolt you'll use the painted mark as a reference so you know when to stop turning the bolt.

  • Place a two-jaw puller on the edges of the crossmember. The threaded rod on the puller fits into a small indentation in the middle of the key. Tighten the puller until the end of the key is lifted off the adjusting nut. Pull the nut out of the crossmember. Loosen the puller until all the tension is released from the key.

  • Grab the torsion bar just in front of the crossmember and push the torsion bar toward the front of the S-10. You only have to push it far enough so the end of the torsion bar comes out of the key. The key will fall out of the crossmember.

  • Position the new key in the crossmember, then pull the torsion bar back to the crossmember and into the key. Make sure the mark you painted on the front of the torsion bar is lined up with the mark on the lower control arm.

  • Install the puller back onto the crossmember and key. Tighten the puller until the key is pushed far enough up in the crossmember so you can insert the adjusting nut. Install the bolt into the adjusting nut. Remove the puller.

  • Install the wheels and lug nuts. Raise the front of the S-10, remove the jack stands, lower the S-10 to the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts.

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References

  • "Haynes Chevrolet S-10 and Blazer 1994 thru 1996;" Haynes; 1996
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