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Kenworth torsion bar suspension

Posted By kblackav8or Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:42 PM
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kblackav8or
 Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010 1:42 PM
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One of the trucks I am looking at has torsion bar suspension on it.  My understanding is when it is properly maintained it works well and rides decent.  The question I have is how hard is it to change rear ends on?  How hard are parts to get for it now?  If it is too hard to fix, how hard is it to remove and swap for something else?  Curious as to the various factors in keeping it or changing it and the challenges involved. 



Tony Brown
 Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:07 PM
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Ask Kid.

Tony, Roaring Gap NC. 1980 and 1981 W900    Any advice from me is worth what you paid for it!                                     What other people think of me is none of my business.
peterj
 Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:08 PM
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IMHO.... SUCKS...YMMV

 

 

this was 35yrs ago.. too many parts.. bars have to be matched or each bump changes to side to side movement...   

The company I worked for ,ended up changing both bars,rebushed it,then traded it ...never was right...

might be a reason you don't see them today..lol


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glenn akers
 Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:59 PM
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I would say what your looking at is worn out and parts are obsolete. They did not get alot of miles out of them and far as changing to something else is this. You will have alot of holes in the frame that nothen will fit to.I would not want one unless they give it to me. Another thing is when they are towed from the rear always chain the axle housing up.

glenn akers
Kid
 Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010 3:08 PM
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Kevin, since T told on me.. my 72 has the angled tortion bars on a 240wb. Really doesnt ride bad at all. Of course it rode like sht at I5 and 205, but I think everybody did, even Dicks 73 with 8bag.. My 73 had 207wb with straight tortion, wasnt as nice as the angle, bumpy but not hendrickson bad.. with weight the 72 rides good.

But, you have to keep em greased, and jack the frame up to do it right,, takes the pressure and twists off it. If the blocks go out, you will know it, as they get squirrely, had em go in the 73 in Chicago sht roads,, and they were the all wood blocks. The newer compsite blocks seem to last better, and around $100 each, and take a whole day to remove and replace. I never broke a bar, and never seen one, but did hear of one,, but the idiot put 52k on the drives, and they were 34k bars,, he deserved it. They are more stable under a dump than air, and dont do the air lean in the corners. Tight turns will make it twist, and scrub the tires more, but thats tight corners. You wont find anything that will bolt up to the holes, pattern is different than all others,, so if you wanna put on airride, ya gotta mount em fore or aft of the original holes, and have the old holes welded up,,, or stretch it.

I think, if you had the angled bars, and had it at at 300'+ wb, it'd probably be as nice as air. If you get a shorty like 207, you sure wouldnt mind stretchin it to 240. If its straight bars, and short, I probably pass, unless its a REAL nice truck..


===========================================================================

1972 KW925 SC350 12513 240WB, restoral in progress, 1936 CAT RD4 w/LPC 4A blade restored ground up

kblackav8or
 Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 6:05 AM
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How hard to slide a later set of Rockwell or Eaton rears under is this?  Just bolt on or ?  I don't want to re-rail or splice a frame if I don't need to and if I could keep it looking mostly original on the outside that would be good too.  Frame is aluminum so finding someone to work on it may be an issue too.  There may become a point where moving the truck body over to a different rolling chassis starts becoming attractive.

At the risk of sacrilage, how hard would it be to transplant a good straight low mount cab / body to something like a T-600 frame/chassis or an A model frame/chassis?  I worry about the track width of the wheels being all wrong.  I would get a good ride and good brakes out of the deal.  The big question would be are the rails the same distance apart. 



Monday, November 08, 2010 7:29 AM by kblackav8or
Doug Blevins
 Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 8:56 AM
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Kevin, The drilling Co I used to work for has several older KW's that had the torsion bars, they got tired of replacing and rebuilding them so they started putting hendrickson spring/walking beams under them, they use some of them as water tankers, and the rest as pipe trucks. Both types are used mostly off road so they load the Crap out of them! The walking beams worked out way better for them, I also had thought about putting my 61 KW on a late model W900 or T600 frame, but good luck finding a useable one for a decent price! Every one I looked at was major $$$, if they have a straight frameand good drive train, then they are "rebuildable" and salvage yards put different cabs and hoods, or what ever part they need and sell them as a complete truck, I found that Idea cost prohibitave! I think I will keep my aluminum frame, and just upgrade the engine and drivetrain (Trans, Rears)........Doug

1954 GMC 250,
1961 KW 923 (GL),
1963 KW L924,
1966 Timpte 35 foot outside rail flatbed,
1967 Fruhauf log trailer
1984 White/Volvo 1981 Peterbilt 359 EXHD
1988 Freightliner Coe (parts donor truck)
1989 KW K100E 1991 GMC 3500 HD service truck 1996 GMC K1500 ex cab 1998 Freightliner FLD120
Kid
 Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 1:44 PM
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Kevin, the axle pivots of the bars, weld to the axles... but I guess it could be done by someone real good. I'm just guessin, but I'd think the early B model frames would fit.. that is, provided you are talkin about an A.. dont think you said..

===========================================================================

1972 KW925 SC350 12513 240WB, restoral in progress, 1936 CAT RD4 w/LPC 4A blade restored ground up

kblackav8or
 Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 2:23 PM
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Well I am hoping to talk the owner of the truck pictured below into selling it to me.  Thanks to Justin Morgan for getting the pictures and knowing where it is.  I will keep it looking pretty much original aside from different wheels and paint and body.  I want it to perform like something I want to drive around all the time.  That means some compromises to originality.  I am not opposed to a newer truck either but I think I have a better chance selling an old one like this to the War Department.  She likes the older looking stuff better.  I am not going to build a trailer queen or something that won't attain freeway speeds and stop safely so some compromises are in order.  This isn't a done deal by any means just the current focus.  I am open to other trucks out there that are more done then this. 


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Driver56
 Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 4:34 PM
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Kevin

It's no problem to put later rear ends under that truck. I have 56 KW with an alum frame it's 34" outside. Thats the same as a alum or steel framed A model, K100, T800, or W900L that I have measured. I was going to put KW 8 bag under mine because I have it, and have an insert made then just put bolts in any extra holes.

  Wayne 


  

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