Saturday, March 15, 2014

Torsion Bar Boot Workaround

Someone may complain about this being a cheap way to do things, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

I got new Heavy Duty leaf springs (P4452982 and P4452983) and "improved" ride Torsion bars (P5249158) from Mopar Performance for Christmas (for my '68 Charger).

Installed the leaf springs, no problem.

Torsion bars are always a pain, because, of course, I don't have a torsion bar tool.  Pulled the old ones out with vise grips and a hammer, (like you're not supposed to, I know).  Installed the new ones and "Oh, crap" I left the dust boots off the torsion bars.  Great.  Gently tried to remove one of my shiny, NEW torsion bars with vise-grips and a hammer (which I REALLY didn't want to do), but it didn't want to come easily.  $%&@*!

Got mad and made myself quit before I tore something up or got a hammer and started beating on the side of my car.

After I cooled off and had time to think about it, I chose the following course of action.  The old boots were not in too bad of shape and I'd seen a demo once before of how well super-glue bonds rubber together, so I decided to clean my old boots up really good, then slice them open on one side, put them around the torsion bar, then glue the slice back together with super glue (an experiment I'd hate to try with new boots).  I tried cleaning the old grease off with a scrub brush and dawn, but that proved to be a futile mess.  Gasoline, however, cleaned them up very nicely.  I let them dry in the sun for 10-15 min and put'em on.

If I didn't go the super glue route, I was going to have to pull the torsion bars out to put the boots on (delay) and, in order to get them out, I was going to have to order a torsion bar tool online (delay) and if I was going to do that I really ought to buy new boots.  What a pain.

So I opted for plan B - super glue.  (I had torn one of the old boots half-way through already when I slid it over the hex end of the old torsion bar while taking it off.)

I figure I'll keep an eye on the boots and see how well they hold up.  I mean it's just a dust boot, right?  As long as they're intact and keeping dust out, they're doing their thing.  If I see a problem I can always order a torsion bar tool and 2 new boots and replace them.  Plus, I've retained an original 1968 part on the car. :)

I was impressed with how well it worked.  I've included pictures below of the boot I didn't tear.  (The torn one turned out just as good, though.)

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