Suspension explosion!

So I tested my suspension lift about a month ago on a little patch of mud in Manchester, TN. It was rainy, and I drove off the road and the first bump I hit I hear what sounds like a shotgun going off under my truck, followed by the truck rapidly sagging towards the front driver’s side. OH NO! I apparently didn’t seat the torsion bar in its rear mount all the way, and it stripped the splines partially out.

The bar is supposed to sit about an inch and a quarter into this mount, but I didn’t check it before bolting everything back, and the bar was only sitting about a quarter inch in the mount. This is just fine for normal road driving but as soon as I hit a good-sized rut off road, POW. Batman sound effects all over the truck! Long story short, I limped the truck to a local school parking lot and was able to beat the suspension back together with a really big hammer (my favorite tool) well enough to get home.

This is a picture of the torsion bar, the old (dirty) rear mount for it, and the new (shiny) mount with fresh splines. This mistake set me back $70 at the dealer BUT if off-roading isn’t breaking the occasional part on the truck, I must not be doing it right. Speaking of which, after I fixed the problem I went off road at a wildlife management area about two weeks ago and ripped my front bumper, due to Nissan giving the Frontiers a HORRIBLE front approach angle. So I went ahead and ordered one of these:

Winch Bumper/Bull Bar

Should be very fun. Improves approach angle, has a winch mounting location, and will most likely destroy anything I hit with it, instead of the current setup of anything I hit destroying my bumper. Any way, lessons learned: Always hit the torsion bar mounts with a hammer to make sure they’re fully seated on the bar before cranking them back up. Yay!

Truck power! Also noteworthy, on the next outing (in between destroying the bumper and having the suspension explode) the 102″ whip antenna I have for my CB ripped out of its mount. Apparently removing it any time I go inside a shop, my garage, or a parking deck was not that great for it, so I replaced the mount and then built something to tie the antenna down, kind of like Army vehicles do with their antennas when they’re traveling on the interstate.

Solutions! Always helpful. Although the antenna is not very effective when it’s bent over, it makes maneuvering in anything other than under clear blue sky. And it’s easier on the mount for not having to remove the antenna all the time.

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