alternative to removing torsion bars
New guy on the block here but since I use these kind of sites for info and ideas myself, I thought I'd put out there my solution to removing the transfer case issue with siezed torsion bars and keys. After realizing this wasn't coming apart as my manuals said it should, I did a check online and read a few different ideas, the one above of where the guy cut out the floor boards made me cringe...lol...only time I ever did that was a small hole behind the seat on my '85 GM 3500 1 ton to get to the bolts for the tank changeover valve!
Up here in Alberta we see lots of salt and such all winter, so after reading how all you guys in the south are having trouble too made me come up with a "plan B" real fast.
I'm working on a '98 150 4X4 regular cab which needed that absolutely ridiculously located clutch slave cylinder changed, so transfer case removal was needed. Since the after several hours of heat and beat on the various areas of the torsion bars I gave up there and did something really simple and easy.
I removed the four cab mount bolts, released the fuel lines and such where they are clamped to the transmission and the shifter levers and with a jack under each side at the rear cab reinforcement member, slowly jacked up the cab. I was able to lift it almost four inches at the rear when I had to stop only because the two ground straps under the cab had become tight. Had I removed these it could have went up much more, but that 3 plus inches of extra clearance gave me all I needed for the transfer case to easily slide over top of the torsion bar crossmember. With some help I'm sure there would have been enough room to have left the trany and transfer case bolted together but since its a dry split, for the sake of six bolts it made life a lot easier. Once I had rasied the cab, I placed 2 short 2X4s and a small square of 1/2 plywood in the center of the cab on top of the cab mount member and took out the jacks. When I was done, just lowered it back down and put all the bolts back, all lubed up so they're ready if I ever need to do this again! There is more than enough give in the rad support mounts, and nothing got pinched between the motor and cab. If one was to lift the cab higher, then I would think you'd start having some issues fairly quick. This would work on any type of cab, just as long as you take out all of the actual cab mount bolts, the cab and front clip will tip up as one piece with no distortion of the body at all.
By lifting the body as I did, also made for a lot of extra room for disconnecting and reconnecting all of the various components as well as lots of clearance for the shift tower. To remove the cab mount bolts and raise the cab took less than one hour, and about the same to reinstall. Personally I think that this would be faster in the long run than unloading and removing the torsion bar parts and member, and after reinstalling it all, readjusting ride height.