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  #1  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:55 PM
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Default Torsion bar level - is it dangerous?

Hi all,

I was looking into leveling my truck without a kit. Just tightening the bolts for the torsion bars. I only am looking to go an inch to an inch and a half. Someone told me if you don't get the leveling kit it's really dangerous but I've read other articles saying its safe. I drive highways and roads in PA and NJ which are bad. Lots of potholes. Also do minor off roading. Nothing to serious tho. Would leveling a small amount without a leveling kit be dangerous?

Thanks
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:41 PM
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The "kits" that are available for your truck are simply new torsion keys that put additional tension on the torsion bars. The exact same thing is accomplished when you tighten the stock torsion keys. Do not waste your money on a "kit". The only difference in using new keys to twist the bars and tightening the stock keys is that tightening the stockers is much easier and much cheaper. Neither of these methods is any safer or any more dangerous than the other.

Lot's of guys run with cranked torsion bars and have no issues whatsoever. The added tension does put some additional stress on the front suspension but from what I have read and experienced a moderate lift will not cause any noticeably accelerated wear. I personally ran my 04 with cranked bars for about a year and then decided to change it up a little. I was happy with the level but wanted to lessen the fenderwell gap so I lowered the front back down and lowered the back to match with a set of 2" drop shackles. While it wasn't a gigantic difference, I do have to say that the truck rides and handles a little better with the lower stance. Also, I was getting some clunking when the stock shocks overextended on potholes that went away when I lowered it back down. If you drive on rough roads like you say I would definitely find a set of longer shocks to match the amount of your level. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:50 AM
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Thanks, thats what I thought. How high did you raise the front when you leveled it? I hear anything over 2 in is gonna really rough up the ride...
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starquestbd22 View Post
The "kits" that are available for your truck are simply new torsion keys that put additional tension on the torsion bars. The exact same thing is accomplished when you tighten the stock torsion keys. Do not waste your money on a "kit". The only difference in using new keys to twist the bars and tightening the stock keys is that tightening the stockers is much easier and much cheaper. Neither of these methods is any safer or any more dangerous than the other.

Lot's of guys run with cranked torsion bars and have no issues whatsoever. The added tension does put some additional stress on the front suspension but from what I have read and experienced a moderate lift will not cause any noticeably accelerated wear. I personally ran my 04 with cranked bars for about a year and then decided to change it up a little. I was happy with the level but wanted to lessen the fenderwell gap so I lowered the front back down and lowered the back to match with a set of 2" drop shackles. While it wasn't a gigantic difference, I do have to say that the truck rides and handles a little better with the lower stance. Also, I was getting some clunking when the stock shocks overextended on potholes that went away when I lowered it back down. If you drive on rough roads like you say I would definitely find a set of longer shocks to match the amount of your level. Hope this helps.
Completely agree!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hriczko806 View Post
Thanks, thats what I thought. How high did you raise the front when you leveled it? I hear anything over 2 in is gonna really rough up the ride...
The higher you go the stiffer it gets. For me 2"-2.25" was the comfort limit for me as far as weighing ride quility and appearance.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:06 AM
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Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. I think ill go an inch with the stock shocks and then upgrade to the 5100 series bilstein. Im also going with 285/70/17 cooper AT/3 tires so Ill get another 1/2 in. of height out of those.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:07 PM
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I'd go 2" then get 2" longer shocks and call it a day. It will be almost level (1/2" lower up front) and will still ride good.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starquestbd22 View Post
The "kits" that are available for your truck are simply new torsion keys that put additional tension on the torsion bars. The exact same thing is accomplished when you tighten the stock torsion keys. Do not waste your money on a "kit". The only difference in using new keys to twist the bars and tightening the stock keys is that tightening the stockers is much easier and much cheaper. Neither of these methods is any safer or any more dangerous than the other.

Lot's of guys run with cranked torsion bars and have no issues whatsoever. The added tension does put some additional stress on the front suspension but from what I have read and experienced a moderate lift will not cause any noticeably accelerated wear. I personally ran my 04 with cranked bars for about a year and then decided to change it up a little. I was happy with the level but wanted to lessen the fenderwell gap so I lowered the front back down and lowered the back to match with a set of 2" drop shackles. While it wasn't a gigantic difference, I do have to say that the truck rides and handles a little better with the lower stance. Also, I was getting some clunking when the stock shocks overextended on potholes that went away when I lowered it back down. If you drive on rough roads like you say I would definitely find a set of longer shocks to match the amount of your level. Hope this helps.
I also agree. "Leveling kits" for torsion bar equipped trucks are the worst rip off in the automotive industry.
Also, you can go too far with anything. The aftermarket torsion bar keys make it easy to crank too much preload onto the bars. This will leave the ball joints and CV joints at angels that are too severe. Also increasing the preload will make the initial portion of the suspension's travel slightly stiffer. Some like this, some hate it. Also, don't forget to get a front end alignment after you are through.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:32 PM
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I only raised the front of mine about 1-1/4" when I cranked them. To me, that was enough to get a nice level look even though by measurement it still had a good inch or so of rake. I don't think the ride was different enough to take any real notice of but as I mentioned earlier I did feel the shocks overextending. I would try to compare some measurements if you can find them and make sure to get some shocks that are about 2" longer than stock whenever you replace them.

And as Wandell said, definitely an alignment afterward.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:40 PM
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Thats good advise. I think with the 5100 series shocks and 285s the height will be perfect for a 1500. The shocks will help the ride. I definitely will get it aligned after. I plan on doing the shocks and torsion bars myself and then having the tires mounted and balanced and an alignment done at a shop.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:47 PM
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Cranking the bars couldn't really be any easier. Tighten equally, bounce the front end a little or take a short drive, measure, repeat until desired height reached, lol. Once you get it where you want it I would drive it for a few miles at least and recheck before you have it aligned. The front shocks are a little more difficult but I don't think they are too bad either if you have the right tools.
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