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  #1  
Old 01-06-2010, 02:29 PM
RoadDawg RoadDawg is offline
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Default Torsion Lift Keys ???

I know of several ways to lift the front of my truck. All of them involve some expense or other to varying degrees. The question involves opinions that I have read on this and other forums.

Changing the suspension from torsion bars to coil or leaf springs is out of the question.

So, The question is... "KEYS"... the little helpers that re-index the torsion bars... What can you tell me about them, PROs and CONs that will help me decide yea or nay on the issue.

I know that it would require a re-alignment for the front end and I am thinking that the lift would also require longer than stock shocks etc... I also know that I will most likely never get into any real off road racing or other competition which requires radical stretching of the vehicles limits. I do NOT want to just jack the bars and reduce the ride quality... So, Comments? Real time data? Information please?

Thanks for your assistance,

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:18 PM
RangerJustin RangerJustin is offline
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All I ever hear is bad news from them relating to the quicker wearing of suspension components. What about a body lift?
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:30 PM
RoadDawg RoadDawg is offline
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Thanx man, I do really appreciate the reply, and please don't take this the wrong way, but all I ever hear from people is this same thing... "I hear they are bad" or "they worked well for a guy I know.." but no one seems to have anything more than that. I have seen info about other keys from older Mazdas working (called PreKeys) But again, I really want some one to tell me why they did or did not work. If a guy over cranked them and they ruined his ride, I am sure that he will blame the keys over blaming himself. I am not looking to raise the truck 4 inches... 2 will do... And according to those that sell the keys, the only thing that it will change is the indexing of the T-bar which will use the stock location for the adjustment bolt and maintain the stock ride with 1 to 3 inches of lift... All I am looking for is about 2 inches of lift and I don't really want the hassle of lifting the body, moving the bumpers, screwing with wiring and fluid line location etc etc... I posted here in hopes that an experienced person could tell me what happened to them and how they dealt with it. This is not a rant... I am just trying to get a point across that I need real info about the tech end of it. Thanx,

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  #4  
Old 01-06-2010, 04:32 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDawg View Post
I do NOT want to just jack the bars and reduce the ride quality...
That's the thing though....torsion keys do the EXACT same thing but to a much greater extent. They reindex where the bar mounts in the key...move that and it's doing the same as cranking the bars.

Downsides to cranking bars in general: increased wear on the bars, increased wear on lower balljoints, less down travel, harsher/stiffer ride. On stock keys, all these are minimal....but with torsion keys, all the downsides are multiplied a good amount.

You can still crank the bars/keys a huge deal which will result in way out of spec balljoint angles which cause severe wear on them. CV shaft bindage. Almost no downtravel whatsoever. And alot of wear on the bars. The bad part is that they allow you to crank too much which causes this severe wear. There's a guy over at TRS or RPS that reported he needed new bj's after only a year of running the keys. Other guys who ran the torsion keys converted to RCD or DBR long travel kits before they could see the wear effects on the parts. You have plenty of adjustment already with stock torsion keys without getting in trouble with severly wearing out parts.....being the truck in question is a '99, I'm leaning torwards worn out/dead torsion bars. Replace those with upgraded #1 bars from a low mile Ranger or Sport Trac and it'll keep the 'lift' you gained by cranking some.

Torsion keys work great on other rides(silverados, f150s) but not on Rangers. I vote Superlift or Bodylift. Steer the hell clear of 'leveling kits'(torsion lift keys) on a Ranger. Yeah, they're cheap, do their job, but at what cost? $500 a year in maintainence? No keys please.
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Last edited by Fx4wannabe01; 01-06-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2010, 04:58 PM
RoadDawg RoadDawg is offline
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Thanx Fx4wannabe... that is the more tech side answer I was looking for. I do not believe that my t-bars are sagging at all... I have 285/75 16s and they rarely touch and then only on hard turns. That is why I am considering the minor lift in the first place. Thanx again for the info. Maybe I will look for a set of the larger bars and crank it just enough...

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  #6  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 PM
West West is offline
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Is there any reason why the keys are not good for the rangers other than people over-cranking with them? It is basically the exact same set-up and suspension on the other trucks that it is "ok" to install them on.

In my opinion, if you do not want to sacrifice the ride quality and you are smart, then the keys will not multiply any side effects of just cranking with the stock keys. As long as you do not over crank them, and only lift the front of the truck 1.5-2" it won't hurt anything more. But I am not speaking from experience since I do not even have a torsion bar truck.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:04 PM
Jay FX4 Jay FX4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
Is there any reason why the keys are not good for the rangers other than people over-cranking with them? It is basically the exact same set-up and suspension on the other trucks that it is "ok" to install them on.

In my opinion, if you do not want to sacrifice the ride quality and you are smart, then the keys will not multiply any side effects of just cranking with the stock keys. As long as you do not over crank them, and only lift the front of the truck 1.5-2" it won't hurt anything more. But I am not speaking from experience since I do not even have a torsion bar truck.
Post #4 covered everything.

Those aftermarket keys do multiply the side effects, because they raise the truck more than you could by just giving the stock ones a twist.

You are right about only going 1.5 to 2" though. That's all you need to level it anyway.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:51 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
As long as you do not over crank them, and only lift the front of the truck 1.5-2" it won't hurt anything more.
But it's that 1.5-2" ONTOP of already cranked bars is what it's really about. Face it....someone who wants more lift after already cranking and can't afford a superlift will find these keys, put 'em in, and max the adjustment bolts out and hello all the multiplied side effects.


The only thing good that I can think of using aftermarket 'leveling' torsion keys is if you've got F fars that are fully sagged out. It's either new bars, new keys, or longer key adjustment bolts to cure it. Torsion keys are 'precranked'(the crank is within the forging) and with saggy ass bars, it'll but you up at stock level. Basically a bandaid for an already worn the eff out part. torsion keys just aren't the right way to fix it. *Not saying the OP's truck suffers from saggy bars, just saying.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2010, 12:49 AM
West West is offline
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So you get the keys, don't crank whatsoever, have original ride quality, and still have the same effect of wear on suspension parts that just cranking the bars would.

And again, what makes the keys bad for Rangers, but fine for other trucks?
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2010, 01:17 AM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
So you get the keys, don't crank whatsoever, have original ride quality, and still have the same effect of wear on suspension parts that just cranking the bars would.
Mkay....so....say you throw in 'leveling'/'lift' torsion keys. Put the adjustment bolt in the exact same depth it was in before with the old keys. End result will have the same wear and ride characteristics and stance as a more than maxed cranked bar truck on stock keys. Maxed meaning driverside adjustment bolt is threaded all the way in(ranger lean). Because afterall, torsion keys is a way of twisting the bar...same effect as tightening that adjustment bolt. Once the bars start to sag some or even just settle to their normal spot after being jacked up, owner wants to get it back up to where it was yesterday, cranks some more. And the ill sides that've already been mentioned will happen.



Quote:
And again, what makes the keys bad for Rangers, but fine for other trucks?
suspension geometry. 98+ rangers have unparallel to the ground a-arms. But the balljoints and CV shafts are setup to only like some angle...say...20 degrees(out off my butt numbers btw). When cranked or keyed, that angle increases to 40(again, out of butt number). That additional angle puts more stress on and possible bind on the CV joints, ball joints, and possibly the tie rod ends. There are fixes for this like uni-ball joints and high angle CV shafts and such....but if your doing that, you're putting in coil-overs and longer a-arms so torsion bars dont matter to you anymore. The chevy fullsizes and older fiddys have pretty flat A-arms. You can see that best when they are dropkit suspension lifted.

Here's a picture of a torsion key lifted truck. Take note the LCA angle. HUGE! Mine at full droop isn't even at that angle...and my CV's cry at full droop. If they were so good on Rangers, everyone would be running them...including myself ontop of my superlift. But they're not, and not many people run 'em.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:42 AM
West West is offline
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Quote:
Once the bars start to sag some or even just settle to their normal spot after being jacked up, owner wants to get it back up to where it was yesterday, cranks some more. And the ill sides that've already been mentioned will happen.
Won't the exact same thing happen with cranking stock keys? The bars start getting wore out and then you crank some more.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2010, 12:36 PM
RD1087 RD1087 is offline
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you might want to look into just replacing your torsion bars. i how thats what a lot of guys with older toyota tacomas do. SAW (sway a way) offers aftermarket bars. Jive them a shot. Or you could just save your money and go with a Dixon Bros setup
-Ray

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  #13  
Old 01-07-2010, 01:51 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West View Post
Won't the exact same thing happen with cranking stock keys? The bars start getting wore out and then you crank some more.
Yes....but the geometry won't be too far out of spec and it's only a minimal amount of wear added. Stock keys are safe and it's been proven time and time again by just how many people crank 'em and max 'em out.

That's what those adjusters are there for....adjustment for wear.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2010, 01:58 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD1087 View Post
you might want to look into just replacing your torsion bars. i how thats what a lot of guys with older toyota tacomas do. SAW (sway a way) offers aftermarket bars. Jive them a shot. Or you could just save your money and go with a Dixon Bros setup
-Ray

http://www.dixonbrosracing.com/content/view/8/6/
Only option for 98+ Rangers for replacement T-bars is either going to ford with a vin# for a truck with the bars that you want(F, B, #1) and odering them there. Or getting a low-mile set from a junkyard. Nobody makes aftermarket T-bars for these trucks.

As badass as the DBR system is, ALOT of folks won't need anything near as badass as it. Don't need or want flared glass fenders for the added trackwidth. Don't want to spend $5k on just a front suspension. They have their place and use, and it's an even more niche place than standard drop bracket kits. If I ever won the lotto, I'd get a DBR and bolt it ontop of my Superlift and ditch my bodylift and run 37's. Bad-effin-ass!
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:52 PM
Jimmeh Jimmeh is offline
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Default Re: Torsion Lift Keys ???

Ok, I gotta ask a question about the keys, which is why I am bringing this back from the dead.

How do they put more wear on the truck? The truck comes with a key in place anyway, so why would replacing them with a larger key and cranking it to factory specs be any different then cranking the stock keys? If anything, wouldn't the latter of the two be more damaging then actually UPGRADING the part to something that can handle it?
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