driving washboard roads,lifts, mods, etc.
OK, I've been looking into adding rear Heilwig helper springs, 1500lbs rating,and I'm told it'll do about a 1/2 to 1inch rear lift. If I do this, I've been advised to tighten the torsion bars so the from comes up the same distance. I am looking at this to help level the truck when pulling a 3000 lb trailer and even leveling it with a couple hundred lbs in the bed and no trailer. both make the front end up in the air. So, now I'm wondering what is best. Some people recommend adding a leaf and not using helper leafs. I've also seen referrence to changing to Explorer springs. Decisons decisions.
Now, with driving my washboard road, I have noticed the rearend hops around a lot. I mean a whole lot, like almost bouncing me out or control. Now this road is also uphill and quite curvy with drop offs on one side, and rock walls on the other.
So now I am wondering if the lifts, springs, etc will make things worse by stiffing the suspension. I am new at all this modification stuff. Always wondered, but never did it.
This is all with a 01 Ranger XLT Super cab 4x4, 4.0L auto tranny, 245/75-16 tires. I will need new tires by winter. Should I seriously look at 15" rims and bigger tires? I finally read an article in Peterson's 4x4 magazine that explained the reasoing of smaller rim and larger tire. It's so that there is more sidewall making for more air in the tires, and helping absorb shock or something like that. I wonder if anti-sway bars front and rear will help.
I'm also on a somewhat limited budget, but I plan/hope to keep the truck a long time, so spending money to improve handling, towing and hauling mods are beneficial in the long run. I need to add that my driving is probably 80% road or highway (60mph) and 20% dirt roads, some county roads and some forest service roads which can narrow down to a 2 track(one truck width) type of road. No real OFF roading or rock crawling either. Of course, in winter while hunting I've been known to go down a nice looking place to look for elk or deer and discover this nice road(?) turns into a ATV trail and gets narrow real quick. And naturally this is with a foot of snow on the ground and temps up in the 40s so the dirt road becomes mud under the snow and slicker than goose crap.
Also, so any of those HP and MPG addon thingies on Ebay or elsewhere, really improve performance as in HP and MPG? I live at 8500 feet and often go up as high as 10k feet. My Subaru owner's manual says run 87 octane but at higher altitudes to use 89. When we changed, we saw a 20% or so increase in mpg using midgrade, which at altitude is 87 octane. Regular is 85 oct and premium is 89. All the stations out here only sell 10% ethanol. I decided to try midgrade in the Ranger and also saw improvement in MPG. On a 400 mile round trip at 70mph with about 25 miles of city driving, we saved almost 1/4 tank on the Subaru (16 gal tank) and not quite that much with the Ranger, probably 3 gal instead of 4.
Gotta run for now, but I think I covered my questions for now.
Thanks in advance for putting up with a FNG.