Torsion drop key's - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-05-2010
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Icon3 Torsion drop key's

Obviously this issue has been tossed around since such things have been created, my question is are these safe?

I have read through almost every thread on torsion bar drops both here and at RPS and I've found that flipping the stock key's, even if drilled for bolt fit, can still be considered not safe. But I haven't seen anything on whether a "drop key" is safe. Does this keep tension where needed?

Most will say, "sell the edge and get a xlt" but my truck has somewhat sentimental value and is about paid off, I also have peace of mind in my vehicle and am really in no position to be trading right now.

If the drop key's are going to keep proper tension this would be an easy fix to my frustration.
If not.... Is there not a way to tack weld something in place to keep the torsion bars/key's from wanting to slip from a safe position?
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Old 09-05-2010
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X2 I've kicked this around for a while also...
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Old 09-05-2010
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Keep the tension where it needs to be? You understand how torsion bars and keys work, right? With the same torsion bar, same truck (weight), the "tension" is going to be the same as you change the ride height. You are only changing the pre-load on them, basically re-indexing them. In a coil sprung truck suspension, it would be the equivalent of change the coil seat or bucket height.

I don't know anything about flipping stock keys, but a "lowering" key would be perfectly safe. I would check with someone like Explorerexpress.com for new front bumpstops though at least.
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Old 09-05-2010
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I've just heard some horror stories of the keys falling out from slight impacts to the suspension from road irregularities when they are flipped because they don't seat the same.. Isn't a "drop key" just a flipped "lift key" anyway?? So wouldn't it have the same issues?

There has to be some form of a modified bracket or weld that could be done to keep these things from just coming out right?
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Old 09-05-2010
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I highly suggest you remove the "skid plate" under the key and look at how it's all set up. You'll see that even with removed bolts, it's all doing the same thing(unflipped). You can de-crank the bars and in effect do the same thing the lower keys would do. Go too low, you run into ball joint angle issues.

The lift keys vs. lowering keys.... they both do the same thing: reindex where the T-bar goes into the key. Lift keys rotate the hole one way, lowering keys rotate it the other way.

A low-cost solution would be tossing in a set of '08+ stock torsion keys as they are a factory drop lowering key. Their lower control arms are totally flat in stock form. Tons of guys do the PreKey mod to their '08+ trucks to get them to the '07 and older height. Under the same bolt pre-load, you should see about a 1.5" drop because tossing in older keys into the newer trucks with the same bolt depth equals about 1.5" lift. Might be something you could look into as a trade or something.
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Old 09-05-2010
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Thanks, that's good info.. What I'm looking for though is a significantly larger drop.

I've found that flipping the axle over leaf give's a 5" drop, I'll need the front to match this.
Most of what I've found is flipping the stock key to achieve an equal stance.
Your right on the ball joint issue, most people running this setup are using a castor/camber kit and
going to a 2 piece control arm with spacer bushings on the driver side to try and make up for the issue.

I just want to find out if I decide to run this setup, is there a way to make it safe, be it welding in some form of bracket or some kind of mod that will keep the key's from wanting to slip from their seat. I know people have notched the key on the opposite side and re-inserted the bolt for added support, but by flipping the key's without re-inserting the bolt gives a larger drop, thus not having the added support.

Whatever I do, I just want to know my vehicle and it's occupants are safe.
Thanks for the help guy's...

Even from what I've read I still have a hard time believing that there's no way to make the "flip" safe.
Any other comments are greatly appreciated..
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Old 09-05-2010
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There's guys over at RPS bagging these in the front and a static flip in the back. Flipped keys and flipped axle looks rediculous...*** saggy and you're still stuck with the crappy t-bars. Your best bet is to cut and pinch the LCA's at the balljoint for a better angle and going coil-over or bags with a custom UCA. All this for how low you wanna go.
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Old 09-06-2010
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I know on mine, I took both bolts out but then had to put the drivers back in to level the front. So I got one in a little and one out.. This brought it almost level with rear with factory lift blocks removed..
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Old 09-06-2010
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It looks like the Explorer Express kits for Explorers don't even come with new front bolts or keys, they just back the bolts out and drop them a few inches.
You could run a spring under setup in the rear but you'll have waaaay too much drop. You could swap an Explorer or sport trac spring pack and rear axle though. The springs provide lift but the flip lowers it a lot, I would guess running that setup you would drop 3" or so from stock, and you could use "lowering blocks" to fine tune the height. Or you could just remove the lift blocks and use shorter shackles. There are a ton of different ways to do any of this, some better than others. Depends on how much you want to spend really.
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Old 09-06-2010
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Old 09-06-2010
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ES894x4 Thanks for the link, I have seen this earlier on.. I've probably read every forum out there on this subject.

Brian I am pretty sure I can get a good stance by flipping the axle, and just completely removing the 2" block. Most edge's I've seen with this turn out pretty level, the one's that re-use the 2" block are the one's that look like they're draggin the back end.. <-------Not fond of this look.

I got under it today and did some looking and brain storming. Pretty sure I can do the key flip while keeping it completely safe with just a little fabrication. I've seen some people say "it can't be done safely".. With fabrication, there's always a way...

It will take me a short while to get all I need to do it, but once I'm ready I'll be sure to show whats been done.
If the big issue with safety is the key coming off of the torsion bar, that should be a pretty easy fix.
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Old 07-16-2016
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I'm a short old fat guy that got tired of having to hop up into my truck. I'ts a'03 RangerXLT 4x4. I flipped the rear hangers gave me 3" down. Took keys from '09 dropped front 2 1/2". Sit fairly level Have Michelen 255 / 70 / 16R. Rides smooth enough, with the 50 Flowmaster on the 4.O engine still lets me be a kid at heart. Make sure you reset caster camber. Amphion13
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Old 07-17-2016
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You bumped a thread that was 6 years old.
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Old 07-26-2016
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Sorry about that, just thought someone might want to see how a problem was solved.
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Old 07-29-2016
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It's all good. Half these guys aren't on here anymore is all..
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