Benefits of Torsion bars? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 12-09-2008
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Benefits of Torsion bars?

Is there any benefits of having a torsion bar suspension? I'm just wondering why ford put this style in our trucks appose to a coil over like in the tacoma's, when it seems like that would prefered. Or is it because its just cheaper to build?
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Old 12-09-2008
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Fu*k torsion bars
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Old 12-09-2008
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its a space thing I think. There is no room for coils or barely room for a coil over in the front, so ford went with the torsion bars. It would have made the truck cost that much more with coilovers.
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Old 12-09-2008
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With the RCD kit that converts to coilovers, wouldn't a stock truck just require shorter one's? Or is there something else i'm missing.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Yup
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Old 12-09-2008
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Torsion bars suck. Now than I can afford it I would gladly pay more for a coil over equipped truck.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2008
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I'm presently in the process of ditching that european crap design called ' torsion bars '.

Torsion bars are CHEAP and as Beard stated, they take up less space. They are very simple in design.. and their simplicity does NOT translate to durability.

Theres PLENTY of room to put something else in there.. coils, coil-overs, struts.. they just wanted something CHEAP.

Nick moved to coilovers and it wasn't that hard for him. Little guesswork, but with the amount of staff and ' experts ' Ford has, they could have figured it all out within a week and moved to production.
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Old 12-09-2008
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So instead of a torsion bar adjustment, you could install coil-overs? How much would this cost outa curiousity?
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Old 12-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. View Post
They are very simple in design.. and their simplicity does NOT translate to durability.
durability? take a look at all GM fullsizes since '88...or 97-04.1 F150/250(non sd)... If they weren't durable enough for the jobsite or daily driving, why would any brand put them on their vehicles???
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Old 12-09-2008
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Originally Posted by LuckyRanger13 View Post
So instead of a torsion bar adjustment, you could install coil-overs? How much would this cost outa curiousity?

Like 250 per coil-over, add 130 for springs, add some more for brackets...
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Old 12-09-2008
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So the torsion bars adjustment is pretty durable? That's something I wondered about and I want to research before I do a torsion bar adjustment.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Adjusting your torsion bars won't affect the durability as much as it will the ride quality. When adjusted to the extremes, high or low, you will get a much stiffer ride.

As a minitrucker in the lowered truck world, torsion bars are fantastic for us, because you can literally lower a truck in an hour or two just by loosening the torsion brsars until you get the desired ride height, and then go and put some blocks between the axle/leafs and you've just lowered your truck several inches using nothing more than a ratchet and socket, a jack and some jack stands.

You have to be careful adjusting your torsions with 4WD, as cranking them too high will cause your CV joints to bind, untimately ripping the boots, contaminating the insides with debris and prematurely wearing out the CV's. Having them cranked right up too will also put more stress on your balljoints as they will be at a greater angle with more weight sitting on them, causing them to also rip their boots like the CV's and be more likely to fail or break under stressful conditions such as offroading.

There's nothing wrong with a torsion bar set up in my opinion as I have found them to be advantageous in my previous uses, but to each their own. I would much prefer to use a ratchet to turn a bolt to immediately adjust the right height of my truck rather than use an adjustable coilover.

To me,coilovers are better suited to track/performance applications rather than street use,or for crazy lift applications.

That's my 2 cents and now it's spent.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Cranking and uncranking torsion bars have been proven to cause more wear on ball joints. Its all over this forum. Also I only see lowered coil suspension equipped trucks. You can't lower a torsion bar truck without causing problems and that's why there are drop kits for coil Rangers and not torsion Rangers.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Figures, you do something and there's 10 things you gotta watch for.....

So cranking your torsion bars, say, 4 full turns on a 4x4 will cause premature wear on your CV joints???
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Old 12-09-2008
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I have had my truck cranked for about 2 years. No problems with cvs but my balljoints did wear out more quickly.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2008
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Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
Adjusting your torsion bars won't affect the durability as much as it will the ride quality. When adjusted to the extremes, high or low, you will get a much stiffer ride.
I would greatly beg to differ and so Would Sir Isaac Newton.

Newtons 3rd law of physics : For every action, there is an EQUAL and OPPOSITE reaction.

Torsion bars are made of a steel/alloy mixture. They have a tensile rating as well as a twist rating.

A PERFECT comparison: Get a piece of liquorish ( candy ).. something like twizzlers You will not how the candy comes swirrled. Thats how a torsion bar is. It ' twists '. The rating of the metal as well as the amount of twist it can handle before it gives/stretches is all in the math.

If the torsion bars carry too much load ( Tightened ), their longevity/durability is decreased. If they are loosened too much, the opposite will occur ( Not having enough load, they will start to become soft ).

Its a plyable entity, designed to have some ' give ' to it, but when the ' give ' is exceeded, they will stretch or possibly snap.

Another example : Hacksaw blade. You can flex the blade in 2 directions but over time it will eventually wear. If that blade is bent too far, it will fail to go straight again. Such is called ' Applied force '.

Been through all this math and **** figuring out what will work best for what I am doing. Once the load on that bar is offset by a certain amount from its initial specifications.. SEE YA! its going to fail.

Quote:
As a minitrucker in the lowered truck world, torsion bars are fantastic for us, because you can literally lower a truck in an hour or two just by loosening the torsion brsars until you get the desired ride height, and then go and put some blocks between the axle/leafs and you've just lowered your truck several inches using nothing more than a ratchet and socket, a jack and some jack stands.
And eat balljoints all day long too. Been there, done it Check my projects log threads for all the pics you want.

Quote:
You have to be careful adjusting your torsions with 4WD, as cranking them too high will cause your CV joints to bind, untimately ripping the boots, contaminating the insides with debris and prematurely wearing out the CV's. Having them cranked right up too will also put more stress on your balljoints as they will be at a greater angle with more weight sitting on them, causing them to also rip their boots like the CV's and be more likely to fail or break under stressful conditions such as offroading.
What about the stress on the bars themselves?

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with a torsion bar set up in my opinion as I have found them to be advantageous in my previous uses, but to each their own. I would much prefer to use a ratchet to turn a bolt to immediately adjust the right height of my truck rather than use an adjustable coilover.
For ' simplicity ' sure. Cheap and easy.. but for ANY other aspect, Performance, Ride Quality, Bump-reaction.. They really aren't good, especially the ones in Ranger trucks. In fact, in hard cornering, these things completely suck.

Quote:
To me,coilovers are better suited to track/performance applications rather than street use,or for crazy lift applications.

That's my 2 cents and now it's spent.
Well spent, well presented
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2008
D.
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Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
durability? take a look at all GM fullsizes since '88...or 97-04.1 F150/250(non sd)... If they weren't durable enough for the jobsite or daily driving, why would any brand put them on their vehicles???
$$$$$$ .

You stated a coil over setup in an earlier post was .. How much? T-bars are 100-150 a pair.. Production line costs are.. Simplicity for moving more parts off the line are..

Its a no-brainer from a production point of view.
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. View Post
I would greatly beg to differ and so Would Sir Isaac Newton.

Newtons 3rd law of physics : For every action, there is an EQUAL and OPPOSITE reaction.

Torsion bars are made of a steel/alloy mixture. They have a tensile rating as well as a twist rating.

A PERFECT comparison: Get a piece of liquorish ( candy ).. something like twizzlers You will not how the candy comes swirrled. Thats how a torsion bar is. It ' twists '. The rating of the metal as well as the amount of twist it can handle before it gives/stretches is all in the math.

If the torsion bars carry too much load ( Tightened ), their longevity/durability is decreased. If they are loosened too much, the opposite will occur ( Not having enough load, they will start to become soft ).

Its a plyable entity, designed to have some ' give ' to it, but when the ' give ' is exceeded, they will stretch or possibly snap.

Another example : Hacksaw blade. You can flex the blade in 2 directions but over time it will eventually wear. If that blade is bent too far, it will fail to go straight again. Such is called ' Applied force '.

Been through all this math and **** figuring out what will work best for what I am doing. Once the load on that bar is offset by a certain amount from its initial specifications.. SEE YA! its going to fail.



And eat balljoints all day long too. Been there, done it Check my projects log threads for all the pics you want.



What about the stress on the bars themselves?



For ' simplicity ' sure. Cheap and easy.. but for ANY other aspect, Performance, Ride Quality, Bump-reaction.. They really aren't good, especially the ones in Ranger trucks. In fact, in hard cornering, these things completely suck.



Well spent, well presented
Never claimed I was an engineer. I've only played with torsions on 86-93 Mazda B series and a 95 Hardbody and had good results with them for lowering purposes.

On the Mazda I cranked the torsion bars down,but I did also use proper drop spindles. I actually used to at one point,drive the truck with my balljoints flipped which is really stupid,but that was before the spindles. Having the balljoints flipped, I ate through those like a fat kid on cake, not to mention I had serious negative camber and chewed through a brand new set of tires down to the cords in about 300 miles.

Installing the spindles corrected my camber issue, resolved the balljoint flipping and angle of the balljoints as well as the stress on them. To be quite honest, the truck handled like a go kart with sticky 205/40/17 tires.

On my current truck, all I have done is slightly raise the bars to level the front out with the back, and all I did was 8 quarter turns of each bolt (2 full turns). I know very little about the Ranger suspension set up other than the fact that they are apparently a real pain in the @$$.

Anyways, I appreciate the corrections and input
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2008
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The trucks with torsion bars are much better platforms to build off of than coil sprung trucks. That's the main advantage. The main disadvantage is that they wear out fast. I wore mine out with a couple trips out, then got long travel. Coilovers for the win.
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Old 12-09-2008
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So basically in the long run you want coil-overs. The amount you pay for those will offset any future repairs you have to do to your CVs, Ball Joints, or the torsion bars themselves, am I right???

How long till the coil-overs wear out with normal use and the occasional roughness associated with off-roading????
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Old 12-09-2008
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Sooner or later, more likely later I want to convert to a coil over suspension and ditch these sorry t-bars that don't hold weight worth a darn.
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Old 12-09-2008
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If you're only doing occasional offroading and nothing extreme, you shouldn't have a problem with your torsion bars at all,unless you get caught up on something and break a bar or snap a bolt.

Coilovers will typically last much longer,especially a good set like KYB,ProComp etc.


If you don't want to do a full swap to coilovers and want some added ride height,then get a set of lift spindles which will raise your truck 2 or 3" yet still keep all your suspension geometry within factory specs. You will have added height,but your camber and toe will be correct (after being professionally aligned) and your ball joints will not be on awkward angles, and neither will your cv's. With the spindles installed, you can just use the torsion bars to fine tune the ride height without having to crank them to the extremes. You can actually just install spindles first and not have to ever touch your torsion bars.

If you are going to be doing serious offroading like every weekend, or competing and stuff, then yes it is worth the cost and effort to swap to coilovers which will give you reliable and durable performance.

No matter what you do,something is always going to break.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Yeah I'm well aware that everything man makes can break. No matter how well it's made, a small minuet flaw or no flaw will cause it to fail.

I'm not a very serious off-roading junkie and I don't do competitions. I usually give it a good rough off-roading session every once in a while, sometimes more often just depending.

Question now, I want a bit of a lift w/o taking away too much from gas mileage, but yet achieving a decent height w/ a decent ride.
Spindles or Body Lift? and what's the difference?
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Old 12-09-2008
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spindles is a suspension lift. it will cost a bit more, but is generally considered a better lift. a body lift is pretty cheap (can even be made for like $30 if you want) and will not raise your CG as much since you are only lifting the body of the truck. your frame will get no lift however.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyRanger13 View Post
Yeah I'm well aware that everything man makes can break. No matter how well it's made, a small minuet flaw or no flaw will cause it to fail.

I'm not a very serious off-roading junkie and I don't do competitions. I usually give it a good rough off-roading session every once in a while, sometimes more often just depending.

Question now, I want a bit of a lift w/o taking away too much from gas mileage, but yet achieving a decent height w/ a decent ride.
Spindles or Body Lift? and what's the difference?
judging by your sig you can't do a spindle lift. spindle lifts are only for 2wds
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