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Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2013
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Raised Spindles...

I want to replace my stock spindles with 4" lifted spindles. Currently my torsion bars are cranked to the max. How do I find out how to bring the torsion bars back to their "stock" settings?

And if I may add to the torsion bar question...I run 31x10.5x15's on the stock aluminum wheels. When I put these tires on, 65000 miles ago, cranked the torsion bars to the max, and had a four wheel alignment. And for what it's worth, tire wear has been so even I haven't even had to rotate the tires. The ride is just a little stiffer than it was before I cranked the torsion bars but not so stiff as to make it uncomfortable. Maybe I'm just lucky or got an unusually well balanced truck, but I think it should also be noted that I have noticed no abnormal wear on the related suspension components. Although I do plan to change out the ball joints, tie rod ends and drag link when I install the new spindles. At 128K I think it's about time.

Hope this will be of help to someone.

Last edited by RazorEdge; 11-10-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Misspelled words...
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Old 11-11-2013
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Never heard of 4" lift spindles...

Usually by 75k, a torsion bar truck needs ball joints anyway, so replacing them at that high of miles is a must-do in my opinion. Also consider adding cam-bolts to the upper control arms when you do replace them. These allow for further adjustment and overall makes the truck far better alignable.

Bringing her back down to "stock spec" on the torsion bar adjustment is pretty simple.... there is no actual figure to base it off of. When the spindles get put on, simply back off the adjustment bolts about 4 turns or so. The bolts are there to adjust for wear, which at those miles and the fact it's a 2wd torsion bar 3.0, it's already got the weakest bars (F bars) available, so they're likely sagging a good bit already.
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Old 11-11-2013
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See...I've learned something new again. I never knew there were different grades or types of torsion bars. Are torsion Bars excessively expensive and do they have to be installed by a good automobile shop? Another question...how are torsion bars "graded" or classified as to stiffness? And what are the best of those on the market.

In addition to changing ball joints, tie rod ends, drag link, (probably new) torsion bars, and torsion bar adjusters. is there anything other than shocks (I'm gonna replace them with over sized gas units at all four corners) that I have missed? Like the upper control arms...or will the stock units work. If you think I neen to replace the Upper Control Arms please explain what and why.
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Old 11-11-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorEdge View Post
Another question...how are torsion bars "graded" or classified as to stiffness? And what are the best of those on the market.
I've never seen quantifiable data as to what the different grades of bars actually correlate too - other than increased stiffness.

'Best' to 'Worst': 1,B then F type.

Click for the torsion bar part #'s: https://www.ranger-forums.com/suspen...3/#post2027995

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Originally Posted by RazorEdge View Post
Are torsion Bars excessively expensive and do they have to be installed by a good automobile shop?
Probably +/- $250ish for the pair.

No, they don't have to be installed by a shop - but there is a huge amount of pressure on them, so you have to be careful when unloading them. They make a fancy 'torsion bar removal tool', but I know many guys have used a puller or even a c-clamp to make it happen.

Random picture of the tool:
Attached Thumbnails
Raised Spindles...-torsion1.jpg   Raised Spindles...-torsion1.jpg  
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Old 11-11-2013
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The multitude of threads is becoming confusing...


Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorEdge View Post
See...I've learned something new again. I never knew there were different grades or types of torsion bars. Are torsion Bars excessively expensive and do they have to be installed by a good automobile shop? Another question...how are torsion bars "graded" or classified as to stiffness? And what are the best of those on the market.
As noted here by Logan and in your torsion bar thread, three torsion bar weight ratings were offered on the Rangers. Similar to tire weight ratings of C, D, E, F for pickups. It has been some time since I've brushed up on what the rating differences actually are. I want to say #1's have a rating of 625 pounds and it goes down from there to the B and finally the F bars. Again, I am uncertain on the actual figures, just going off of 5 year old memory. Same goes with rear leafs as well.

You can see what bars and leafs your truck has by looking at your door jamb sticker....near the bottom it should say something like FFKK or FK or 11CC or BK. Some years got 4 digits, others just 2. First or first pair is the front springs. Second or second pair is the leafs out back.

I will mention though, no special tools are needed to unload/replace torsion bars by using a little more laborsome technique. By letting everything droop out/extend downward, you can replace torsion bars safely and easily with one person. Remove tbar adjustment bolts, unbolt shock, unbolt sway bar link, undo upper ball joint, loosen lower control arm bolts, then slowly lower your floor jack under the lower control arm to relieve the tension, this will pivot the torsion key upward off the nut without any stress, and will allow the removal of the torsion bar adjustment "nut" which keeps the key in place. I apologize if this is jumpy, it's just the way I talk and subsequently, type.


Quote:
In addition to changing ball joints, tie rod ends, drag link, (probably new) torsion bars, and torsion bar adjusters. is there anything other than shocks (I'm gonna replace them with over sized gas units at all four corners) that I have missed? Like the upper control arms...or will the stock units work. If you think I neen to replace the Upper Control Arms please explain what and why.
There are no drag links on 98+ Rangers as they don't have a steering box. Rather they are a rack and pinion.

In order to replace the upper ball joints, the upper control arms get replaced as they are non-serviceable built-in units. You cannot simply replace just the ball joint. You can opt for MOOG brand joints and arms....those ball joints are replaceable but that only goes for MOOG arms and joints.

I made mention of it in my previous post (here or one of the other threads, I don't know) because they(control arms) get removed anyway, you might as well put in camber adjustable upper control arm bolts. They better allow for proper alignment as the stock units aren't adjustable. Especially if you're considering lifting and torsion cranking.

Clicky: 29000 - Ford Truck Camber/Caster Cam Bolts - Ingalls Engineering Co., Inc.
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Old 11-16-2013
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Trying to figure out how hard these are to pull since I'm doing lower arms. Might as well do bars since I have to pull my Fs anyway. Haven't seen a video or writeup on this, anyone have any pics of anyone using a 2 arm puller or ball joint tool to do this?

Dont feel like losing any limbs on this project.
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Old 11-17-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZDevil81 View Post
Trying to figure out how hard these are to pull since I'm doing lower arms. Might as well do bars since I have to pull my Fs anyway. Haven't seen a video or writeup on this, anyone have any pics of anyone using a 2 arm puller or ball joint tool to do this?

Dont feel like losing any limbs on this project.
Did you read the post above yours? It's quite helpful for a no-special-tool-needed technique. Here....I'll quote it below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
I will mention though, no special tools are needed to unload/replace torsion bars by using a little more laborsome technique. By letting everything droop out/extend downward, you can replace torsion bars safely and easily with one person. Remove tbar adjustment bolts, unbolt shock, unbolt sway bar link, undo upper ball joint, loosen lower control arm bolts, then slowly lower your floor jack under the lower control arm to relieve the tension, this will pivot the torsion key upward off the nut without any stress, and will allow the removal of the torsion bar adjustment "nut" which keeps the key in place. I apologize if this is jumpy, it's just the way I talk and subsequently, type.

I was only partially successful in using a 2/3 jaw puller on a torsion key swap (prekey swap on an '08). It was SKETCH AS HECK. It kept wanting to twist off the trans crossmember. First side was golden...second side nearly stripped the pullers thread. It's when I gave it some thought and came up with the idea posted above.

Previously I used a very large C-clap with the "wobble" removed so it'll fit in the recess in the torsion key for unloading.
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Old 11-17-2013
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Thanks, maybe I should read whole posts from now on lol.

I am replacing everything (LCAs as well) so I should be able to make it droop enough to take them out. Will prob replace them with 1s as well while I'm in there.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2013
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Wish I could help you, Partner...but I have no answer for you...
You might want to get into the "Suspension Tech" forum on this site.
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Old 11-17-2013
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Just follow the instructions Fx4wannabe gave you. He's got quite a bit of knowledge about suspension components. The way he describes the procedure sounds pretty simple to me...
But if you are just shot in the head about using some tool to relieve the tension on the torsion bars I'd suggest you keep plenty of rags around to soak up the blood. Besides, if you're going to replace the lower control arms (although I don't know why...new lower ball joints are a lot cheaper than new LCA's) the way Fx4 describes it would, I think, would be the best way to go.

I am curious about one thing however...how come you're replacing the LCA's? Standard procedure is, as I understand it, that unless damaged, everything on the LCA can be replaced. From the bushings to the ball jounts 'cause there ain't no other parts on the freakin' to my knowledge, other than the attachment bolts. Sounds to me, and please understand I mean no offense, replacing any worn items on the LCA is going to cost you a damn sight less than new Lower Control Arms...

And a word to thhe wise...do not be afraid to ask questions on this web site. Most on here are eager to help... so don't be araid of lookin' like a dumb ***...always remember, the only question stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

I hope everything goes OK for you...

Have a nice day...

James
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Old 11-17-2013
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Just follow the instructions Fx4wannabe gave you. He's got quite a bit of knowledge about suspension components. The way he describes the procedure sounds pretty simple to me...
But if you are just shot in the head about using some tool to relieve the tension on the torsion bars I'd suggest you keep plenty of rags around to soak up the blood. Besides, if you're going to replace the lower control arms (although I don't know why...new lower ball joints are a lot cheaper than new LCA's) the way Fx4 describes it would, I think, would be the best way to go.

I am curious about one thing however...how come you're replacing the LCA's? Standard procedure is, as I understand it, that unless damaged, everything on the LCA can be replaced. From the bushings to the ball jounts 'cause there ain't no other parts on the freakin' thing to my knowledge, other than the attachment bolts. Sounds to me, and please understand I mean no offense, replacing any worn items on the LCA is going to cost you a damn sight less than new Lower Control Arms...

And a word to thhe wise...do not be afraid to ask questions on this web site. Most on here are eager to help... so don't be araid of lookin' like a dumb ***...always remember, the only question stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

I hope everything goes OK for you...

Have a nice day...

James

Last edited by RazorEdge; 11-17-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Wrong spelling and improper puncuation.
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