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Torsion twist for dummies! (pics included)

Discussion in 'Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits' started by 97GoldXLT, October 10, 2007.

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    1. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      Are you a mechanical dummy like me? Even if you're not, I'll help you through the "torsion twist" procedure. What is it? Well a torsion twist is basically a lifting of the front suspension via the tightening of the torsion screw.

      ____________________________________________
      ____________________________________________
      ____________________________________________
      Here are a couple FAQs and some of the Frequently answered answers!

      Q: If I crank it to high, will the CV joints to wear prematurely?
      A: Yes.

      Q: By completing the torsion twist, does it lift the truck or just the front?
      A: Just the front.

      Q: How much does it cost?
      A: Free, if you have the supplies! (will be outlined in this tutorial) Also, it'd probably be good if you got the truck aligned after the procedure, if you don't do it yourself, it could cost around $40-$60

      Q: How will I lift the back to make it even?
      A: You can either buy an Add-A-Leaf (AAL) or Some shackles (go with part WAR #153)

      Q: Does this torsion twist work on 2wd?
      A: Yes, on 2wd and 4wd and AWD

      Q: How many torsion screws are there?
      A: 2

      Q: Will first Gen Explorers (91-94) be able to do the torsion twist?
      A: From what I've read, no, because they don't have torsion bars. They require coil springs.

      Q: How high should I go?
      A: About 2" MAX, any higher and you risk wearing out your CV joints (I got 1.75")

      Q: Can I turn(loosen) the torsion bolt to lower the truck?
      A: Yes, but if you lower the truck to much, it can also cause binding on the CV joints, same as if you lift it to much.

      Q: Do I need longer shocks after doing the torsion twist?
      A: No you don't. Since the travel of the suspension isn't changed, there is no need for longer shocks.

      There are more, Just ask them!

      _____________________________________________
      _____________________________________________
      _____________________________________________

      OK, first things first, lets get our supplies.

      [​IMG]

      Ok, so why am I using 2 factory jacks for this job? Simple! Because my cheap ass isn't going out and buying a $100+ jack, when I have one for free! (I borrowed my buddies jack from his jeep, which was the same exact thing)

      Make sure you go out and get some liquid wrench or some penetrating solution, this stuff is NECESSARY.

      I went out and bought a set of jack stands at the local parts store for about $30.

      The penetration solution cost me about $6

      ___

      Now before you do ANYTHING, measure your explorers current height and write it down. (floor to the wheel well) This will be what you'll compare your final height to at the end.

      Now lets Jack up the truck.

      Since I used factory jacks, I simply put a plank across the underside of the truck and placed the jack stands directly in front of it.
      [​IMG]

      I put a pointer to the torsion screw so you'll know where I put the jacks.
      MAKE SURE you do this to the other side of the truck to keep the truck to keep the whole front end off the ground.

      ALSO, make sure you have your EMERGENCY BRAKE ON, I almost had an accident, because my garage goes directly down a hilly driveway (check my signature link)

      OK, now jack it up so BOTH front tires are off the ground. (high enough so you can spin them) This takes all of the pressure off of the suspension.

      Heres another picture from the other side of the truck
      [​IMG]

      ___

      Next step!

      This pic shows the torsion screw (already thoroughly saturated with the liquid wrench)
      [​IMG]

      This is what you're going to be tightening to create your "torsion twist." Since my '97 XLT is basically rust on the under body from driving it like a maniac, I had to use just about the whole can on the screws!

      Now get your ratchet or L-wrench and lets tighten! I used a 13mm ratchet.

      - Keep track of how many rotations you tighten the screw, then apply the same to the other one.

      - The screw will be extremely tough to turn at first.

      - If you've think you've gone to far, take the jacks off and measure to see exactly how much lift you've achieved!

      - Be sure to write down the height on each trial.

      - each trial includes BOTH sides of the truck!

      _______________________

      Remember, I wouldn't suggest going over 2"

      I ended up with 1.75" which was still noticable.

      Now when you're done, take your truck out for a drive to settle the suspension and then measure for a final time.
      ____________________________
      I hope this helps somebody out! If I can do it, anyone can, TRUST ME!

      I'm doing this to give back something to this forum because it has helped me tremendously with everything on my truck! thanks guys!

      If anyone needs a question answered and it's answered, I'll post it on the FAQs section of this tutorial.

      ______________~~~~~~~~~~~~~_________~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__________~~~~~~~

      INFO THAT OTHER USERS HAVE ADDED:

      1) TT is free however when you do adjust your torsion bars up it will decrease the distance between your tires which will require an alignment. So you will either need to pay for an alignment or do it yourself.

      2) the TT will put additional preload on the suspension which will make the ride a little more harsh. The more preload the less smooth it will be over bumps.

      3) there are many threads on TT with some great information, I suggest everyone reads through them before you begin the process.

      4) 2wd trucks can go higher than 2" because there are no CV joints to bind. There have been other threads about doing this, but yours has some very helpful pictures and captions. Good writeup.


      Here is the tire chart on what will fit with what lift.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153710
       
      Last edited by a moderator: November 11, 2008
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    3. Charlie

      Charlie Elite Explorer

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      Good writeup, just one thing I want to add is that you do not need to jack it up if you don't want to. You will just have to take it for a short drive to let it settle properly first.
       
    4. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      This is true, I tried doing it without jacking it up and I definitely couldn't move that screw due to the crazy amount of rust haha

      thanks! :)
       
    5. mounty71

      mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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      And also, 2wd trucks can go higher than 2" because there are no CV joints to bind. There have been other threads about doing this, but yours has some very helpful pictures and captions. Good writeup.
       
    6. manaen

      manaen Well-Known Member

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      A few things to add.
      1) TT is free however when you do adjust your torsion bars up it will decrease the distance between your tires which will require an alignment. So you will either need to pay for an alignment or do it yourself.

      2) the TT will put additional preload on the suspension which will make the ride a little more harsh. The more preload the less smooth it will be over bumps.

      3) there are many threads on TT with some great information, I suggest everyone reads through them before you begin the process.
       
    7. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      Awesome! thanks for the info! I'll add it to the topic! thanks!

      (I'll add your info to mounty)
       
    8. AAnnddrreeww

      AAnnddrreeww Active Member

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      Very nice write-up, will look into doing this in the coming weeks.
       
    9. hunterdan

      hunterdan Well-Known Member

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      Nice write up, except I believe the harsher ride is because of the angle of the control arms and not because there is more preload on the bars. Its kind of like adding a spacer to a coil spring, the only difference is you are turning a screw to change the rotational position of the torsion bar. As you turn that bolt, the bar rotates, moving the control arm down for more lift. This is what I was always led to believe, correct me if I'm wrong though. Awesome write up:thumbsup:

      Dan
       
    10. jimbo74

      jimbo74 Elite Ranger

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      with that alignment you will probably need the aftermarket alignment adjuster eccentric washers, they cost around $40 for the 4 washers that install on the upper control arms
       
    11. manaen

      manaen Well-Known Member

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      That's a great point, let's see if I can clarify what I wrote.

      It is a combination of both, thinking of your example of the coil spring spacer. All coil springs have a progressive load, that is as you compress a spring the amount of force it takes to compress it greatly increases. So when you add a spacer it is increasing the angle of the suspension which is increasing the load on the spring which is compressing the spring more therefore adding more preload to the spring. This additional preload is using up the cushy (for lack of a better term) part of the spring.

      Well the torsion bar has similar properties of a coil spring. Not sure if my explanation makes any sense.
       
    12. hunterdan

      hunterdan Well-Known Member

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      It does. I can see where your coming from.

      Dan
       
    13. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      thanks for the contribution everyone!

      I have one question that wasn't answered in other topics that I want to add to the FAQ and answers..

      "Q: Can I turn(loosen) the torsion bolt to lower the truck? If so, how far and I lower it if there's a limit?"

      Again, thanks everyone!
       
    14. mounty71

      mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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      Just clearing this up. Gen 1 explorers cannot in anyway have the torsion twist done because they don't have torsion bars. Just your wording sounds like there is still an open possibility of this as being true.

      And explorers can be lowered by turning the torsion bar bolt the opposite direction. I don't know how much though.
       
    15. manaen

      manaen Well-Known Member

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      yes you can, if you have a 2wd then you can crank it to whatever you like. If you have a 4wd then you shouldn't be cranking it down (but that's just my opinion I don't like lowered 4wd's :D) But opinions asside you can still crank it down, you just need to watch the clearance with the CV joints, it is the same problem as cranking it up, the CV's will begin to bind.
       
    16. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      OK, thanks Mounty and Manaen, I edited the FAQs with your info! thanks! :)
       
    17. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      So let me get this straight, if I jack it up.. I don't have to drive for a little bit to let it settle in? But if I don't jack it up, I do?
       
    18. Paraphoe

      Paraphoe Go big or go home Elite Explorer

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      Do it either way, but there would probably be more "settling" that has to take place if it wasn't jacked.
       
    19. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      What did you do?
       
    20. Paraphoe

      Paraphoe Go big or go home Elite Explorer

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      I never jacked mine up. Drove it around afterwards and also pushed and bounced the front end a bit to help it settle.
       
    21. sparkyXplorer

      sparkyXplorer Active Member

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      Those bolts are hard enough to crank with jacking it up...They can be in their pretty hella tight so spray with PB or WD a day or two prior to doing the TT

      If you don't spray it with PB or WD and don't jack it up...hace fun trying to turn those bolts

      So Just use Spray and Jacks...
       
    22. Andy96XLT

      Andy96XLT Active Member

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      just want to double check, this is just like tightening a regular bolt correct? so clockwise will tighten and therefore lift it and counterclockwise will loosen and therefore drop it? Thanks.
       
    23. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      I've got no rust. =)
      We don't use salt on our roads, and unlike Anchorage, we're not near the ocean.
       
    24. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      Haha, I did BOTH, jacked it up and drove it around just to make sure.. and it worked out, I wanted to play it on the safe side.. not like its not safe to not do either of the two lol
       
    25. 97GoldXLT

      97GoldXLT Active Member

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      yep, that should be the case, as with any bolt, you'll definitely know if you're tightening it if it's getting harder and harder to go a certain way, just make sure that you're doing it about equally on both sides
       
    26. Andy96XLT

      Andy96XLT Active Member

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      thanks a lot 97... did you check my message on the whole salvage yard thing on your finding a fender thread?
       

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