add-a-leaf torsion twist | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

add-a-leaf torsion twist


Well-Known Member
April 12, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Ellsworth AFB, SD
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 sport trac 4X4
my plan originally was to shackle lift but hearing the horrors of flattened or negative arch leaf packs sent me in a different direction on top of that i have minimum room to work with do to the hitch. so doing my research i came to the realization that an add-a-leaf is my goal. torsion twisting stiffens the front so why not stiffen the back. plus this will aid in payload. so im creating this as a referrence or how-to on add-a-leafs and torsion twists. i know there are thread about this but hey take three threads about it and combine them into the ultimate sticky is my logic here. so keep watching this thread and i will update it over time.

ok so i kinda got rushed through this so not enough photos to create a full how to on this. i apologize for this but hey i can link to two pre-existing how to's that i used to do this. this is the add-a-leaf link this is the torsion twist link

these two links are what i used the link for the torsion twist also describes shackles which i honestly would lean away from if you are anyone making a choice on the two options. since the lift i have gained 1.75" in the rear on both sides, up front i ran the bolts all the way in then backed them out proportionally till i reached 2" this leveled it out nicely and since the install i went to wyoming to devils tower and back bout 250 round trip the front settled a bit only 1/4" or so. the suspension is stiffer and pay load is better i hauled my buddys 30' tandem axle camping trailer and the rear only squatted 4" so payload is definitely higher. this is definitely better than shackles in my opinion. the truck feels much more poised and more truck like than stock.

on for some info on top of what the links provide. he said to remove the leaf pack from the shackle. this is not necessary and in fact i couldn't even remove the nuts on my shackles. the only steps you need to do is the typical jackstands and axle support, then remove the bottom bolts on your shocks, remove the 4 nuts on the u-bolts and your axle support can get jacked up to get the clearance needed to remove the centering pin on your leaf pack. once that pin is removed your three full length springs will stay together and the overload will drop using the long 3/8" bolts supplied you can put the Pro Comp EXP13120 leaf against your three full lengths and then put the overload and bottom plate back on in reverse of the way it came apart. at this point everything goes back together in reverse order.

so parts needed:
Pro Comp EXP 13120 (short leafs)

tools needed:
13 MM (torsion bar bolt)
18 MM (deep well)
standard socket set (i used a cheap 120 piece from walmarx)

and to please the people of the forum... pics of my install till i got rushed and had to stop. the one photo shows a standard bolt and it was a pain compacting the leafs to use that bolt so i used the 5" long ones that come with the add a leafs.



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

pictures and part number please

Havent had issues with my shackles, but I'll be waiting convincing ;)

I know from experience that with the shackles and alot of towing/ offroading your leafsprings will eventually flatten and get a negative arch to them.

Once I start working again I'll be ordering add a leafs and putting the stock shackles back in or just make my own with the same height as the stockers. I don't want the new set of leafs I just installed to wear out.

reading from what people who have tried AAL and shackles . They find that compared to shackles, the AAL is more stable. I like this . Plus much cheaper, you wont get the lift you will with the shackles. Since I have a 4x4, i can only go 2" tops anyways

From someone who has had both, I am glad to be on add-a-leafs now.

My 35s still fit.

My leaf packs are not flat.

The ride is not as stiff as the Ex owners sometimes say. Remember that there is practically no weight in the back of these vehicles. The small plastic bed hardly counts. I can tell a difference when driving over rough dirt roads at 25 mph or so but for most driving, it's not a big deal.

old VS. New


and a nice wheeling pic

i updated my first post with some of the how to process and how much i gained height wise

good stuff!

At first glance I thought you wrote "OFF" on your truck with mud :)
What size center bolt did you end up going with for the leafs? Truck looks great by the way.

thanks for the compliment. i used the supplied 3/8" grade 8 bolt that pro comp supplied