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the best drop?


benj75

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Godfather1138's excellent "going for the gusto..." thread got me thinking, but i'm not sure if i'm right.....

if you take the torsion adjuster bolts completely out, you get 2" of drop. if you follow godfather's instructions, you get 3 more inches of drop, with the bolts still out.

when you put the bolts back in and tighten them until you're only dropped 3", wouldn't you have about the same tension on the bars as you would at stock height? it would seem to be true, since the 3" drop comes from flipping the part, rather than unloading the tension.

so, if you still have basically the same spring rate in the front w/ the 3" drop, wouldn't this drop give you a better ride and be easier on parts such as shocks and ball joints? (versus simply turning the bolt and unloading tension)

i could be wrong, but if i'm right............

this would be the ideal way to lower an EX
 


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Godfather 1138

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This is kinda hard to explain, but it is one of the beauties of the torsion bar suspension. You always have the same tension on the bar as it is mainly created by the weight of the truck. The only way that you will reduce the tension is if you get nutty with it and drop it so much that the weight is no longer resting only on the t-bar (set it on the bumpstop/bumpstop mounts).

You are correct about the drop keeping a factory-like ride b/c the "spring-rate" stays roughly the same. The important thing here is the shock that you decide to use. You need to find a shock with good dampening, and a shorter throw to keep a smmother ride. The wear and tear on ball joints and such will probably still be there (but not much worse than stock) as they are constantly riding in a different positon than origionally designed for. Unless you are seriously slammed, or have an adjustable suspension that is constantly changing things on them the wear should be minimal and probably non-existant.

Sombody please feel free to jump in here and correct me if I am wrong about any of this.

In my book this is defenitaly the ideal way to do it. Mine rides great, and (so far) has not had any problems (knock on wood).
 




james t

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flipping the part doesnt put the bar back at the factory tension level (when you adjust it back up to 3"). this is because when you flip it, it puts less tension on the bar than when it was factory. when you adjust it back up to 3", you have a ride that is mildly worse (prob. not even noticable) than a 2" drop the old fashioned way (just taking the bolts out.) basically, the flip mod is allowing you to run even less preload than by taking the bolts out alone. sorry, it was a good idea, though.:D
 




Cdexplorer

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James t....your X is lowered a couple inches, right? I thought I remembered you saying in another post something about having to shave the control arms to avoid having your wheels rub...was that you? I have a 96 5.0 & Cobra R's and really want to lower it this spring. No more than 1 3/4" though...I just want to bring the front down a little bit so it will look normal for once. Last summer with my Cobra R's on there was so much space in the front from the fender to the tire...it looked shitty. Anyway, if that was you who mentioned shaving the control arm could you explain to me exactly what you did? Do you have any pics? Thanks...any advice is appreciated :)
 




Godfather 1138

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Are you sure about that. I mean, I'm not trying to say you are wrong, but the load that is on the t-bar is a constant (represented by the weight of the vehicle). So adjusting the t-bar does not change that load (untill weight distribution is changed as when you set the truck on the bumpstops). The adjuster pnly changes the position of the t-bar at that nominal load.

Again, I might be way off on this, and I'm not claiming I'm the god of suspensions or anything. This mearly comes from my logic.
 




james t

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yea, that was me. dont have any pix, but i can tell ya how to do it. i know you will probably have to as i had to the first time i dropped. (only 1 inch, and they rubbed.) you can do it 2 ways. 1, you can cut out the factory rubber/plastic steering stoppers on the back of the spindle and replace them with a bolt with 2 nuts. use this as an adjustable steering stopper; it will reduce your turning radius, though. 2, this was easy for me because mine had already rubbed on the back of the lower control arm on the bottom lip. all i did was grind/cut out the part of the lip that was rubbed bare. also, if your tires are balanced with the weights on the inner lip of the wheel, have them re-balanced with stick on weights on inside of wheel. this will free up some room between wheel and lower control arm. they arent as noticable as you think they will be.
 




james t

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are you sure about that...
you are correct in saying the load on the bars is constant. if you arent on the bumpstops and the front of your X weighs, say, 2100lbs, then the torsion bars will always have that tension on them at ANY ride height. true, true. but you are changing the PRELOAD on the bars. this is a counter-tension, so to speak. when you flip the locator (or whatever you wanna call it) you are mounting the bar in a way that it will have much less preload on it. and less preload=softer spring rate, which in our case isnt a good thing. the only way you can lower an X without changing the preload (spring rate) is with a dropped spindle or control arms which no one will make for the 95-X.:fire: :fire: :fire: when you do the flip-drop, and adjust back up to say 3", it will be the same as if you could have achieved 3" by just turning the bolts.
i mean, im not trying to say you are wrong...
ALLWAYS question what you dont think is right... you dont know me... i could just be full of sh*t!:D
 




rcogs

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>>when you flip the locator (or whatever you wanna call it) you are mounting the bar in a way that it will have much less preload on it. and less preload=softer spring rate<<
________________________________________

Yes. It's like putting softer coil springs on a vehicle. The load may be the same but the spring rate will be different. A torsion bar is nothing but a straightened coil spring. If you release some of the tension(by turning the bolts or flipping the adjuster), you're introducing the weight of the truck to a bar that's closer to its relaxed state(the relaxed state of course providing the least resistance).
 




Godfather 1138

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What you guys are saying is right for a coil spring, but I'm still not understanding how it holds true for a torsion bar. The pre-load that you guys are talking about will not affect the ride, only the stance (in the case of the t-bar as it is not made softer in anyway). The ride is ultimately affected by your shock choice. And it's not comparable to putting a lighter spring on a car b/c the overall spring rate is changed there, but the over all spring rate stays the same for the t-bar.

I guess what I'm getting at is that the t-bar is ultimately always the same as long as the weight remains constant, so you have to look at the adjuster set up as changing the angle of intsall, not amoutn of pre-load/spring rate. The t-bar is directly connected to the lower controll arm from the adjuster, correct? Well, adjusting this up or down changes the angle of the lower controll arm at the nominal tension point. The "spring rate" might be affected in extreme instances by the awkward angle that the controll arm might be sitting in (mainly with a massive lift. the drop is not as sever so it "shoud" not create as big of a difference, and once you reach that point you will actually be taking weight off by bottoming something out).

I thought about this alot when I did my '92 Nissan (also has t-bars). Again, I could be wrong, so please don't beat me up or anything ;)

As for the drop control arms, and spindles....I'm VERY upset that no one makes any as well :fire:

*note: These are the ramblings of a mind affected by gas fumes, the sounds of turbos spooling, and the shower of spaks from a frame as it lays out. :bounce:
 




james t

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yes... changing the preload DOES change the actual spring rate. this is true to any torsion bar suspension. it doesnt mater if you adjust it up/down 1", 2", 3", etc, you are changing the actual spring rate. you are right, a torsion bar is not like a coil spring. a torsion bar "springs" via a twisting force, not by compression. look at it this way. if the spring rate (expressed as how much weight it will take to compress the suspension 1") is say 500lbs factory rate, than when you drop it 1" it will be say 450lb, 2" 410 lbs, 3" 380lb., etc. these are not excact figures but you get the idea. yes, you are changing the angle at which the bar is located, thus changing the ride height. but by doing this you CHANGE THE SPRING RATE. i know it can be hard to understand, but trust me. if you had a big machine that could cycle the suspension up/down, and you used the machine to find the spring rate of the X sittin' stock, and then with the 3" inch drop, you would find the spring rate is softer than it was at factory ride height. it may not make sense, but this is just fact. i am not allways the best at explaining things, so i may have confused you somewere allong the way. if so, im sorry. i dont know a better way to explain it. TIGHTEN BOLT=LIFT TRUCK=TOO STIFF OF A RIDE/LOOSEN BOLT=LOWER TRUCK=TOO SOFT OF A RIDE. b.t.w., shocks will help alot.
 




Godfather 1138

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I guess I can buy that. I've been thinking about it and there is load on them at all times when you are only adjusting the bolt (pre-load) so I can see where tis can be concidered changing the spring rate. My brain hurts and, I have to work soon so I'm leaving this one alone :)
 




rcogs

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>>you are right, a torsion bar is not like a coil spring<<
____________________________________________

Not true. A torsion bar IS like a coil spring(research it). When a coil spring is compressed, the force required to compress the spring is a result of twisting the wire/bar in the coil. If the coil is straightened and the bar is twisted, the same forces are present. That is a torsion bar. The main difference is, you can adjust the tension out of the torsion bar to get more spring rate, thus softer "spring", but the coil spring has to be replaced to get this type of adjustment, of course.

>>yes, you are changing the angle at which the bar is located, thus changing the ride height.<<
__________________________________________

Actually, you're not "changing the angle at which the bar is located", you're adding or removing pressure on the lower control arm, which is what raises or lowers the vehicle.
 




james t

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you are not "changing the angle at which the bar is located"...
i was refering to when you flip the mount over. this sets the bar up at a much lower preload level than by just taking the bolts out.
 




I Can Defy

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james t-

i have a 98' with cobras on em. when turned to extreem right or extreme left, my tires slightly rub on my sway bar. i have 3/16 spacers on them. if i lower 1 3/4" will my rims rub on my control arm like you spoke of?

eric
 








james t

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if you keep the wheel spacers, maybe not. i have no wheel spacers, and my wheels just barely rubbed. just make sure you have the balance weights that stick on the inside of the wheel, cuz its the outer wheel lip that rubs. if the weights are on the lip, they will get knocked off the first time it rubs. of course, all of my experience is with 255/50 front tire. if you have 275/50 or some other size, its gonna change things.
 




benj75

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james t:

i assume you're talking about 17" tires, but in any case,
how much is your speedometer off?
 




james t

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none. the 275/50/17's ive got on the rear are exactly the same height as the stock 235/75/15's. the 255's ive got on the front are .8 inches shorter, but front tire size aint gonna matter... unless you got a 4WD or AWD, then you gotta stick with same size front/rear. you gotta go pretty radical change to throw the speedo off enough to notice.
 




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