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I just bought my first HD and trying to make the best decision for my wheel and tire set up. I've pretty much decided on 285 BFG AT's on 16x8 Mickey Thompson Classic Locks. My question is I'm hearing a lot of potential wearing if I crank the torsion bars or try a leveling kit or anything like that. I'm really looking at this truck to be a very long term truck and wanting to do the most I can and still keeping the long term in mind. So does cranking the T-Bars or a leveling kit wear on the suspension quicker and am I better off in the long run if I don't "have" to touch anything like that to make it fit?
 

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The stock shocks will wear quicker because they tend to get over extended.

My torion bars are cranked about 9 turns to the equivalent of around 2 and 1/2 inches. It raised it nice I think. I also bought a set of Bilsteins to fix the problem of premature wear on certain suspension components. I havent put them on yet so I couldnt tell you the end results. Many people here have done this without problems. Many members here have cranked T-bars with no problems whatsoever, even with well over 100,000 miles.

I run 16x8 American Racing black Mojave's. 6 turns raised the truck and cleared 285's on the stock 16x6.5 rims but did not clear the air dam with 16x8's. I had to trim as well as crank some more. Now, my problems are solved.

Here's a good starting point. All your questions will most certainly be answered right here. This was a stick thread that was 3 lines above the thread you just started.

http://dieselplace.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91242
 

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Go ahead and crank 'em. In my opinion as long as you don't go over 2" you'll be fine, and 2" should do it for those tires. Do not, I repeat, do not buy a leveling kit. The kit is necessary only if you want to go past the max adjustment... around 2.5". Anymore and that's just too much strain/severe angle. Just crank 'em and go get 'er aligned. Later, around 10Kmiles you can get the Bilsteins to soften things out. Good Luck.
 

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Go ahead and crank 'em. In my opinion as long as you don't go over 2" you'll be fine, and 2" should do it for those tires. Do not, I repeat, do not buy a leveling kit. The kit is necessary only if you want to go past the max adjustment... around 2.5". Anymore and that's just too much strain/severe angle. Just crank 'em and go get 'er aligned. Later, around 10Kmiles you can get the Bilsteins to soften things out. Good Luck.
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X2 Just crank or if this is not enough get a full suspension lift kit. Going in the middle of that with a leveling kit is a waste of $$$.
 

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I replaced my torsion bar keys with orange keys from GM and replaced my shocks with Bilsteins. Cranked the bars enough to make the truck sit level front to rear. Probably around 2" or a little more. Rides 100% excellent and was still able to be aligned within spec well within alignment range. I run 265's but have more than enough room to run 285's.

I contemplated buying the Cognito leveling kit but just couldnt justify spending $500+ to level the front end of my truck...
 

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I wouldn't buy a leveling kit, unless it contains some bracketry and actually moved the whole front suspension...anything that meerly re-indexes the torsion bar can be accomplished the same way by adjusting the factory equipment. just my oppinion.

good luck,
Mike
 

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You can use your stock keys. Don't just go off of how many turns another guy has done because your truck could have started life on the dealer lot at a deferent hight. Instead make sure you don't crank any higher than 1/2-3/4 inch between your UCA and factory bump stop. Don't forget a longer shock or extenders.

Also check this link for more info on the Cognito 2-3 kit:
http://www.norcaltruck.com/cognito-2-3.html

See picture:



Nor-Cal Nick
 

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I bought a reddi lift kit, which includes a bracket to extend your front shocks. Then I made a 1" block for the rear, then I leveled the front to match the back. Still rides fine, a little stiffer from stock, but I only have about 230 bucks in it. And I have a 9'2" boss v-plow that only squats 3/4 of an inch when lifted. You can fit 305 no problem. The cognito kit looks great, and I didn't know about it until after reading the last post. with the different keys, it actually lifts the truck without all the xtra twist, so the ride is not as stiff.
 

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Same amount of "twist" to a torsion bar with keys as without really...same with cognito leveling kit too. The re-indexed keys simply allow you to use the fixed length adjuster screw to re-index the torsion bar more than that of the stock key. Think of it as a ratchet wrench ("3/8s drive" etc...) turning a bolt in a confined space. As you tighten, you run into an object, you then ratchet back and then begin to move again. Thats what a re-indexed key sorta does...allows further adjustment than what the stocker does.

The "twist" of a torsion bar is sorta the weight capacity...like a coil spring is selected to carry a certain, fixed, amount of weight in a semi compressed state. As you add weight, the spring compresses more. Only way to add height to a compression spring is install a spacer or add a stiffer spring.

Well, a torsion bar is similar, designed to hold a specific amount of weight at a predetermined amount of twist using a specific "spring" steel with carefully selected diameter and properties. Add weight like a plow and only then do you truly "twist" the torsion bar as the a-arm rotates and the truck gets lower. "Cranking the torsion Bars" does theoretically require a minimal increase in "twist" to overcome its static position before it simply is reindexed as a result of turning the adjuster screw and re-indexing the key from its original condition. The only thing that truly gets "twisted" is the adjuster screw. Everything else is simply re-indexed.

With all that said, the problem of harsh ride after "cranking t-bars" mainly comes from over extending the shocks or running out of downward travel of the upper control arm. Another source of a "changed ride characteristic" is the fact that our trucks come designed to have the lower control arm in contact with a special rubber "snubber" to aid in carrying capacity and create a progressive stop in upward travel. I believe plow package trucks may have a specific durometer snubber. Regardless, when we "crank the t-bars", we no longer are in contact with the snubber, so the torsion spring on its own has to deflect as the suspension cycles...often so that it impacts with the snubber as apposed to pushing into it (like being punched-impacted as apposed to pushed with same amount of force).

Well, finger hurt...bad sign....sorry...I got outa control...

:blahblah: :sorrysign
 

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Damm, you done some homework! :Handshake
 

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Do you get more lift with the cognito pakage? How much compared to what I did? How does she ride?
 

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RJWesleyIII;1581751; said:
Do you get more lift with the cognito pakage? How much compared to what I did? How does she ride?
you really dont get more lift with the cognito, but you can gain more lift without sacrificing ride quality. so in a way yes.
 

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Cognito arms are made such that the provide more clearance beteen the arm and the hard stop at a given height, when compared to stock arm. So, they essentially let you crank a bit more and still retain the clearance to provide a good road ride. Not exactly sure how much more...I was hoping to get that information from the Cognito engineer...as someone put alot of thought into them.
 

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mr_udy,

:exactly: I love it. Great job on the leveling KEY issues. :bow:


It takes a second to grab on to whats going on with the keys. But once you play with it you can see first hand why people sometimes run into problems:duh: with this so easily said "just crank your t-bars to level it 1-3inches"......


:thumb: Nor-Cal Nick
 

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I gotta admit...I've always had solid axle chevys until this truck. Always wondered how "cranking t-bars" worked. I learned everything I know from this site and my own 1st hand experience installing my Cognito kit!
 

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I have a 98....I cranked my TB about 1 1/2" to 2" to get level...Got a small bounce in the ride...Nothing major...Should I change the shocks and what does everyone recommend? Part number or length if possible....Thanks, I'm learning a lot on here....
 

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I dont know much about '98 but I'd guess your having shock length issues or a bit more bouncy cause your off the factory snubbers now. I'd get longer shocks or extensions and fab something up as a spacer for the stock snubbers or get a set of timbrens.
 

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I have my bars turned up some. The truck doesn't sit level, but good enough for me. My question is... If/should I put shock extensions on, will I have to have the truck re-aligned again? It does have that bouncy feeling when I hit dips in the highway. Or, would it be better to just wait a while and put new longer shocks on? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You'll know if your bottoming out your shocks...a harsh, jarring effect. My guess is your experiencing effects of riding with clearance between lower control arm and rubber snubber. I'd install a spacer or run timbrens. Stock shocks are junk...so you might want to upgrade anyway...might control the front better...might help what your experiencing.
 
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