Raising Torsion-Bar Height Without Jarring The Ride
Cranking up IFS torsion bars to increase fenderwell clearance for taller tires is an old trick. Unfortunately, this "free" lift limits suspension travel and compromises ride quality.
A better solution for leveling the vehicle's front and clearing taller tires is to replace the OE torsion-bar "porkchops" with reindexed ones. Although this method isn't free, the reclocked porkchops allow more liftability and additional suspension articulation compared to cranking up the OE adjusters.
Many suspension companies now offer reindexed torsion-bar adjuster-key kits. In fact, several even get the keys from the same factory. Truck owners should check to see if the aftermarket adjusters are cast or forged. The OE keys are cast steel, but quality aftermarket forged replacements are 25 percent stronger. They cost more but are worth it-hanging larger, heavier tires on the knuckles adds stress to the rest of the front suspension.
Full-line suspension manufacturers offer options for customizing their leveling kits. Available upgrades from Superlift include speedometer-correction provisions so that the powertrain computer and speedo receive accurate speed-sensor signals when running taller tires, and extended-length single- and multiple-mount front monotube shocks with available remote reservoirs. In the rear, extended shocks, add-a-leaves, and blocks are available should the truck owner want to retain the factory rake while adding larger tires-without the expense of a taller, comprehensive suspension system.
The Superlift Level-It torsion-bar leveling kit shown here can be installed in about two hours. Although professional installation is recommended because "loaded" torsion bars store destructive amounts of energy, the competent weekend-warrior mechanic armed with the proper tool should be able to do the job. Installation involves loosening the OE cam bolts so your wheels should be aligned afterward, and the headlights should be re-aimed.
Depending on application, Superlift's Level-It torsion-key kits provide 1.5 to 2.5 inches of adjustable lift. Superlift's website lists maximum recommended tire sizes for each application; torsion-key kits are currently available for many '99-'07 GMT800-platform Chevy/GMC/Hummer trucks and SUVs (six- and eight-lug), '97-'04 Ford F-150 4WD, and Dodge Ram 1500 4WD. The photos here show Level-It torsion-key highlights on a '00-'07 GM K2500HD.