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140,000 Suspension is shot, what to do next?


09fx4guy

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If I may, I will describe what I did with my truck which helped soften the ride. When I cranked up the factory bars, the ride was really harsh.

If you wanted to, you can easily replace the torsion bars with a set of new ones that are a little "firmer". There are three levels of bars, #1, b, and f, with #1 being the firmest and f being the weakest. I used the #1 bars not cranked up too far. My factory bars were b, and had some mileage on them. You can get brand new oem bars from Tasca parts for less than $100 each. I also used the pre 2008 torsion keys, which you already should have.

Then, I purchased a set of Rancho shocks (5000x), with the extended length shocks for the front to allow more down travel.

I was quite satisfied with the end result for the front suspension, potholes are not too bad. (And I live in NJ, where potholes have their own zip code.)

I actually have the factory leaf packs on the rear with the 2.5 inch blocks from an earlier Ranger. You may have to replace the leaf packs in your truck to a stock style, or at least ditch the add a leaf. Rancho shocks in the rear as well.

The ride height is decent and fits 31 inch tires real nice.
 


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MaicoDoug

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2 inches in the back, not enough in the front
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Normally, ride height is set at exactly where a spring (system) preload starts to go linear. T-bars I have no experience with. Mine are topped out just sitting there an the adjustment is still max'ed out.

I would guess that they would act like any other spring. In theory any linear motion is time delayed to control the overall weight in motion whether acting (or not) on any suspension when the motion is upward -rebound or downward -compression damping with the actuality of 140kmi on the springs, what is left over is a new ride height which does not include hardly any preload required to entertain small bump smoothing. But I know I'm wrong because my 1967 Buick wildcat offroad once and noticed my front tire down traveled about a foot, dang!

So with that, I think that I will set this worn down (front) suspension for a one inch sag come the new shocks, then will work down from there. Having the T-bars set too high currently is keeping that 8.8 inch Torsen from taking me for a heavy iron ride. (tires at 32 psi). When the new shocks are installed, then I will start setting the torsion bars down. May take that block out. For now I need to put some more shack-down road time, with some good shocks. Maybe take it to the alignment shop & see how the ball joints are. The front tires have few degrees of negative camber that is telling me that the front end needs to go higher, the ball joints are shot, and/or the T-bars are shot. Perhaps all three. Meanwhile

Front: RS55374 https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/rancho-rs5000x-series-shock-absorber-rs55374/_/R-BCKM-RS55374
Rear: RS55125 https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/rancho-rs5000x-rear-shock-absorber-rs55125/_/R-BCKM-RS55125
 

09fx4guy

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I think you want RS55126, that was what I used on my truck.
 

franklin2

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I guess you guys know that you can't set the ride height anywhere you want, without getting it re-aligned. I am assuming this truck has a long arm/short arm front suspension. This suspension is designed to kick the bottom of the outside tire out as you go into a turn and all the weight compresses the front outside suspension down. That is why you see all these kids riding around in their little foreign cars that have been lowered to the ground, and their tires are kicked out at the bottom as they go merrily down the road straight.

The suspension is designed to be at one ride height, and the alignment specs then will line up. Then the suspension will perform like it should, and also the handling.
 

pjtoledo

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well that sure takes the wind out of our sails
 

MaicoDoug

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09 & Franklin, thx for your input. Yea, the tops of the tires are tilted inward. Everything seems tight, can't find any play anywhere. Rocking tires, watching the sidewall while barely moving the steering wheel will show play in the steering, Pitman arm mostly. The shocks I purchased do have a slight longer stroke (half inch or so in the front only). I'll have to confirm the long-short arm config.

PO'ed at the last owner, well actually the "oing-tian" headlight buckets he put in that leaked, corroded the mirror coating coming off in 3 days with condensation.

PJ, catch me up on the missing wind I hear around here is that sucking sound from all our jobs gone to china.
 
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JohnnyO

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Cranking the torsion bars all the way will make it ride harder. What you are really doing is adjusting the suspension downward so however much you "lift" the truck is how much downtravel you lose.
With 140,000 miles a lot depends on how much stuff is original. Shocks, ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends, could all be shot.
I used to have a 2002 Ranger with the Off-Road Package (not FX4) that I got new and it rode like a cement mixer. When I traded it on my first Sport Trac I felt like I stepped into a Cadillac.
 

MaicoDoug

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The torsion bars set up all the way is only temporary. I did bottom out real severe. So I set the T bars up so this would not happen until I address the situation with some new parts, shocks initially.

Attempting to document the transition from when this truck was purchased to the 30 day mark will have to wait until I receive the 4th shock and install.
1) Having the tires balanced
2) T-Bars up all the way.
3) New shocks

Things to do:
1) Swing by the alignment shop and get the low down on all the wear items inquiring about the 3° negative camber at full T-Bar height.

This has to have a huge effect on the ride quality & the average position of the front end and the relation to the bump stops. To delay the compression of the front suspension is the needed medication. When the new shocks are installed, then the T-Bars will be adjusted lower.

I would like to continue this on my build-maintenance thread located here.....https://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?threads/07-level-ii-yellow-submarine.189474/

Best regards, Doug
 

MaicoDoug

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Well after a week I can say that with new shocks the ride is so much better. Thanks everyone for all your valuable help so far. Hopefully more as I start to have fun with some suspension mods over the winter. -Doug
 

Will

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Someone made a lift kit that got rid of torsion bars and put in coils, I don't remember which company. Torsion bars are junk. It works the same way as a coil, but is really short. It's convenient for the designer when he's not worried about it actually working well. It necessarily has a small range of travel because of the length. You eat up all that range when you crank it (pre-load it) and it's stiff. Like riding a Harley with a hardtail.

There's no saving a torsion bar suspension.
 

sgtsandman

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Will is not wrong. Work within the limitations of the torsion bar suspension or ditch the suspension for and SAS or the coil spring conversion.

If you want to stick with the torsion bar system, there is pretty much two options. A mild lift with differently indexed torsion bar keys or go full bore with one of the lift kits.

I think the lift kits give a 6" lift.

Reindexed keys give about 1.5"-2" of lift, probably less for you since you have a 2007, and still have a decent ride.

There is also the option of a body lift.

Some people don't care for the look and others like it.

The Rangers that have the old front axle designs have a lot more options available.
 

MaicoDoug

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Will, You have hit a nerve (like the cement truck ride used to be) to question the whole idea of those T bars. Shock therapy in the cab has made me numb, however the potential improvement is phenomenal, & well needed to smooth the ride quality & support the coil over craze (parts) for the aftermarket consumer. Ha, so this should compel even the casual daily driver to modify their front end? No, this is a throw away society. Here is where at least half of the useful tools can be acquired to modify what should of been a more desired outcome of Ford suspension design.

RCD (Race Car Dynamics) Here is the link.....https://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/winter2017/ford_ranger_coilover_conversion_overview.shtml

It's a good read. Something to show my monster truck / rock crawler welder friend. Still has not happened...yet. Maybe soon, HA! I'll get everything ready and post here what his opinion is. In the past, guys like this say to me; "if you want, you can use the table over there".

Confused bolt-on posters in this, but perhaps worth reading this on the other Ranger forum; the ORW & Superlift kit....https://www.ranger-forums.com/suspension-tech-36/o-r-w-fox-coilover-kit-99964/

Finally some good reading.....http://sweb.uky.edu/~mwke224/Coilover%20Conversion%20for%20Torsion%20bar%20Rangers.pdf
and this https://www.ranger-forums.com/suspension-tech-36/coilover-brackets-me00stepside-official-thread-119089/page63/

Race Car Dynamics on the other hand does not list a 4WD lift option.

- I'll try to keep the thread going, it may have some usage value for others like so many others. Who knows after the first of the year, the yellow sub will be receiving more $$ - Doug
 
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