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Drop shocks or not?


joeglime

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Hey guys,
I've got a '04 ranger with torsion bars for front suspension. I wanted to lower it, so I cranked the em down to the stops, which actually gave me less drop than I was hoping. Less than 2". When I replace the shocks, can I go with standard shocks, since it's such a small drop, or should I go with lowering shocks? I suspect the former, but just want to be sure.
Thanks, Joe G.
 


Blmpkn

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Even though it's been lowered, the suspension is still working within its engineered range. Stock length shocks for the front are what you want. The rear is a different story.
 

joeglime

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Even though it's been lowered, the suspension is still working within its engineered range. Stock length shocks for the front are what you want. The rear is a different story.
Thanks, that’s what I figured. It’s good to be sure.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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So, apparently there are a couple limiting factors to lowering the torsion bar front. I haven’t found the stock shocks to be a limit yet. I did, however, find that supposedly 2008-11 t-bar keys are supposed to be a lowering key from the factory. I have yet to fully investigate that, but I have a set of 2010 keys when I get to it. Anyway, the first limiting factor to lowering is the bump stops, I removed mine and proceeded to lower. The next limit I hit is the upper ball joint. I’m not sure that heating and bending the stock upper control arm would be safe. Apparently aftermarket lowering control arms are no longer in production. Unless we can get one of the companies that made them to punch out another run of them, it’s gonna be modify something or build your own upper arms.
 

joeglime

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So, apparently there are a couple limiting factors to lowering the torsion bar front. I haven’t found the stock shocks to be a limit yet. I did, however, find that supposedly 2008-11 t-bar keys are supposed to be a lowering key from the factory. I have yet to fully investigate that, but I have a set of 2010 keys when I get to it. Anyway, the first limiting factor to lowering is the bump stops, I removed mine and proceeded to lower. The next limit I hit is the upper ball joint. I’m not sure that heating and bending the stock upper control arm would be safe. Apparently aftermarket lowering control arms are no longer in production. Unless we can get one of the companies that made them to punch out another run of them, it’s gonna be modify something or build your own upper arms.
I didn't realize you could remove the bump stops. I will definitely look into that. The original plan was for an overall drop of 4"-5". Later this year I'll be installing a flip kit in the rear, so if I can drop the front another inch or so it might be enough.
 

superj

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Hmm, i didnt think of removing the stops either. Mine was on the stops when i got it and it rode like a wagon.

I had a zq8 gmc sonoma wwhich came with the wide camaro 5 stars, hug front and rear sway bars, and factory lowering springs, prior to this ranger. I wish ford made a really sporty version of the ranger, or at least made sporty factory optional suspension.

My sonoma was a single cab stepside, just like my ranger. Same color too, red. Oth were five speeds too.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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I didn't realize you could remove the bump stops. I will definitely look into that. The original plan was for an overall drop of 4"-5". Later this year I'll be installing a flip kit in the rear, so if I can drop the front another inch or so it might be enough.
Front bump stops have a bolt threaded in from the bottom, if you look at the bottom of the front bump stops, there’s a hole. 10mm bolt head up in there. I hit those long before I got the adjusting bolt backed all the way out for the T-bars. But I also maxed out the upper ball joint before hitting the bottom of factory adjustment.

This was all just done on my green 2000 Ranger that I did the Explorer 5.0 AWD swap on. I did the Explorer front sway bar. In the back I’ve been using all that I can of the Explorer stuff. Sway bar, different shock position, traction bars… I used the Explorer 8.8, built heavier leaf packs and threw the axle in as spring under like the Explorer. Even with heavier packs, in the mock-up stage, I was into frame notch territory in the back, I hit the rear bump stops before it took the truck weight. The only way you’ll get a torsion bar Ranger that low would be to convert to coil-overs and custom upper and lower control arms. I’m not interested in trying to get that low, it scrapes already around here.

I ended up doing a lift shackle and even heavier packs. The rear is still low but I think with different front upper arms I can get the front where it needs to be. I did have to cut the spring perches and the traction bar mounts off the axle, get the axle adjusted and weld it all back on. Pinion angle was way off, so it was just rotate it to be right and weld. Traction bar mounts had to be moved to between the U-bolts for everything to line up. Passenger side upper shock mount can be moved to a position like the drivers side, back by the spare tire. You have to drill for bolts and with the bed off you will have to bend the frame there a little to match the drivers side, I used an 18” pipe wrench.
 

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