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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi was wondering about leveling keyway kits , plan on lifting my 98 SLT with a body and T/S , but have had bad luck in the past with jacking the torsion bars up did it with a 86 s-10 first time out shredded all 4 cv joints it sure looked good . Also had to change lower ball joints and cv joints about every year , is this a different system , more forgiving ? are the keyways a waste of money or do you get added lift with out the load , This is my daily driver ,and I 've had enough headaches trying to keep them on the road in the past ,but love the look and fun of wheeling . Could someone inlighten me. Thanks Terry
 

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2" lift with the torsion bars is probably the safe limit if you want to avoid cv joint damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks any pro's or con's about the after market keys , are their supporting venders for best prices on body lifts and shackles and why shackles and not add a leafs or blocks ? Thanks again Terry
 

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you can get 2" lift by cranking the torsion bar adjusting bolts. The keys would typically be used only if you want more than 2" lift. Exceeding 2" lift without droping the front pumpkin downward is likely to result in the accelerated CV joint wear that you have experienced in the past.

You can indeed use AAL for the rear lift. They only give 1" - 1.5" lift based on the feedback from those that have installed them. They also increase spring rate and stiffness in the rear.

Blocks would not work with a spring under design like the Durango. If you are going with a big lift 6"+ you can do a spring over conversion.
 

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There have been people here and on the durangoclub who have been running around with the torsion bars cranked for 5-6 years.
 

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I just put some torsion bar keys on my 98 Durango. I previously had the torsion bars cranked but did not care for the poor stiff ride it gave. The keys have given me the needed clearance with a better ride. Its still stiffer than stock but not as bad as simply cranking the bolts. Mine were good quality from ebay for $90 shipped.

I know many have tried to argue the science behind this and why a stiffer ride is or is not possible, but this is my experience and what worked for me. Just sharing so others can make their own decisions. I found it was very hard to find information on Torsion bar keys and what they really accomplished from people that had actually used them.
 

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Reindexed torsion keys do EXACTLY the same thing as cranking the torsion bar adjusting bolts

The ride cannot be any stiffer with the new reindexed keys. Torsion bars are simple springs. There are ONLY 3 ways to change stiffness of a torsion bar system:

1) increase the torsion bar diameter
2) change the torson bar material to a stiffer material
3) shorten the torsion bars.

When you crank the torsion bar adjusting bolt you angularly reposition the anchor point of the torison bar. Reindexed key do the same exact thing - angularly reposition the anchor point.

It is absolutely impossible for the suspension stiffness to be changed by using reindexed torsion keys vs turning the torsion bar adjusting bolts. Reindexed torsion keys are unnecessary unless you want to jack up the front end more than 2".

Lifting more than 2" by this manner increases the angle of the cv joint half shafts, it is generally considered undesireable to exceed the 2" lift capabilities that the torsion bar adjusting bolts provide.

Sorry to say, but if you are only going for 2" lift and you purchased reindexed keys, you wasted your money.
 

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Looking at a 99 and the front end looks like it's sagging lower than stock. If 2" above stock height is safe for torsion and I'm not sure if I'm currently at stock height or sitting a little lower, how do I know how high I can go? Does anyone have measurements on a stock rig from front hub to bottom of fender?
 

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that measurement may not answer your question since there are many variables including mfg tolerances on the fender and the mounting alignment of body parts. It is possible the previous owner(s) may have lowered the torsion bars. One way to tell how much lift you have is to crank up the adjusting bolts. You cannot crank past the top which is 8 turns (2") above the stock setting.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have 98 and I always thought mine sat a lot lower than the newer models , I don't know if its because of the 16 inch rims or what but after my T/S lift , I look beefier , if any thing my tires look way to small now and I'm running 275 70 17 . For 50 bucks what do you have to lose . But to anwser your question I believe I was 35 and 3/4 from the floor to the bottom lip of my fender flare . Hope this helps .
 
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