A rough beginning to the lowered HD world...

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by almeras, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. almeras

    almeras New Member

    I'd like to start by saying that I've been crawling this forum and others like it for the last few months and have found answers to dozens of questions I had and even more answers to questions I didn't know I had. So, thank you for the advice and tips.

    I had an older F-250 gasser that was nearing the end of its life and a few months ago I found a deal on a 2500HD D/A 2WD that I just couldn't pass up. My first diesel and I love it. It leads a pretty simple life. It doesn't tow or haul or do much city driving. It just looks great, sounds awesome, and gets better mileage than I could have imagined.

    Since this is essentially an over powered sedan with a huge trunk, I wanted to make it more comfortable to get in and out of and didn't want it to sit up in the air like a 4x4 (and I've always wanted a lowrider!). I started out by installing 2" drop shackles from ground force. That leveled it out, but like most car/truck people "good enough" isn't good enough. So, I decided to go slowly and drop it even farther. I started looking for torsion keys. This is where the story really starts...

    I found the brand I wanted from reading forums and talking to a few guys with bigger lowered trucks. McGaughy's seemed like the way to go. I found a few places that sell them for about $110 to $150. Pretty reasonable, but I kept looking around. I then found SpringTech. They appeared to be similar keys, but for $69 shipped! I was happy. Spring-tech.com does not mention anything about torsion keys, but they are available at suspensionmax.com and on suspensionmax's ebay store. I ordered them through their ebay store and received them a few days later.

    The following Saturday, I attempted to install them. The factory keys were a tight fit and had to be wiggled off the torsion bar. The replacement SpringTech keys were a different story. They were a 1/4" too big. I slid them on to the bars and realized that there was an inch or more of play at the end of the key where the adjusting bolt engages. I reassembled my truck with the original keys. I was not about to put weight on them for fear of damaging the torsion bars. I was disappointed, but not upset. I figured that they sent the wrong ones or I just got a bad pair.

    So, I emailed suspensionmax and explained the situation. On Monday afternoon, after not hearing back from them, I called. I spoke to Jacob. It appears he handles the internet and ebay sales. I explained to him the problem. He went and measured a few keys off the shelf and got the same measurement that I did: 1.75". He agreed that something wasn't right, but he'd look into it and call me back. After not hearing back from him, I emailed him again on Wednesday letting him know that I did some digging and I believed that the keys were cut incorrectly, and I'd like to know how they would handle this because I am going on a road trip in 9 days and I'd like to have keys installed by then.

    As you may have guessed, a day later I still had not received a phone call or email from anyone at suspensionmax. So, I sent him a message through ebay reiterating my problem. He did reply through ebay the following morning telling me that a .250 gap is perfectly acceptable and is the exact same as any other manufacturer. He invited me to contact other manufacturers. So, I did.

    I first called DJM (not knowing that they do not sell a drop key for a GM HD). They were very helpful. They could not comment on that exact model, but they did say that a .250 tolerance is not acceptable and that it never would have passed quality inspection. He even said 'you wouldn't use a 1-3/4" wrench to turn a 1-1/2" bolt, would you?'. I then called McGaughy's. They went above and beyond to help someone who wasn't even their customer. The rep actually took down my number, found a drop key and a torsion bar, slipped the key on, and measured. He called me back a few minutes later to report he measured a gap of less than .030" and he strongly advised that I not install anything on my bars that fits that loosely. I promptly ordered a pair of McGaughy's keys.

    Yes, I understand that the reps I spoke to are competition and may be biased.

    To the defense of suspensionmax, they have offered me a refund. But, they have refused to pay for return shipping. They say that simply not wanting a part anymore is not reason for them to pay to have them shipped back. I say that the part is manufactured incorrectly and is therefore defective.

    Before anyone has a chance to light their flamethrower, I know... "You get what you pay for."

    I just thought that I would share my story. What do you think? Would you install keys that were 1/4" too big?

    If anyone thinks I made this up or are exaggerating, I swear I'm not. Ask away.
  2. fxracerx

    fxracerx Member

    I fully understand where your coming from. I just put on a 2" lift and an add-a-leaf on my 1500 from Zone offroad and they said my stock shocks would be more than long enough. The lift and leafs were $200 shipped to my door so I thought I got a good deal. I did but upon testing out my lift I found that my shocks were bottomed out. I emailed them and I guess since they got their money and I got my lift I dont get an answer back. I just guess we should bite the bullet and spend a little bit more money on the quality stuff.
  3. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    I agree, you get what you pay for! What amaze's me is people will speed $30,000 to $60,000 on a truck and than cheap out on a leveling or lowering kit. The price differance between the good stuff and the junk usually turns out to be just a few $$$$$.
  4. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I agree i have a buddy that wants to put 3in of lift in his truck. a body lift is $20 less than a 3in Suspension or something like that and he needs new ball joints anyhow but he would rather have the body lift.. And with a 1/4in of slack not a snowballs chance in ____________... Talk about a company that i will make sure to stay away from.
  5. almeras

    almeras New Member

    Ya, I know I was being cheap. My thought was that the keys won't be on there forever. I know better now.

    My hope with this post was to let other people know and not have to go through what I did. I'm not one of those people who yell and scream because my double whopper only has one piece of meat on it. I just want it corrected. BUT, when they tell me that they never put two pieces of meat on them, then it's a different story. On the plus side, though... Getting stiffed on your whopper probably won't make your suspension drop while you're cruisin down the highway!
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    The trouble is you just don't know that the more expensive part is "better" than the cheaper part-until you get the cheaper part and find out it is a POS.
    I'm also "frugal" so on such a simple part I probably would have gone cheap also.

    Glad you warned us about this.

  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Thanks for posting this almeras, theres lots of aftermarket manufacturers selling parts and as you found out not all the parts are created equal.
    Hopefully this will help out someone looking for their next lift and they'll avoid this particular manufacturer.
  8. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Moved to the Vendor Reviews forum because this is more of a vendor review than a suspension question.
  9. almeras

    almeras New Member

    Funny you should mention that. In my hand the product looked great. It was very stout and looked very professionally machined. Much, much, much better than the stock unit. I'm sure it would be stronger than the stock unit. IF ONLY it was cut correctly. I almost wonder if they aren't selling them so much cheaper because the original manufacturer cut them wrong or cut way too many keys for a rare torsion bar of some kind. I say that because it's not like it's just a cast that was worn out, but an actual cut.

    UPDATE: These keys are no longer on the suspensionmax website, but are still being sold on their ebay store.

    I'll see if I can figure out how to post a picture of the key that I sent to them...


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