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Raising the front end????????

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by Chappy, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Chappy

    Chappy New Member

    OK I got a question.
    I'm looking into leveling my 99 GMC suburban 2500 4x4 and all the kits that I'm finding either have spacers or extensions to be placed on the front shocks to lift the front end up to the required height.
    So my question is, if your going to end up spacing out the shock to lift the truck count you not just buy longer shocks and replace the current ones that are installed?
    I'm not to knowledgeable on suspension systems so I'm not sure if that would work or if the extra travel in the longer shock would effect something else in a negative way.
    Any help would be appreciated. Also if longer shocks won't work does anyone have preferences on which leveling kit would be the best? I've seen ones with torsion key adjusters and others with shock spacers, again any input would help me out a lot.
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. adampaul1964

    adampaul1964 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Shocks don't lift the truck, the spacers are provided to allow you to use your existing shocks after you have raised it. I believe you probably have a torsion bar suspension so you are going to need new torsion keys to lift the front. I don't have any experience or know of any results on a 3/4 ton suspension, I just know what I have experienced with my 1/2 ton. I've raised and lowered it with different keys and results have been pretty good on both occasions.
     
    ChevyFan likes this.
  3. Chappy

    Chappy New Member

    Thanks Adam,
    I've seen leveling kits with torsion keys to lift the front. I don't have a clue as to how they work. Could you give me some input on it.
    Some that I have seen say they range from 1 to 3 inches. If you use them and max them out at 3" is that good for the torsion bar?
    Does it effect the bar one way or the other? My thought on it was that these torsion indexing keys add more torque on the bar which in turn raises the front end higher. Is that healthy for the torsion bar to be riding around with the added torque on it all the time?
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  4. adampaul1964

    adampaul1964 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    That's pretty much how they work. The hexagonal hole is indexed in different positions depending on if they are lift or lowering keys. I had lift keys on my truck for over three years with no ill effects, I now have lowering keys in for the past two years. The lift keys made it ride a little stiffer but not too overly stiif, this is because you are twisting the bar and taking some flex out of it, just like partially compressing a coil spring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These pics should give you an idea, hopefully. The silver key is my lowering key and the black key was my lift key. The rusty one being stock, obviously. I stacked them on top of each other and lined up the hex to show how they are indexed differently.
     
  5. Chappy

    Chappy New Member

    I've been told that you can raise (level) the front end by cranking on the bolts for the stock torsion keys and get nearly 2" of lift on average.
    However, this will stiffen the ride and really place the CV joints in a awkward angle. Also, that there will not be as much downward travel in the suspension. If new torsion keys are purchased, specifically for raising the front end, will the out come be the same as far as the angles and less downward travel?
    I understand the torsion bar has hexed heads on both its ends and when the bolt is driven up towards the floor of the vehicle it presses on the key and rotates the bar, or twist it. And that twist makes the other end that is locked into the lower assembly at the front tire want to twist also, which drives the tire assembly down, which in turn brings the truck up. (I think that I got that all correct) What I'm not getting is the relation of the new keys and just what they overcome, unless since the hex cut out is indexed at a different axis, this allows the torsion bar to be twisted even more than normal. But if so, would that not further the "bad" angle and worsen the downward travel?

    I'm so confused!
     
  6. adampaul1964

    adampaul1964 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You have it figured right. The indexing allows you to put more twist on the torsion bar. I raised mine about 3 inches over stock with the new keys. I could only get just over an inch by adjusting the the stock keys. Shaft angles are affected but I never had a problem. I think shaft angles only become a concern if you are going to be going offroad a lot and putting a lot of strain on your suspension. If you are just driving on the street they shouldn't be a problem.
    I remember when I was going to lift my truck I had the same questions and concerns that you have. I ended up cranking up my stock keys and seeing what happened and how I liked it. I had no issues so then I replaced them with the lift keys and and couldn't have been happier with the result.
     

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