A torsion bar is a type of spring, and like coil and leaf springs, can be upgraded for performance, whether it’s to improve handling, load carrying capacity, or change ride height. Torsion bars were used on some performance cars in the past, but today they can be found primarily on late model trucks and SUVs, especially 4WD models. Unlike conventional springs, torsion bars can be adjusted or modified instead of replaced to achieve some performance goals.
- Hotchkis® Torsion Bars$347.70
- ARB® OME™ Torsion Bars$200.45 - $371.45
- ProRYDE® Duck Head™ Torsion Key Leveling Kit$219.00 - $229.00
- MaxTrac Suspension® Lifted Torsion Key Kit$119.95 - $169.95
- Revtek® Torsion Bar Key$146.37 - $193.95
- Southern Truck® Leveling Torsion Bar Keys$94.95 - $115.95
Although some torsion bars have been mounted transversely, they are typically positioned longitudinally, with one end attached to the frame and the opposite end to a control arm. The torsion bar twists when the control arm moves upward, when the vehicle hits a bump, and then unwinds after the bump, forcing the control arm and tire back down. The torsion bar’s spring rate is determined by the material it's made of, diameter and length.
The quality that sets torsion bars apart from other springs, which is especially beneficial for trucks and SUVs, is their adjustability, to change ride height. But just “cranking up” the factory torsion bar keys is not the best way to level or lift the front end, as this can result in a harsh ride. We offer torsion bar keys that reindex the factory torsion bars to preload the bar or are reconfigured to widen the range of adjustment, to provide up to 3 inches of lift. These keys are typically made of stronger materials like forged steel. They are included in lift kits and leveling kits and longer shocks may be needed.
If a different spring rate is desired to handle heavier weight or improve handling, rather than just a change of ride height, then performance torsion bars with varying spring rates are available. Torsion bars with a higher spring rate than stock will prevent bottoming out and provide better vehicle control on road or off. These bars are also made stronger than OE, in materials like chrome moly steel, and treated to a durable powder coat finish. This kind of toughness is needed for vehicles driven off-road, where the torsion bar are exposed to potential impact damage from obstacles.
For extremely high lifts, it may be necessary to relocate the torsion bars. There are several ways to achieve this. For some applications we offer brackets that lower the torsion bar crossmember. There are also brackets that locate the torsion bars further up on the control arms, leaving the ends that mount to the frame in their original location. The latter maintains the factory torsion bar angle, keeps the bars tucked up out of harm’s way, and doesn’t reduce ground clearance. These brackets are included in lift kits that come with everything needed to give you the looks and performance you want for your truck.
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Guides & Articles
- Performance Suspension PartsCoil, Leaf, & Torsion Bar | Describing The 3 Different Kinds of SpringsThe springs in your vehicle probably aren't something you think about until there's a problem or you've decided to upgrade suspension parts in the interest of sportier handling. But what specifically do springs do? In short, they play a major role in the safe handling and ride comfort of your vehicle. Not only do they keep a vehicle at a designated standing height, they provide recoil necessary to bounce back after suspension components move up and down over uneven road surfaces. By themselves, springs will continue to bounce up and down for a long time unless a motion damper such as a shock absorber is present to keep things stable. Springs can be soft and extremely bouncy, or they can be stiffer and less bounce-prone.
- Performance Suspension PartsStock vs Performance SuspensionVery often we don't even realize what a crucial role a car's suspension plays in providing a safe and comfortable ride. The system maximizes the friction between the road surface and your vehicle's tires, ensuring steering stability along with responsive handling.
- Replacement Suspension PartsHow to Inspect Your Suspension SystemThe very first thing to know about timely suspension system diagnosis is that the stability and steering control of your vehicle and, what is more important, your safety on the road depends on how often you make it. Automotive suspension belongs to one of those car systems that are constantly exposed to high loads and thus are prone to wear and tear. Most specialists recommend inspecting suspension system after every 6,500-7,500 miles or when there are any signs of its breakage.
- Performance Suspension PartsHow Low Can You Go?Lowering is high on the list of many people who want to improve the appearance of their car. If you want to lower your car with the coil springs, then replacing them with lowering springs is the way to go. But what if you want to lower your car and also make it handle better? If that’s your goal then consider coil-over shocks.
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