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Torsion Bar Lift Procedure for 
Late Model Explorers
By:Andrew Brlic

Here is the procedure for giving your late model the inches you desire, while we wait for the aftermarket companies to design and market a true suspension lift.  It can be accomplished by anyone who is mildly mechanically inclined and only requires the following tools:

1 can Liquid Wrench (or any penetrating oil)
1 Jack and Jackstands
1 Socket Wrench
1 Measuring Tape

1. With the truck level, measure the distance from the center of the wheelwell lip to the top center of your wheel on each side.  Mark the distance for each side, it will be important for two reasons.  First you want to ensure that both sides are level when you're done, and second you want to limit the lift to no more than 2" from stock.  (Any higher will cause stress to your CV joints, resulting in accelerated wear and possibly failure) 

2. Now jack up the front end and secure on jackstands to take the pressure off the torsion bars.  Slide underneath and find the two adjuster bolts located near the back of both torsion bars (towards the rear of the truck) and spray liberally with some Liquid Wrench.  Let it soak in for 10 mins. to free up the bolts.  Using the socket wrench, tighten up the bolts until they are almost to the end of their travel.  This will torque up the torsion bars, causing them to lift the front end higher.  Now lower the front end and take the same measurements as you did before you began, to determine the lift gained.  Repeat the tightening/loosening of the bolts until both sides are level and lift gained is no more than 2". 

3. Take the truck out for a 10 minute drive.  This will cause the torsion bars to "settle" and will most likely give you 1.5-1.75" of final lift, which is ideally where you want to be.  The rear can be lifted using either extended shackles (limited lift) or by adding an add-a-leaf (full length recommended).  After the rear is lifted and you're content with the new height, be sure to take your vehicle to get an alignment, as you may have altered it after the torsion bar lift.  The combination of torsion bar lift and add-a-leaf does firm up the ride, but in my opinion improves it and in no way degrades it.  The Explorer is already a soft riding suspension, and after the lift body roll and nose dive is almost entirely eliminated.  So much so that I will be removing the rear swaybar in order to improve articulation (wheel travel).

Itís readily accepted that the late model Explorers will fit 31x10.5/15 tires at stock height, as my í96 did.  I only experienced slight rubbing in the rear, and only during full compression while off-roading.  After the 2Ē lift front and 2.5Ē lift in the rear I have yet to experience any rubbing at all, even when putting the suspension to itís limits.  Iím confidant that 32s could be easily fit after the lift, but Iím looking at a set of 33x10.5/15 tires to replace my 31s, once they are worn down, which will give me the height I desire, without the worry of rubbing from having too wide a tire.

Good luck.
Andrew Brlic