FREE LIFT For Toyota Pickup or 4Runner by adjusting the Torsion Bars
FREE LIFT For Your Toyota Pickup or 4Runner by adjusting the Torsion Bars
Today’s 2-Minute Tuesday – We’re talking about a quick, easy way to lift OR lower your Toyota pickup or 4Runner: a simple adjustment of the torsion bars. This nifty little trick works with 2nd and 3rd generation Toyota pickup, 2nd generation 4Runners, some foreign Hilux models, and even non-Toyota-specific vehicles with torsion bars. Most modern 4WD vehicles typically feature coil spring suspensions. Alternatively, Toyota pickups and 4Runners manufactured from 1986 – 1995 were equipped with torsion bars. Torsion bars serve as the mainspring, or dampener, for the earlier Toyota off-road suspension systems.
Tightening the torsion bars will add some noticeable lift to your pickup or 4Runner, but it will come at the cost of some ride comfort due to the stiffness of the suspension. Conversely, loosening the torsion bars will allow the vehicle to sit lower, and also offer a bit more ride comfort by softening the suspension.
In this video, you’ll see how we lifted this pickup by tightening the torsion nut a full 12 turns. A full turn is 360 degrees around from the starting point of your wrench. Make sure you keep a steady count, so you’ll be able to match the number of turns on the other side of the truck/ 4Runner. On Lloyd the pickup, these 12 full turns translated to 1.5” (approx. 38mm) of lift.
Lloyd is a 1995 Toyota Pickup with a 22RE engine and a manual 5-speed transmission. We mounted some 32” (approx. 81cm) all-terrain tires onto a set of 15×7 inch steel wheels with a 4” (approx. 101.6mm) backspacing. Because of this tire size and combination of backspacing, our scrub radius was allowing the tire to contact the inner fender. Not good! The following breakdown will teach you how to easily, and safely adjust your ride height in your own garage or driveway.
- Ratchets (1/4. 3/8, 1/2): Check Today’s Price
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- Metric Box End Ratcheting Wrenches: Check Today’s Price
- Standard Box End Ratcheting Wrenches: Check Today’s Price
- Lufkin Tape Measure: Check Today’s Price
- Measure ride height using tape measure to determine starting point. *See video for a very simple way to measure from the tire tread to the bottom of the fender.
- Make sure vehicle is on a flat, level surface, safe for working.
- Slide jack under to an appropriate centered lift point, and begin to jack up the front of the vehicle.
- Jack vehicle enough to take tension off the suspension, but also leaving the tires contacting the ground. *We don’t need the wheels off the ground here.
- Locate the torsion bar on one side of the vehicle. It will connect at the front of the vehicles’ suspension, and mounts aft to the torsion connecting bracket.
- To LOWER the vehicles ride height, you’ll need to LOOSEN (counter clockwise) the nut located at the TOP of the torsion bar connecting mount. Then proceed to LOOSEN the bottom tensioning bolt. (Check torque specs for your vehicle!)
- To LIFT the vehicles ride height, simply start by TIGHTENING (clockwise) the bolt at the BOTTOM of the torsion bracket (22mm or 7/8″). *As you tighten this bolt, the nut at the top will become loose – THAT’S OK! We’ll tighten that top nut after making our adjustment. (Check torque specs for your vehicle!)
- Repeat adjustment on alternate side of the vehicle, paying attention to the number of wrench turns, and keeping them equal.
- Gently lower your floor jack, and check out your new ride hight.
- Get your suspension professionally aligned to ensure correct geometry, and increase the longevity of your tires.
Adjusting your ride height an inch or two is an excellent way to clear larger tires on your off-road Toyota or almost any vehicle equipped with torsion bars. This method of tightening the torsion bars is great because there’s really no cost, it’s very straightforward, and can be done easily at home with basic tools. The only unforeseen cost to this adjustment will be a visit to your local alignment shop to ensure the new setting of your suspension geometry is correct for ride comfort and to maximize tire longevity. If you have any questions or comments about this job, or any other SnailTrail 4×4 videos, blogs, or podcasts, please reach out and let us know! And as always, Keep Crawling!
*SnailTrail 4×4 assumes no liability for anything you choose to do to your vehicle, before, or after watching one of my videos or utilizing the content from this website. All DIY repairs or modifications you perform to your car are made at your own risk. Sometimes, even if you’ve done everything the right way, you can destroy or damage one or more things on your vehicle. You must understand this, but by leveraging knowledge and patience, the probability of encountering one or more problems can be reduced.