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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so this may be long and I may have some stupid questions in here, but before I bought my truck - 2012 Canyon 3.7 I5 Crew Cab Z71 4x4 - I knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about suspension or lifting a truck and this is the first truck I have ever wanted to mod (only modded my cars years ago and had a Sierra I did hardly anything to) I went through a bunch of threads and now I feel I know a little from what I have read on the site, but still a little confused. I am also not looking to do anything right now, and nothing too big, just trying to understand and plan ahead and know what I should do and what should I do first….
My goal: I think I would like to eventually have 2-3” of total lift (I have a job where clients sometimes ride with me so I don’t want to go overboard – but I would like to be able to take it off road every now and then).
The first question I have is about a body lift. I talked to a shop today that does lifts and he told me that he would not recommend a body lift at all, he said no one is happy with one. He said they are top heavy so harder to control while turning and when you do one, you need to extend all your wires and cables and lines under the truck because you are raising the body off the frame so it is also costly. I did not come across anyone on here saying anything about that much work going into a body lift (esp since I was looking at only doing a 1.5” with some other form of lift to come later) Any one run into this problem? Is a body lift even worth it? How hard is it to do on your own with minimal experience? (I have installed some big items like complete sound systems, headers, cat back exhaust, ect. on my own before but never something like this)
The next question I have is what should I do first? I was thinking of getting new rims first (the same size as my factory – 17 x 8 I am pretty sure), to go with the tires I have now and upgrading the tires after the lift. But will I want to go with wider wheels after a lift?
Sorry this is so long, and I know it is simple to most, but I have been trying to figure this out for a little while. Like I said, I just want to understand what I am looking at so I know what to do down the road when I am ready. Thanks for any opinions and advice.
 

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My suggestion to you is to spend the time scanning through the threads for the lift types. The option most suited to you is going to be a torsion bar lift. That will result in a more rough ride, however. So if you plan to taxi people around, the ride will be noticeably harder than a stock vehicle.

I personally do not like a body lift, but that is a personal opinion. I do not like it because the body is lifted, nothing else. There are gaps between the bumpers unless you use a bumper relocation bracket, and you can see more of the frame that is no longer hidden.

Sorry, I know there is not much detail here. However you are not in a hurry by your own admission which means you have plenty of time for further research. I'm sort of burned out from this question, to be honest. So I don't want to write it out knowing you aren't going through with it. It's simple, but comes with several precautions. I think you may be the 3rd person in a week to ask the same thing. :)

Search the threads in the suspension section and look for torsion bar lifts and body lifts. A subframe lift is 4" and runs around $1500 parts. Plus tires. Shocks and installation. Torsion bar keys are the same as what you can do with stock, or maybe a bit more. They will not make the truck ride better after a lift, contrary to advertising. So those are the key things you should be looking for in your research.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are right, I am not looking to do it right now, but I do like to understand and know about my truck. If something is a reasonable price and easy to do/install on my own I would consider it sooner. Sorry to keep bringing up the same topic, but I have read through a good deal of the threads, and I feel that most of the talk in the threads is over my head and come from people that know a lot more then me so I would like to know more about what I am reading as well.
 

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As far as the body lift goes it depends on how much you lift the body. Basically there are 2 body lift kits out there. A 1.5 inch and 3 inch. I have ridden colorado trucks with both and to me there wasn't much of a top heavy feeling. Keep in mind this is a mid size smaller truck that is relatively low to the ground to start with. The lift shop guy was mostly speaking toward the full size trucks that can feel top heavy with a lot of body lift. Also with our truck the harnesses are long enough for both kits so no worry there. On the 3 inch kit the fan shroud needs to be modified and there is a steering shaft extensión that can be installed. Also the bumpers need to be raised with brackets too.
 

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Very understandable.

If you have questions about what you have read, post it up. That's much easier than trying to start from scratch.

You'll be out a couple hundred bucks in parts for torsion bar lifting for the front, and either a shackle or an AAL (Add-A-Leaf) rear. AAL is exactly as it sounds, one more leaf to add to your rear spring pack.

A torsion bar adjustment is about as simple as it gets. It's outlined perfectly in the link provided above. Basically just turn the bolt for the key, then quit when you have the desired height.

Wheel diameter is entirely up to you. Id suggest doing the lift first. The tire you will wrap the rims with won't fit properly until you lift. You can keep the stock tires under the lift until you get wheels/tires if you prefer.

Any size rim diameter can be made up for in tire sidewall. For example, a 265/70-17 tire is nearly identical to a 265/75-16. The 16" option is a smaller wheel, but has more sidewall resulting in same diameter. You don't want to get any taller really than 32".

A preferred rim is 8" wide with 4.5" of backspace. They accommodate a 265 and an 11.5" tire no problem. The 4.5" backspace should prevent rubbing. More on tire size and backspace when it's time to buy.
 

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Combine these two ^^^. Doing just the torsion bar lift is gonna leave you wanting more IMO. But this is the cheapest route to take.

...or do a 4" kit. Rancho, skyjacker, ect.

You want to know which way you are going BEFORE you buy wheels. TB lifts you can get away with minor rubbing on stock wheels. Wheels with 4.5-5" backspace are better. A 4" kit REQUIRES 4.5" backspace or less (4.25", 4"...)

When i lifted mine i got a rancho 4" and 17x8 wheels (stock are 17x7) with 4.5" bs and had my stock 265s put on the new wheels since they had lots of tread left to see how it looked before i got new/bigger tires. I liked it and ended up staying with that size rather than going to a 285/70-17 like rancho recommends as the largest size which are only 1.1" taller.

Since you are in no hurry, wait about a month or so and Rancho usually has a rebate program where you can get up to $400 back in a prepaid Visa, then use that to buy tires if you want to go bigger.

Even with a 4" lift, getting in isn't much different than say getting in a full size 4x4 if you are that worried about others being able to get in. Get some step bars and it's not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So let me see if I understand this, the torsion bar will lift the front of the truck, but it will make the ride worse? Why not do the shackles in the rear and use a leveling kit in the front to lift it? If you did that would you still have the raked look to the truck? Would that improve the ride? Would that work or am I still not understanding?
 

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Yes a torsion bar lift will make the ride rough. The more you lift the worse it gets. A leveling kit is a torsion bar lift. You can use shackles to lift the back then you the torsion bars to lift the front however much you want I wouldn't go past 2.5" of lift in the front with this method
 

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Also keep in mind a torsion bar lift adds wear, tear and stress to front suspension and steering components.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input and clearing some of this up for me. I think I have a better idea of what I am looking at and which way I want to go. Its not as costly as I originally thought it would be so I might just move it up on my to do list!
 

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If you're going to lift your truck you should probably look into the Rancho 4" lift kit. Its enough lift to do the offroading that you'd like to do and it wouldn't be over doing it with lift. The Rancho kit also doesn't stiffen your front end like cranking your torsion bars does, that way your truck should ride about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yea I did see that option, but after reading the forums and looking at some of the other member set ups and I was thinking of going with the Suspension Maxx keys, shackles, and 1.5" body lift then AAL also. Maybe change out the shocks to Rancho 5300s as well. Do you think the Rancho 4" kit would be that much better to be worth spending the extra money? I think I would be able to install all the Suspension Maxx kits myself, how hard/different would the Rancho kit be to install?
 

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My truck is lifted via torsion bars.

To do it over again I would prefer a subframe lift (like the Rancho). I am tired of bouncing all over the lace.

If your truck is rusty, the shackles will be a pain to remove. Torsion bar lifts are easy. If you need to replace the keys, it's not too bad either.

A subframe kit is entirely different to install. Can be done at home, but I don't know what ability is needed...more than an average person, maybe? Somebody who can troubleshoot I suppose.

I don't know if any fabrication is necessary, like cutting off parts of the truck, or welding anything on. Some vehicles require slight modifications to accommodate the lift.
 

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The rancho kit is far superior to Keys and shackles. The problem with keys is that they make your front torsion springs stiffer which will cause truck to feel really stiff and ride harshly. Shackles arnt too bad but if your truck is a little rusty pike mine they can be a huge pain in the ass. When I did my shackles the bolts that held them in were badly bent and the bushings were very deformed which caused the whole process to take wayyyy longer then I expected. The rancho kit isn't that difficult to install but I will require you to pull the wheel hubs and ball joints (not that hard to do on its own, I had to do it to change my front brakes). The best thing about the rancho kit is that it maintains your factory front axle angles so that they wont break as fast. A key lift of torsion bar lift will increase the wear on the front cv joints due to increasing axle angle. So hands down rancho is worth the money.
 

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Also as for install difficultly the rancho kit will require a little bit of knowledge about the truck and will also require a good set of tools (Full socket and wrench set, power drill with assorted bits, dremel with grinding bits, floor jack, jack stands). I know it seems like a lot but its not as bad as it sounds, if your not confident in your abilities then get a mechanic savey friend to help you, just make sure to double check each others work if you do that.

Here are the install instructions if you want to take a look: http://www.gorancho.com/downloads/i...ation_Instructions_For_RS6569B_Revision_A.pdf

There are some parts that I didn't do the exact way that rancho wants you to do (ex. removing front drive shaft to install differential drop brackets, I dropped my front diff without removing the drive shaft)

So the rancho kit takes more skill and effort than the torsion bar lift but its not impossible.
 

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The end result of a torsion bar lift is a rough ride, agreed. However the stiffness is not a result of a stiffer torsion bar. The torsion bars are not a progressive spring rate.

The ride quality is decreased is because the geometry of the upper and lower control arms is not as originally designed. A simple way to state it is, the UCA and LCA work against each other and suspension can't cycle in a manner to be 'in control'.

It is a common misconception that the ride is hard because of the torsion bar. In reality, it's because of a geometry change.
 

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The end result of a torsion bar lift is a rough ride, agreed. However the stiffness is not a result of a stiffer torsion bar. The torsion bars are not a progressive spring rate.

The ride quality is decreased is because the geometry of the upper and lower control arms is not as originally designed. A simple way to state it is, the UCA and LCA work against each other and suspension can't cycle in a manner to be 'in control'.

It is a common misconception that the ride is hard because of the torsion bar. In reality, it's because of a geometry change.
That is true, however cranking your torsion bars does increase the preload on them, thus in a sense, making them stiffer.
 

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LONG STORY SHORT: save your time, money and patience, and buy a decent 4" lift kit, I recommend Rancho... they are often on Sale and promotions as well.

It will give you the desired lift you want without being overboard, and ride quality will remain basically stock, if not a little better. No hassles about geometry, angles, worn out cv's, balljoints, etc.
 
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