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Can cranking torsion bars affect shock fitment?

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Can cranking torsion bars affect shock fitment?

Old 10-07-2018, 06:06 PM
04DakMan is offline
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Default Can cranking torsion bars affect shock fitment?

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased a 2004 Dakota club cab 4x4 with the 3.7 V6 and 5-speed manual transmission. It's got 140k miles but seems to be in decent shape mechanically, however, I don't know any of the vehicle's history. The upper and lower ball joints were shot, so I decided to replace those and figured I'd put in new shocks and do the brakes while I had the wheels off.

After replacing the upper control arm and lower ball joint on the left side of the vehicle and getting it all put back together, I discovered the new shocks I bought don't quite fit. I got the KYB Excel-G model number 344049, which is supposed to fit. The problem is these shocks have a metal shroud protecting the chrome shaft that goes into the cylinder, and this shroud is slightly too large to fit through the upper control arm when the vehicle is jacked up and the suspension is unloaded. The OEM shocks I removed leave the shaft exposed. If I put a garage jack under the lower control arm and pump the handle one or two times it increases the gap enough for the shock to fit. I checked the other side of the vehicle which I haven't touched yet and the same thing applies, so I don't think there's any issue with the upper control arm I installed being out of spec. It's a Moog part for what it's worth.

My question is if the previous owner cranked the torsion bars to raise the front end, would that change the angle that the lower control arm rests at when the truck is jacked up on the frame and there is no load on the suspension? If so, do you think that could be my issue and why the shocks don't fit unless I jack the control arm up slightly? Is there any way to tell if the torsion bars have been cranked? The truck doesn't look like it's had anything done to it, but it's currently sitting on LT265/75R16 tires so I'm wondering if the original owner cranked the torsion bars to accommodate what I think are bigger than stock tires (although I could be wrong). I'm going to go read up on torsion bars now, but I wanted to post here first to get some other opinions. I could just buy new shocks without the protective shroud and they would fit, but I'd like to figure out why these KYBs that are supposed to fit don't, and undo the torsion bar cranking if that's what is causing my issue.

Old 10-07-2018, 10:07 PM
magnethead is offline
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I run that same size tire on my 2WD and it is tight. At full compression, rubber and steel make contact. Wouldn't surprise me if the bars are cracked a bit.

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