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The 1st gen frontier has the ability to adjust ride height via "pre-loading" the torsion bars... or as its better known as.... adjusting or cranking them.... Basically the torsion bar is a spring... It is connected to the LCA (lower control arm) in the front of your truck, and connected to a crossmember and adjuster in the central area of your truck. If you look under the truck, you will see on each side, just inside of the frame rails, a long bar that extends back from the LCA.. thats your torsion bar...
ALL LIFTS with the exception of very high dollar SAS or Coil Over conversion lift your truck via a torsion bar crank... Some kits have the option of upgrading to aftermarket torsion bars, but this is NOT needed.. some prefer, some prefer stock bars... The stock torsion bars have more than enough ability to give you well over the maximum 3+" of lift.
0" to 2" - You can simply adjust your torsion bars...
2.5" to 3" - You can either purchase a complete lift kit, or purchase aftermarket UCA's
To adjust your torsion bars... You simply jack up the front end of your truck, secure it with the wheels slightly off the ground, to remove any tension on the front suspension, and tighten the adjuster bolts.. There are two 19mm nuts on the top of the adjuster bolt... the top being a lock nut... simply loosen the top nut, then tightned the adjuster bolt to adjust ride height... lower truck, measure... and repeat untill you have desired height.... REMEMBER.... you want a minimum of 1/2" of room between the bottom of your UCA, and the bump stop which is below it.....
or click here for some detailed instructions with pictures...TorsionBarWriteUp
It is said to always get an alighnment after adjusting torsion bars, however in MOST cases, it will not effect your alignmnt, however this is YOUR CHOICE... if it needs the alignment, GET IT DONE.
You always have the option of purchasing a lift "kit" that is complete with all that is needed... However there are lots of people who do the lifts in steps... Lots of people start off with a simple torsion bar adjustment, then decide they want more.... Here are your options...
1) Add aftermarket UCA's. Basically as you adjust the height of your truck with your stock UCA's, the angle that they sit changes, which also changes the ball joint angle and slightly changes your camber. Aftermarket UCA's DO NOT ACTUALLY LIFT YOUR TRUCK... The torsion bars do... The aftermarket UCA's are simply designed at a differant angle, so that when the truck is adjusted by 2.5-3", the ball joint angles, and your camber are at the correct points... There are several options, and most of them are in the $350.00 range.
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