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Autozone shocks?? good or bad??

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by coppe, January 6, 2009.

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    1. coppe

      coppe Active Member

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      Hello to you all, hoping you had a great new year celebration, i come with this doubt:

      I´ve noticed the inminent signs of shock absorbers wear, and right now money is a little tight, and the other day while in autozone, i asked for the price of their product, and they had duralast (hidraulic), and duralast gold (neumatic) shocks, has anyone had any previous experience with these?? are they average, good or completely useless?? im at least expecting them to last for like 4-5 years. It is for a 2001 xls, four door, v6 explorer. Which one should i choose?? Any input will be highly appreciated, thanks!!!
       
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    3. CHEESYPOOFS

      CHEESYPOOFS Active Member

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      how much were they?
       
    4. msmith65

      msmith65 Active Member

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      I don't know about Duralast, but I bought Monroe or Gabriel at AutoZone, their cheapest ones ($20 each) several months ago, and they work fine in my lightly used 1993 Ex.
       
    5. huntersteve61

      huntersteve61 Active Member

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      anything will work but I will say this.. you do get what you pay for in this catagory.. if you want smooth and less loss of control get rancho or monroe higher end... but if price is true budget get them.. somethings better then blown out oem... you know?
       
    6. coppe

      coppe Active Member

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      hidraulics around 27 dlls, and neumatics 36...... i actually wanted to wait to save enough for some monroe reflex shocks or something, but last weekend i went to the mountains with the family, and the lack of control, security, slippery surfaces, repetitive bouncing and balancing... well... lets say that i don´t really enjoy the way my X handles this days.

      Basic monroes are supposedly around the same price range, but i don´t know if the neumatic ones are worth the investment in low end brands.

      Thanks for reading me to all of you.
       
    7. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      Cheesy! There you are, first time I've actually seen you around the forums.

      Honestly, almost any shock is going to be better than the worn stockers. What exactly do you want from your shocks? You want them stiff or soft?

      I went with the Rancho 5000s, I'm definitely not dissapointed. They're a tad stiff, but definitely helped the truck off-road on all those bumpy trails.
       
    8. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      One of the misconception when it comes to shocks is that stiff shocks are for off road -- they are for on-road. Soft shocks are for off road.

      Think about it, the ultimate stiff shock is a steel rod of the same length. Would you rather drive a vehicle with steel rods for shocks off road or on an airport runway? Obviously the runway. Therefore, stiff shocks are for the road. And you cant argue that stiff shocks prevent you from bottoming out the suspension because if you're doing that, then you need bump stops and longer travel suspension.
       
    9. Ford_Nova

      Ford_Nova Active Member

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      Ive got those $20 shocks from autozone on mine right now. Works pretty good, but i think i already fubared the left front, but thats because of the broken sway bar link. But like Hunter siad, you get what you pay for. It crapped out on me before i made it halfway to nashville (about 100-150 miles)
       
    10. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      My Rancho's seem to be soft at small changes, and stiff to large changes.... what's with that? That would mean they designed them to the complete opposite of what you just said.
       
    11. Ford_Nova

      Ford_Nova Active Member

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      they could be progressive couldnt they? The more they get compressed the harder it is to do it. I know the leafs on my nova are like that, hotchkins, but i dont know about shocks.
       
    12. Cobraguy

      Cobraguy Elite Explorer

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      If you need a high dollar shock, I would spend the money for a good one. If you need a high quality shock that gives excellent ride and handling, try Monroe Sensa-Tracs. Reasonable price for a pretty darn good all around shock for street use.
       
    13. my98nnj

      my98nnj Well-Known Member

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      I recently put a set of KYB GR2's in my s'ploder. They are nice and firm, ride nice on the highway and they were pretty dam cheap too. Lifetime warranty to boot.
       
    14. CHEESYPOOFS

      CHEESYPOOFS Active Member

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      lol bro im always around the forums i joined lasy may and ive already got almost 300 posts ^_^ and i didnt really start posting till like october.
       
    15. coppe

      coppe Active Member

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      hey thanks for the answers,, i think i´ll go ask around my home for the prices of the brands you all mentioned, and if i can find a good deal on high end monroes or ranchos (i´ll look into a set of progressive ones, if they do actually work that way!!),

      then ill try and keep my driving below average hehehe... so that i can save a little more money.

      And just in case i don´t find anything within price range, welll... then i´ll have to settle for cheap-knowing.i´ll.get.what.i.paid.for shocks, since i also have to replace my clockspring, and i cant find a used or junkyard one, and i´ve had it with the freaking constant beeping, since my airbag light is out hahaha..... it seems ill neeed to install a new one (at least 120$$$)... damn.... it gets expensive when you want to always keep your X in top shape.... but what the hell, it´s worth it.
       
    16. carlover

      carlover Well-Known Member

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      They have a small shim stack similar to what a high dollar offroad shock has. Basically its a few thim diameter shims, say .010, to .012's. The largest shim is a very thick .030 or thicker. This allows the fluid to flow easily over the smaller stuff, but when you take the big hits the shims flex only so far before hitting the larger plate. Therefore soaking up the larger hits without bottoming out the larger shocks.
       
    17. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      I'm talking about the shock in general, not at specific points in the stroke. Pretty much all shocks are "soft" at the beginning of the stroke cauz if they werent, the ride would be crap even around town. But there are stiff shocks and not-so-stiff shocks out there. If you have the adjustable Rancho 9000 series for example, if you turn that to the stiff setting and take a speed bump at 30 mph, you're vehicle will be all over the place and might even loose contact with the ground (a bad thing). But take that same shock and set it to half that setting and the vehicle will be a lot more controllable over that same speed bump because the suspension "soaks" in the bump.

      You snowboard or ski? Well if you're charging the mountain at high speed, you have to actively soak up the bumps and hits by forcing your knees to bend right as you go over the bump at high speed. This is a "soft" suspension. On the other hand, if you just stand straight up (stiff legs) and charge the mountain and not actively soak the bumps, you'll probably be eating snow in no time.


      This is one of the downsides of doing a "torsion twist" to lift the vehicle, the suspension becomes too stiff and it actually rides like crap in off-road stuff. On the other hand, using the "torsion twist" to lower a vehicle actually makes the vehicle unsafe for the road -- I know because I drove an Explorer lowered via the "torsion twist" 8 hrs up to Vermont and it was like being on a boat.

      So, stiff is for on-road, soft is for off-road.
       
    18. huntersteve61

      huntersteve61 Active Member

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      go to napa or advance ask them for some ideas.. I kno our local advance currently (as of sunday) are selling shocks on a good sale about 40% off.. I'd check there first and get some info from them then go home and google them bad boys.. but IF walmart made a 10 dollar shock it would feel like a benz after some busted and blown out stock ones.... i'd deciede fast thats no joke brother
       
    19. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      In my opinion, I think it's a good balance between the two. Your point about snowboarding is a great one.. but at the same time... too soft of a shock could mean loss of contact.. you need a little stiffness in there to keep the wheels (or your feet) to the ground... I think a lot more comes into play when it comes down to the shock performance.... how it's built is an obvious one... but things like the bumps, how big/small they are, and the frequency of them.

      And I wasn't talking about at certain points of the stroke (if you meant stroke as in the complete movement of the shock, and not specific movements depending on the bump), these shocks will do it at any spot in the stroke... it's smooth for small things, and stiff for big things.

      I remember when I had my worn stockers, when going down the trail (This specific trail I'm talking about is.. for the most part a straight away... with lots of up n down points.. like mini hills..) at a 'high' speed. (20mph+ or so) My sh*t would be all over the place, I would definitely be hitting the bump stops.. this to me would seem like a good match to using a soft shock as far as the situation comparison goes... with these stiffer shocks... my truck can easily take the hits on the trail (as if having a very soft shock) and as they're compressing.. they get stiffer as to keep the wheels to the lowest point of the "hill"

      Very good mix of soft/hard with these shocks, they work great with the kinda trails I drive.

      It all comes down to the usage of the truck, and the condition of the road/trail.
       
    20. RickOTR

      RickOTR Active Member

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      Yeppp, I knew my shocks where bad when my wheels squeaked everytime I turn the wheel. Monroe Reflexes lasted me about 4 years of normal driving. Now have AFCO coil-overs. A little expensive, but great shocks.
       
    21. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Damping rates are a LOT more complicated than just 'stiff' or 'soft'.... They're velocity-dependent, and in some cases position-dependent, and can be tuned a million different ways, not all of which are good for all vehicles and all operating conditions.

      I've said this a million times before: As with most things automotive, you get what you pay for. A $20 shock will feel like the best shock in the world when it replaces one that's not doing squat any longer in terms of damping suspension movement. But (and there's always a 'but'...) talk to me in 30,000 miles, when those $20 shocks are blown out and have been for 15,000 miles. Are the $100+ shocks going to perform significantly better out of the box? For most people, probably not. But higher quality components, larger piston bores, monotube-designs (instead of twin-tubes), polyurethane bushings instead of rubber, etc. all make for a shock that will last a lot longer and out-perform most cheap ones.

      FWIW, I bought a set of KYB MonoMax shocks for my F150 from Summit Racing last month for $273 for the set (regularly $129/shock). Shop around for the best deals.

      -Joe
       

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