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Need Help Improving My Explorer's Ride Quality

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by ExplorerSport2WD, December 27, 2007.

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    1. ExplorerSport2WD

      ExplorerSport2WD New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      '01 Sport 2WD XLT
      I am a new user to this site who recently re-took possession of a 2001 Sport 2WD; which served two kids very well during their years at college. But I was shocked after driving the vehicle (for the first time since it was new) to discover just how sloppy the suspension and steering was on the vehicle. The back end loses contact with the road at higher speeds and rough road conditions, and the suspension feels like the vehicle is slamming against the pavement.

      Now I'll admit that suspension and overall ride quality (even as a brand new vehicle) were not my Explorer's strongest attributes. But ride quality was substantially better then, than it is now after having provided 75K miles of faithful service.

      My initial suspicion is the vehicle needs new shocks, rear springs replaced and new tires. Then after high speed balancing new tires and checking front/rear alignment to see that it’s within factory specs, we can evaluate the effect on ride quality and if necessary, tweak things from there.

      In an effort to avoid wasting a lot of time (and more importantly money) trying to resolve and improve the ride quality issue, I'm curious to know what experience other users would be willing to share on this topic. For instance, has anyone had particularly good experience with a specific brand and model of tires on their Explorer? I'm running on the factory issued P23570R16's and am reluctant to change tire sizes for fear of causing another problem. Likewise, the shock and replacement of rear springs, I'm not comfortable moving away from OEM products without guidance from someone who's experienced improved results.

      Any other advice that anyone can offer to improve ride quality would be appreciated. I just don't want to modify the suspension system that Ford designed in the vehicle initially, for fear of negative results or more importantly creating an unsafe condition in the vehicle.

      Thank you in advance for your comments and input!
       
      Last edited: December 27, 2007
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    3. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    4. unclemeat

      unclemeat Well-Known Member

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      Inspect all suspension bushings, replace with rubber if necessary. A new set of shocks, I like Bilstein 5100s (mono tube). Check your tire pressure with an accurate gage. Less presure, lower spring rate, smotther ride.
       
    5. ExplorerSport2WD

      ExplorerSport2WD New Member

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      Will do. Thank you for the comments and advice.
       
    6. Sams01XplrSprt

      Sams01XplrSprt Southern Cali Explorer

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      welcome explorer u got pics of ur sport
       
    7. hunterdan

      hunterdan Well-Known Member

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      Are you looking into trying to tighten up the suspension? Looking for a firmer ride or smoother/softer ride? AS far as shocks, Monroe Sensatracs or Reflexes should work well. I would check the bushings, although I've yet to do them on my 98.

      Dan
       
    8. ExplorerSport2WD

      ExplorerSport2WD New Member

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      City, State:
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      Soften it up some, as the vehicle rides like a boulder bouncing on the pavement. I'm concerned that it'll knock out my fillings if I don't address it soon. Thank you.
       

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