Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2015 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Offroad Tech Forums > Offroad Explorer - Ranger Projects > Explorer - Ranger Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits

Notices

Explorer - Ranger Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits Ford Explorer and Ranger chassis related posts. Get help choosing the right shock absorber and aftermarket suspension for your Explorer or Ranger based vehicle.

Soft vs Stiff shocks

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-04-2008, 05:11 AM   #1
storlied
Anchorage, Alaska
98 5.0L V8 AWD XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,547

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Soft vs Stiff shocks

What's really the difference?
Why would you want stiff shocks?
Why would you want soft shocks?

What's best for street use?
What's best for off-road?
What about both?




__________________
Lifted 98 302

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel903 View Post
These freaken explorers! Everything breaks
Ford: Fixed Or Repaired Daily. But still going, kicking and screaming all the way. =D Yeaaah.
storlied is offline   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

For only $20 per year you can become an Elite Explorer member. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 02-04-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
cybergasm
B
Humboldt Ks
 
cybergasm's Avatar
1997 Mountaineer 5.0
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,531

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A lot of it comes from what you want to do with the vehicle. Got too stiff of a shock on the street your gonna feel every little imperfection in the road but off road they gonna work to keep from bottoming out the suspension constantly.

And vice versa with the soft shock there gonna work great on the street not so well off road.

and also it comes down to personal preference too

Like me for example I prefer my shocks to be on the firm side the ones I have now are a little too soft for my taste. And my buddy oh the other hand does everything to adjust his to make em as soft as possible.
cybergasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #3
storlied
Anchorage, Alaska
98 5.0L V8 AWD XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,547

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Any that are soft and then get stiff? Depending on the bumps?




__________________
Lifted 98 302

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel903 View Post
These freaken explorers! Everything breaks
Ford: Fixed Or Repaired Daily. But still going, kicking and screaming all the way. =D Yeaaah.
storlied is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
cybergasm
B
Humboldt Ks
 
cybergasm's Avatar
1997 Mountaineer 5.0
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,531

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah there some that claim to auto adjusting according to road conditions I ran a set for a while and was'nt that impressed with em. Might be better off running adjustable shocks like the Pro Comp MX6 or similar where you can turn a knob on to make it firmer or softer
cybergasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 10:50 AM   #5
storlied
Anchorage, Alaska
98 5.0L V8 AWD XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,547

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Sounds expensive, seems the majority of the board uses Ranchos, any specific reason why?
What about blistein?




__________________
Lifted 98 302

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel903 View Post
These freaken explorers! Everything breaks
Ford: Fixed Or Repaired Daily. But still going, kicking and screaming all the way. =D Yeaaah.
storlied is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 11:09 AM   #6
Maniak
Moderator-Stock 91-94
Vail, Arizona
 
Maniak's Avatar
1992 XLT 4x4
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 11,581

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
I run rs900's (ranchos).. I chose them becuase I can adjust them...

For street I run them at around 7 (9 being highest)..

On the trail, in general slow stuff I'll loosen them up..

If I'm going to run a wash or something I'll run them at 7 or even higher..

thats my personal preference...

Oh yea.. If I have a lot of weight in the back of the X on the highway I'll run them at 9 (I have no sway bars and stiffening them helps some).

~Mark




__________________
Click HERE to see our Explorer Specs
Maniak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 12:37 PM   #7
Joe Dirt
Elite Explorer
 
Joe Dirt's Avatar
07 Camry
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,442

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Also the argument of linear vs. progressive springs, and many shocks/struts have similar attributes. Soft for the first part of the travel, and stiffer when getting closer to full stroke to keep things in place...




__________________
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Joe Dirt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 05:31 PM   #8
storlied
Anchorage, Alaska
98 5.0L V8 AWD XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,547

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Any shocks like that? Soft at first, stiff at more compression? Completely automatic and affordable?




__________________
Lifted 98 302

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel903 View Post
These freaken explorers! Everything breaks
Ford: Fixed Or Repaired Daily. But still going, kicking and screaming all the way. =D Yeaaah.
storlied is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
DB_1
Elite Ranger
La Quinta, Ca.
 
DB_1's Avatar
97 SC Ranger xlt
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 3,597

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by storlied View Post
Any shocks like that? Soft at first, stiff at more compression? Completely automatic and affordable?
That's the idea with a mono tube shock such as Bilstein or Edelbrock shocks but either brand will cost a bit more than a standard shock.




__________________
97 Ranger...what's left of it
DB_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2008, 01:22 PM   #10
Brandon@BTF-fab
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
87 ranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 218

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by storlied View Post
Any that are soft and then get stiff? Depending on the bumps?
Yes. Revalvable shocks like Radflo, fox, king, swayaway, can be made very progressive. IE: soft at slower shock shaft speeds, then stiffer at higher speeds...slow shaft speed would be crawling, or bodyroll, and high shaft speed would be when you hit a good sized bump at speed.

some road racing shocks are digressive, meaning they are stiffer at slow shaft speeds, then softer on big hits...stiff for no bodyroll, but then if you doo happen to hit a bump, they allow the suspension to flex over the obstacle (as long as the "obstacle" is small enough)




__________________
www.btf-fab.com
Brandon@BTF-fab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 08:11 PM   #11
Iceking007
Edmonton, Alberta
1991 Ford Explorer Sport
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 106

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In General (and this isn't litteral its very general translation) I don't dissagree with the guys above they are right but if you look at race cars or bikes that Road Race ect they have a "stiffer" suspension gennerally compared to the street counter part... I would assume you would go "softer" for off road like the Dakar Desert racers and such probably have softer suspention to absorbe the bumps ect... the stiffer the suspention (Shocks) the more the wheel will stay on the ground and fight the road bumps (My car is very stiff and with very low profile tires and low to the ground not much give in the suspension almost ridgid... so you feel all the bumps but THE POINT IS.... you always have traction due to the fact that your tires are always on the ground.... Now however with softer your weels bounce and smoother ride (sometimes) your wheels may skip over bumps and loose tracktion so its a balance especially offroad I would presume. I don't know much about offroading (especially racing) I would think its very "Specifically Oriented" so its designed for one type of offroad... probably more complex than any other sort of suspension... Hope I helped?!
Iceking007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 09:34 PM   #12
storlied
Anchorage, Alaska
98 5.0L V8 AWD XLT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,547

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
So stiffer shocks are generally more wanted?

For off-road and street? I would just have more of a rough ride.. more truck like?




__________________
Lifted 98 302

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel903 View Post
These freaken explorers! Everything breaks
Ford: Fixed Or Repaired Daily. But still going, kicking and screaming all the way. =D Yeaaah.
storlied is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008, 09:49 PM   #13
Iceking007
Edmonton, Alberta
1991 Ford Explorer Sport
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 106

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well no I would say Street if you want performance you go stiffer, if you want comfort you want softer and/ taller side wall, and off road I would say softer so you have more articulation not just ridgid.

Think of it like this........ My car for example... take out all of the suspention and weld the hubs to the frame... it would be stiff like a go cart... the chasis would flex little compared to shocks and the wheels/tires would stay mostly flat on the road like a heavy sway bar... this is good for traction on smooth Road surface... the smoother the gripier the road the stiffer and smaller side wall you want on your tires and sus. when racing.... Just like when you have an Off road vehicle:

You have a lift kit... big tires.... big sway bar so you don't tip your SUV over when turning... then you hit the gravel and dirt and offroad territory...... you... exactly "Un" hook your sway bar... IE quick release links ect... this instantly softens up your suspention/ flexion chasis/ body roll.... then you have full articulation and more twist to get around all the bolders and obstacles instead of fighting your chasis your wheels/tires can move freely "INDEPENDANT" of the chasis and crawl over every thing... the softer generally means more move ment... RIGHT UP UNTIL THE POINT WERE THEY ARE TOO SOFT AND CAN'T CONTROL THE WEIGHT OF THE TRUCK... then you aint goin no where as your fenders rest on your tires... Make sence??
Iceking007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2008, 02:03 AM   #14
BigDave!!!
San Diego,CA
 
BigDave!!!'s Avatar
97 XLT 2WD
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,244

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you definately dont want it softer for off road, you need it stiffer. if your shocks were too soft you would bottom and top out over every bump off road




__________________
Dave Richardson

My truck
BigDave!!! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2008, 10:53 AM   #15
little x
SW VA
'91 XL
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,326

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^^ Of course you want stiff shocks (look at your avatar). But he might not. Your assuming that he's desert racing or something. If he's doing slow trail crawling then softer shocks will allow the TTB to work better. I think IceKing explained it well.
little x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #16
FROADER
Moderator
Huntington Beach, CA
 
FROADER's Avatar
2010
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 19,773

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
The shock doesn't limit the movement of the suspension, the spring does. For off-road you want stiffer shocks, with softer springs, no matter what kind of terrain...
FROADER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2008, 07:15 PM   #17
Iceking007
Edmonton, Alberta
1991 Ford Explorer Sport
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 106

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ah this is all interesting and now I am learning something.... All in all its a ballance... Find your self a suspension expert and get him/her to hook up your ride lol!! This is a good forum post's to print off for later date!!
Iceking007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Suggest this thread to friends:



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:22 AM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2014 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.