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Lift kit or Suspension conversion??

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by DarthPlaydohh, January 11, 2019.

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    1. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      Hey guys I have a 1995 Explorer Limited Ed. 4x4. I want to lift it 4 inches, but the problem I've ran into is that it has the air ride suspension and it seems no one makes kits for it. I have found gas shocks that offer a 2.5 inch lift, but I'm unsure if I should convert the suspension or not. Any advice would be helpful!
       
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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      If you are doing the lift just to make room for bigger tires you could also add a body lift.
       
    4. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      I want the bigger tires, but more importantly (for me at least) the aggressive look. The problem is everywhere I have looked doesn't makes kits for the '95. It's like they skipped over 1995 for some reason or I'm not looking in the right places lol. I even went to my local off-road shop and they couldn't find one that would work. I think it's due to the air ride suspension, but I'm not sure
       
    5. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Body lift would likely be the PA883 for the Ranger. I don’t think it’s due to the air ride, they aren’t different except for the shocks. Your air ride stil functions correctly?
       
    6. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      I saw that in other thread and looked into it. The support at suspension connection said it wouldn't fit. As far as I can tell it functions correctly. This is actually the first vehicle I've had with one, so I'm still trying to learn about it.
       
    7. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      If you put it in low range does it lift the rear? If you pull the rear jack compartment cover, is it turned on?
       
    8. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This truck is a 1995. It's a nice one. Nice enough that he often gets pounded with questions which are answered by reading things he was careful to document, so please read thouroughly.

      The Black Hole
       
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    9. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      Is this 95 a 4wd?
      First you will want to remove the air suspension, then add lift kit or method of your choice
      The air suspension consists of 4 air shocks, a compressor, and some leveling switches that tell the system what height the truck is at.
      Usually when the system ages or develops air leaks we rip all of this out and replace the shocks with normal gas charged shocks of your choice because the air suspension stuff can get expensive

      You can do a torsion twist and shackles in order to achieve about 1.5-2" of suspension lift and add a 2-3" body lift on top of that.
      This would allow 33" tires
      You can also install a Superlift or Rough Country drop bracket /lift kit designed for a 96-2001 Explorer. This kit will come with new shocks that will replace your air shocks directly
      This would be a 4-6" suspension lift and will also allow 33" tires

      Then there is the more complex versions of custom lifts done around here, like deleting torsion bars and converting to a coilover setup. There is aftermarket long travel IFS available, expensive stuff from, mild to wild options there. And of course everyone loves to rip all of the IFS stuff out and convert to a solid axle, again this can get expensive and complex.

      All of these things have been done to the Gen II Explorer several times in every way possible.
      1995-2001 is considered a Gen II explorer. Your 95 is unique because it is still an OBD1 computer. In 95 the explorer was only available with the 4.0L OHV pushrod V6 and the 4r55e automatic. So when searching for parts just tell them you have a 1996 Explorer V6, anything you can bolt to a 96 will work on your 95.

      To run 33" tires on your 95 you will find that the engine is under powered and the trans is under stress, so you will want to regear your ring and pinions to compensate for the larger tires. 4.56 or 4.88 gears is a good choice for a 4.0L automatic 4x4 with 33" tires.
      You should also consider adding a larger transmission cooler or an additional aux cooler to help your 4r55e automatic trans handle the larger tires. Your 95 may not even have an aux trans cooler, if not that is the FIRST thing I would do before I even consider any sort of lift or larger tires.

      Hope this infiormation is helpful
       
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    10. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      Yes and yes.
       
    11. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      It is a 4wd. I did see how pricey it would be to replace the air system and that's when I started looking into shock conversions. I'll probably go with the rough country or super lift option as I'm not that interested in wild options.

      So for now at least the air ride system seems to work correctly. It does have the 4.0 EFI engineand I'm honestly not sure about the transmission.The owners manual is long lost. That said, you're probably right about the transmission and aux cooler. I'll have to look into it further. You've definitely given me a lot to think about as far as where to start and what to look for next. Thank you all for taking the time to help. It's very appreciative.
       
    12. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      You absolutely have the 4r55e. Before running larger tires definitely get a transmission cooler. Check your door sticker for your axle code (it’s almost surely a D4). If it’s not a 3.73 or 4.10 I wouldn’t consider larger tires until it’s changed.

      The transmissions are very anemic, and usually don’t rebuild well.
       
    13. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      It's a D4. I included an attached photo of the door sticker just in case.

      20190111_174549.jpg
       
    14. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I figured. 3.73 limited slip.
       
    15. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      So you're recommending a new transmission first?
       
    16. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’m recommending a huge transmission cooler before you burn up the one in there. If it’s not broke, don’t mess with it. I’d also do a pan drop and a filter.
       
    17. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      Probably a stupid question, but what do you mean by a pan drop?
       
    18. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Removing the transmission pan. It’ll drain around 4 quarts of fluid (Mercon V) and allow you to replace the transmission filter.

      There are no stupid questions that are serious. We all had to learn this stuff from someone else. Always feel free to ask away.
       
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    19. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Reason being that drop bracket suspension lift kits skip over the 95, is because it is the only year that has weld on torsion bar brackets to the frame. 96-01 models have bolt on brackets, which are removed/replaced for the lift brackets.

      95 does come with a tube & fin trans cooler. There is room for a larger cooler if desired.

      When your at the salvage yards (if you go) check for a 95, and look in the glove box for a manual. I think you can buy them online as well. I think I seen one on Ebay at one time.

      For code retrieval...Pay no attention to the OBD port under the dash. It is a dummy port that will not work with a reader. Have to use the one under the hood, with an OBD1 reader, or old school method with a paper clip.
       
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    20. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      Ohhh. There's no telling the last time that was done anyway so that would be a great idea.
       
    21. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      That makes sense. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the manual. Ha that should probably be my first purchase.
       
    22. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      So the 95 brackets can they be torched or cut off the frame with a grinder?
       
    23. DarthPlaydohh

      DarthPlaydohh New Member

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      I was wondering the same thing. Granted I want the least amount of "custom fabrications" as possible. Knowing my luck I would mess it up and my Explorer would look like it was sideways or something.
       
    24. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Oh yeah, anything is possible with a plasma torch or grinder. lol

      You would have to drill the frame for bolts, for the drop bracket lifts. This step takes away from the "Bolt on" applications the lift kit manufacturers target for mass sales. Still completely doable, just more to it, than a bolt on application with the 95.

      Not sure if the 95's brackets are in the exact same place as the 96+. If not, you would have to figure correct placement for the new lift brackets, so the trans cross member is lined up right. More brain activity here, and another step away from the bolt on kits. Which takes away from the average Joe DIY installing over a weekend at home.
       
    25. Craigerz

      Craigerz Elite Explorer

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      I have a 96 F250 that’s OBD 1. People look at me like I’m crazy when I try and tell them.

      I’ve done the ARC to lift with regular shocks. Pay no attention to the rear. That can be done in a few hours with any number of combinations. Leafs, add a leafs, axle over leaf, load levelers, shackles, move the shock mounts and any combination of those.

      The problem is getting the front raised that high to match, even if you find a way to TT it all the way up. I have 32s with no body lift and I had to raise it up all the way to keep them from rubbing. So getting 33s without a body lift will still probably rub (and wont be level with the rear depending on what you do)

      And if it’s a daily drive there is no way I would TT it all the way up because of reliability issues.

      Shocks that advertise that they are for a 2.5 inch lift aren’t going to give you 2.5 inches of actual lift. They are most likely just 2.5 inches longer so they compensate for the travel of whats actually lifting it. You can put the longest shock you want on there and without a spring leaf or torsion bar holding it up it doesn’t matter how long of a shock you buy. Just an FYI before you start buying parts.

      I have the same gears and 32s which makes my 3.73 a 3.55. And it is by no means powerful on the road and that’s with a 5.0.

      If you’re not going to be off road, 31s will be an easier time lifting is what I would do and no one from a distance is going to be able to tell.

      No body lift. Figure out how to TT the front and they won’t rub. Your CVs won’t be in a bind and will last, the rear will be cheap and easy to lift. Gearing will be better without having to re gear it. Still probably want to service the transmission and put a cooler on it or bigger cooler but that’s under 100 bucks.

      If you’re dead set on 33s then that’s up to you. Crazy what 2 inches on tire can do.
       
    26. ProjectAviator

      ProjectAviator Elite Explorer

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      I ran 32s on my 95 with just the warrior shackle and TT. No rubbing even after putting on my 8K Smittybilt winch.

      My 96 Limited had the air suspension. I just replaced them with standard Rancho Shocks. Only problem was the warning message.

      Tim
       

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