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Opinions on possible Sensatrac front / Reflex rear setup for Sport 02 RWD

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by danny8280, September 3, 2014.

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  1. danny8280

    danny8280 New Member

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    Does anyone currently run, or ever try, a Sensatrac front / Reflex rear shock setup on a RWD Sport? I'm replacing OEM shocks and would like opinions on running that setup from anyone that has tried it. It's a daily driver that is not taken off road. I would have gone Reflex all around if they carried the front shocks.
     
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  3. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    No I haven't but since Reflex is firmer than Sensatrac, especially the first ~inch of travel, you'd probably get a ride closer to that with KYB Gas-A-Just.

    http://www.kyboutlet.com/kyb-kg54309-gas-a-just-shock-absorber.html

    A certain % of people like them and a certain % say they're too firm, but a certain % like Sensatrac and a certain % say they're too mushy.
     
  4. my98nnj

    my98nnj Well-Known Member

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    I hated the Sensatrack's on my truck they Lack ride control. I liked the KYB's, smooth, firm, controlled ride.
     
  5. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    +1 on the KYB gas-a-just shocks. i'm very happy with them.
     
  6. coppe

    coppe Active Member

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    Mine is 2wd four door, and I have that setup, since I couldn't find reflex for the front in my country. I like how it behaves, I do onroad driving mostly, and I feel adequate control, comfort, etc. I also replaced the fifth shock, and it helped body roll a lot. Then again, I don't know if sports have the fifth shock. I would recommend checking and if necessary replace balljoints and stabilizer bar connecting rods and bushings, power wash and relube the springs in the back, and you will get a better result.
     
  7. 93 x_SPORT

    93 x_SPORT Elite Explorer

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    I have sensatrac front/Monroe load assist in back. Also replaced front sway bar end links and bushings. Overall best riding/handling explorer I've had (I've had four).

    Up next will be EE rear sway bar.
     
  8. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    Sensatrac's are sloppy and undecided, very undamped until they "travel" some 1". Then they firm up slightly. Because of that the car will have some small "oscillations" most of the time.
    Very annoying. I have made the mistake to buy four (three, one free), to replace them with KYB Gas-A-Just (monotubes).
     
  9. Torqueranger

    Torqueranger Active Member

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    I have 2 explorers and one has factory supplied with 148,000 miles on them and the other has monroe shocks on it and it acts like they aren't even there...So monroe in my opinion is a complete waste of money and will now try KYB shocks and see how they perform..
     
  10. ThreeJs

    ThreeJs Active Member

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    I am very happy with the Rancho RS5000's I put on the front of my 96 EB 4x4. The rears will also be Rancho RS5000's when I have the time.
     
  11. pzy3339

    pzy3339 Active Member

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    I also had the sensatracs on the front and air shocks on the back of my last x, a 4x4 99 xlt. It was much better cornering and braking, didn't sway or dive as much. Ride was a bit stiffer than the stock.
     
  12. danny8280

    danny8280 New Member

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    That's pretty much what I'm looking for. Firmer that stock but I want it to be even all around. It's too bad they don't make the Reflex for the front anymore or it would've been a quick decision. Leaning towards the KYB at this point. Once I get the shocks in I'll follow back up with my opinions on them

    I definitely have to take care of the body mount bushings as well, as they've all disintegrated and the metal-on-metal is a nightmare.
     
  13. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit different trying to get even all around on a regular X or a sport vs a car because your vehicle weight ratio of front to rear changes based on the load, and with the leaf springs in the rear.

    However you could just use the KYB on both front and rear, but without 4WD/AWD and if there is no load in the back, you're going to have the KYB's reacting firmer than those of us with heavier total vehicle weight... at least I am assuming a RWD sport weighs less at both ends. How many leaves does the rear spring have? If one fewer then that may cancel out.

    Heh, leave it up to me to make things complicated. I like a firmer ride so I'd still get the KYB.
     
    Last edited: September 8, 2014
  14. rkh58

    rkh58 Elite Explorer

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    I bought my '98 in 2009 with 147,000 miles on it. The original owner had KYB Gas-A-Just put on just before he traded it in. I now have about 185,000 on it and the shocks are as good now as they where then. If I ever have to replace them it will be with the same. They ride smooth, firm, no roll in turns, and I'm not really gentle on my truck. No complaints at all.
     
    Last edited: June 29, 2015
  15. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  16. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    I just switched the fronts too to KYB Gas-A-Just. Best decision ever, too bad I didn't do it when I did the rears...
    Especially when I saw that the Sensatracs were already blown at 40k miles.

    PS: KYB monotubes are poor man's Bilsteins :) I paid $72 on Amazon, shipped to my house for two fronts (had a code). Bilstein is $82 for one, no shipping included.
     
  17. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    ^^ IMO the Bilsteins are good but sort of expensive, possibly overkill for a RWD sport driven only on-road, which is also why I didn't mention the KYB Monomax. http://www.kyboutlet.com/kyb-561001-monomax-shock-absorber.html

    On the other hand, Monroe currently has a "Shocktober" promotion where if you buy 4 you get back the price of one via a prepaid debt card rebate. It's a shame they don't make the front Reflex any longer.

    That rebate is also good for Ranchos but it lists only the RS5000 series, bringing them down near price parity at $160 after rebate for all 4. Then again while they may be heavier duty they aren't necessarily going to give any more control, at least AFAIK they're not monotubes.
    http://www.monroe.com/en-US/promotions/

    Edit: Nevermind, on Rancho's site the rebate does cover the adjustable RS9000 too but they're also probably overkill.
    http://www.gorancho.com/promotions.php
     
  18. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    That's how they "got" me - buy 3 get 4 campaign :)
    I didn't research enough.
    Yes the MonoMax probably is at the same level with Bilsteins. I spoke with a KYB tech rep and he told me that Monomax is some 50% "firmer" than OE, while Gas-A-just is some 30%. He confirmed that Monomax is recommended for towing, plows on front, off-roading (bigger diameter takes bigger mechanical load absorbtion, allows for more heat dissipation).

    However the high pressure gas allows for a progressive effect - the gas absorbs the short pulses immediately (like cracks in the pavement). The dual tubes need multi-valving to get a similar effect - from 2 to 10 valves with different pressures. Monotube gas acts like a infinite number of valves.
    I decided that for my family vehicle, Gas-A-Just are just right.
     

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