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replaced stock air ride shocks with monroes...question

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by -=c=-, December 27, 2004.

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    1. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      I replaced the stock (after 84k miles...just bought this explorer) air ride shocks on a 98 eddie bauer with Monroe sensatracks. Huge difference, especially since the front stockers were leaking bad.

      I had a "check air ride system" light come on in the center "control panel". I turned off the air ride system using the on/off switch and haven't seen the error come on again.

      My question is: what's the real point of the air ride system/control? Would it have been more worth it to take the explorer to a dealership and have them replace the stockers with OEM air ride shocks? The stock ones definitely were beefy compared to the monroes, but that may just be added weight.

      Thoughts?
       
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    3. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      I dont' have an airRide but from my understanding, there is no such thing as an OEM 'air ride shock' on the explorer. The airRide is a system of air-filled bladders- has nothing connected to and therefore has nothing to do with the shocks. But if i am wrong, please enlighten me. :)
       
    4. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      Well, not to correct you in public, but you are wrong.

      The stock shocks were still on my 98, and when disconnecting them I had to disconnect a sensor/controller and a air tube from each of them.

      I'm not sure exactly how it operates, I just know that I had to disconnect them. And replacing shocks on this thing was a PITA.
       
    5. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      AH then I stand corrected. My apologies.
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      -=c=- , have you thrown the original parts away? Do they look like they could be added to a different vehicle? I haven't seen one either, but I'd like to consider adding them to my 99 chassis. I didn't know that they were also in the front. My concern is reaolly just the back.
      Was the check suspension message in the message center? It's all interesting,
      DonW
       
    7. Trckmagik

      Trckmagik Ole Bag Moderator Emeritus

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      You could ad this to your vehicle but you would need all his air ride parts from the rear and you would also have to have hime remove the pump which is located above the spare tire rack on the rear.
       
    8. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Ah, is that where they hide it? I have a 91 Mark VII LSC SE, my fourth Mark VII. There would have to be lines, sensors, wiring, a control module, and the shock units themselves. A friend and I test drove a 95 Limited several years ago. It sat about two inches lower than a normal Explorer, and was very smooth. I wonder if they are all that way.
      DW
       
    9. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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      I do believe that on the '98 and above it was only on the rear acting as a load leveling system. On the earlier ones, it was an actual lift system.

      So replacing the front shocks should not affect the system. There were no lines connected to those correct?
       
    10. '96explorereddiebauer

      '96explorereddiebauer Well-Known Member

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      No, '99 and newer are the ones who have the optional rear load-leveling systems. '95-'98 systems are 4-corner.
       
    11. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      Yeah, all 4 shocks had sensors and air "tubes:"...3 of which I had to break off of the shock since they wouldn't come out gracefully.

      I don't know how much it would cost to put OEM shocks with the air ride back on, but I'm happy with the monroe sensatracks and I'll wait at least 2-3 years before caring again about it.


      CDW,

      Yes, I threw them away, you wouldn't have wanted them even with everything included, both fronts were leaking bad (I could easily compress them with my hands and they had no rebound left)...and they had 84k miles on them.
       
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Thanks, it is a future project, no hurry. I have a 99 chassis that I am installing in my 93 Limited mail vehicle. I'd like the rear leveling for the few times a year when I have a lot of weight to carry. Specifically, I always work the food drive day in the Spring. With the entire rear half to two thirds full of food, the truck handles poorly then.

      Billy, thanks. I shall be hunting the 99-01 system then.
      DonW
       
    13. IAmTodd

      IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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      [QUOTE='96explorereddiebauer]No, '99 and newer are the ones who have the optional rear load-leveling systems. '95-'98 systems are 4-corner.[/QUOTE]

      I stand corrected, Learn something new everyday :p
       
    14. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      Well crap...after turning off the air ride switch everything is fine except the center "command console" says "air ride system off" everytime I start the truck. Then I have to hit reset.

      I'm wondering if pulling the fuse for the air ride system relay and/or the fuse for the air ride on/off switch will take care of the problem? Guess I'll just have to try it.
       
    15. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I'd say the answer will be simple. I didn't know that the alert would come through the message center. Night,
      DonW
       
    16. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      Well, I didn't pull the fuse...my wife's car anyway and she said she doesn't care about having to hit the reset button on the center console. Guess I need to call the Ford dealership in about 2 years and see about getting the replacement OEM air shocks.
       
    17. daniel cauchon

      daniel cauchon Active Member

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      ok you guys...your air ride systeme is suppose to lift your EX at least 2 inches when you engage 4wd and even a bit higher when in 4x4 low range. so if you disconnect or remove your shocks you wont have this feature anymore wich is very useful when off roading.
       
    18. -=c=-

      -=c=- New Member

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      understood daniel, but my wife's idea of off-roading is cutting across a parking lot.
       
    19. WNP 2

      WNP 2 New Member

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      I have a 96 Explorer with the Automatic Ride Control.

      It is a very slow system, but it is also very useful, it not only reacts to loads, but to handling, braking, and steering as well, when the shocks are in good condition, the ride is way better than a regular explorer, but when the shocks are bad, the ride can be stiff and un-bearable. The truck is lowered on the highway for handling, and fuel economy.

      The shocks last about 75k miles before they go out, and they are about $200 a piece, if you replace them you will see a world of difference.

      I would spend the money and put them back on.

      Morgan
       
    20. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Morgan, have you taken a ride in a different Explorer with good shocks? I wonder if it would be better than the Bilsteins that most others love on their 2nd gen. Explorers.

      $200 is a ton, I'll check on my price, and the possibility to rebuild them.
      Don
       
    21. mzx5zg

      mzx5zg New Member

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      smooth shocks

      Thinking about replacing Monroe shocks. What is the best out there for a smooth/car-like ride since I hardly do any off-roading?
       
    22. WNP 2

      WNP 2 New Member

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      Don,

      I have driven probably 150 different Explorers, at least, and I can tell you a couple more things.

      The second generation Explorer has a short and long arm suspension, and a live rear axel, it is a good ride for being a leaf spring set up in the rear.

      The air shocks from the factory are able to be set into a firm, or medium, or soft mode, depending on what message the computer sends, thus giving you a range of ride types.

      It is a much better ride, most of these trucks have 100,000+ miles with the original shocks, and the actuators are frozen.

      Morgan
       
    23. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Morgan, thanks for the reply. I have run accross an old thread, and evidently more of those people suggested that the Edelbrocks are softer riding than the Bilsteins.

      I have owned four Mark VII's, so I am comfortable with the air suspension functioning. A friend of mine has owned several Turbo Coupes, which was probably a similar shock design. They handled very well, so I wonder how the 95-98 air shocks would compare to the handling of my Edelbrocks.

      My original thought was to get the rear leveling sytem for my mail vehicle 93 Limited. Now it looks like I need to consider the four shock system for my 98 Mountaineer.

      Does anyone else have an opinion about the factory Explorer air shocks, ride and handling?
      Regards,
      Don
       
    24. pear

      pear New Member

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      Where are the located, and can they be free'd up? (the actuators)
       
    25. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Well-Known Member

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      One option you can go with is to get a kit from http://www.strutmasters.com/ These guys sell kits to convert air suspension systems to non-air, and included info on how to disable the old system to take care of the problem you've had. They don't have the Explorer listed on the site, but I know they offer it because its in the catalog from them we just got at work. Check it out, might be worth a try.
       

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