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Suspension advice for *normal* people

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by SteveNYC, March 18, 2009.

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  1. SteveNYC

    SteveNYC New Member

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    Ok, so *normal* depends on who you ask, but here goes...

    I have a 2000 Explorer EB AWD w/5.0 engine and air suspension.

    I was deciding on whether or not to keep it and when it came down to the numbers, it just didn't make sense to go for a new(er) car. So now I want to put some coin back into the car. It's been pretty good to me so far and it only has 64K miles on it. I have been trying to find out the best approach on suspension and I wanted to run my thoughts by people on the board to see if 1) my assumptions are correct and 2) my purchase ideas are smart.

    Nothing in the Explorer's suspension has been replaced so my thought was to replace what was there to give me as much quality as possible over the next few years. I am not looking to lift the vehicle or lower the vehicle. Just looking to give it as smooth a ride as possible. I can't lie, the only rough riding I typically do on my EB is on the BQE, the FDR and the streets of Queens. But that's enough to rattle your teeth at times.

    So... my understanding is that the air suspension on a 2000 EB is for the rears only. Yet when I look online, the only replacement shocks for my truck's rears is a Motorcraft replacement that I found at Rockauto (ASHV892 and ASHV15). There's apparently no other replacements for the air suspension system. For the fronts, the options seem to be more plentiful. According to friends at work, KYBs or Bilsteins are excellent. So I was thinking of either the KYB MonoMax (561001 at RockAuto) or the Bilstein Heavy Duty.

    The only other option apparently would be to disable the air suspension system (remove it) and convert the rears to a standard suspension. But I'm not sure why I would really want to do that.

    So what say you? Any guidance, even criticism, is welcome. Is my info wrong? Am I looking at the wrong parts? I don't mind spending the money for something quality, but I'm not looking to impress anyone other than myself either. Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Just my opinion, but I would think that getting rid of the air ride would open you up to more options in choosing better shocks for your truck.
    Oh! and welcome to the site. :)
     
  4. Four0Sport

    Four0Sport Jack Pewe Elite Explorer

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    youre on the right track.. especially with giving the suspension and steering components a good look over to see if anything needs replaced. ball joints? tie rods? how do they look? maybe think about a full polyurethane bushing kit i.e. sway bar bushings, endlinks, control arm, etc..
     
  5. SteveNYC

    SteveNYC New Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, been a member for almost five years and only my first post. Talk about pathetic! :p:

    So you would ditch the air ride? Any specific reasons why? I understand that I could get more options in the shocks, but is the air ride really that inferior? I guess that I always felt that it was a better option since lower models (XL, XLT) didn't have it. Not that this is true; just my own sense of logic. Anyway, that said, if I *did* ditch the air suspension system, do you have any suggestions on which shocks to go with for the rears?
     
  6. sean99

    sean99 Well-Known Member

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    The monroe 40006 and 40007 air shocks work fine for me.
     
  7. sean99

    sean99 Well-Known Member

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    The monroe site shows the 40006 and 40007 air ride shocks not fitting 2000, but they do fit...they also show 40005 shocks fitting 1999 but those only fit up to 1998, so their chart needs to be updated.....
     
  8. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Yea, saw the date. Didn't want to be a dick and say something stupid.
    Glad you decided to participate. :thumbsup:

    Some around here don't like the Edlebrocks, but they are pretty good for a truck that isn't going to be doing much off-road use. I use to have a set, and they were really good on the road, but tend to fade off-road. You did say that you wouldn't be doing any off-roading.
    Many here like Bilsteins. They are a very shock, but a little stiffer than the Edlebrocks, not much though. They are very good off-road also, and won't fade like the Edlebrocks do, on washboard roads.
    Hope this helps. :)
     
  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The ARC shocks do very well when in good shape. The only issues people usually have is with leaks, when they do the air compressor will run etc. The ARC shocks made by monroe are the same as what Ford sells, the rear shocks are the same for all 95-01 models(books are wrong).

    I added an entire ARC system to my 99 truck, wiring and all. If you leave the ride height at stock you should have no troubles if nothing leaks. The ARC trucks received softer springs in front and rear(95-98) and the rear leafs for 99-01. Thus you will get a smoother ride with the OEM springs and ARC shocks. The books limit what they want you to run in the front, but I see that as more of a difference in front/rear shock choice. I have Monroe Reflex in front, a heavy duty shock that does fine in normal street use. I don't go off road, so I cannot say how any of it would do for that.

    FYI, the leaks likely all occur from vibration of the air line connections, and there are very few in the rear ARC systems. The air lines are(were) still available two years ago. They were very reasonable(less than $25 total), I would replace all of them if I were you. The air compressor wears out the rubber mounts, the whole unit will be vibrating I would bet if you can watch it. I had to fabricate four new mounts using the stock bolts and several rubber grommets, washers. That is minor though, really just a degree of noise or feel increase. Mine is relatively quiet as it works every day at work. I load about 200 pounds of mail in my truck each day. Last week I did phone books, probably close to 500 pounds those two days.
     

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  10. SteveNYC

    SteveNYC New Member

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    I love these damn forums, I could talk to 12 mechanics and not get the quality of information I get here. Outstanding.

    I haven't yet decided on what I will do just yet, so if anyone else has comments, please, by all means, keep'm coming.
     
  11. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Great info Don.
    I didn't know that the springs were softer that stock without the air ride.
    You can always count on learning something new here everyday. :thumbsup:
     
  12. SteveNYC

    SteveNYC New Member

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    Wanted to follow-up with a big thanks to everyone in this thread for their advice.

    I went and purchased the Monroe 40006 and 40007 shocks to replace the original ARC shocks in the rear. Got those for $68 each from RockAuto on eBay. I then purchased two Bilstein 2133 shocks for the front. Got those for $64 each on eBay if anyone is curious.

    I do notice the difference already. As others have said, the Explorer is no sedan, it's a truck. But these new shocks really do make a difference.

    Again, many thanks to everyone for their comments!
     
  13. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Very nice Steve, I hope it rides better and lasts longer.
     

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