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1998 Ford Explorer VS 2000 Mercury Mountaineer ride quality

rs2k

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I've owned my 1998 Eddie Bauer AWD V8 Ford Explorer for 8 months now. The two rear air shocks were replaced by the previous owner, and the front two air shocks I replaced myself shortly after buying the car. After replacing the shocks I noticed a big improvement in ride quality.

I love my Explorer so much that a few days ago I got a fully loaded 2000 AWD V8 Mercury Mountaineer as a second vehicle. It seems to have every option my 1998 has except plusher seats, a sun roof, and no air shocks or ride selector switch. The shocks on the Mountaineer are obviously bad, I can hear them when hitting bumps and can feel the bounce, what surprises me is that even with bad shocks, the ride quality of the 2000 Mercury Mountaineer is a bit better than my Eddie Bauer is.

Do the air shocks cause a harsher ride than standard shocks? Is there something else that could be causing a harsh ride in my explorer? Maybe bushings?
 
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koda2000

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for what it's worth, my '01 Explorer 5.0L RWD has the factory towing package and new KYB shocks. the ride is good (for a leaf spring rear suspension setup vehicle) but quite jarring over rough roads/pot holes. my '00 Mountaineer 5.0L RWD still has its OE shocks, with 182K on them, which i'd replace, but they still seem to be doing a good job. both my wife and i find that the ride on the Mountaineer is softer than the Explorer. i don't know whether this is because of the shocks, or the lack of the towing package on the Mountaineer. both vehicles have the same Michelin tires, although the Explorer has the 16" wheels with bigger tires.
 
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jremington59

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My 2000 has the towing package so I bet that's why the rear is so stiff. Who'd have guessed I only need to tow a trailer around to soften the ride, lol.
 
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koda2000

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My 2000 has the towing package so I bet that's why the rear is so stiff. Who'd have guessed I only need to tow a trailer around to soften the ride, lol.

yeah that, or you could always put 1,000 lbs of sand in the back...
 
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koda2000

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I bet the EB has stiffer springs. Did you check the spring code?

nah, it's not that big of a deal, but with the towing package it probably does have stiffer rear springs.
 
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jremington59

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I just took a good look at both mine. My 97 has only 4 leaf springs and there's only one long one going into the shackle. The 2000 has 5 leaf springs, with two long ones and two of the other three are longer than the 97. That is why my ass end sits higher and is so much stiffer. I have a feeling removing one of them long leaf springs is more than I want to do. What I don't like is the 2000 is so stiff that if you hit a pot hole with a rear tire it will wheel hop and try and come around on you. I found that out by experience on a dirt road.
 
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rs2k

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I believe both of my vehicles have the towing package. I'll have to check the rear springs.

jremington59, have you replaced the fith shock on the rear axle?
 
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jremington59

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I believe both of my vehicles have the towing package. I'll have to check the rear springs.

jremington59, have you replaced the fith shock on the rear axle?

No, and I don't think it would do any good anyways. This thing is so stiff I don't even know if it needs shocks, lol.
 
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rs2k

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No, and I don't think it would do any good anyways. This thing is so stiff I don't even know if it needs shocks, lol.

Do absorb the shocks the suspension takes? :p



I changed the 5th shock on my explorer. I noticed it made a difference while changing lanes and hitting bumps on only one side of the vehicle.
 
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