• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

2000 XLT Monroe Shock 58617 Install & Before After Pics (Sensatrac / Load Adjusting)

gsoexplorer

Member
Joined
October 17, 2016
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
City, State
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Hey Everyone,

I know there are a lot of threads discussing this shock as a cure for SAS, but I wanted to post some before and after pics, and share my install experience.

My explorer was beginning to show some sag, especially with a full tank of gas. As you can see from the pics, it was not a very noticeable sag, but the ride was suffering. At some point a prior owner replaced the stock shocks with Monroe Reflex which were at the end of their life.

I thought the removal of the old shocks would be the most challenging part. I sprayed the bottom bolts with PB Blaster a few days prior to the install of the Monroe 58617. I could get zero movement from the bolts even when banging a wrench with a small sledge. I went to harbor freight and bought a cheap electric impact wrench and some deep impact sockets. The impact wrench was able to free the bolts (can't say enough good things about the harbor freight impact gun). I did not have to remove the carbon canister stuff on the drivers side to access the top bolts.

Once the old shocks were out, the adventure began with getting the new ones in. Maybe someone can let me know what I was missing with how to get the new shocks compressed up to the bottom mounting bracket. I had to jack up the body from my tow hitch, and then compress the shock with a second smaller jack. Maybe the spring over the shock makes these extra difficult to get compressed, but this was very challenging.

The final result was a noticeable raise to the rear, possibly beyond factory height. I'll try to post pics again after they have settled. The handling is greatly improved. Initially these shocks do seem stiff, but the increase in stability and reduction in body roll is incredible.

MonroeLoad Adjusting Shock Absorber
Part No 58617

Not sure how to get the images to appear inline. The link below will also work.

s!AgVxUNC8xkipmjzcj_p6YPfkjX5t

s!AgVxUNC8xkipmjuGT97wzbksgjoe



https://1drv.ms/f/s!AgVxUNC8xkipmj1HXrDneM2sYEJt
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




toypaseo

Flunked daycare
Elite Explorer
Joined
January 3, 2003
Messages
7,291
Reaction score
498
City, State
outside shovelling snow
Year, Model & Trim Level
................ 96 XLT ™
MonroePassenger.jpg
MonroeDrivers.jpg
 




J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,793
Reaction score
684
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
I too had trouble with the lower shock bolts, but the nuts never came loose, instead I sheared them off from trying to get them loose with a breaker bar. After I put the new bolts and nuts on, I put a healthy blob of grease on the nut and threads to weatherize it a bit... lots of salt being used on roads around here in winter, sometimes even if it doesn't end up snowing much, lol.

The method I used to get the load adjust shocks on was to have the vehicle on jack stands, use the saddle on a floor jack to compress the strut up while the top bolts were loosely on, with a flat, wide pry bar between the end of the strut and the jack saddle, then once it was lifted up into position, the pry bar levered the shock in place, up and inwards slightly, to put the lower bolt in.

I think my rear height ended up about 1/2" to 3/4" over stock or thereabout, but has settled down to about 1/4" above stock now with a full tank of gas, around 2 1/2 years and a few 500+ lb loads later. The ride did soften a little over that time but is still significantly firmer and more control than before the load adjust were put on.

If my using the floor jack to compress them hadn't worked, or if I didn't have a floor jack, I would have looked into using conventional strut assembly spring compressors. AutoZone and probably Advance Auto too, offer them in their loaner tool programs and I've used them before for other vehicles' struts.

However I don't know if the hooks on those spring compressors they have, have the flexibility to handle the smaller spring diameter on these shocks versus the much larger diameter springs typically found on struts. I'd have taken one of the shocks with me to check that before I put down a deposit and dragged the tool home and back.
 




96eb96

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 20, 2004
Messages
3,410
Reaction score
229
City, State
Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
I wonder why these trucks came with such body roll from the factory. I also added the poly bushings to the rear sway bar, between the two it is approaching what a modern SUV feels like.

Still I don't know if increasing the spring rate is right from a handling point of view. I know the Limiteds came with very weak leaf springs because they have helpers. Stiffening up the rear may cause it to bounce more or create over/understeer. Not sure though.
 




gsoexplorer

Member
Joined
October 17, 2016
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
City, State
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Thank for posting my pics Toypaseo! The process of compressing the shock with the floor jack was really precarious. I was very close to giving up. After I compressed the shock within the lower mounting bracket, I wedged a screwdriver through the bolt hole on the bracket and into the shock bolt hole and pried it up and was able to get the bolt partially in. I then had to drive the bolt through with a sledge. I think i mucked up the threads on the bolt and had to use my impact gun to get the nut back on.
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
I have a pair of these not sure what brand.They came from advance auto parts.I put em on 3 years ago and they lifted it a ton in the beginning but now after 3 years and some use it sits at stock height.However they rattle so bad when i go over bumps.I read other reviews about this back then.I just went with them because i didint want to buy springs at the time.I may have to buy another pair now and throw these away.They just don't seem to last over 3 years.I might try the ones from autozone with the red springs.Mine have black springs.
 




96eb96

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 20, 2004
Messages
3,410
Reaction score
229
City, State
Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
I have a pair of these not sure what brand.They came from advance auto parts.I put em on 3 years ago and they lifted it a ton in the beginning but now after 3 years and some use it sits at stock height.However they rattle so bad when i go over bumps.I read other reviews about this back then.I just went with them because i didint want to buy springs at the time.I may have to buy another pair now and throw these away.They just don't seem to last over 3 years.I might try the ones from autozone with the red springs.Mine have black springs.
BTW, if they are from Advance they are lifetime warrantied. Advance may have you receipt if you got them in store or if you ordered online it would be in your account.
 




J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,793
Reaction score
684
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
I have a pair of these not sure what brand.They came from advance auto parts.I put em on 3 years ago and they lifted it a ton in the beginning but now after 3 years and some use it sits at stock height.However they rattle so bad when i go over bumps.I read other reviews about this back then.I just went with them because i didint want to buy springs at the time.I may have to buy another pair now and throw these away.They just don't seem to last over 3 years.I might try the ones from autozone with the red springs.Mine have black springs.
I'd wonder if cutting a rubber shock bumper to size and stuffing it in at the top would alleviate rattling.

The ones with a red spring are Gabriel Load Carrier, but I don't know if they have the same loose/floating spring end cap design as the Monroe Load Adjust or not. I mean that is the most likely source of the rattle but so far mine aren't rattling yet.
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
I have been reading the reviews on amazon for other models of vehicle that use the same type and if you search the reviews from 4 star and under you will see SEVERAL complaints of premature failure.Some as early as the first year.Their truly is no cheap way out to fix sagging springs.I guess you either buy these coil overs every 3 years or buy new leaf springs.I know of a vendor in GR that makes new springs for these trucks.I think he said he would sell me a pair for like 350$ or something.
 




J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,793
Reaction score
684
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
I have been reading the reviews on amazon for other models of vehicle that use the same type and if you search the reviews from 4 star and under you will see SEVERAL complaints of premature failure.Some as early as the first year.Their truly is no cheap way out to fix sagging springs.I guess you either buy these coil overs every 3 years or buy new leaf springs.I know of a vendor in GR that makes new springs for these trucks.I think he said he would sell me a pair for like 350$ or something.
That's not convincing evidence. For something like shocks, there will be a certain % of buyers of any make and model that experience what they perceive to be an early failure, yet the Monroe Load Adjust reviews average about 4.5 out of 5 stars across reviews of their many models including the model for our 2nd gens.

Plus you aren't even reporting a failure on yours, just some rattling. I'm not suggesting that their making noise should be tolerated, but some suspensions start out worse than others, some drivers aggressive habits or roads and trails are worse than others, and some loads are greater than others. You will get a certain % of early failures for many different automotive parts or really anything subject to varying usage scenarios.

One thing does seem clear. Those shocks are not enough to hold the vehicle up all by themselves. They were needed because the leaf springs are getting weaker and weaker with each passing day that gravity works against them. By adding the coilover shocks you will reduce the rate at which gravity causes the leaf springs to sag further, but will not eliminate additional leaf spring sag from occurring, so there's going to be a little play between the top of the spring and the top of the shock eventually.

If the vehicle is still near level, at factory height, then I would still call them a success at doing what they're supposed to, a very cost effective one if you needed shocks anyway, but they are not a permanent solution. Even new leaf springs are not a permanent solution as the originals used to be new before they sagged. If you are sure you'll keep the vehicle another 10 years then it seems more worthwhile to get a spring pack rebuilt or buy new ones, if you're also up for DIY install to keep cost lower, but right now the Load Adjust for a 2nd gen Explorer are only $74 on Amazon.

Figure that if they only last 3 years, then you use about 3 sets over that period of time for a total of $222, or the springs you mentioned are $350 plus 3 pairs of regular shocks another $150 or more, and you see that the cost is over twice as much and even then, it depends on the vehicle having no other problems nor some texting teenager running into it and totaling it, for the vehicle to last long enough to get good value out of replacement leaf springs. You don't even save on labor when you figure replacing the springs AND 3 sets of shocks is more labor than putting 3 sets of these Load Adjust on, if you know how to get the springs compressed easily.

On the other hand, if you pick the right replacement leaf springs, it will ride a little better. I guess it's a personal choice, but I don't regret putting the Load Adjust on mine, can't see spending more than necessary on a ~ $2K value vehicle because anything can happen... I might just get tired of it and want something else before another 10 years goes by, if the SOHC engine even holds up that long but right now it has zero chain rattle and only 100K mi. on it and I still don't deem it worthy of new leaf springs, figure I will probably get at least another 2 years out of mine. Rattling can be fixed, just stuff something rubber against the side with extra play in it. It's done all the time with suspension springs.
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
Mine had the same amount of sag yours had.Report back after 3 years and some heavy loads later.Any time i hit a small drop in the pavement they rattle and sound like shit.That's because after 3 years of use the spring is compressed now, and any drop opens up slack between the spring and the plate.They are cheap and easy to swap out so i will just keep changing them every 3 years.My 98 only has 137K on it and is a restoration project with a new motor that only has 10K on it.I remember when i got them new they looked very cheap and not made to last long.
 




J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,793
Reaction score
684
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
^ You might be able to do something simple and cheap to fix that, like drilling a hole in the end plate, then slipping a nylon wire tie through it and around the spring. Using two or more wire ties you might not even need to take them off the vehicle, not need to drill holes, just criss-cross the wire ties so they hold each other on.
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
^ You might be able to do something simple and cheap to fix that, like drilling a hole in the end plate, then slipping a nylon wire tie through it and around the spring. Using two or more wire ties you might not even need to take them off the vehicle, not need to drill holes, just criss-cross the wire ties so they hold each other on.


Yea that is totally possible to fix them.However they are so dam cheap whats the point ? I like the autozone version with the red springs anyhow.They should come off easy since the vehicle is not driven in the winter and it was only 3 years ago.
 




Spuddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
162
Reaction score
14
City, State
Fountain Hill, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLS OHV
I fell you pain... (obviously unaddressed)...

oops21.jpg
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
HA HA HA HA HA that has to be the WORST i have EVER seen.Thats in style these days dont ya know ?? What do the hipsters call that ?? I think its the CALI Squat ? They take their GMC's and make em lean back with huge 30 inch chrome rims.
 




Spuddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
162
Reaction score
14
City, State
Fountain Hill, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLS OHV
Yeah I did the torsion twist up an inch or two after doing the ball joints and got the front end proper. I kinda liked it looking whack so I left it be.

3 years later and my ass is a little lower now...

5yo shackles are starting to look Rusty now again, too. Hmmm...

Perhaps back to plan A and the Warriors.

Donations accepted
 




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
The fact you have a 98 SOHC that still runs is amazing in its self.
 




J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,793
Reaction score
684
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
Yea that is totally possible to fix them.However they are so dam cheap whats the point ? I like the autozone version with the red springs anyhow.They should come off easy since the vehicle is not driven in the winter and it was only 3 years ago.
The point would be that the potential solution is simple, cheap, less work and achieves the objective.

Your vehicle, all that matters is that you are happy.
 




Spuddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
162
Reaction score
14
City, State
Fountain Hill, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLS OHV
Frisky at 155K, but still chasing down my 12 MPG problem. I believe that Lucas Oil stabilizer save my plastic chain guides until I did my tensioners. Rattle is gone except that occasional (warm!, not cold) startup and quiets after 20 to 30 seconds,, or a restart kills it. Would have been awesome with metal chain guides to begin with but

Frequently mentioned scanner tool is in my cart now at Amazon.. I'm sick of it. I should be getting 300 miles per tank not 200.

BTW... Digging out of Stella was no sweat - I cleared the windshield and put her in 4HI and went for coffee and smokes. Had the roads to myself. Parked her 2 hours later.

Now I remember why I keep after her and why I still want another SOHC gen 2 when this one dies.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




98 MERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 17, 2015
Messages
310
Reaction score
28
City, State
Holland Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0
Frisky at 155K, but still chasing down my 12 MPG problem. I believe that Lucas Oil stabilizer save my plastic chain guides until I did my tensioners. Rattle is gone except that occasional (warm!, not cold) startup and quiets after 20 to 30 seconds,, or a restart kills it. Would have been awesome with metal chain guides to begin with but

Frequently mentioned scanner tool is in my cart now at Amazon.. I'm sick of it. I should be getting 300 miles per tank not 200.

BTW... Digging out of Stella was no sweat - I cleared the windshield and put her in 4HI and went for coffee and smokes. Had the roads to myself. Parked her 2 hours later.

Now I remember why I keep after her and why I still want another SOHC gen 2 when this one dies.



Wow 12 MPG is what i see with my 5.0.You need a scan tool with live data to read your sensors and fuel trims ETC.
 




Top