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99 v8 explorer shocks

Doorlach

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I want to replace all shocks on my 99 v8 explorer. I believe I have an automatic air ride suspension in the back? I hear it turn on sometimes in the back not really familiar with it. Lordco said they don’t even have listings for what shocks work for me. Any advice? Thank you
 


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J_C

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Many people just abandon the air ride due to the cost and maintenance. How many leaves on your rear springs and did you want to keep air ride or are okay getting rid of it?

AFAIK it takes the same shocks either way, which is its own can of worms about what you value, ride softness over bumps vs control on a top heavy vehicle.

You lost me at Lordco, I know nothing of what is available in your region.
 




Doorlach

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Many people just abandon the air ride due to the cost and maintenance. How many leaves on your rear springs and did you want to keep air ride or are okay getting rid of it?

AFAIK it takes the same shocks either way, which is its own can of worms about what you value, ride softness over bumps vs control on a top heavy vehicle.

You lost me at Lorco, I know nothing of what is available in your region.
 




Doorlach

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I’m ok getting rid of it i think, I think the air rides broken anyways. Do I have to remove anything from the air ride stuff to put in new shocks? Thank you!
 




410Fortune

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the air ride shocks are shocks and they have plastic air lines that run all over the place under there
To remove them just unbolt all the shocks and cut out all the plastic bits
There is a switch in the rear hatch behind the jack cover that allows you to turn the air ride suspension to the off position

That is about as far as most people take it
Next you just replace the shocks with regular, non air ride, shocks.
I like KYB, Monroe and Rancho shocks personally for these v8 Gen II trucks
 




masospaghetti

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Looks like the adjustable air shocks are still available, assuming you want to keep the system. From Rockauto


MOTORCRAFT ASHV15 {#5U2Z18V125K, ASHV15ACD} Non-Electric Unit; For Use In Electronic System Info
Rear Right; 4WD; Kit: Includes Attaching Hardware; w/ Automatic Adjustable Suspension $93.79

MOTORCRAFT ASHV892 {Click Info Button for Alternate/OEM Part Numbers} Non-Electric Unit; For Use In Electronic System Info
Rear Left; 4WD; Kit: Includes Attaching Hardware; w/ Automatic Adjustable Suspension $99.79
 




J_C

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^ I was under the impression that at this age, especially if the compressor has been running more due to a leak or wearing out, that it's probably prudent to replace the compressor and lines at this point too, if keeping air ride.
 




CDW6212R

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Those ARC systems are great when they are in good shape. The air line connections are the weak links, if the o-rings or seals in any of them wear and leak too much, the compressor will run too much. The system is very reliable other than the leak potential after 10-20 years. The rear height sensors have a joint in them which pivots, it's a metal ball/socket design. If that gets worn from corrosion, same thing from 10-20 years of age, then the sensor will be erratic in what it tells the module to do.

So if everything works but has air leaks, you can replace the shocks(all four for 95-98's, or two for 99-01's), with OEM NOS or equivalent Monroe's. The original shocks had electrical connections so internally they would alter shock valving slightly(like the 80's Turbo Coupe's had). I had the rear shocks watching on eBay, they ran about $60 each last I looked(I gave about $95 for a pair years ago).

If the compressor is allowed to run too much, that will kill it eventually, like all air ride compressors. Turn the switch off in the back to save the compressor if you hear it run too often.

To disable the system, just turn it off, swap the shocks, and disconnect the ARC module, which is behind and to the right of the radio(two connectors).

I'd like to have a spare ARC compressor, for my 99 that still works.
 

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Doorlach

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Those ARC systems are great when they are in good shape. The air line connections are the weak links, if the o-rings or seals in any of them wear and leak too much, the compressor will run too much. The system is very reliable other than the leak potential after 10-20 years. The rear height sensors have a joint in them which pivots, it's a metal ball/socket design. If that gets worn from corrosion, same thing from 10-20 years of age, then the sensor will be erratic in what it tells the module to do.

So if everything works but has air leaks, you can replace the shocks(all four for 95-98's, or two for 99-01's), with OEM NOS or equivalent Monroe's. The original shocks had electrical connections so internally they would alter shock valving slightly(like the 80's Turbo Coupe's had). I had the rear shocks watching on eBay, they ran about $60 each last I looked(I gave about $95 for a pair years ago).

If the compressor is allowed to run too much, that will kill it eventually, like all air ride compressors. Turn the switch off in the back to save the compressor if you hear it run too often.

To disable the system, just turn it off, swap the shocks, and disconnect the ARC module, which is behind and to the right of the radio(two connectors).

I'd like to have a spare ARC compressor, for my 99 that still works.
Thanks guys!! I’m pretty sure my whole air ride system is too far gone for me to refurbish. I’m happy just replacing with some regular shocks which I bought today. Thanks a lot for your help. Whenever I turn the air ride switch to off in the back panel of my explorer I get a check suspension light, any idea why that’d be? Thanks!!
 




96eb96

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Air ride also has softer springs and torsion bars. The air acts as an additional spring.
You may want to replace the rears with the Monroe coilovers. That would be equivalent to the air.

You don't have to buy it but a suspension conversion kit is that:

Strongly suggest these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C53RXK/?tag=serious-20

For the front, you should probably get:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C3ZDEI/?tag=serious-20

or even Bilstiens.

Remember, you have very soft springs. Cheap shocks will create tons of body roll.
 




MakinJeepsWeep!

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Could he not grab a set of leafs off another at a junk yard for the rear? The front might be a bit more of a task though. I know Kyb seem to be great also you can get the manual fill air shock for the rear instead of changing anything else. I know this has already been sorted but...
 




Jim's Garage

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Could he not grab a set of leafs off another at a junk yard for the rear? The front might be a bit more of a task though. I know Kyb seem to be great also you can get the manual fill air shock for the rear instead of changing anything else. I know this has already been sorted but...
Thanks guys!! I’m pretty sure my whole air ride system is too far gone for me to refurbish. I’m happy just replacing with some regular shocks which I bought today. Thanks a lot for your help. Whenever I turn the air ride switch to off in the back panel of my explorer I get a check suspension light, any idea why that’d be? Thanks!!
You will need to install a resistor in the electrical connection at each shock to get rid of the check suspension light. Helper springs for the rear leap springs are fairly cheap and easy to install. Good luck
 




J_C

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^ If a resistor for each is needed, it seems neater, more weather resistant, and possibly easier too, to just put them on the other end of the wiring harness.
 




MakinJeepsWeep!

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You will need to install a resistor in the electrical connection at each shock to get rid of the check suspension light. Helper springs for the rear leap springs are fairly cheap and easy to install. Good luck
REDNECK IT! just pull the light :) haha dont do that, do as he said and the helper leafs is a good idea as well even though i have them on my b3000 just slipped my mind there fairly easy to install and work well.
 




TribeZ

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I highly recommend the Monroe Load adjusting coil over shocks. They have fixed my saggy back end and given a much better rear ride. They are comparable or less then Rancho and Bilstine I believe. If you are ditching that air.
 




CDW6212R

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As I said in my first post, disconnect the ARC module connectors. That disables the system and there should be no error messages then.

Yes the ARC vehicles had softer rate springs. Those ARC shocks were not really firmer or stronger shocks, you should not notice any real difference with any shocks versus the old worn out shocks. Choose a high quality shock, firmer or with helper springs if you need them.

My 99 was not an ARC truck, thus with 4WD it has firmer springs. Adding the ARC system to it did not make it ride firmer or softer, just the same as it was, firmness of the 4WD models. I added the largest rear sway bar which reduced body roll a ton, that's the best thing you can do for handling of any of these trucks.

Choose shocks based on what you want.

Here's what the great rear sway bar looks like, the obsolete EE bar.
 

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96eb96

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I highly recommend the Monroe Load adjusting coil over shocks. They have fixed my saggy back end and given a much better rear ride. They are comparable or less then Rancho and Bilstine I believe. If you are ditching that air.
I agree, I feel much more confident driving with them. They should have been stock in my opinion. I transported a very large load (1500ish lbs-probably at the GVWR) for a short distance and was very impressed with the handling. No shock can make up for a spring. Shocks are supposed to control damping RATE. You want to nip the damping before it has to control it :lol:
 




J_C

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^ The irony is that you wrote stock. When I first put the Monroe coilover on mine, the impression was that it returned the vehicle to the stock ride properties. IMO, having them on from the factory would have been far too harsh. Ford was already recommending a questionably low tire pressure to combat the harsh factory ride.

It's just an impossible combination, a relatively narrow but tall, body on frame vehicle with torsion bars and leaf springs. Something has to give and that something was ride vs handling. There is no way to make it ideal for both ride quality on bumpy roads, and handle well with a load or on curves. An adjustable air suspension has that potential but it would have to actively adjust to every situation which was a feature before its time.
 




MakinJeepsWeep!

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I put those coil over shocks on a Chevy pick up I was using as a temporary welding while I was finishing the Ford, the made a ton of difference before driving through Dallas on those free ways it would bottom out after wards it actually rode pretty good. Road like a rock after I took all the equipment out but eh I was selling it anyway.
 


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Doorlach

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I put those coil over shocks on a Chevy pick up I was using as a temporary welding while I was finishing the Ford, the made a ton of difference before driving through Dallas on those free ways it would bottom out after wards it actually rode pretty good. Road like a rock after I took all the equipment out but eh I was selling it anyway.
thanks a lot guys, think I’m going to get those Monroe’s for the back and ditch the air ride. Also got KYB’s for the front already. Appreciate the info
 




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