am i missing anything? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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am i missing anything?


Jackstand Wheeler
Moderator Emeritus
April 16, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Suwanee, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 Sport 4x4
ok.. i am going to soon switch my mono leaf for the 4 door leaf pack and put warrior shackles back there and a TT up front. i assume i need an alignment after the TT but is there anything else i am not thinking of? are my stock shocks ok to add the 4dr leaf pack? also... what about that 5th shock? is that thing necessary or will any of the mods cause problems with that thing? thanks!

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The 5th shock will limit your suspension articulation when you put the shackles on. Once everything is raised, it will be almost fully extended just sitting there. I (and a lot of other people did too) removed mine. I also put new shocks on at the same time 'cause the stock ones are junk. I went with a set of Gabriel's. They work great and run $20 each from Pep Boys.

cool.. i may remove it before too long. how long do the stock shocks usually last anyway? also, do i need to re-aim my headlights for such a small lift? thanks again!

I had to reaim my headlights, after i added a leaf and put the shackles on. I dont think that you need to get an alignment but that is up to you, it obviosly wont hurt. if you are specific with your torsion twist as far as the number of turns you make you should be alright. when i jacked my baby up i counted how many twist it took to tighten the adjuster all of the way down then i counted on the other side it was exactly the same. then i lowered it the same namber of full tunrs with the wrench. i think i lowerd it back 4.5 twists which seemed to lower it almost a half of an inch. one thing that you should do is soke your adjusters in liquid wrench a fe hours before you go to tighten them. good luck. your going to love it.

I didn't have to adjust my headlights, but I did have to do an alignment. My tires started feathering the edges in about 200 miles 'cause it changed the toe.

jdraper... i can't afford to put new shocks on now and my stocks are still in ok condition for stocks... will that 5th one cause problems with normal driving and light offroading if i leave it on? what about taking it off with just stock shocks? i don't plan on doing any heavy offroading until i put a real lift on the truck.

also, when getting new shocks, will i need to get longer shocks after such a small lift? thanks again!!!

in all honesty you should see an improvement in ride comfort on road with the shock taken off. i had bilstiens on mine when i lifted it but that was 50k ago and i had to switch my shocks due to beding the front 2 when i had the front sway bar disconected. i found a hole at a high rate of speed and i got **** eyed. of course i didnt realize that the shocks were bent until i saw gas leak out on the driveway that night. i now have the gabriel VST and am very satisfied. pep boys wouldnt sell me the larger shocks because it was not the size they had listed for an explorer so i went to discount auto and the guy was helpful. i think that the fronts are for a newer f-150 4x4 and the rear are just bigger. the fifth one is but a distant memory. if your not sure take it off and then put it back on if you are disatified with the ride, it isnt too difficult to get it off. the hardest part was taking the rear tire off.

thanks buchvilleman..
i will probably do that.. take it off and just put it back on if i don't like it. did you not like the blistiens? also, i didn't catch if you said you need longer than stock shocks after the TT, shackles, and addleafs. thanks for all the input guys!!
one more many miles is a good point to replace shocks? i just crossed 36k and do city driving mostly but lots of construction roads and weekends are light offroads sometimes. i love this site!!!

i would definitely get the bigger shocks if you are going to use the tt and shackle / add-a-leaf lift, when you can afford it, one reason is because it is increasing your suspension heigth and by doing so you are increasing your articulation so to truly let your vehicle be able get the those wheels up and down the full capacity that the tweaked suspension will allow you will need a shock that can match that longer travel of the suspension. to be honest with you i went 10k before i got new shocks so its not going to kill you to not get them at first. the reason i didnt replace my bilstiens with bilstiens was due to availabilty, price, and my name is gabriel and i always wear a "gabriel" hat so i wanted the gabriel shock. pretty silly really, but they are excellent shocks. one thing that you can find at pep boys and advanced auto is shock extenders...BE LEARY. for the ront shocks it is just a stud extender that totally weekens the shock, but the rear my friend has the extenders on his toyota PU and he loves them, it is basically an aliminum block with holes for longer bolts, it doesnt stiffen the ride at all, but a capible offroad machine, in my opinion, should have maximum shock response and a stiffer shock seems to respond better when going over something liek a tree or a rock pile (we dont do too much rock climbing in FL but we do have gravel pits and lime mines that i get to play in once in a while) so maybe the extenders are worse but that is up to the individual. Your shocks should last 50k in normal driving conditions. it sound lik you are not killing your machine or rock climing or anything extreme so you will probably be alright. you have bilstiens now? thats what 95xlt came with and they are great shocks. Ford seems to be pretty good with their selection of shocks for their vehicles.
good luck,
gabe the sports have the 5th shock? i just took a look under mine today and didn't see it. i didn't crawl up under there real hard, but i didn't see it from just putting my head under the truck and looking around.

BUCHVILLEMAN... would you recommend the blisteins? i don't know what is on it now, but ive heard good stuff about the blisteins. they are a bit pricey though..

thanks again guys!!!

im not sure about the sports as far the 5th shock goes. if you have a haynes manual it should show you. mine is on the passenger side up under the body pretty good. I would definitely recomend Bilstiens. They last a long time and are quite the performer. I would compare them to edelbrock in price, quality, and dad has them on his grand cherokee and they are capible. gabriel and monroe are very good and on a similar level but a little lighter than edelbrock and bilstiens. these are the only ones that i have experience with. obviosly rancho, procomp and other specialty offroad shocks have a good rep but i have no experience with them.

im thinking that if you didnt see the 5th shock, sometimes refered to as a restraining shock, then it might not have it beause the wheelbase is shorter and the springs and weights are different. there are plenty of guys driving sports that are part of this site that know better than i do. i have a 95 xlt.

cool. thanks for all the advice! i just ordered a chilton's manual so i'll look in that if i don't find out sooner. i think when i get ready to get shocks, i'll get some blistiens. i've never heard anything bad about them except the price. oh well, you get what you pay for i guess. thanks again!

My '97 Sport does not have the 5th shock. I have never heard of a Sport that does.