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Autoweek Article Explorer Express Handling Kit



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V8BoatBuilder

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I'm giving the X-Spec suspension package a lot of thought. Some questions:

1) How will the handling change if i use an X-spec suspension but RAISE the truck, I want to run 31" tires using a TT/Shackle lift?

2) I've heard some good and some bad things about the Edelbrock IAS shocks. I've heard very good things about rancho 9000s up front and 5000s out back. I do a lot of mixed usage, 80mph on the highway one day, trailer towing the next, and then offroad the next. I want the best combo for all.

3) What is the biggest contribution to the improved handling with the X-spec? the shocks, the sway bars, the lowering?

Thanks,
Aaron
 


jssong

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if u want to raise it, just the the front and rear sway bars. dont get the shocks. my rear EE sway bar has def make an improvemtn in handling
 


Alec

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I had Saleen front and rear swaybars with my 31s and 2" lift and the truck felt much better than stock. Whenever you lift, the center of gravity is raised. But if you match the tires and shocks correctly to the lift you'll be more stable than stock with a better ride.

Now I have Rancho 9000s up front with the Saleen swaybar and TT. In the rear, new lift leaves and longer shocks, no swaybar. I can't corner as hard as I used to, but the truck still feels better than stock.

The one problem that I've seen with beefy front swaybars is this: When you corner hard the outside front suspension is going to compress. A strong swaybar is going to want to equalize the suspension and is going to pull the opposite front tire up. This is why I 3 wheel when I corner very hard. I don't feel tippy, just pull a tire up in the air :p This would not happen on a lowered truck.
 


410Fortune

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My BII sits on 5" of lift with extended arms and it rides better then any stock BII ever did.....

New proper rate springs, shocks, and bushings make all the difference in the world. Also the wider stance from the offset rims help............
 


aldive

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Originally posted by V8BoatBuilder
1) How will the handling change if i use an X-spec suspension but RAISE the truck,

2) I've heard some good and some bad things about the Edelbrock IAS shocks.

3) What is the biggest contribution to the improved handling with the X-spec?
A lowered truck will always handle better.

I use the ISA's and find them a great value.

The combination of all of the components makes the best package,

I have run the X Spec goods for almost a year now and can only say wow, what a difference,

I highly recommend it.
 


Rick

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Originally posted by aldive
A lowered truck will always handle better.

I disagree with that Al. A well engineered lowered truck will handle better. A poorly engineered lowered truck will ride like a bucking bronco. Just look at some of the crap the low riders drive and the way they bounce down the road. The Explorer Express kit is obviously well engineered.
 
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aldive

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Originally posted by Rick
I disagree with that Al. A well engineered lowered truck will handle better. A poorly engineered lowered truck will ride like abucking bronco. Just look at some of the crap the low riders drive and the way they bounce down the road. The Explorer Express kit is obviously well engineered.
Rick, you are indeed correct. That is what I was attempting to say, you said it much better, thanks.
 


Alec

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I also agree with what Rick said.
 


Rhett

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new proper rate springs, shocks, and bushings make all the difference in the world.
410 what bushings, springs do you run?
 


V8BoatBuilder

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Thanks for the responses everyone...
1) How does the Saleen suspension differ from the EE suspension?
2) What shocks do people recommend for a 2" lifted v8 AWD?
3) EE mentions bumpstops - how important are these?
4) What about other suspension bushings besides the sway bars - are they worthwile on a 1997 with 108k mi?
3)Does anyone know if there is a group buy or discount on EE parts?
 


Alec

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1) you can't get the saleen stuff anymore. The front bar was just a 98+ bar (stiffer than 95-97) and the rear was thicker and solid.

2) I recommend Ranchos now

3) don't need to upgrade bumpstops with a lift unless there's the risk of bottoming out your shocks before bottoming out your springs.

4) ?

5) John from EE always tries to give us the best price he can. Group buys have been popping up lately, but I don't think for the swaybars.

Keep in mind that when you go wheeling you're gonna want to disco the swaybars. The front is easy to disco aftermarket or not, but the rears are more difficult to disco in stock form and many just ditch the rear swaybar altogether (like me).
 


Alec

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Hmmm, after reading my own post....maybe all you want to do is get a 98+ front swaybar from a junker? This will improve handling a lot and be cheap.
 


JOHN V.

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Obviously the article focuses on everyday Explorer owners looking to dodge the roll over blues. I realize the majority are offroaders around here. But like Rick said, it is the engineering and the combination of parts that gets results. Since many Explorers are street driven between treks, a middle ground could be achieved. The sway bars will help there. I am waiting for feedback on the quick disconnect links from Warrior Products. It seems that it would be the hot tip. Enjoy improved handling during the week, then disconnect before you hit the trail. I know that some have had mixed results on the Edelbrocks. I would like to get some feed back regarding off roading. I have them on my 1994 XLT. Feels great on the street and pretty forgiving on the fire roads etc. I do not do serious wheeling in that truck (wife's driver). I like to be able to make a good recommendation for offroaders as well as street types. Let me know what you all think.

John V.@ EE
 


JOHN V.

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Alec

The front sway bar on a 1998 mounts differently at the link. It is not a bolt on.

The suspension bumpers from the lowering kit wont be a factor with a lifted vehicle. You dont need them.

We currently have a group buy going on for the sway bars now.

You would notice a big difference on the street with our big bar at the rear. Then disconnect it before you hit the trail. I need a test vehicle for this.......come on Alec, give it a try!

Give me the best price you can find for Ranco 4000 & 5000 and I will see what I can do. I can get get into this offroad stuff!

John V.@ EE
 


410Fortune

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Rhett:

Here is my current hybrid setup:

hahaha! Funny how I piecedit together....

Front:
1992 Dana 35 TTB
4.10
ARB
James Duff (JD) axle pivot bushings
JD 3" axle pivot drop brackets
JD 3" VR lift coils
Ford F-150 spring seats
Skyjacker extended radius arms
Skyjacker radius arm mounts and transmission X member
Energy urethane bushings in sway bar
Rancho 9000 RX 9179 front shocks
custom quick disconnnects

Rear:
1997 Ford 8.8 4.10 L/S
Skyjacker 4" leaf springs
spring over coversion on axle
stock shackles (BII, new from Ford)
Energy urethane in sway bar
Rancho 9112 RSX rear shocks
on BII style shock mounts (welded to 8.8)
Quick disco's

It rides like a dream!
all brakes are new, spindles, wheel bearings, steering, gears, u joints, been replaced.

I installed the rear leafs and new shocks last weekend.
tomorrow she goes in for a slight alignment adjustment
Best it has ever driven, I have the ranchos set on 5 for the street, havent messed around with them too much yet.

Next on the horizon are 3" bent beams, 6-8" lift coils (if I go 8" I will move bucket up), F-250 shock towers (need them now for the shocks I just installed), limiting straps, and coil retainers..........
 


Alec

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John,

I had a Saleen rear bar and liked it very much. I'm sure I'd like yours if I had high quality quick discos. I've heard the Warriors make too much noise.

Also, I don't really have the cash to buy a new rear bar and quick discos (and endlinks if I'd need those again too). If you'd give me the bar and Warrior discos I'd run it and put Explorer Express Decals on my truck and praise the high heavens. Otherwise, I just can't afford it right now with my other plans.
 


Rick

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The following was written by Jack Lobdell several years ago. He was a regular contributor to the site, but has since passed away. Jack always spoke very highly of the Edelbrock shocks and here is an excerpt from his write up

"I wanted a great off-road shock that would counter body roll and nose dive but not need adjusting all the time. Edelbrock didn't make the IAS for a lifted Explorer (and say they won't anytime soon), but they do now for a 4" lifted F150. I asked many questions and didn't get the answers I wanted. I was told they wouldn't work, wouldn't fit, etc. They ARE the right length and strength for a built Explorer and they FIT like a glove. At Interstate speeds or on the trail you can feel the IAS valve nip body roll in the bud, and it feels like you are riding on rails! Hit the brake hard and the nose stays even! "
 


FrankRizzo

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Originally posted by Alec
1) you can't get the saleen stuff anymore. The front bar was just a 98+ bar (stiffer than 95-97) and the rear was thicker and solid.
FYI -
My stock front bar was 1-3/8"
My Saleen bar is just a tad over 1-1/2"
 

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Alec

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Then I guess I was wrong. That's what I was told my some members on here and also a Saleen retailer :rolleyes:

When I put my front Saleen bar on, it fit perfectly and was the exact same diameter as my stocker, just a lot heavier. The Saleen rear was about 60% thicker than the stock bar.
 


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