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Bilstein 4600s on stock 93 XLT 4x4 ?

GermanFordDriver

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93 Ford Explorer XLT
First post. (woot, woot)

Being a VW nut (my dad, grandad and uncles all grew up working in the VW factory in Germany), I love Bilstein shocks. Have proven their worth on several past vehicles and hundreds of thousands of miles.

I just picked up a 93 Explorer XLT which does the bouncy shimmy jive step every time I hit a bump on the freeway. I want to upgrade the ride by a lot and it seems that the Bilstein 4600s are the best replacement shock for a non-lifted stock suspension. Tragically they don't make a rear shock (checked with the NC headquarters).

Does anyone out there have any experience with Billy 4600s on a 91-94 Explorer? If so, what did you pair them with? I'm thinking maybe the KYB Gas-a-just or Monomax. People who are worried about a stiff ride should relax. I know from experience that Bilsteins soften out beautifully after between 5K and 10K miles and then go on lasting forever.

Really just need to know what a good rear shock is for a stock suspension.
 


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Madmaxwell

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I have the 4600s on the front and the Monroe Load Adjusting shocks in the rear to help with the saggy springs. I think its a nice ride. I had the 5100s on a lifted F150 and they were stiffer. The explorer is a much tamer vehicle so I like the level of stiffness and a good level control.

If your rear springs aren't overly sagging and you don't need the extra springs of the load adjusting shocks I would say a high end pro comp or rancho. They offer adjustability and valving closer to the 4600s. 4wheelparts has lots of options.
 




GermanFordDriver

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I wanted to order parts today so I could hopefully get the parts by Friday and do the work over the weekend. I went with the 4600s in front and KYB Monomax in back. The KYB website suggested they were the good OEM upgrade with the same basic characteristics as the Bilsteins. Pricey, but I believe in the importance of shocks. Hopefully all the metal around them holds up. Haven't gotten a great read on the condition of the springs in back. Possibly considering leaf spring reinforcement. Tried that on an old Zuke once and it worked well...
 




Rhett

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I wanted to order parts today so I could hopefully get the parts by Friday and do the work over the weekend. I went with the 4600s in front and KYB Monomax in back. The KYB website suggested they were the good OEM upgrade with the same basic characteristics as the Bilsteins. Pricey, but I believe in the importance of shocks. Hopefully all the metal around them holds up. Haven't gotten a great read on the condition of the springs in back. Possibly considering leaf spring reinforcement. Tried that on an old Zuke once and it worked well...

What's a Zuke?

Incidentally, I also drive a 2012 Golf R.
 




Madmaxwell

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When you say spring reinforcement do you mean a add a leaf or having them re-arched?

I think hes referencing a suzuki
 




Rhett

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Oh ok. In for pics of the Sammy (that's what we call Suzuki Samurai's where I am) and its "reenforced leafs".

Maybe that means the torque supports /anti-axle-wrap supports you see on some lifted pickups.
 




GermanFordDriver

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What's a Zuke?

That's what me and my buddies have always called the Suzuki Samurai. Not sure if I've ever heard anyone else call it that. Best stock rock-crawler there is, imo.

Incidentally, I also drive a 2012 Golf R.

Oh man. R. Jealous...
Always been partial to the Mark IV myself but very attracted to the 2016. Love the simplicity revival going on with Das Auto lately.
 




GermanFordDriver

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When you say spring reinforcement do you mean a add a leaf or having them re-arched?

Re-arched? You can do that? No I just added a leaf reinforcement kit from Napa. Two leafs and a couple extra u-bolts on each side. It was a total impulse purchase and wasn't even sure it would actually do the trick but worked like a charm.
 




GermanFordDriver

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In for pics of the Sammy (that's what we call Suzuki Samurai's where I am) and its "reenforced leafs".

Man, wish I could. Sold that rig to a mechanic friend for travelling money one year. He finished a transfer case replacement (I burned it up muscling my way out of some deep sand I accidentally got bogged down in) and fixed up the bumper. I had parts for both projects but never got to them. Sold it to him as is for just enough to buy my plane ticket. He took all the seats out except drivers and cruised around with his dogs. Saw him all the time. But then his crack head son stole it from him one day and killed someone with it running off the road. Last picture I saw of it was front page of the paper. Tragic. Shoulda never sold it. Although the trip to South Africa was epic.
 




GermanFordDriver

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UPS 2-3 days turned out to be 6 including the weekend. Parts due to arrive Monday. I'll throw them in and report back with pictures. Thanks all!
 




Madmaxwell

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Re-arched? You can do that? No I just added a leaf reinforcement kit from Napa. Two leafs and a couple extra u-bolts on each side. It was a total impulse purchase and wasn't even sure it would actually do the trick but worked like a charm.

Technically you can but the leafs usually loose their arch again quickly so it's not a great option.

What you got is called an Add A Leaf. It's a short single leaf per side that you add onto the bottom or in the middle of the leaf pack to give it some extra capacity. Same idea as my load adjust shocks but harder to put in. However it means you can run normal shocks that are more focused on off road use instead of just load handling.
 




GermanFordDriver

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Never did get back with pics. Oops. Those shocks worked really well for a good long time. Just starting to fade a bit now. Money fairly well spent I think.
 




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