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Explorer gets bouncy/kinda like floating above 80mph

JohnH55

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I had to take a trip down the interstate in my 01 explorer sport, at over 260000 miles now. I get that it's a barn door, after I hit 80mph and over it got really "floaty" and when I would hit a bunch of bumps it bounced (long bounces) 6 times before getting steady again. Kinda like an old classic car when it hits a bump, just like a land boat. It has 15000 miles on the shocks (motorcraft front, monroe rear) and front end. Is this a normal thing for these explorers? I'm use to it being so much more planted so it was a scary experience when it started handling bad. Under 80 it handles fine.
 
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C420sailor

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The suspension isn’t exactly designed for that. I mean, it’s safe at those speeds, but it certainly isn’t optimized for it. Your fuel mileage is likely terrible too.

Last time my old girl hit 80, I was responding to a house fire a couple years back. She’s got the grunt for sure...I had her to 110mph with the lightbar on the roof once...

If you’ve got new shocks, good tires and pressures, and the springs aren’t totally shot...that’s about all you can do.
 
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JohnH55

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The suspension isn’t exactly designed for that. I mean, it’s safe at those speeds, but it certainly isn’t optimized for it. Your fuel mileage is likely terrible too.

Last time my old girl hit 80, I was responding to a house fire a couple years back. She’s got the grunt for sure...I had her to 110mph with the lightbar on the roof once...

If you’ve got new shocks, good tires and pressures, and the springs aren’t totally shot...that’s about all you can do.
Okay, i just wanted to make sure it was somewhat normal. Believe it or not though I get 19.8 mpg running long fast highway trips.
 
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94Eddie

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I had to take a trip down the interstate in my 01 explorer sport, at over 260000 miles now. I get that it's a barn door, after I hit 80mph and over it got really "floaty" and when I would hit a bunch of bumps it bounced (long bounces) 6 times before getting steady again. Kinda like an old classic car when it hits a bump, just like a land boat. It has 15000 miles on the shocks (motorcraft front, monroe rear) and front end. Is this a normal thing for these explorers? I'm use to it being so much more planted so it was a scary experience when it started handling bad. Under 80 it handles fine.
IMO, bouncing six times after hitting a single bump indicates there is an issue. When it is parked and you push down hard on the front or rear how many times does it bounce?
 
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toypaseo

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How are the front swaybar endlinks?

I had one missing, and it was like steering a ship when I was on the interstate. Road irregularities, bridges, etc would cause mine to feel like it was about to lose control...
 
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JohnH55

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IMO, bouncing six times after hitting a single bump indicates there is an issue. When it is parked and you push down hard on the front or rear how many times does it bounce?
I pushed it down hard a couple times then let go, it bounce after that once. It was making a weird noise on the driver side though
 
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swshawaii

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I'd bet on tired rear mono leafs used on the two door Sports if the shocks only have 15,000 miles on them.

It's well documented the Sport rear suspension is under sprung from the factory. Many have done the swap with great results.
 
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Mbrooks420

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It’s the shocks job to dampen the up and down movement, not the spring (a spring can’t). You need stiffer or new shocks. At or over 80 you’re in the single digits mpg wise.

If you’re bouncing 6 times on a single bump, your truck isn’t suitable to drive like that and you need to slow down before you kill someone. Tighten up your truck, or slow down.
 
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JohnH55

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It’s the shocks job to dampen the up and down movement, not the spring (a spring can’t). You need stiffer or new shocks. At or over 80 you’re in the single digits mpg wise.

If you’re bouncing 6 times on a single bump, your truck isn’t suitable to drive like that and you need to slow down before you kill someone. Tighten up your truck, or slow down.
Okay, I'll get some new shocks on the front. What do you guys recommend? I was think kyb since I don't want to put another set of motorcrafts on, but I'm open to suggestions.
 
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allmyEXes

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Well I guess at 260,000 is does sort of feels like an old classic, wore out car. I keep my wore out Explorers right about 68 MPH. It's hard to drive through the Nashville Interstates at those slow speeds. Don't hurt yourself or anyone else please. Do a little research on the History of Explorer rollover accidents. It may have been a little before your time.
 
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JohnH55

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Well I guess at 260,000 is does sort of feels like an old classic, wore out car. I keep my wore out Explorers right about 68 MPH. It's hard to drive through the Nashville Interstates at those slow speeds. Don't hurt yourself or anyone else please. Do a little research on the History of Explorer rollover accidents. It may have been a little before your time.
Yeah it's getting to be old, but I like to keep it maintained well. I almost never go on above 65 since I don't use the interstate. I know the early explorers had a bad issue with rolling/blowing tires (axles to narrow). Which caused Ford and firestone to stop working together. But even with age a vehicle like my explorer should be able to go down the interstate on rare occasion at speed. It's old but it should handle pretty close to new. I'm just trying to figure out what is wrong so I can make it stable, for a trip down the interstate. I'm going to throw some shocks at it, and look to see if anything else needs fix while I'm in there.
 
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allmyEXes

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I remember when I was a teenager. I had my 1954 F100 up to 90 MPH with 3.92 gears in and a 390FE and a C-6 powering it. That's a good example of "hang on" in 1977. That was 40 something years ago.
 
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JohnH55

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I remember when I was a teenager. I had my 1954 F100 up to 90 MPH with 3.92 gears in and a 390FE and a C-6 powering it. That's a good example of "hang on" in 1977. That was 40 something years ago.
The old italian tune up
 
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96eb96

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Okay, I'll get some new shocks on the front. What do you guys recommend? I was think kyb since I don't want to put another set of motorcrafts on, but I'm open to suggestions.
The motorcrafts are for soccer mom comfort. I suggest for a sport especially to get the monore coil over helpers in the back (spring and shock, like others said sports pretty much have a piece of sheetmetal for a spring) and probably KYB monomax in the front. I have Reflex but you would probably have to find NOS. The ride will stiffen up and you have better control, it is still is a truck so you have to avoid crazy driving. Those fixes will clean up much of the float and, bodyroll, but you may have more "road feel." It will ride more like a sportscar. It also makes the car safer in some ways because it don't allow the roll center to move and cause tilt (but may affect oversteer).

I actually have "A" rated torsion bars in the front, which is a stiff spring rate. (there are 3 grades, there should be a letter visible where your sway bar comes out of your control arm). You can still get new swaybars because they were used till 2012 in the Rangers. Probably a very optional mod.

Replace all the sway bar end links with a poly kit, very easy mod and cheap.

2wd sports have the worst rollover rates of almost any car (this is from gov't statistics). I wonder if it that is because of the low spring rate, short wheelbase, and no extra 4wd weight down low. (or maybe bad drivers :lol:).
 
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Mbrooks420

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Pfft. Blown shocks.

D0B50317-6666-4346-A575-88D54D88021C.gif
 
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96eb96

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Simple fix, don't go 80
Agreed. I usually go a bit below the limit in an Explorer. Get a Panther or a Mustang if you want to go fast.
 
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Mbrooks420

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I roll 10-15 over on the highway. Truck is tight, never any issues.
 
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JohnH55

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The motorcrafts are for soccer mom comfort. I suggest for a sport especially to get the monore coil over helpers in the back (spring and shock, like others said sports pretty much have a piece of sheetmetal for a spring) and probably KYB monomax in the front. I have Reflex but you would probably have to find NOS. The ride will stiffen up and you have better control, it is still is a truck so you have to avoid crazy driving. Those fixes will clean up much of the float and, bodyroll, but you may have more "road feel." It will ride more like a sportscar. It also makes the car safer in some ways because it don't allow the roll center to move and cause tilt (but may affect oversteer).

I actually have "A" rated torsion bars in the front, which is a stiff spring rate. (there are 3 grades, there should be a letter visible where your sway bar comes out of your control arm). You can still get new swaybars because they were used till 2012 in the Rangers. Probably a very optional mod.

Replace all the sway bar end links with a poly kit, very easy mod and cheap.

2wd sports have the worst rollover rates of almost any car (this is from gov't statistics). I wonder if it that is because of the low spring rate, short wheelbase, and no extra 4wd weight down low. (or maybe bad drivers :lol:).
Thank you 96eb96, I'll get some monomax shocks in the front, and get those nice monroe coil-over ones in the back. Which will help since I get this a good bit of weight in the back most of the time. I'll also get a poly kit for the front sway and rear stabilizer. I don't care how hard it rides as long as it will stay planted (for an SUV).
 
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