Has anyone used the Gabriel Load Carrier Shock on the 1st Gen? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Has anyone used the Gabriel Load Carrier Shock on the 1st Gen?


Well-Known Member
February 8, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Gallatin, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 4x4 XLT
I'm thinking about changing my shocks on the rear. Looking on autozone's website for shocks I notice these Gabriel Load Carrier Shock with coil over.

# 43172

Has anyone tried those before? I do carry a heavy load on a trailer thought out the winter hauling firewood.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

I haven't used the Gabriel's, but I did run Monroe air shocks at one point.

They help to level out the vehicle, BUT they do so by taking the load off of the leaf springs and instead putting it on the shocks...specifically the frame crossmember the top of the shocks mount to, and the bolts for the lower shock mounts.

Such things are probably okay for vehicles that carry light loads and where the need is to level out the body for highway towing (aerodynamics, visibility, etc.) without buying a whole new rear suspension.

However I don't think they are particularly safe for heavy load bearing, and functionally, they cause the shock to try and do something it's not designed for.

I switched to WAR123 leaf spring shackles for a small amount of lift in the rear, swapped out the leaf springs from left to right to get rid of the left side lean, and went with Bilstein shocks. Now the rear carries weight even better than it ever did with the air shocks, with very little if much sag even when loaded with gear and a trailer, and the shocks do their job as shocks and dampen the suspension/body movement.

My suggestion would be to get good shocks instead, and look into swapping the rear leafs and maybe a tiny (1/4"-1/2") lift with WAR123 or aftermarket/custom shackles.

There are also "helper" springs available as a bolt-on to supplement the rear leafs when towing a heavy load. These may be just the ticket since they are inexpensive, and can be attached for the winter or when you'll be towing, and are removeable if needed.

Are you talking about switching to these

Bilstein Shock # B46-1569 for the rear.

I believe I still have the stock original shocks on the back. Little extra bounce and rusted on them (black). The truck doesn't go much lower while having a load on a 6' x 12' trailer loaded to max (3000lb or less)

If you have the stock original shocks on an Explorer with 265,000 miles, they are probably completely worn out.

You don't HAVE to switch to Bilsteins, but new shocks would make a huge difference.

You might want to get new ones for the front as well. If you already have newer front shocks, you could get the same ones for the back.

The Bilsteins are VERY firm and give a sports car like ride. If you wanted something more like stock, you could go with Monroe Sensatracs or some similar Gabriels.

Thanks. They might not be stock just have rust. Still will work on replacing them.

The shocks on the front are newer. I don't know the brand (white).