Help - Rear is sagging. New Shocks? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Help - Rear is sagging. New Shocks?


New Member
October 31, 2002
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City, State
San Francisco, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Eddie Bauer
Rear is sagging. New Springs or Shocks?

Need advice for my Explorer.

I've got a '98 Eddie Bauer with 130,500 miles. It's equipped with the air ride system but the back of the it is tilting down, like if I was towing a big boat. I know this is a common problem with Explorers and especially Toyota 4Runners. Are the rear springs shot? Or does it need new rear shocks?

I know the ARC is supposed to adjust the pressure in each shock independently depending on how much weight is put on each. But how does the ARC system actually work anyway? Is it worth the expense (ARC shocks are 3-4 times more expensive than regular shocks)?

Also, I pulled a truck out of a ditch last weekend and the next day my transfer case blew out. It grinds in every gear in both Auto and 4-High mode, but works okay in 4-Low. How delicate is this system? How much will it cost? I thought it was built FORD TOUGH. Any suggestions?

Any help would be great. Thanks.

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Most here have gone the route of add-a-leaf in the rear. Cheap fix, cost around 30-40.00's. As far as air ride, that I can't help you with. On the transfer case, sounds like you lost damaged gears on the high end.

I would say the air ride is definitely NOT worth keeping. Get a set of good shocks (Bilstein), do the add-a-leaf and you're set. All you need to do is turn the air ride off, it's located in the jack compartment.

As for the transfer cases, there are some problems with the 97-98 4405 transfer case. Even if you had not pulled him out, it would have probably eventually broken.

look underneath behind the spare tire, you'll find what looks to be a little plastic shock, it's supposed to be clipped to a black horizontal bar. if it's just dangling, thats your problem. clip it back on and presto! if thats not the problem, troubleshoot the system. i will tell you how if the above was not your problem.

I found the small plastic black shock behind the rear tire and also found another behind the left front tire. I assume these are what monitor how much air needs to inflate/deflate in the front and rear in order to maintain the truck's level ride height.

This little shock/sensor on my truck wasn't dangling but was attached. I guess the system should be functioning fine then, but the rear still sags compared to the front.

It sounds like you have experience with this set up, so what's the next step you'd recommend?

I appreciate the advice.

I dont know about air ride but im gonna try to shy you away from the Add-a-leaf for the fix. I put the add a leaf in my 4Runner. ****ty ride. Rough as hell. Go for a Shackle same price, if not cheaper and you will retain the same ride quality. Should bring you up about and inch in the rear.


Thanks for the advice. I need to do a little more research about the costs involved, but I figure I can shackle up the suspension and if I need more lift, I can try the add-a-leaf option.

I'm still curious, though, if I can alter the air suspension system to permanently raise the truck at least an inch or two all the way around.