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How To: Install Your Own Shocks


Dennis1188

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96 Sport, 4.0 OHV
Try this but I am not 100% sure it will apply to your model year...





www.lmctruck.com has what you want...

 

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Dennis1188

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:)
 


X6StringerX

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I'm glad my thread has encouraged people to tackled the small jobs like this. Start small and work your way up to the big stuff.

Dennis, excellent work on finding the part numbers.
 


magnumxxl1

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01 Sport 4x4
Did it on my explorer a week ago or so, drives 10 times better as it has hit 130,000 miles now. no more bouncing off the road while doing 75 mph. it hugs the road again. Thank god for the pictures, but still a pain to do for the back wheels, black box bolts were totally rusted and frozen, couldnt get it down. took me 3 hours to do those because im a bigger guy and i had to turn the bolt on the top an 8th of a turn at a time because im not gumby. Got the cheapos from auto zone, wished i wouldve got the more expensive ones considering the effort to install them...

but other than that, this did help and saved me $$$.
THANKS!

good luck to anyone who changes them next!
 


94explorerboy

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Changed my rear shocks.

Just got through installing my rear shocks.
Was a bit of a PITA to complete but not overly complicated...just a bit time consuming. Definitely recommend everyone try to do this one yourself instead of paying someone to do it.

I chose Monroe Sensa-Trac load adjusting shocks (#58617) to give it a bit of a lift in the back. These are some seriously beefy shocks!

The Sensa-Trac shocks gave me just over 1 ½ inches of lift in the rear. Exactly what I needed! Not bad, I got new shocks and a lift at the same time. I am sure it will settle a little but I hated the way the rear seemed to sit lower than the front before.

Going to tackle the front ones tomorrow.


 


specialized7

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saskatoon
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99 SPORT
installed my KYB's today
install was really easy. didnt even take the rear wheels off, just the spare.
im small enough i managed to sit cross legged where the spare was
very noticable difference, much stiffer doesnt seem so bouncy.
Do new shocks break in after some driving?
 


Diemondrio63

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1989 B2,1995 Eddie Bauer
I know this thread is a bit old but I just wanted to throw a piece of info out.

Before I installed my KYB GR-2's the guy at the store told me he was an old retired Ford mechanic and he wanted to share a bit of advice about installing shocks. He said to manually operate them up and down at a slow pace about 20 times before I bolted them up. So I figured ok, I'll try it and see what he's talking about. After I took off the band that holds the shock for packaging I let it extend all the way out. Then I slowly pushed down on the shock and actually felt the resistance start to increase once I got down about a quarter of the way. I called the guy on the phone and told him what I found. He said keep doing it and you'll see that after 7 or 8 times the beginning of the push down that was a bit mushy will get more stiffer. So I went back to work on the shock and sure and shit he was right! After about 15 ups and downs on the shock it was completely and consistantly stiff during the whole cycle of the inward movement of the piston. I recently talked this over with a friend of mine who is a mechanic and he told me he's been doing this for 20 years!

Maybe some will think I'm crazy but my wife thinks that too! I'm just typing my experience and I'd like others to try the same thing. Perhaps it was just these shocks (all four) or perhaps there's some merit in the actual task.
 


mora20164

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94 XL
I changed the front shocks with KYB Gas A Just shocks. Couple of notes. I have a Ford Explorer 2000 XLT 4 door 4x4 AWD.

First in getting that top nut off the top shaft, I bought the Truck with the original OEM shocks and it has 146K. A day prior I liberally applied PB Blaster, and again an hour before the project and again during disassembly. It was still difficult, but not as much as it would have been without it.

When you take off the old shock and install the new one, the new shock will appear shorter, you will have to Jack up the wheel assembly until the shock rubber mount reaches the lower hole in the top shock shaft. Make sure you use the 5/8" side of the new rubber bushing. This will mount exactly. KYB provides all new hardware.

As for the Ride the new shocks were night and day. I have better control of my truck, and it makes tighter turns, plus it no longer nose dives. Since the OEM shocks were pretty much wasted, these new shocks were just what I needed and saved about $$ in labor.
 


91Navsplorer

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91 Navajo
this is a great write up, i was recently told (by a family friend) that $100 would be all he'dtake to do this, but after I by skyjackers, that'll come up to around $350. I'll pocket my $100 and follow these instructions. Thanks, 3 months well earned.
 


sjdurb

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport
May be a stupid question...

I'm in the process of replacing my lower ball joints/UCA/Tie rod ends, and I figured I might as well change the shocks. They are the factory shocks and my 1998 Explorer sport has 175k miles on it.

Quick question: When removing the shocks is there anything tricky about the compression of the shock? Right now I have the truck jacked up from the frame and the arm is just hanging. When I unbolt the shock, is there any safety precautions I need to know about? Do I need a bit of lift on the arm to be able to remove the shock?

Thanks in advance...
 


X6StringerX

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Even new shocks are fairly easy to compress by hand, so given that yours have 175k miles on them, I don't think you'll run into any problems. If you're worried about them flying out and injuring you, that won't happen. If you want to get an idea of how the shocks work, go ahead and remove the wire from your replacement shocks and watch them as they decompress.

The only real precaution you need to take here is to make sure the vehicle is supported properly. I always place the removed wheels under the frame when I'm going to be working with my head in the fenderwell or any part of my body under the vehicle. I'd rather buy a new wheel than lose a limb.
 


sjdurb

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Awesome, thanks for the quick response. I will definitely get something under there.
 


sjdurb

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Hm, so I got the old shock off... but the new shock doesn't line up too too well. How does this work.. do you lift the arm of the truck up to meet the shock when it is compressed with the wire, or decompress the wire and try to somehow get it on?

Also it seems the angle is off, can you force/turn it into the right direction after you bolt the bottom down?

Argh, I have the control arm off, the whole wheel assembly off, and the shock i bought (monroe sensa-trac) is not long enough....

When the arm hangs full down the shock is not long enough to bolt on to the top and bottom... do i have to use a jack to push the arm up? What happens when i take the jack off to put the wheel assembly on? will the shock max out and hold the arm? or is that a bad idea? help! :(
 
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X6StringerX

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Verify that you bought the correct shocks before proceeding. Once you verify they are the correct ones, remove the wire and let the shock decompress. You should be able to freely rotate either portion of the shock's body to line up the mounting points. Although, the top mounting point should just be a fixed shaft that is centered perfectly at the top of the shock. The bottom mounting points are the only ones that might require some adjusting.

Keep in mind that when you reinstall the wheel and put the vehicle back on the ground that the shock will be partially compressed again. It won't be maxed out all of the time.

I hope you were just confusing some terminology when you said you removed the control arm. There's no reason to remove the control arm when installing shocks.
 


sjdurb

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Sorry, I meant I replaced the control arm... which really doesn't have any bearing on installing the shocks.. i was just stating it.

I got them in, I jacked up the arm and fit the shocks, i was a bit worried when relieving the pressure off, due to the shock maxing out, but I guess that is normal.
 


the.cats.pajamas

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do you have to jack up the truck to replace the shocks
 


X6StringerX

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You don't need to jack it up to replace the rear ones, but in order to access the front ones with ease, it's best to remove the front wheels. You can remove one front wheel at a time if you don't want to put the vehicle totally on jack stands. I still recommend using something else in addition to the jack to support the side on which you're working. Placing the removed wheel/tire under the front crossmember alongside the jack should be sufficient, but your mileage may vary.
 


the.cats.pajamas

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meh i did it wihtout jacking it , it was simple
 


JHT

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94explorerboy,

How did you compress the Sensatrac’s so they would fit?

BTW, I needed a 10mm on the bottom nut on the top to remove the rear shock.
 

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JHT

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Finally got the Sensatrac's in. Monroe said to lower the suspension as much as possible. I raised the body via a jack on the aftermarket trailer hitch and used another jack to press the shocks in. Difficult, but worth it.

On my front Bilsteins, the shock top has an allen slot rather than a nut to keep it from turning.

Great thread!
 


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