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How To: Install Your Own Shocks


va2001ss

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02 XLT 4.0
Great post! Just used it as a reference for putting Monroe Reflex's on all 4 corners. The stock set had seen better days. Removing the canister for the driver rear shock removal made access to the upper bolts easy.
 

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dan_ill

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'04 Sport Trac
Sport Trac?

Would this work for the first gen sport trac or am I barking up the wrong tree? and secondly would it make a difference if I did this before or after I did a body lift. sucks being mechanically challenged.:roll:
 


kiwiford

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00 Sport
Just carried out this job using this guide. Easy as, 2 hours flat. the drivers front shock was so worn, that it didnt have any spring left in it at all. I compressed it to take it out of the typre well, and it stayed compressed!

Things feel a LOT better on the road now... Well as good as they can feel on a californian road :O

Thanks for the guide, might have to tackle some of the more complex things that need doing now.
 


87MCProstar

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I am tackling this project at Tue beginning of Tue week and I'm curious to know what size bolts everything is where the originals need to be reused. My mountaineer has 154000 miles on it am I'm afraid of break those bolts due to heavy rust. So I just wanted to pick up spares just I. Case I so I don't have to be strained anywhere.any info would be great, the.ls.
 


BrianDye

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Monroe, MI
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2006 XLT
Great write up:thumbsup:

Ive tackled almost everything up front, besides shocks. Im currently at 146k (00' AWD V8), and the shocks (Along with MANY other parts) are still the stock ones. Theyre honestly not that bad...yet. But they are bad enough to piss me off when im on a bumpy road. I had no clue shocks were so easy to swap out (Judging by the ammount of rust really).

This may be a dumb question, but will new shocks affect the alignment at all?
 


NCTuskie

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Just did my shocks all the way around. Rears about two weeks ago, and fronts the other day. Replaced them with Monroe Sensatracs.

Didn't need to remove the wheels to do the fronts. Its a pain in the butt, to work around the tire, but it can be done.
 


Exploder5.0

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If I put my jack stand on the lower control arm, it wont move when I take the shock out and fall will it?
 


lswootton

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Austin, TX
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2001 Sport Trac
Model Number Question

Hi All,

I'm trying to install some KYB GR-2 shocks and having a bit of trouble. I've been working on the front shocks and when I try to install them they don't seem long enough. I have KY341302 shocks (for the front, not the back obviously) and I want to confirm that these work for my truck (Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2001, 2WD). All the websites I've been to suggest that it does so I suspect I'm just being dense but if anyone knows better I'd appreciate feedback. Thanks!

Edit: Got it, it worked fine when I installed without taking the tires off.
 
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AJ@AutoAnything

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Ranger
new rancho 5000's

All,
just replaced all 4 shocks on my 05' ST and it went pretty easy. Never took any of the tires off (but did have to loosen some parts to get that damn left rear shock @#&@&*#!). Took about 4 hours and the truck rides smoother and corners without as much roll. Definitely worth it! Exhaust and grill guard are next...
 


2001Xsport4wd

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can't be too hard right?

Well, thanks to this thread, and the excellent write up at the beginning, I was able to replace all four shocks on my 2001 Explorer Sport with Monroe Sensa-trac's...37122 in front and 37035 in the back. Most difficult part was removing the original 18MM lower nuts on the rear shocks. They were pretty well rusted and I only had regular straight wrenches and el-cheapo ratchits to do the job with. I used a hammer on the end of the wrench and banged away until the nut moved then did the rest by hand. The upper nut, and lower nuts on the front shocks were a bit sticky as well, but with the help of some PB blaster, a hammer, and some grunting and swearing they came off. Of course, it took me 45 mins to get the spare tire off as well since my truck is missing the original spare tire removal tool and Ford wanted $80 just for the bar. I ended up reaching up from underneath the tire and getting a bolt through the small holes on either side of the horn shaped piece where the regular bar goes in through the hole in the bumper and turns the cable winch. I was able to turn the assembly a quarter turn at a time until the tire was hanging loose enough for me to turn the thing by hand.
I fashioned a bar to turn the spare tire winch so getting it back on was far easier.
Once that beast was off, I had much more room to work and the actual removal, and refit of the new shocks took about 2 hours due to the difficult lower nuts. Once I got the lower nut off and the bolt out, I put them in a bath of PB blaster for about 20 minutes. They were very rusted and corroded. I treated the original nut and bolt with a wire brush, and lots of PB blaster and WD40...I wanted to be able to get the nut back on the bolt with little trouble since you have to reuse the original lower bolt and nut since monroe's don't come with a new one.
I had a bit of a time compressing the rear shocks up into place since I put in the top bolts first...but again, a little elbow greace got the job done. I didn't have to remove that canister dealio from behind the drivers side rear shock, but positioned myself to be able to reach the nuts on the top of the cross member.
Wear a hat and possibly some safety glasses for these ones since dirt and crap falls down on you the second you touch any part of the undercarridge. Unless your truck's underside is squeaky clean, unlike mine!
Another thing I noticed was on the drivers side front shock. The top nut wouldn't tighten all the way down while the front drivers side was jacked up. Once I put the tire back on and dropped the truck back down, the body lowered, the shock compressed and I was able to tighten the top nut all the way. The passenger side didn't have this problem and I was able to tighten the top nut all the way before lowering the truck.

My final advice for anyone who thinks they can't do this job themselves, is that if a totally blind guy, and I do mean that in every sence of the term, can do it, IE me, then anyone can do it.
I've got enough mechanical understanding and know how, that I managed everything by feel and feel compitent about doing other DIY stuff on my X. I don't drive it myself, but I do ride it all the time and like to know what's going on mechanically.
Next project is rear shackles and 4door leaf spring pack.
 


X6StringerX

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I'm happy to see that my write-up is still providing a little insight to those who wish to perform their own maintenance. This forum has been an incredible asset to me throughout my years of Explorer ownership. This write-up is honestly the least that I could do to help pay it forward.
 


OutofDate1980

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'97 AWD 5.0L Explorer
I did replaced my shocks this weekend with Bilsteins all around. Everything went great until it was time to do the 5th stabilizer shock. To get it in, this shock has to be compressed almost all the way in. This takes about 150 lbs of pressure (I'm 200lbs and it took nearly my whole body weight to compress it), so it ain't so easy to do while you're laying on your back under your truck. It's even harder when you are holding the nuts in one hand. I finally figured out that I could use heavy duty zap straps linked together to hold it in place once compressed (you can just tighten them as you compress the shock). This way you can compress the shock, keep it in place, then crawl under the truck and get it in at your leisure. Once I figured this out, I had it installed in 5 minutes. Just cut the zap straps and remove once the shock is installed.

Maybe with other shocks there are easier ways, but this was the simplest solution I could think of.
Had the same problem with the Bilstein lateral shock. I tried your method, but my ties where only rated at 50lbs & would break when I wiggled the shock into the mountings.

I used a bar clamp to compress, then used my ties to hold via the shocks bolt holes, then removed bar clamp and then hooked two large hose clamps around bottom & top of shock to retain compression. Mounted the shock and was able to compress or uncompress shock to align the bolt holes via the hose clamps screws.

Edit: Remove ties after retaining compression with hose clamps. The two hose clamps are connected to each other to make one large hose clamp.
 
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DJM08004

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Hi guys,

Not new to the forums but usually I'm just a watcher/reader, finally made an account though as I have a question. This week I've been working on installing new shocks for my 2000 Explorer Sport. This guide has helped out a ton, especially on the back shocks which I'll be doing in the next few days.

Back shocks were a bit more of a pain than the front but got them done today. On one hand I didn't have to jack it up or take the tires off but the bolts were harder to reach. So glad I found this guide or I would have never been confident enough to take off the black case blocking the top of the driver side back shock.

Thank you again, this guide helped a mechanic newbie out greatly!
 
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tjsxplodr

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Once I get more $, I am going to buy new shocks to fit my 2" lift. Does anyone have any recommendations for brands for 2" over shocks?
 


tjsxplodr

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I'm gonna stay with stock shocks. 1st gens don't have the stabilizer shock right?
 


98ExplSport

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I have used this forum in the past for reference purposes and decided to create a login as well as try this shock project myself. I don't do any sort offroading and only use this vehicle sparingly so I just went with Monroe Sensatracs. I have completed the rears and I am going to tackle the steering stabilizer and fronts this week.

For the fronts, I am going to give it a try by just turning the tire instead of removing it. What i have learned so far and what I will continue to do on the front is generously apply PB Blaster over time. I have a feeling it really helped since my vehicle is over 13 years old and what I moved was original parts. Everything was really rusted.

I wanted to say thanks for this post since I would have never tackled this myself without it.

I will update this after I finish the project.

One last thing. Does anyone know the part number or what I can do for the carbon canister bracket that is by the rear driver side shock? It is in shambles.... I have a feeling if the spare tire wasn't in the thing would just fall out. I am hoping maybe a newer model ford has a matching bracket that is plastic and compatible. Any help is appreciated!
 


tjsxplodr

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1st gens don't have the stabilizer shock right?


Anyone?
 


townmoron

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I joined just to say thanks for this awesome write up! I found this after google searching for replacing shocks and it was clearer than the Haynes manual. I just completed replacing the shocks on my 2000 Explorer Sport, which only took a few hours on a Sunday by myself. Got a good deal on a full set of Gabriel Max Control and so far I'm really happy with them, the difference in the ride is huge over the totally worn out ones I took off. Thanks again!
 


townmoron

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1st gens don't have the stabilizer shock right?


Anyone?
They don't. If you really want to make sure, go to your passenger side and peek behind the rear tire from the front side. If there is a 5th shock, then I'm wrong. :wtf: The first post should give you a pretty good idea of where it would be and what it looks like, and looking is probably a lot faster than waiting for a reply on a forum. But anything 91-01 has stabilizer bars but not the 5th shock.
 

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Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



tjsxplodr

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Where are the stabilizer bars? Ok thanks for the info, will look.
 


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