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How To: Install Your Own Shocks


5.0L V8

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Appreciate all the info man. Don't be surprised if I message you in the future for questions on my Exploder.

Thanks again,
Evan
 


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X6StringerX

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No problem! I don't frequent EF as much as I used to. I've owned 4 Explorers in the past, but I'm currently Explorerless and have been since February.
 




5.0L V8

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Eh, don't feel too bad. I bought my mom's 5.0 off of her back in mid 2011. Been dumping money into it ever since. It's just one thing after another -.-
 




5.0L V8

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So my Monroe matic plus up front appear to be the wrong size. Part # is 32296. These are for my 97' 5.0L AWD right? Do I need to jack up the control arm to fit these. The top post seems like it is not tall enough.
 




X6StringerX

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According to RockAuto, those are the correct shocks for your Explorer. Take a second jack and place it under the lower control arm. Don't raise it so much that it compresses the shock and takes the bulk of the weight of the vehicle. Just raise it enough so that you can snugg the upper nut.
 




5.0L V8

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I did this, it worked out great.
This little project ended up with me down at the E.R needing 4 stiches to the right thumb. The lower front shock mounts are on the underside of the control arm. Apparently, the lower lip of the control arm is VERY sharp. My ratchet had slipped off the nut and my hand went slicing across this razor sharp rim. So i went down, got sewed up, picked me up a 6 pack and finished the Job ! Anyone gotta picture of just how squished the bushing should be? I rented a torque wrench from autozone but the smallest one they had was even to HUGE to get up on the top shock mount. I just tightened them by hand as well as I could. They're squishing but not alot.

And what size is the nut that is welded ON the top of the shock body? On the OEM ones it was a 19mm. The new one on the monroe is niether a 16,17 or 18 mm. I CANNOT find the right size for it, so I couldnt get it REAL tight. How do I know how loose is too loose?

Thanks,

Evan
 




5.0L V8

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....Needless to say I invested in some $29.99 Mechanix Auto gloves.
 




X6StringerX

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Oh, someone should have warned you of the blood sacrifice required when you do any repairs at home, haha. I'm glad you got it fixed. Keep in mind that the torque values I gave you aren't really that much. They're not going to require a significant amount of leverage to achieve. The bushings should be slightly squished so that there is no "air space" on either side. In other words, you wouldn't want to be able to shine a light behind them and see it from the front.

Get her buttoned up and report back as to how much your nose dive while braking has been alleviated.
 




5.0L V8

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Don't understand the whole Nose Dive Method....please explain.
Yeah after not being able to find the right size for the welded nut on top of the shock body, I just used robogrips and my 14mm boxwrench. I tightened to where I could barely feel the robogrip start to slip. But with a 6" boxwrench, dont know just how much torque I applied...here's a video. I can still turn the top of the shock body by hand, barely but enough to turn. Tell me what ya think man.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3sC3C2rYnk&feature=youtu.be
 




X6StringerX

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I would probably try to snug them down a little more. Maybe 1.5-2 turns.

As for the nose dive, replacing your worn out front shocks always helps the front suspension rebound much quicker. You won't feel like your Explorer is about to flip end-over-end in a hard braking situation now. At least, mine always felt that way until I replaced the shocks.
 




5.0L V8

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Oh yeah, overall the ride is very responsive, very OEM feeling. Alright, i'll try and figure out I can use to foul the nut on the shock body. The robogrips kind of munched it a bit. I'm thinking one of the flexible oil filter wrenches to wrap around the shock and keep it form turning while I wrench on top. The nut is in somewhat bad shape.

I should have just stopped last night after my accident, I felt rushed and i just wanted to get it done and go to bed. I'm hoping it didnt cost me a shock. I'll see how much tighter I can get it. So 2-3 turns just to be safe? Possibly a stupid question, but if I have my brother (220lbs) sit on the front while trying to tighten them down, will it make the final last turns a little easier. Since the shocks are compressed a little?

Thanks,
Evan
 




X6StringerX

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Having extra weight won't help in this situation. Honestly, you're probably fine the way you are. I just like to see that mine are compressed for sure. There's probably no need to risk damaging the shock.
 




5.0L V8

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Like, you think a strap wrench could get sinched tight enough around the upper shock body to hold it still as i tighten it to 40ft/lbs or so?
With my right thumb as it is right now, I would need one guy holding the strap wrench and one guy tightening it down it down some more.
 








bb56

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Can anyone describe the ride that they get from the Monroe air shocks? I put them on the rear of my 96 Ex Ltd. After 6 months, they are still pretty stiff and bouncy. I'm not happy with the ride at all. I still have to do the fronts, but am reluctant given the ride from the new rear ones. Anyone have any suggestions?
 




torqlox

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My 96 Limited came with the blue Monroes and it feels all kinds of floaty after a few bumps on the road. I'm thinking Reflex or Sensa-Tracs. Which one would be better for a vehicle that was originally Air Ride and why? Thank you!
 




bb56

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Torqlox,
I'm guessing that the Blue Monroe's were not air equipped. If that's correct, then going back to air ride (ARC) will require all the other ARC parts working: solenoids, pump, height sensors, and ARC computer. Otherwise, you'll have to get an after market air shock system.

bb
 




torqlox

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Torqlox,
I'm guessing that the Blue Monroe's were not air equipped. If that's correct, then going back to air ride (ARC) will require all the other ARC parts working: solenoids, pump, height sensors, and ARC computer. Otherwise, you'll have to get an after market air shock system.

bb
Thanks. Assuming all these things are in proper working order, is it even worth it to go back to ARC? Or would the truck do just fine with the lower stance and some gas-charged shocks? Thanks for your time and input.
 




bb56

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In my opinion, when the original ARC shocks get replaced (with Monroe's like I did) the ride is never the same. I chose the Explorer after driving all the other SUV's and it was the ride that sold me. I believe the only advantage of the ARC now is the extra heght you get in 4WD low (about 2+ inches) which can extract you from a mud or snow bank or get you over something you may never think you can. If you don't have these conditions to contend with then go for the ride quality and forget ARC.
Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

bb ('96 Ex Limited with everything but heated seats ;D)
 


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ecrotzer

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2002 Explorer shocks

This is a great post for a Gen 1. Does anyone have some tips for a Gen 2 Explorer? I've got a 2002 and I need to replace all 4 corners.
Thanks.
Ed
 




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