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How to: Lower your explorer (pics)

hydroxy

I like to fiddle...
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ok I needed a garage to lower my ex, so boominXplorer was kind enough to offer up his place. I dont think there has ever been a writeup on lowering w/ lotsa pics about installing the blocks (Billions of TT threads, so I'll leave that part out). Here are pics. Ignore the crappy paint job of the sway bar.

Whole thing took chris (boomin) and I ~3 hours. I have a limited explorer, so I have the Air Ride Control (ARC) shocks. I'll post a thread soon about controlling the ARC system... but anyways... Here is how you install the blocks. I used 2" blocks from BlackBox's explorer.


1. take wheels off (not necessary, but highly recommended).
2. jack up the rear end by the diff and put some stands on the FRAME as shown here. Then let down the jack to let the suspension have full sag.


3. Take off the nuts on the U-Bolts. Then take the U-Bolts off, and move the shock mounts away from the leaf springs... IMPORTANT!!!!! on the passenger side, there is a metal bracket attached to the shock mount that holds the brake line. YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS OFF.




4. Now you should be looking at this.




5. Now that the rear axle is free, you need to jack the rear diff back up and put a stand HERE to make sure that the rear diff doesn't move.


6. Put the blocks on. The hard part is lining up the little bump. but make sure that it is lined up. Then lower the axle back onto the blocks.

Here I am reaching for the light in the middle of the photo op... whoops.



7. I took a wire brush to the bottom shock mounts, and then I put a coat of rustoleum on them where it hits the leaf springs... not necessary but I figured I had 'em off so I might as well do it.



8. Put the new U-Bolts on... put them right on the marks left by the old u-bolts. Getting them to line up w/ the shock mounts will take a little hammering and some elbow grease... a 2nd person is usually helpful at this point.


9. Tighten it up as far as you can. We even used a pipe for some more torque. There are a billion and one threads, so each turn moves it up only like 1/16 an inch (think about when you're tightening) you NEED DEEP SOCKETED tools to do this... otherwise it wont work.




Check the u-bolts in 100 miles to make sure everything is tight. There are tons of threads on lowering/raising the front via TT. Only suggestion I have for this, is to make a mark on the bolt and line it up w/ something so that you can lower each side the exact same number of turns. Once you have twisted it down a bit, push down on the front end to lower it down.

Here is the final product (had to put these in :D )

Before (look at gap in front wheel well):


After:

 
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Ak LTD Xplorer

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kinda sloppy with the red spray paint ah?

nice write up!!
 

mhn3773

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thats a great write up...before when i saw your truck i thought it was in an accident because the front seemed whiter then the back..but in daylight everything matchs 100% looks really really nice now =) and u might want to do some touch ups on the red bits =)
 

hydroxy

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like I said in the beginning IGNORE THE CRAPPY SWAY BAR PAINT JOB :confused:

I was just doing it quickly when I did it (you can't notice how bad it is unless you get close). I was planning on painting my whole underbody, but I think weather conditions will prevent me from doing it during my xmas break.

isn't this thread suppose to be about lowering blocks? :D
 

OC_Explorer

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I normally dont like the look of lowered X's but yours looks good. Nice job
 

jimbo74

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great write up... but did a blind guy paint the calipers and the swaybar? you didnt even mask anything, just like point and spray......
 

hydroxy

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Originally posted by jimabena74
great write up... but did a blind guy paint the calipers and the swaybar? you didnt even mask anything, just like point and spray......
ha... no a lazy person did. And I did mask *some* things...

I'm going to go over everything this summer when I paint the whole underbody. I didn't care that much what everything looked like up close when I painted it... I just wanted it to be visibile from behind.
 

FXplorer

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How did you get the front end lowered with just adding blocks to the rear?
 

huskyfan23

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FXplorer said:
How did you get the front end lowered with just adding blocks to the rear?
Torsion Twist.
 

2001ExpSport

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Those rims look sooooo much better than Cobra R's....nice!
 

EBInterceptor

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It's much easier to put line the u-bolts up with the lower shock plate if you actually remove the lower bolt from the shock. Just my thoughts about that write-up.
 

gcap

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After you lower you explorer like this, how does it handle? I am looking to make my 98 xlt's handling tighter. Its got about 110k on it and I have seen 2 packages that sound like they make a good combo so far. One is 400 or so, bucks for the upgraded rear swaybar and lowering blocks with edlebrock shocks from Explorer Express and the other is 400 for a front end kit from Performance Suspension Technology with all polyurethane bushings, ball joints etc... Before I blow the cash does anyone have any input. I drive mostly on asphalt but hit some dirt, gravel roads occasionally.
 

hydroxy

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It handles great. I had a friend w/ a 2000 mustang driving with me one time and he said my explorer had less side-to-side sway then his mustang. Have to watch out for pot-holes though, as you can bottom out over big ones. Your offroading capabilities will be that of a car, so if you plan on going offroad, dont lower it. Gravel and dirt roads should be alright though.
 

gcap

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Thanks.. I will see what I can do this weekend. I think I will go with the poly bushings also.
 

hydroxy

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Just thought that I'd put a little comment about lowering your explorer....

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121121

If my explorer hadn't been lowered, odds are the bumper would have hit his bumper directly and not dived under it. That probably would have saved my car from being totalled. Granted, I was at max braking so my front end would have been pushed down anyways, but since it was lowered - I think it went down a bit much.

Think about that when you're lowering it. I will certainly lower my cars in the future, however not nearly as much as my explorer was lowered. If I do buy it back, I will most certainly raise it up atleast 1" - wheel gap be damned.

my $.02
 

warriorti

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Your X looks great. How long did the alignment take after the drop? How much did it cost? Did you have to shim the front end?
 

BauerOnDubs

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Had me fooled, I thought they were red "racing parts".
 
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blk2000sport

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I see how the back is lowered, I am wondering how you did the front and if you had to have an allignment after you were done with the lowering?
 

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