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Monroe Load-Adjust or Air Shocks for rear?

Cranmaro99

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2001 Explorer 5.0 AWD
I have the Rear ARC air suspension on my 2001 5.0 Limited.

I need to replace the rear shocks since as of 120,000 miles later they are toast.

I am getting Bilsteins shocks up front and the 5th shock will be a Bilstein as well.

Should I replace the rear air shocks with those Monroe Air shock replacements or ditch the whole air system all together and get the Monroe load leveling shocks (the ones with the coil-springs)?

I ask because I like simple mechanical parts, but I do tow a lot and the rear sag without air in the shocks, so I need one or the other for replacements (I'm assuming)?

Thanks all.
 


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delexploder

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I run the coil overs and swear by them. I too like simple mechanical parts and air shocks can leave you stranded if they leak while towing. Jmo. The coil overs are stiff and help alot with sagging rear and the rocking that these trucks tend to do. I first used them about 20 years ago to replace air shocks on a duster and have been putting them all my solid axle vehicles since.
 




01STrunner

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2001 SAS'd Sport Trac
I've had the air shocks for almost 3 years. I've filled the bed of my ST with rock, cinder block and towed many heavy loads with large tongue weights. Ive never had a problem with leaking or anything. Also they were awesome offroad when I was stock to get a couple extra inches of clearance.
 




dcdyd

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My 98 EB used to sag about 1 inch at the rear. I reaplce the OEM with Monroe load leveling shocks about 18 months ago. The sag disappeared and it is still running strong now. BY the way, my EB doesn't have air suspension.
 




Cranmaro99

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Thanks for the information guys. I was just second guessing the load leveling Monroe coil over springs as someone posted on this forum that they, too, towed a lot like myself, and after 6 months of using the coil over shocks it started sagging again. He went back to air shocks and it was fine.
 




sportblack99

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I don't personally have than but at the farm I work on we have them on a 1/2 ton dodge flat bed. Hauls mostly hay everyday. Loaded top to bottom, front to back, side to side. They've been on there for a few years and have had no problems, no sagging. I'd run them if I needed them
 




Exploder919

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I have the Monroe load adjusting shocks on my Ex, I love them. Even after about 4000 miles on them, they're just right. However, I only tow light loads, with ease of course
 




Sogsnakebite

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i run the coil overs and tow a lot very happy with them and no sag


shocks.jpg
 




Cranmaro99

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I'm so torn, haha.

Seems like either direction I go I will be happy. If I get the Monroe air shock replacements, the only thing is that the pump/solenoids/hoses/etc can still fail afterwards leading to more hassle.

I'm more leaning towards those monroe coil spring shocks I guess as of now.
 




01STrunner

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If you're worried about the pump, etc you could do what I did and just run the supply lines to a regular schrader valve stem and fill the shocks with an external pump. And they never really lose air.
 




Cranmaro99

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If you're worried about the pump, etc you could do what I did and just run the supply lines to a regular schrader valve stem and fill the shocks with an external pump. And they never really lose air.

That's true, but I'm honestly looking for the most cost effective solution here. I have a lot of other "investments" that take priority over the Explorer, even though I take very good care of it.
 




01STrunner

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I completely understand that. I agree either way you'll be really happy with the shocks.
 




Cranmaro99

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I hear you. I may just go with the load adjusts.
 




corkey

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Elite Canuck,multiple ifs offender,, and musky maniac,, i wheel and i fish,,
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 xls,96 xl,91,08 Ranger
i run them shocks with the springs too, and tow a bunch of different things, and have nothing but good to say so far,,
when i am hooked up to my bass boat it doesn't squat at all now, and rides smooth,,

just remember that strengthening the upper mount is a good idea,, i did, as it is not really made to support the whole weight of the back of the Explorer,
i just used some square tubing to make mine stronger,
 




SoNic67

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The main issue with coilover shocks is that the ride will be harsher when run unloaded, than the air suspension. They are not even progressive (that would alleviate some of the harshness).
The shock itself is 'Sensa-Trac' technology. Personally I was dissapointed by them they where to "soggy" on curves, leaning too much, not controlling the body enough for my driving style. So I replaced them with monotubes (like Bilstein, only I use KYB).

And yes, you have to look at the mounts to see if they will support the extra 500lbs of force.
 




Cranmaro99

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The main issue with coilover shocks is that the ride will be harsher when run unloaded, than the air suspension. They are not even progressive (that would alleviate some of the harshness).
The shock itself is 'Sensa-Trac' technology. Personally I was dissapointed by them they where to "soggy" on curves, leaning too much, not controlling the body enough for my driving style. So I replaced them with monotubes (like Bilstein, only I use KYB).

And yes, you have to look at the mounts to see if they will support the extra 500lbs of force.

I see.

Well here's the deal; My rear sags, and considering the leaf springs are softer on the rear ARC designed Explorers, I know if I dont replace the rear shocks with either one of these suggestions itll sag way too much (even when not towing).

I know I should get new leaf springs and do it the right way, but I'm not going to spend that money on this car.

So I'll be getting Bilsteins in the front. Would monroe air shocks be better suited for a balanced handling Explorer? Sonic, you're not the only one saying the load adjusts were soggy in turns.

However, I dont mind a harsher ride in the rear if need be.
 




Sogsnakebite

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to be totaly honest they firmed up my ride without being harsh and i find them excellent in curves way more planted less lean running an 03 Sport leaf pack and Ranchos up front huge improvement over the Bilsteins i had before
 




corkey

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my ride with them is not harsh, it's plush,,
 


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SoNic67

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I said harsher that it could be with the original ARC system! If you didn't experience the ride with a functional ARC...
Now, for the sogginess of the Monroe Sensa-Trac (with PSD) in curves and braking - that is my experience comparing the Sensa-Trac with KYB Gas-A-Just monotubes on my vehicle.
FYY, Monroe introduced coil-over shocks in '59, PSD in '91, variable valving (Reflex line, after they bought Rancho) in '99, monotube Reflex in 2005: http://www.monroe.com/about-monroe/Monroe-History
Don't you think they did that evolution for improvement sake?
 




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