Monroe Sensatracs? Or Ranchos? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Monroe Sensatracs? Or Ranchos?


Active Member
September 13, 2002
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
Well when I put my new exhaust on today I noticed that the shock on my X are either the orginal stock ones or REALLY old. Either way they need to be replaced. One even had a small hole from rust. Ive narrowed the choice between Monroe Sensatracs or Rancho's base model. Between the Monroe Sensatrac and the Base Rancho shock which would be the better for road driving, and MILD Off Road (ie bumpy dirt roads)

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What is the cost of the basic Rancho?

I know the sensatracs are like $30


46.00 each but I get a 20% discount where I buy them.
So the sensatracs would be like 31.00 each and the ranchos would be roughly 40.00 each.


Well I have the RS5000s (base model) and love them, most of my driving is on-road with some mild - medium wheeling, I have put them through some decent sized whoop-de-doos at a pretty good speed and they soaked up the bumps with ease.

From what I hear the senseatracks are a great overall shock at a good price, although I love my Ranchos in your situation the senseatracks might be the better option.

Oh and I paid about $150 shipped for all four shocks when they were being run buy 3 get one free.


Rancho's are 36.95 from summit racing. need model RS5185. they fit any X suspension from stock up to 2 inches of lift.

just bought some and going to put them in tuesday or wed.

Edelbrock IAS shocks, can't beat em', they are worth the money. They drastically changed the ride and handling. It rides better than my moms 2000 Mounty. It's firmer, but in a good way, less impact when you hit a bump, all you feel is the thump, nor float or wallow after that unlike Ex's/Mounty's in stock form. And really reduced body lean, very comfy on the highway!

EDIT - never road in a monroe or rancho equiped Explorer off road, not really into offroading, but a friend has a 93' Explorer with Monroe Sensatracs and it doesn't ride as nice as my 94' with the Edelbrocks.

between monroes and ranchos, go rancho

if you are gonna do a little off-roading, I guess between the two, go with Rancho's also, almost everything off-road uses them, and their known for that.

it is a 90% on roader......with only dirt roads as the other 10%

Go Monroe!!!

off topic - morrisey, thanks to you I'm gonna pull out Billy Madison and watch it tonight from reading your sig;) :D . "Come here Mr. Penguin" hahaha, lol!. That movie is a classic.

Abraxis if your on the road the most and can afford it definitley look into Edelbrocks, although I know the Rancho's and Monroes are cheaper. Any-way you go you'll be happy though, it'll be a big improvment over the crappy shocks.

EDIT - "what day is it?" pause..... "Nudy magazine day, Nudy magazine day"!
sorry had to do that:p

Originally posted by morrisey0


u didn't get that from Bill Madison? And you have it in your sig:D

Originally posted by SaleenEXP

u didn't get that from Bill Madison? And you have it in your sig:D

Yes, the sig is from Billy Madison (actually stolen from some guy on another board). The "uh..............October" comes from the part when Billy first asks "what day is it?" Then his friend (Norm MdDonald) replies, "uh......October?"

I think that was the month he said,


I have a 96 explorer and i bought monroe sensatraces about 3 months ago and i love them.

Monroe's really aren't that great, not worth the $$

I hope they're not the factory shocks, they SUCKED on my wife's 98. She killed the factory shocks at 26.5K, both rears were leaking. They also did a crappy job of damping, you won't believe the change with new ones.

Monroe Sens-A-Trac's were thoroughly dead after 40K, kept them on too long, but they were far superior to the factory shocks. Threw them in the dustbin (warranty for wear item?? phew!) and bought interim Gabriel VST's with the intent of getting the MX6's when they came out.

Well, still no MX-6's for Explorer's, but the VST's are doing fine. At about 7K so far they're holding up quite reasonably well, esp. for $20 a piece. They have a better road ride than the Monroe's and they aren't any worse off-road. As for cost-effective, I regret spending $38 a shock for the Monroe's when the Gabriel's seem superior.

I have Ranch RS9000's on my 97 Ranger, they're perfect for how I use my truck, but I just can't see them for my wife's Explorer (we don't haul fridges or firewood in her truck). The RS9000's have the limited adjustable valving to get around the issue the RS500's have, which is "we set them at 3, if they're the right length, they're for your truck." Well, I'd be pissed if I were driving around at #3 with nothing in my truck (too harsh).

By the way, Monroe = Rancho.

Esp. with primarily road use you should look hard at the VST's.

Brian in CA

Hi there, well i know this is an old thread. But over the past month, i've had THREE freakin front shocks on the front. I started off with RANCHO RSX's and they were of a longer than stock sength and seriously rubbed on the cv joint/drive shaft, they were a little harsh on the road, but VERY good off-road, the reflex technology really helped when onthe trials or getting to them.

Then i put on KYB gas-a-justs, which were actully not bad, I mean they are a good company and quality shock, but there were a little harsh on road, which i do 90% of my driving and OK off -road.. I then put extenders on them, adn the ride went to hell, and i bottomed out on the shock all the time...I think they were good, just a little stiff, which combined with a TT, the ride was too harsh for me. Then the stud at the top broke..

Then i went to Senatrac's, I put about an ich of tight fittign washers on it, to help bring the static position of the shock at closer to stock (I think this is important, for any shock, especially shocks like the sensatrac, which adjsut relative to postion, not road condition. Anyways, the are by far the best on the road, even when driving fast/rough over bumps, grass, snow...we'll see how they do off-road.

well i've had my first encounter off-road with the sensatracs, and they fears pretty well, i can't comment on durabilty, but there was not any bouncynes, hitting speed bumps or undulations in the trails were not a problem, i do think that placing an ich of washers to give the shocks an extra inch, helped, as it placed the shock piston in a closer to stock positon. I was am very plseased by the combination of on and off-road performance.