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Afrojoe

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City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
So I plan to replace my front and rear shocks tomorrow along with my rear sway bar end link bushings. I purchased the RS5229 for the front and Monroe 58617 Load Adjuster shocks for the rear. I also purchased Moog Sway Bar End Links for the rear but they sent me two different products
q04kmeE.jpg
(I wanted the blue thermoplastic) so I've returned them and just bought a Duralast bushing set to replace my bushings and reuse the bars. I decided to post my plans tonight in case anyone has any questions or things they want to me to check before and after the replacement. I already planned to measure current fender height compared to post fender height (alot of people buy these to "repair" rear end sag. My rear end isn't particularly saggy I just wanted stiff affordable shocks). But if there's any other questions or concerns you'd like me to check or you think would be nice to address for future searchers, let me know. I do have pictures of the uninstalled shocks.
ozjrouJ.jpg

I guess tomorrow I'll measure them for actual uncompressed and compressed length. Should be a fun project and I'm looking forward to a better ride quality. I'll paint anything worth painting while I'm at it lol and post results after the swap.
 


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Doug_13K

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'07 Ford Explorer Limited
actually i do have a question, to get a better feel for the end result do you have any lift or anything like that? im looking at getting the monroes to take care of my driver side lean and ive got your basic TT and shackle lift with 31s.
 




Afrojoe

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Ringgold, GA
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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
No I'm riding stock height. No twist or shackles yet. I'm gonna ride my 235/75/15s till there's less tread and upgrade tires when I lift her. I'll try to help however I can though. My X is a 1998 XL with the 4.0 OHV and 5r55e, 4wd.
 




96eb96

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96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
I love my rear load levelers. I have it set with a very slight rake, like the pickup trucks. I was considering the front ranchos you got but got an amazing deal on NOS reflex (which are supposed to be similar).

I think load levelers are perfect for older leafs, but if you were to replace the leafs you may want to go softer (like the limited springs). Others may disagree.

I have the ES poly sway bar bushings in the back.
 




Afrojoe

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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Put them on today and installed my new end link bushings. It was pretty easy. I'll update tomorrow after the rear shocks settle a bit. Immediately after my driver side rear fender was 2 inches higher and my passenger side was 1 1/2 inch. Update to come tomorrow. Should be plenty of good info too.
 




UtahX

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City, State
Grand Junction, Colorado
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
I put some Pro Comp ES9000 up front, big mistake. Stick with Rancho.
 




Afrojoe

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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
It's been a few busy days but I did put my shocks on. Rides a good bit different now. It's weird because the weight moves in the middle now rather than just the rear but it's nice. Anyways. It's probably the easiest replacement/upgrade I've ever done. I could have easily done it in a few hours but I wanted to paint some things so it took a bit longer.
f98zuC8.jpg

From white to this. We'll see how the paint holds up. If anything it's extra rust protection. (Also comparison to old shock.)
o5HH7uu.jpg

I wish these came with the metal top portion, that seems a much better option than a rubber boot and won't trap anything in. Overall the Rancho RS5229 measured a 1/4 inch shorter than the stock. I had to use my bottle jack to lift the control arm so I could thread the nut on.
OFRfUtf.jpg

Front installed. Really easy and the only thing you have to take off is the tire and the shock itself. Although the CVs are slightly in the way it's not really a problem.
nuMbVWN.jpg

I really wish I could restore everything in the wheel wells to a nice black or metal color. But I don't want to pressure wash and don't have time to remove and paint everything. Or I would. I also replaced my rear sway bar end link bushings (because amazon sent me the wrong bars.) Removing the end links is also crazy easy and removing the bushings were too. I wouldn't even consider burning them out because that'd be harder. The bushing kit I bought included the bottom bolt and nut hardware. Sooooo I just put the nut on the old bolt and beat it again the drive way and it came out, bushing and all. On the other side I simply pressed it out with a bench vise, a 1 1/4 socket, and a 13/16th socket.
nH2Pi0X.jpg

Painted it Cast Iron, I love this color and its engine enamel so it's good up to 500 degrees. Pressed new bushings in by hand and installed.
89PRedH.jpg

Now for the rear shocks. They were the same exact uncompressed length as the stock ones but would uncompress much faster.
0X4gG4A.jpg

That being said I had to jack up the rear of my X with a cinder block and 4x4 piece of wood for get her high enough to install these because I have no idea how you'd compress them enough to install without jacking it up. In fact my wheels were just about to lift off the ground before I had enough space. I also had to go to the hardware store because the Monroes didn't come with top mounting hardware and I didn't want to beat out and reuse the old stuff (except for the bottom bolt which removes and is easily reusable.) I just bought the correct length and thread and went for Grade 8 because it's better strong than weak. Really a simple job and only requires basic tools and a jack. I'll post measurements in a second shorter post. For those wondering why paint parts no one sees. It's because I like sprucing up and making things look new. I feel like it also shows that I care for and take care of my vehicle. Other things I've painted just because I was replacing them/they were easy to take off and paint
NjxGDlT.jpg

MAF housing.
kFA5ZRC.jpg

Water pump and I painted the noncontact portion of the pulley cast iron.
RKi32OQ.jpg

Painted my valve covers and 4.0 EFI when I changed my valve cover gaskets. If I ever have it down to the block again I'll paint my lower intake and heads too. Any other ideas of what I could paint? Maybe that fan shroud.
 




Afrojoe

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City, State
Ringgold, GA
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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Measurements.
Stock Front Shock uncompressed was 22 inches.
Rancho RS5229 was 21 7/8 inches
Monroe Rear was 26 5/8 inches uncompressed.
Stock rear was also 26 5/8th.

Fender Height Before:
Front Driver: 32 3/8
Front Passenger: 32 7/8
Rear Driver: 31 1/2
Rear Passenger: 32 3/8

Fender Height After:
Front Driver: 32 3/8
Front Passenger: 32 7/8
Rear Driver: 33 1/2. 2 inch gain
Rear Passenger: 34 1/8.

Ql0UfQD.jpg

Rear Installed.
7xLrZEc.jpg

Before Install.
M13i3Au.jpg

After Install. It's barely noticeable to me but I didn't buy these to fix sag anyways. So far they provide a nice ride and I'd recommend them for anyone. Be it casual daily or infrequent offroad. I do think eventually I'll switch to the RS9000s but that's hardly a comparison being so much more per shock. Now to find the next project. Hmmm. New rims. Hellwig sway bar. Custom bumpers or rock sliders. I dunno.
 




UtahX

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2000 Explorer XLT
Looking very good. Another nice upgrade/mod if you decide to change out your rims, the next set, get a little off-set, so the car will be centered better on the road, corners will feel alot different, not like your going to flip over.
 




Afrojoe

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Ringgold, GA
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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
True, and it'll open up room for more width. I've gotta learn how offset is measured do I don't get something tucked further in lol. I'll probably go with a Soft 8 style.
 




96eb96

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96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
Better get a new spare tire, if that is the original Wilderness it is guaranteed to blow at this age. Even a used one that was made in the last 8 or so years would be a better idea.
I love the touch of extra height in the back. Looks like those heavy duty pickups. They are raised in the back so heavy weights don't push the headlights too far up (and of course so it don't sag). I drove about 1800 lbs of stuff in the back for a short distance and it handled very well.

I think they help the ride and lateral stability.

Only concern is they are adding to much spring rate to the back, not sure if that is a good or bad thing. The guy at Monroe gave me a number and it wasn't too large. They are also progressive, meaning at full length they are not too stiff. After a few hundred pounds they stiffen more. I know GM trucks with air assist have lighter springs, and you aren't supposed to install the base model stiffer ones unless you remove the air system.

Do you have cruise control? The 97 looks a bit different from my 96.
 




Afrojoe

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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
I don't have cruise control, air ride, or anything like that on mine. Despite being a 98. Being an XL the only fancy stuff it really has is 4x4 and the 5r55e. It's also got crank windows and manual locks. I think eventually I might go snatch some stuff off an Eddie Bauer. I like the unloaded feel so far but I haven't put any real weight in the rear to try stiffer. I know I need a new spare lol. I'm running 235/75r15 and the spare is a 225/70r15 but I haven't spent the 100 dollars for a new tire for it yet. I'll probably just look and buy a newer used tire. That spare is not only the wrong size but as you might have guessed weather cracked. Still. I've kept it on because I figured it'd be worth a shot if I ever needed. Better than nothing until I get a new one lol.
 




Josh P

Shaggin Wagon
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Nice work! I like clean painted parts on my car.
 




RandomNerd2000

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That spare is likely the replacement for the Wilderness AT recalls, so it's high time it was replaced. What I did for a spare, is when I needed a new rear tire, the old one that was close to slick, but was giving me no issues, I just got that mounted for a spare.
 




Josh P

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I like to rotate the spare when I rotate tires. Then I buy 5 new tires.
 




96eb96

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That spare is likely the replacement for the Wilderness AT recalls, so it's high time it was replaced. What I did for a spare, is when I needed a new rear tire, the old one that was close to slick, but was giving me no issues, I just got that mounted for a spare.
Some spares were not replaced. Mine had a 95 date (would have never used it). Since it was labeled "Temporary Spare" and not a road tire they changed the tires but not the spare.
 




RandomNerd2000

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@96eb96 I have here somewhere, a brand new Wilderness AT from 1999 I took off my 99 when I got it, got a older Goodyear stuck on it for a spare in it's place.
 




Afrojoe

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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Well they movie I could have spent on a spare I spent on a brush guard I'm ready to get this thing mounted on.
http://i.imgur.com/alYtFH5.jpg
I gotta figure out what I'm going to use as brackets to mount it. I wanna make sure the brackets aren't the weakest link of the set up. But I also don't want it to interfere with my tow hooks up front. Thoughts on making brackets? Also I plan to paint it. Flat black? Gloss black? I'm thinking I'll just bedliner it to match my bumpers.
 




Afrojoe

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1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Well I decided today that I can't use the Grill Guard so I'll be selling it and perhaps have custom bumpers made. Or maybe I'll put the money toward a locker or some exhaust work.
 


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toypaseo

Flunked daycare
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outside shovelling snow
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I know I need a new spare lol. I'm running 235/75r15 and the spare is a 225/70r15 but I haven't spent the 100 dollars for a new tire for it yet. I'll probably just look and buy a newer used tire. That spare is not only the wrong size but as you might have guessed weather cracked. Still. I've kept it on because I figured it'd be worth a shot if I ever needed. Better than nothing until I get a new one lol.

At the time of this post, Discount Tire Direct has a 235/75r15 for $67.96. On eBay, as low as $62. I would wonder about the DOT date code on the eBay one (unless the seller could find out), while I figure Discount Tire Direct has high inventory movement so getting a newer DOT date code should not be a problem.
 




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