Suspension Issues or Something Else? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Suspension Issues or Something Else?


New Member
November 4, 2011
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OK, my first thread. My '97 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD, 4.0l, SOHC is driving me crazy. I've changed the front shocks, front sway bar links, rear shocks, rear bushings on the stabilizer bar and replaced the rear sway bar links. However, when I go over a pothole or manhole cover or anything that is not smooth in the road, the vehicle sounds like it wants to fall apart and I know that's not normal. Any suggestions for a smoother ride? Thanks.

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What type & size tires are you using?

Are your control arms flat across or raised or lowered any?

welcome to the site

Would bet odds on the lower or upper control arm ball joints, or bushings.
Lift each wheel off the ground by the lower control arms, and inspect. GL

I went on the advice that it may be the control arms. I purchased upper control arms for both the right and driver's side. I changed the right side control arm and the ride is much better. The right side has the bracket type control arm. However, the one on the left is the arm type control arm and I can't seem to get the bolt off (1 of the bolts (the right side bolt) that attaches the control arm to the frame. It's a ***** removing and I was wondering if anyone has come across this problem and if they can give me a tip on getting that bolt off. I first thought that it was installed on the wrong side by the manufacturer. It seems as though there is not enough room for the bolt to pull out. This is really frustrating as I started last night (here in Germany) outside my garage and wasn't able to finish. Need advice ASAP!!! Thanks.