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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2007, 09:46 PM
rmoritz1 rmoritz1 is offline
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97 Ford Explorer Rear Suspension Sag

My '97 Explorer with 90k miles, has rear suspension sag, especially when loaded down with stuff in the back, and towing our pop-up. I have seen air bags, and Timbren rubber springs, and seen some postings of add a leafs and new springs. What has worked best for everyone? Has anyone tried Timbren springs, and how did they work?
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:18 AM
Bear River Bear River is offline
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Bear River has a very good reputation on FTE.Bear River has a very good reputation on FTE.Bear River has a very good reputation on FTE.Bear River has a very good reputation on FTE.
I have Airlift air rides on My Aerostar, and the results were great. They also take some of the load off the springs. They add additional stability, and they can be adjusted for varying load conditions.
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:08 AM
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Typical sag.

I have a set of "Airlift Ride Control" on my 97 Expl, carry lots of gear and tow flatdeck trailer, made all the difference in the ride and handling.

http://www.airliftcompany.com/online_catalog.html
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:32 AM
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My 0.02 is that you can fix this with an airbag as mentioned, however the spring is weak. I would replace the springs and then if you felt you wanted future control and ability add the airbags. But that is just my 0.02. A lot of people here have reported very diffferent costs in having springs done. In my case I was able to get both done for less than the dealer wanted for one. I went to a spring shop that handles all of the large vehicles here in Rochester (and I do mean almost all of them, from firetrucks to big rigs to SUVs like mine).
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:32 PM
Bear River Bear River is offline
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That is a very good suggestion, the springs probably are weak, and if you add air bags to weak spring the result is a rougher ride. I would replace the springs first. Consider getting a cargo spring. They ride like a passenger spring when unloaded, and they stiffen up as weight is added.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:57 PM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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I agree with whoever said about replacing the springs - that's all you need to do, if you are not really planning on towing anything of real weight (under 1K lbs)

they make "add a leaf" kits that basically replace the spacers between the spring that is there now, and the top of the u-joint... I think you can add 3 on each side if need be, but the ride would be really stiff then. - springs are not cheap, at least the good ones
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaman67

they make "add a leaf" kits that basically replace the spacers between the spring that is there now, and the top of the u-joint... I think you can add 3 on each side if need be, but the ride would be really stiff then. - springs are not cheap, at least the good ones
An add-a-leaf is another leaf spring that is added to the spring pack to give it additional ride height, and has nothing to do with the u-joint. My'97 sags also, and I plan to use an add-a-leaf in the rear and crank the front torsion bars a bit.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:24 PM
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my bad! - I meant to say U BOLT :-) - there is a set for each side of the springs... nothing to do with the u-joint at all - sorry :-)

RE: front torsion bars - I would not go more than 1 inch on both sides, or you will really notice the ride change... I did this, and the truck almost would bounce, if you went too fast over like RR tracks :-)
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:39 PM
rmoritz1 rmoritz1 is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep them coming if you have more.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaman67

RE: front torsion bars - I would not go more than 1 inch on both sides, or you will really notice the ride change... I did this, and the truck almost would bounce, if you went too fast over like RR tracks :-)
Thanks for the tip. I really want the add-a-leafs in the rear, but I fear that they will make the back sit way too high.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:56 PM
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I really prefer the air lifts instead of the springs, the ride is much smoother, and adjustable for changing loads.

Run with 30psi in the 97, and increase as the load changes (maintain level attitude).

Have the extra steel in my 92 truck , it rides rough when lightly loaded.

But!... each to it own....
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:12 PM
mediaman67 mediaman67 is offline
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I never tried the air route, I was always afraid that they'd fail, but I guess the good ones don't - I don't tow that much anymore, so I just drive with steel :-)

I know that when the air stuff first came out, they would be prone to leaks, etc... so I guess now they are rock solid? I think the older units would get moisture in there, and rust, etc or corrode, etc...

hey Aqua - does your son still drive his truck with the steel seal working? - just curious.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaman67
I know that when the air stuff first came out, they would be prone to leaks, etc... so I guess now they are rock solid? I think the older units would get moisture in there, and rust, etc or corrode, etc... .
Nothing to rust in the "AirLift systems" been using it for 5 yrs now, no problems.

Some folks ran them with no air, causing the bellows to pinch (bad news), min is 10psi, I run mine @ 30psi min, that runs me level with the front cranked up on the torsion bars.

[QUOTE=mediaman67]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaman67
hey Aqua - does your son still drive his truck with the steel seal working? - just curious.
Yes, It is still rolling with 465,000 km, haven't opened her up yet, no further leaks.

Last edited by aquanaut20; 10-31-2007 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:09 PM
 
 
 
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