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Replacement shocks - seeking input

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Old 01-16-2018, 06:10 AM
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yellercat yellercat is offline
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Replacement shocks - seeking input

1995 F-150 XL new to me I-6
Truck around 80k miles and good shape other than shocks are worn slap out.
Primarily for farm use, which around here means slow rolling over fields and wood trails. Short distance towing and hauling primarily on the ranch. Not interested in altering height and would like to have durability and protection for those drops into unexpected holes. The array of choices defuddles.
What type should I choose, and are there good upgrades from stock that may be longer lasting or more durable?
Appreciate your advice on selection and experience with specific type and brands! Thank you.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:05 PM
barnym17 barnym17 is offline
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For what you want parts store cheapies will work fine, high dollar shocks really do better at higher speeds.Not just road speed but also in situations where the suspension is working fast like rutted roads at normal driving speeds.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:16 PM
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I agree with barnym17, you shouldn't need an expensive shock. Something like the Monroe Reflex or Gabriel G force should be a decent shock for a decent price, and still an upgrade over factory.

I personally like Bilsteins, but they are pricey. They do last, though.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:56 PM
mark1986F150 mark1986F150 is offline
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I used Monroe Gas-matics (about $25 each) without issues. No complaints.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:44 PM
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Super deal. Thats just the kind of feedback that i had hoped for. Will check those out and maybe replace my tie rod ends if they are worn.
Thanks for the thoughts on the subject.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:45 PM
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Monroe Gas Magnum (yellow) are probably the best inexpensive shock you can get. I have them currently and am not displeased. We've had them on a few trucks. I prefer them to Rancho.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:29 AM
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Will get the truck on a rack this weekend for a thorough inspection and got to thinking that maybe a full front suspension redo might be in order at 82000 miles. I've done full rebuilds on MG(s), down to bushings. What is likely to recondition the front of this ford? Likely ball joints, what other pieces to fully recondition? What about suggested bushing replacements?
(Have used poly on the cars)

Other question occurs is CAN you raise a minimal amount, say an inch or two at most WITHOUT changing the steering geometry? And, if so, will i pick up that much in the suspension travel?? If springs and shocks will get this done, might well consider doing it after all.

Appreciate your thoughts on the extra work!
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:10 AM
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New shocks might raise it up 1-2'', depending on how worn out yours currently are.
I had a 94 with the oem shocks on it at around 100k. They were essentially useless at that point, and calling them worn out would be generous. Put new shocks on and I got about 2 inches of lift over where it was sitting.


Not sure where you're located, but I would check your radius arm bushings and radius arms. They seem to like to deteriorate around here...
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellercat View Post
Will get the truck on a rack this weekend for a thorough inspection and got to thinking that maybe a full front suspension redo might be in order at 82000 miles. I've done full rebuilds on MG(s), down to bushings. What is likely to recondition the front of this ford? Likely ball joints, what other pieces to fully recondition? What about suggested bushing replacements?
(Have used poly on the cars)

Other question occurs is CAN you raise a minimal amount, say an inch or two at most WITHOUT changing the steering geometry? And, if so, will i pick up that much in the suspension travel?? If springs and shocks will get this done, might well consider doing it after all.

Appreciate your thoughts on the extra work!
One thing that is likely are the radius arm bushings, that is the one place I really like urethane. I'd just go over everything with a 2' pry bar & just see how much play there is. As to raising it, you can likely get by with longer / stronger springs, someone will likely post the part numbers. For my part, unless you are having clearance issues, you may be causing more problems, the twin I-beam travels in an arc, so pushing the wheel down would change the camber. Good lineup guys who understand the TIB are getting rare.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:49 AM
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Previous owner mentioned a fender bender up front and there is a distinctive clunk there on uneven surfaces, so will look at the hard parts too. Was thinking the shocks are dropping but there's probably more wear. Will look all the bushings over, thanks for the radius arms note guys. Ball joints should be due would think, never done them before. Its likely settled enough like you mentioned to get the stance right with stock replacement. I'll measure before and after all four corners!
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:04 AM
mark1986F150 mark1986F150 is offline
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I rebuilt my front suspension last summer. Here's my parts list. MY TRUCK IS RWD.

Ball joint (lower) -- Moog K8431T (x2)
Ball joint (upper) -- Moog K8361 (x2)
I-beam pivot bushing -- Moog K8672 (x2, for 1/2" bolt setup)
Radius arm bushing -- Moog K8361 (kit includes both sides)
Radius arm heat shield -- Moog 8729 (passenger side only)
Coil spring -- Moog CC822 (sold in pairs, slightly raised front end)
Shock absorber -- Monroe Gasmatic LT 59505 (x2)
Outer wheel bearing -- National A12 (x2)
Inner wheel bearing -- National A13 (x2)
Wheel seal -- Centric 41765000 (x2)

I rented a ball joint press from Autozone to make life easier. I also used Harbor Freight 99849 ball joint seperator when a pickle fork / air hammer couldn't separate the driver's side ball joint. The Harbor Freight tool was like $20 and it worked GREAT.

Most of the project was fairly easy except removing the nut holding the coil spring to the I-beam. Clean bolt threads as much as possible. I used a jackstand to hold the I-beam / radius arm up when installing. This let's you push enough thread through the radius arm bracket to get the nut started. Also you don't need a coil spring compressor.

The I-beam pivot bushings will be a pain unless you are using polyurethane bushings. The Moog ones that I used required me to remove the metal sleeve through the hole. I used a 12-ton press for that process. Poly bushings (I think) only require you to remove the rubber inside of the bushing -- the metal sleeve stays in place. If you don't use poly bushings you have to stake the new bushings into the I-beam (use a punch to bend the sleeve over the hole in the I-beam so it can't work itself loose).

Edit: also if you do all that, you should probably get it aligned.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:57 AM
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Mark, man I owe you! This is just the information I needed. My
truck is also RWD and a 96' so will double check the numbers. Appreciate the work notes too. Will have a lift available but will need to rent the separator tool, thanks. Did you source local or use online vendor? Any recommendation there?
Curious what your miles were at rebuild?
Appreciate your time in relaying this info for our use, great post!
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:02 AM
mark1986F150 mark1986F150 is offline
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I got almost everything from RockAuto.

Shocks I got at Advanced because I had a $25 coupon from buying a battery. I also got I-beam pivot bushings at Advanced because I ordered the wrong size from RockAuto and didn't want to wait on shipping (the part number I provided is the right size).

Mileage was about 297,000 (I bought at 292,000). The driver's side ball joints appeared to be factory!

Edit: Just to clarify, my truck is a 1995. I used to have an '86... which was the basis for my handle.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:30 AM
arse_sidewards arse_sidewards is offline
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Between Amazon, eBay and Rockauto you should be able to find a pair of nice Motorcraft shocks for an 80+ F or E-series with beams and coils for like $20-$40 shipped. Same goes for the rear. Shocks for any given application tend to vary by up to 1/2" or so between manufactures so exact dimensions aren't necessary.

If the bolt sizes aren't right then re-use the sleeves and bolts from your old shocks or get out the drill.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:45 AM
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Super, thats the same year.
May try Rock Auto, been awhile since i've used them.
Even tho my miles are much less, thinking that age has taken some toll on the suspension. Will be funto see and feel the difference in the ride. Curiously, my ride home from the purchase, about 70 miles, the truck did well on the highway, no wandering or pulling to the side, tracked straight. Just when i hit the field at even a low speed the symptoms appeared. And since thats where it will be used , its going to get fixed!
Thanks again, Mark!
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