Notices
1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

269k mile on the OEM shocks

 
  #1  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:50 PM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Elder User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 543
wirelessengineer is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
269k mile on the OEM shocks

Not too bad. Replaced the front shocks today. I'm the 2nd owner, and it had 16k on it when I bought it from the federal gummit. It was a fleet vehicle that got auctioned. I'm pretty sure they hadn't replaced the shocks with only 16k miles on it.

They were still basically functional, too, but the rubber bushing on the lower end was shot and it was rattling.

I'll do the rears in a few weeks. If I get half the life out of the new ones, I suspect this will be my only set to replace.
 
  #2  
Old 03-12-2019, 09:40 PM
econo93
econo93 is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Tucson
Posts: 68
econo93 is starting off with a positive reputation.
Which brand/model shocks are you going with?
 
  #3  
Old 03-13-2019, 06:48 AM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Elder User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 543
wirelessengineer is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
I'm just going with NAPA's "Gas Grande Fleet", which they say is one up from their OEM grade. I did a short trip yesterday on them, and they seem very good. With 269k on a stock 12 passenger beast that's only driven around town, I don't think I need some $200+ gas adjustable shocks. That might feed my ego, but it won't really provide any benefits other than bragging rights.
 
  #4  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:11 PM
EagleFreek's Avatar
EagleFreek
EagleFreek is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Fayetteville, TN
Posts: 348
EagleFreek is starting off with a positive reputation.
I replaced mine last year on my 2000 E350 and they also appeared to be OEM and still somewhat functional. I think I installed Gabriels and they are abolutely shot after 50k miles. I'm going with Billsteins.
 
  #5  
Old 03-13-2019, 11:11 PM
econo93
econo93 is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Tucson
Posts: 68
econo93 is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by EagleFreek View Post
I think I installed Gabriels and they are abolutely shot after 50k miles. I'm going with Billsteins.
My van has just 122K on it and the PO had put Gabriels on the front. They didn't look too old but I went ahead and replaced them with KYB Gas-Ajust. There's definitely an improvement, especially reducing 'wallowing' in turns.

The rears are original and very rusted. They look like much more of a pain to replace, so I may take it to a shop.
 
  #6  
Old 03-14-2019, 06:44 AM
JWA's Avatar
JWA
JWA is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 11,272
JWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputation
Shocks are typically good for about 50K miles---once past that they're at best just holding the space for a new set.

If you've already replaced the front shocks Econo93 the rears are quite a bit easier especially if you remove the spare tire. Accessing the upper bolt studs from behind the cross member with a SawzAll or similar cutter makes this go quite a bit faster. Good advice is loosen but don't completely remove the bottom bolt while cutting the tops away---they wiggle around that way.

One good test for shocks is watch the front end while driving and you hit a speed bump or some similar hump in the road. Of course the shocks will compress when the wheel travels upward but the rebound needs to "bounce" just once before the shocks dampen the motion. Any more than one rebound bounce and the shocks are due for replacement.

Shocks are fairly important not only for safer handling and stopping but they help eliminate excessive coil and leaf spring wear----I'd rather replace shocks occasionally than entire suspension springs.

BTW I use Blistein despite their cost----handling etc is far more important to me than a few dollars. Usually that's about $370 for a set of their heavier duty "motorhome" versions.
 
  #7  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:36 AM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Elder User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 543
wirelessengineer is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Originally Posted by econo93 View Post
The rears are original and very rusted. They look like much more of a pain to replace, so I may take it to a shop.
The rears are a piece of cake compared to the fronts. The upper end is much more accessible. Get a good penetrating oil on the threads, a squirt every day until you replace the shocks. Too many people think they can just give it a spray and then start wrenching. Penetrating oil needs time to work.

And by the way, WD-40 is right next door to USELESS as a penetrating oil.

 
  #8  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:29 AM
JWA's Avatar
JWA
JWA is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 11,272
JWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputation
Originally Posted by wirelessengineer View Post
The rears are a piece of cake compared to the fronts.
And by the way, WD-40 is right next door to USELESS as a penetrating oil.
Very true on both counts!

WD-40 was never meant to be a penetrate fluid. Its great for its designed purpose but removing rusty fasteners is not one of those. At minimum PB Blaster is readily available, relatively cheap and works fine over time.

Since shocks are typically a PITA to do a few steps taken during installation makes the job "easier" next time out.

When shopping for new shocks look for those with a wrench flat or hex-shaped shoulder on the upper stud that sits just under the frame mount like this:


Of course Bilstein's are a monotube design which is just one more reason I use them. Since they include that wrench fitting removing the upper nut no matter how long they've been on a vehicle.

Another step I use is applying anti-seize on the stud threads to exclude moisture around the threads. If following this routine there's no real need to use any sort of penetrating oil in advance of renewing shocks.

While I'm a fan and user of Bilstein I'm sure there are many less expensive shock brands with similar features so it's definitely worth shopping around to find a construction that allows "easy" removal.
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:01 AM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Elder User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 543
wirelessengineer is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
That nut at the top is important. Many shocks (including the ones I bought) have a very thin nut there, and you can't get a standard open-end wrench on them - it's too thick. I had to buy a cheapo and grind down the sides to make it fit.
 
  #10  
Old 03-16-2019, 05:06 AM
JWA's Avatar
JWA
JWA is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 11,272
JWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputationJWA has a superb reputation
Originally Posted by wirelessengineer View Post
That nut at the top is important. Many shocks (including the ones I bought) have a very thin nut there, and you can't get a standard open-end wrench on them - it's too thick. I had to buy a cheapo and grind down the sides to make it fit.
That's true too----I can fit a bit fat Snap On open end wrench on mine without any hassles.
 
  #11  
Old 03-22-2019, 12:33 AM
BigJC
BigJC is offline
New User
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 14
BigJC is starting off with a positive reputation.
Changed the OEM shocks on a 2011 150 I bought recently at around 111k. I was a little taken aback at how much of a pain in the *** it was comparatively. Took me about 45 min per, tire off to back on. Unlike most I found the rear more difficult. Maybe if I had a longer wrench and longer sawzall blade, dunno. The fronts I sawed off and socket'd back on no problem. The rear was articulating ratchet wrench on & off. Not a lot of clearance.

Whent with bilsteins and paid about $80 per shock delivered to my door. Don't have much to compare to other than the 112k OEM but HUGE improvement in body roll, pitch, and brake squat...like night and day. Negative bumbs and dips are just different, especially when only one wheel. I'd say positive square edge bumps not much difference unfortunately. My hope was improvement for washboard on dirt roads etc. but haven't been on any yet.

*I'd also say the front seems to drive a bit "light" since the new shocks. Maybe I should've used a heavier duty rear shock?

Also I used a cheapo strap wrench to hold the rears when I wrenched them off. Infact I found it easier to hold the top nut wrench stationary and ratchet the whole shock via the strap wrench.
 
  #12  
Old 03-22-2019, 07:31 AM
wirelessengineer
wirelessengineer is offline
Elder User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 543
wirelessengineer is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
I thought about using a strap wrench on the fronts, but the shield on the top was plastic. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to work!
 
  #13  
Old 04-30-2019, 09:30 PM
coolfeet's Avatar
coolfeet
coolfeet is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,127
coolfeet is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Great thread on shocks. I removed the front driver side OEM shock on my new used E350 van. Like JWA said, the shocks were just occupying space and were completely useless. My son placed a Kobalt pass-through 15 mm socket on the upper nut with an 18 mm open end wrench underneath and we were able to remove the shock in about 30 minutes. The upper shock stud on my 2004 E350 not as tall as the 1998 van and I was able to slip a deep socket through a hole right above the shock. See the video below that I posted on Youtube in 2016 on how to easily
I removed the front passenger side shock in 20 minutes using the Kobalt pass-through socket.

I have a diesel E350 van that I am selling and I am contemplating removing the Bilsteins with 30,000 on that van and put them on my 98 E350 rather than purchase new ones. The other concern removing the Bilsteins may take considerable more time than installation because the springs are so strong!

After driving 30,000 on Bilsteins, it's hard to go back to "Sponge Bob" OEM shocks.
 
  #14  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:56 AM
Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford is offline
New User
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 24
Jim_Rockford is starting off with a positive reputation.
I just replaced the OEM fronts on my 98 E350, with 372k on them, like another used posted the lower bushing where beat out of them and you couldn't hardly get them compressed after you removed them, and then they wouldn't rebound, they were shot.

 
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.