Need to get new suspension, have some questions

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Sp33dealer, May 8, 2009.

  1. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    I'm driving a '99 Ford Explorer. Have 117k miles on it. My ride has become very rough and I think I'm due to replace the suspension. Before I roll up to a mechanic, I want to make sure I get what I want. I'm guessing that the struts and shocks both must be replaced. How much should I expect to pay for the parts and labor? Thanks in advance
     
  2. James May

    James May OT Supporter

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    you only have shocks on that vehicle. Get a set of bilsteins for a nice ride, don't pay more than $300. shocks are ridiculously easy to install, you could do it in your driveway in about an hour with basic hand tools.
     
  3. element4all

    element4all Active Member

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    might want to have your ball joints checked too with that many miles on it.
     
  4. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    Thanks for the advice, just ordered a complete set of Bilstein's for $258
     
  5. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    Went to a shop nearby to get a quote for installation (I don't have a jack or spring compressor). The mechanic refused the job because I was providing the parts, he said there was too much gray area :ugh: For Christ's sake, they're brand fucking new!
     
  6. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

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    yeah, most shops wont do work with parts other than their own. unless you go there all the time and are friends with them, or they are a small mom/pop shop. insurance liabilities and other things will prevent most of these shops from doing what you want.

    my .02, find a friend w/ a jack, buy some beer, rent a spring compressor from your local auto parts store and go to town.
     
  7. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

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    oh....and they're just shocks right? that should be easy as hell. I don't think you would even need a spring compressor.
     
  8. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    You dont need a spring compressor IIRC. At maximum negative travel the spring is at 0 compression on that suspension IIRC.

    Edit: http://www.desertrides.com/reference/98ranger_camburg_kit.php

    Complete tear down with pics. You can remove the spindles with out removing the rotors. In fact, I dont think you even need to remove the spindles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  9. Vermincelli

    Vermincelli Banned

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    GET OFF MY LAWN!
    It's getting pretty ridiculous what shops refuse to do nowadays due to their lawyers and insurance.

    I had to have a hub air chiseled loose on my Blazer because the threads were rusted. Something that's commonplace on older 4x4s and a very simple procedure that takes all of about 10 seconds to break it loose. Every shop in town refused to do it because it was considered "non standard" work now.

    Luckily I found a new Brakeway shop that just opened that's run by some kid who has no problems doing shit for me.
     
  10. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    I was going to take my lower A arms off of my truck (Mazda B series) when I replaced my ball joints and have a shop press them in. The only place in town that would do it was a machine shop that wanted as much as it cost to rent a basic press. :ugh2:

    Luckily my neighbor had a U joint press that worked to get them started. After that I just used a jack and the weight of the truck with a little influence from a hammer to get them in. Luckily/unluckily the OEM upper control arms from Ford do not have replaceable ball joints. $100 extra in parts but a bit less work/hassle.
     
  11. Vermincelli

    Vermincelli Banned

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    Around here there is a growing trend where friends will get together and rent out industrial spaces or old garages just for their own stuff. All the places that have lifts or existing air lines for compressors are long gone. I've walked into probably a dozen "shops" thinking "oh cool! a new 4x4 shop" only to find out it's just a bunch of buds using it for their own toys.


    I'm probably going to have to upgrade my compressor here and blow the money on more tools just for my own simple shit.
     
  12. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    Unfortunately I don't know of anyone who owns a jack, and I don't really have any room at my place to do the job, had I known that shops wouldn't do the job with my parts, I probably just would have gone to the shop in the first place
     
  13. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    You don't need any spring compressors. Just unscrew the bolts holding the old shocks on, and put the new ones on. Takes about an hour for all four.
     
  14. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    It's a good time to buy one. The ability to do anything but a complete engine tear down and jobs that require one off tools will save you thousands in the long run.

    Seriously, you can buy a decent tool set for the cost of labor on one job many times.

    I understand that you may not have a garage, but a small 2 ton jack can just chill in the back of your vehicle. It'll make changing a flat 1000 times easier than using the stock POS screw jack.
     
  15. ldaggerl

    ldaggerl New Member

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    I do work on my vehicles in my yard, soft grass and muddy when its wet out. Get a jack its like $30 for a set from autozone or what not. Get a jack and some jack stands. Jack it up and unbolt it. Your still going to pay less than going to shop and now you can start to do a few cheaper things on your car than you would normally do. Oil changes, rotate your tires, ect.
     
  16. Nolimit26927

    Nolimit26927 High Class White Trash OT Supporter

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    I'm lucky that my buddy knows someone around town who has a shop and is known locally for building some bad ass 4x4s. If I need anything I call him
     
  17. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    Alright, so I had the Bilsteins installed about a month ago. The ride was amazing after installed :bowdown:, but since then has sort of degraded. It feels like I almost have the same blown shocks that I did before now, is there any chance that my springs became weak from the previous shocks and have now affected my new Bilsteins? There's a HUGE difference between how it felt when I drove away after the install and now...I understand that they probably had to be broken in, but the change seems too vast :dunno:
     
  18. Sp33dealer

    Sp33dealer OT Supporter

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    My friend suggested that I probably need new leaf springs :dunno:
     
  19. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

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    try to add a leaf or some helper springs to see if that helps out your ride.
     
  20. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    add-a-leaf only makes it ride even worse.
     
  21. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

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    if by stiffer you mean worse...then yes. it sounds like his leaf springs may be worn and have lost some of their rigidity. I would assume that by adding a helper leaf, it would add some stiffness to his ride (which may or may not be exactly what he is looking for). however, considering he had said he has 'blown shocks' again, it sounds like his shocks are overcompensating for his leaves, overcycling, getting hotter, and losing their performance.

    just my two cents, but a helper spring may work!
     
  22. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    I would not waste the money on helper springs. Drop by the junkyard and grab some springs off a different truck.
     
  23. Bugalu

    Bugalu OT Supporter

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    how is the ride "degraded"?

    rough?

    bounces a lot?

    tell us!
     

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