I have a 1998 Explorer Eddie Bauer with the Air Ride Control system.
The shocks are shot (102k mi on them and it wallows at highway speed).
Since I am in the Chicago area I have many dealers nearby and called
the closest 6 of them. They all say they can replace the shocks with
the same dual rate electrically operated ones for about $1500. When I
search the internet for these shocks I come up dry. The closest thing
I find is at Shockwarehouse.com for non electrical conversion shocks
for over $400 a set.
Here are my questions for the experts here:
Shockwarehouse lists these under 98 Explorer with ARC but has no
listings under 98 Eddie Bauer Explorer with ARC. Is the EB ARC
different from the non-EB ARC?
If I go with the replacements, what do I do with the unused electrical
connectors, cut them off? short them together? Will the air spring
function be affected? some computer need reprogramming?
Whichever way I go with this it will not be cheap and I don't want to
screw anything up.
Any dealer techs out there with advice?
I have a 1997 Explorer Limited with ARC. In the highway it likes to
wallow like a sick whale and the tires bounce about like basketballs
on a concrete playground. But as I am in the Philipines where Ford
only sells Explorers with non-ARC suspensions, I was up the creek. It
was either changing over or playing roulette with the replacement
shocks--and the information as to their suitability is very skimpy.
Yesterday, I decided that I would go conventional. I used Nitrocharger
shocks from an Australian Copany called Old Man Emu. The front torsion
bars were tweaked for increased torsion and ride about an inch higher.
At the back, the leaf springs were replaced with a set from ARB using
the OE eye bushes. The OE was too soft and was making the new shocks
work too much. The ARBs were rate-matched to the Nitrochargers.
You just turn off the ARC system by tripping that switch inside that
compartment where the jack and tyre wrench is kept and you're off.
What a difference! From cushy and wallowing with maybe 40% control, I
now have an SUV that you can confidently toss around on mountan roads.
Not quite rally car performance but it feels like it is begging for
better tyres and larger diameter wheels. Hmm, perhaps 265-55 x 19...
Anyone out there with an experience doing this?