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Thread: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

  1. #41
    Van Fan RawbSpear's Avatar
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by mistershmi View Post
    What exactly did you have to do to get the Durango shocks to fit? Maybe you could explain the mod? Do you have a part number? I have cranked torsions and the shocks on there now bounce me out of my seat over bumps. One of them appears to be leaking as well. If the Durango front shocks are as good as you say I'd love to do that to my van instead of the Gabriel ones
    if you crank the torsion bars up too high, you get more bounce and they will break.

    Unfortunately the other Van site is dead and that is where i got the part number for the Durango shock replacement. All you have to do once you have the shock is cut off the lower mount. So i bought the 2wd model and cut the lower mount off. looks like the 4wd model has the correct mounting for the Van.

    https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/...0&autoModClar=

    Double check the spec for suspended weight for this shock before purchasing. It has been over 5 years since i did this mod. I dont even have a van anymore; someone stole it and set it on fire.
    At the sirens of humanity we STOMP!

  2. #42
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by RawbSpear View Post
    if you crank the torsion bars up too high, you get more bounce and they will break.

    Unfortunately the other Van site is dead and that is where i got the part number for the Durango shock replacement. All you have to do once you have the shock is cut off the lower mount. So i bought the 2wd model and cut the lower mount off. looks like the 4wd model has the correct mounting for the Van.

    https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/...0&autoModClar=

    Double check the spec for suspended weight for this shock before purchasing. It has been over 5 years since i did this mod. I dont even have a van anymore; someone stole it and set it on fire.

    what kind of monster steals a Van and sets it on fire? that sucks. sorry to hear about it.

    looks like the part number from your tire rack link for the 4WD front shock is 24-185233. i did a quick google search but couldn't find the specs for suspended weight. Maybe i can call and ask bilstein directly....These are the specs i did find from another site:

    Bilstein (24-185233) 4600 Series shock absorber
    Collapsed length (inches): 9.52
    Extended length (inches): 14.49
    Travel (inches): 4.97
    Upper mount: Stem
    Lower mount: Eye 12.1mm

  3. #43
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Any update? Did you install bilstein shocks on the front? I'm interested because I know that they are really good in reducing the bouncing caused by road imperfections.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    i bought them about a month ago but haven't put them in yet - I'm going to be doing the upper and lower ball joints at the same time and theres been a couple other projects i need to get done first. from what I've read they should be a direct fit though - ill post an update once i get them in! hopefully within the next couple weeks!

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Sounds like a good plan. Keep us posted.

  6. #46
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    im in the market for new shocks front and rear, but im a little confused about needing longer travel shocks if i decide i want to jack it up a little....isnt the a-arm still only traveling up or down as far as the bump stops will allow?

    the rear i can understand maybe needing a longer shock. what are people using in the rear?
    Last edited by boogieman; 05-09-2017 at 07:47 PM.

  7. #47
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by boogieman View Post
    isnt the a-arm still only traveling up or down as far as the bump stops will allow?
    You are correct. When I asked this question it was late and I had been reading an article about lifting straight axle trucks. I meant to clarify that in my subsequent post regarding my installation experience but forgot. On that note, I am still pleased with my Gabriel's although they are on my newer van which is not lifted.

  8. #48
    Van Enthusiast LightBlueToy's Avatar
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in the front I don't think you need longer travel shocks if you are just cranking the torsion bars for a little lift.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    LightBlueToy, I think you're right.

    I'm installing the Durango Bilstein shocks in the front right now. Had to use the angle grinder to narrow down the lower mount but that only took about 30 mins of grinding/testing fit till I got it narrow enough to slide into the lower mount.

    Does anyone know the part numbers for the front lower shock mount bolt/washer/nut? mine were rusted and seized so I had to really hit it with the impact wrench. I tried re-using but they were stripped badly on reassembly.

  10. #50
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Thanks for this info, are you saying that the 4wd Bilstein 4600's have the correct mounting for the 4WD Vans and that they don't need any mods?

    Can you recommend upgrades for the rear suspension too, or is there an existing thread you can steer me to?

    I appreciate the help!

    Quote Originally Posted by RawbSpear View Post
    if you crank the torsion bars up too high, you get more bounce and they will break.

    Unfortunately the other Van site is dead and that is where i got the part number for the Durango shock replacement. All you have to do once you have the shock is cut off the lower mount. So i bought the 2wd model and cut the lower mount off. looks like the 4wd model has the correct mounting for the Van.

    https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/...0&autoModClar=

    Double check the spec for suspended weight for this shock before purchasing. It has been over 5 years since i did this mod. I dont even have a van anymore; someone stole it and set it on fire.

  11. #51
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthlin View Post
    Thanks for this info, are you saying that the 4wd Bilstein 4600's have the correct mounting for the 4WD Vans and that they don't need any mods?

    Can you recommend upgrades for the rear suspension too, or is there an existing thread you can steer me to?

    I appreciate the help!
    In the front I used the 4wd Bilstein durango shocks. torsions are cranked as well. Finally installed the shocks about 2 weeks ago. Huge improvement. Rides more like my toyota pickup - a lot less bounce but definitely more stiff and harsh over bumps. Very happy with it overall however. Only thing i had to do was grind down the sleeve on the bottom mount of the shock itself with an angle grinder about half inch on each side. added about 30 mins to the job. very easy to do. hardest part was getting the shock compressed and sliding it in (since i was doing it all myself) but overall was a pretty easy job.

    here is the thread on rear suspension.

    I removed my mr gasket spacers and did the aerostar springs and tacoma Bilstein shocks in the rear thats discussed in that thread. its been awesome so far. much better than spacers. pretty easy job as well. you'll use an angle grinder to remove to top 2 coils. its too long by default. even with the cut coils it takes some work getting it slipped back in. that was the hardest part and i enlisted a neighbors help for that. again, not terribly difficult overall.

    IMHO these are the best lift mods you can easily and cheaply do. Anything beyond this will require fabrication, cutting the front floor pan up, modifying front geometry, etc etc. Gets far more complicated quickly. VanCo is a member on here that did significant modification to fit 31's and its awesome, but way more work than i have the time and ability for


    btw, if you use the search function there are several threads on this topic.

  12. #52
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Some folks have not had success with the Aerostar springs. Do you know The year & Trim model you got your rear springs from.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by coronan View Post
    Some folks have not had success with the Aerostar springs. Do you know The year & Trim model you got your rear springs from.

    I bought new aftermarket aerostar springs, Moog CC845

    i know there are others in the forum that used that Moog spring without issue. Don't know if the van year or 2wd vs 4wd matters but i wouldn't think so. For reference mine is an 87 4x4

    EDIT: a quick search reveals "Ford Aerostar 90-97 L6 4.0L" as the vehicle for this part number. trim level doesn't appear to matter from the compatibility list.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by mistershmi View Post
    In the front I used the 4wd Bilstein durango shocks. torsions are cranked as well. Finally installed the shocks about 2 weeks ago. Huge improvement. Rides more like my toyota pickup - a lot less bounce but definitely more stiff and harsh over bumps. Very happy with it overall however. Only thing i had to do was grind down the sleeve on the bottom mount of the shock itself with an angle grinder about half inch on each side. added about 30 mins to the job. very easy to do. hardest part was getting the shock compressed and sliding it in (since i was doing it all myself) but overall was a pretty easy job.

    here is the thread on rear suspension.

    I removed my mr gasket spacers and did the aerostar springs and tacoma Bilstein shocks in the rear thats discussed in that thread. its been awesome so far. much better than spacers. pretty easy job as well. you'll use an angle grinder to remove to top 2 coils. its too long by default. even with the cut coils it takes some work getting it slipped back in. that was the hardest part and i enlisted a neighbors help for that. again, not terribly difficult overall.

    IMHO these are the best lift mods you can easily and cheaply do. Anything beyond this will require fabrication, cutting the front floor pan up, modifying front geometry, etc etc. Gets far more complicated quickly. VanCo is a member on here that did significant modification to fit 31's and its awesome, but way more work than i have the time and ability for


    btw, if you use the search function there are several threads on this topic.
    Thanks for this! Hoping to do it in the next few weeks and will report back once it's installed.

  15. #55
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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Quote Originally Posted by mistershmi View Post
    ... Rides more like my toyota pickup - a lot less bounce but definitely more stiff and harsh over bumps. Very happy with it overall however...
    Besides the bounce, I feel every tiny little crack and bump in the road right now and the van rattles alot. Are you saying that your Bilsteins setup with the Aerostar springs only minimizes bounce and that it will still have a stiff and harsh feel on the little stuff?

    Thanks again for all your input.

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    Re: Need new front shocks '87 4wd

    Yeah, its still pretty stiff and harsh over bumps, but i honestly dont notice or mind it too much. it feels just like the ride i had in my 1993 toyota pickup. i would have no qualms recommending this setup, especially if you own a 4WD. i love it so far.

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