Improve my on pavement ride.


red2003xlt

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Hello All,

Help me improve my on pavement ride. I'm the original owner of a 2003 XLT 2wd LWB Std Cab.

I'm got 75,000 miles (not kidding) . Unfortunately to age and my misspent youth I'm headed for a back surgery.

How can get a better ride for money that makes sense? I'm thinking 1st a set of edge 2003 2wd wheels and tires (a fatter tire ought to ride better). What about springs and shocks? Aside for replacing the front ball joints my Ranger is completely stock.

Thanks in advance.
 


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Die.Fledermaus

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A truck is going to ride like a truck.
Car tires would help, tall sidewalls no low profiles. LT's or anything with a load range and/or maximum inflation is also bad.

Oddly hauling 25% to 50% of recommended maximum load at all times would make for a nicer ride.

Reducing the spring rate would be the more complicated method and would effect the ability to be a truck.
 

1996xlt

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New shocks? If your truck is bone stock as you say the shocks (even at 75k) are probably worn out.
 

pjtoledo

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pay attention to tire and wheel weight, the lighter the better. 70 or 75 series tires for a taller sidewall. touring tires, not LT. no heavy duty shocks or sway bars.
make sure the shocks are correct length, about 1/2 compressed at ride height with you in the truck. if the shocks are near the top or bottom then the whole truck has to move when you hit a bump.
coils or torsion bars up front?
if coils, look up specs for Crown Vic springs, you may be able to soften them up a bit.
try some play sand for ballast. I usually run 6-50lb bags in the winter for traction, smoothes the ride noticeably.
 

RonD

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Tires are first on the list for ride quality
High Air pressure means less deflection when you hit a bump, so that is passed on to the suspension and then passengers.
So lower air pressure will make for better ride.

Shocks prevent suspension(springs) from continuing to bounce after hitting a bump.
But they can also prevent springs from compressing as much to absorb bumps
Shocks work with oil and small holes and valves.
When a bump is hit the shock is compressed, the size of the hole(s) the oil can travel though decides how fast it can be compressed, and there are "stages" of holes that get smaller and smaller, so the more the shock is compressed the hard it should be to compress, i.e. the bigger the bump the more resistance of the shock.
Just an example here not designing a shock, lol.

So for better ride you want shocks that are easier to compress on small bumps, not "stiff" shocks that many trucks have, and still get harder to compress the more they are compressed.
The "softer" shocks will allow more bounce back, i.e. handles like a boat, but it is the trade off for softer ride.

Yes as said above, the rear suspension on a 1/2 ton pickup truck has to be setup for 1,000lbs of weight in the bed so empty the springs will be "stiff", adding weight to the bed is the free option, although MPG is effected.
Using "softer" springs with overload spring is an option, the stiff overload spring isn't touching the frame(not used) until enough weight is added to the bed

A pickup truck will ride like a pickup truck that's its place in the market, people don't buy a pickup truck for handling or ride quality within reason, lol, so they are not designed and don't come from the factory with those qualities.

But you also can't haul a 1/2 ton of gravel in a Cadillac/Lincoln town car easily :)
 
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red2003xlt

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Thanks

Thanks for all the input.

I'm going to start with wheels and tires.

I'm trying to find a set of Ford alloy wheels from a same year Explorer 15 X 7
And then go with P234/75 R15 car tires.

Maybe a set of softer shocks? Suggestions?

I need to redo the drivers seat too.
 

red2003xlt

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Thanks for all the input.

I'm going to start with wheels and tires.

I'm trying to find a set of Ford alloy wheels from a same year Explorer 15 X 7
And then go with P234/75 R15 car tires.

Maybe a set of softer shocks? Suggestions?

I need to redo the drivers seat too.
I started with a set of BFGoodrich - Long Trail T/A Tour. Way better than I thought.

Suggestion for shocks?
 

gordo

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Beck & Arnley sway bar links - HUGE help

I have a 2008, 2.3L RWD Extended cab. I replaced the stock sway bar links with MOOG heavy duty all steel links. They rusted solid in three years (Maine winters and road salt). The ride before the MOOGs was harsh but with them it was teeth rattling over frost heaves, pot holes, etc. A lot of guys have recommended disconnecting the sway bar links altogether - so I tried that and the truck drove fine and rode much better...but in real windy highway driving or passing "semis" at 70 MPH, I felt an uncomfortable stability difference. So, I got new Beck & Arnley rubber encased links at RockAuto and now find that the truck rides as smooth as with the sway bar disconnected but is very stable in all highway conditions.

I'll never go back to the way it was before using these sway bar links!!! :icon_hornsup:
 


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