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Old 03-14-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
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Front Shocks

I have a 1991 E350 SMB and I do believe it is time for some new shocks. Whenever I go over a bump in the road it bounces and bounces. Sometimesaround 5-10 times before smoothing out. The only problem is, what shocks should I get for an older SMB? Should I replace the rear shocks at the same time? How about the springs?
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Front Shocks

Bounce, bounce means your springs are fine. When my springs were flat it would go up and come down hard. Bounce, slam!

You need new shocks, might as well get them all around (you may not feel the back but it's probably time). Don't know which ones to recommend, I've put Rancho 5000s on my truck and Jeep and they're good. The SMB has Rancho 9000s mostly because they are adjustible and it sees more offroad use, but for a 2wd I'd go with something like the 5000s.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: Front Shocks

Would there be any advantage to going with shocks like Bilsteins which I think were the OEM shocks.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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Re: Front Shocks

Long time reader, new poster. I will be posting all of my mods and what I have learned and done to my SMB just as soon as I find the right place to post it to, mostly concerning the suspension setup, as their are lots of discussions on the subject scattered around. I will also post all of the shock numbers for bilstein 5100's that I just put on my van. But, as I have come across this post first, I will start here, so for now... I had Rancho 9000's for a little while, I was not very happy with their performance, I just put on some Bilsteins front and rear with a heavier valving, much better in the short amount of time I drove with them on (just today on the highway and some back roads over potholes). This does not mean that the ranchos are not good, for certain applications they work well, and they do work with the sportsmobiles, but since their valving is universal, I don't think they work as well as a properly valved shock for heavier applications. my .02 I would go with Bilstein 5100's front and rear. That takes care of the shocks, now there is the issue of the stock springs, whole other can o worms. I went with the recommendation of many other posters here, Deaver springs. They are very nice, but $. The stock springs fall very short of being able to deal with the extra load. I will sell you my slightly used Rancho 9000's if you want them, providing they fit. For anyone else reading this, look for my post on suspension mods, as I have information many of you may find interesting/useful. I may try to start a new one or tack it on to the "shocking thread" post. See you there...
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Front Shocks

REF,

I'm interested in what you've done. I'm looking for shocks for my '02 Q.

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Old 03-21-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Front Shocks

Tom, I posted the bilstein shock #'s that I used to the "shocking thread" post. I also did Deaver springs in the rear, Jeff was very helpful and all he needed from me was where I wanted my ride height to be. I had some airbags on at the time that acted as a bandaid to the crappy stock springs, they pretty much leveled the rear of the van with the front, I removed the airbags when the deavers went on, does not seem as though i need them anymore as the van no longer sways with the new spring pack, very nice. The Bilsteins complete the ride quality, I had Ranchos on there, but was not happy with them as they are a universal valving, not up to the task of handling all our extra weight as a properly valved shock can. Hope this helps, and check out my other post for #'s.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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Re: Front Shocks

The only issue is that my van is the older model than all of yours. But I will check out those Bilstein 5100s. How do I know if I am getting a properly valved shock? Will the installer know that or is that something that needs to be considered when ordering them? I was hoping to be able to just purchase them at a parts store and take them to a shop to be installed.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:37 PM   #8
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Re: Front Shocks

The Bilstiens that I installed (part numbers listed in "shocking thread") are off the shelf, meaning they are already properly valved for certain applications vs. a custom valved shock like you can get in the 7100's. However, the bilstien 5100's I installed are the same heavier valving that Bilstien would have valved a custom 7100 had I gone that route. So you or your installer do not need to deal with valving, that would be done by Bilstien anyway. These should fit your van, granted you have the Quigly 4x4 conversion. You could call them to see if they were using the same front end components in 91-93.
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