How to Replace Shocks & Struts in a Ford Explorer
This video shows how to complete a suspension job on a 2011 Ford Explorer. We'll install shocks in the rear, and in the front we'll install these Duralast Loaded Strut Assemblies for a faster install and better ride control.
You can do this job at home with hand tools. These are some tools you'll need for the job. The big tool, like the torque wrench, you can borrow from AutoZone for free with the Loan-A-Tool program. You'll also need a good hydraulic jack, some jack stands and wheel chocks. Make sure the car is in park with the parking brake on before starting.
Now let's get started by breaking the lug nuts. Jack up the vehicle from a secure point and place it on jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel. Now we're going to remove this ABS sensor from the bracket. Remove the sway bar link nut using a 21 millimeter wrench and 10 millimeter socket. Now use a jack to support the lower control arm and remove the sway bar link. Remove the lower strut mount bolts and nuts using a 21 millimeter and 24 millimeter. Remove the top four strut mount nuts using a 15 millimeter wrench, and then you can just pull out the strut assembly.
Install the new strut assembly and tighten the top four strut mount nuts. Install the knuckle to the lower strut mount and insert the lower strut bolts and nuts, and then tighten those. Use the jack to insert the sway bar link and nut, and tighten. Install the ABS sensor. Install the wheel. Tighten the lug nuts, jack up the car. Remove the jack stand, and lower the car until the wheel is just touching. Then tighten the lug nuts to torque of 100 ft-lbs. Repeat on the other side, and you're ready to move to the rear.
For the rear, raise the vehicle and remove the wheel using the same procedure as the front, just with the appropriate wheel and support points. Remove the sway bar link nut by using a 17 millimeter and 15 millimeter wrench. Use a jack to support the lower control arm and take the sway bar link away. Remove the lower shock bolt using a 21 millimeter.
Inside the vehicle, you need to remove this plastic cover by using a flat blade to expose the top of the shock. While using a 13 millimeter crow's foot to hold the nut, use an 8 millimeter on the ratchet to remove the nut. Compress the old shock and remove it. Now you also need to remove the bushing and the old shock mounting hardware.
Install the shock hardware on the new shock, and make sure you get the position lined up just the same way. Compress and install the new shock assembly onto the vehicle. Install the lower shock bolt and nut. Back inside the vehicle, you'll need to install the top shock bushing and washer, and then tighten the top shock nut using the crow's foot and ratchet. Install the plastic cover.
Go back to the lower shock bolt and nut, and tighten those. Install the sway bar link and nut, and tighten. Remove the jack from support. Then you'll install the wheel, tighten the lug nuts, then jack up the car, remove the jack stand, and lower the car until the wheel is just touching. Then tighten the lug nuts to torque of 100 ft-lbs. We recommend going for a test drive, checking your alignment and enjoying your new suspension.