Convert trac to caddy

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caddytrac

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New guy here...
I had to give my car to my 16 year old daughter so I went out and bought a 2001 2wd sports trac. The seats are far more comfortable than my car but the ride, not so much.
What suspension parts can I put on that will greatly improve comfort? So I could replace the shocks, but what type would I install to get the best ride? The same could beasked for all the suspension parts.

And advise would help. This is my daily car and project car.

Thanks
 

blert

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Shocks?... probably Monroe OE Spectrum. Won't last as long as better shocks but they are soft.

Check the body mounts. If they need replacing you will probably want to go with the original Ford foam bushings (B & C positions) as the poly bushings add a good amount rigidity. They won't last long but are squishy-ish.

New sway bar/link bushings all around.

Tires will be a contributing factor also. You won't want a truck tire. Your tire guy should be able to help you pick an appropriate set.
 

caddytrac

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I will get them today. Thanks.

My tires say they should be 255/70R16, you see any reason i can change them to 235/70R16? The tire OD are the same (30.1 to 29.9) The 255 are all terrain and the 235 i would like to get are highway.

Thoughts??
 

blert

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There are way smarter, more informed, people than me on this forum. You may want to wait for some more input (some days this place is fire, others it's like a ghost town).
Other than that, I see no reason you can't go with that tire. It will change your final drive and effect your speedometer. In my case, I went from 235s to 255s and it actually corrected my speedometer.
 

swshawaii

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255/70-16 tire size is calibrated for 4:10 rear axles. 235/70-16 for 3:73 gearing. Larger diameter will work fine, but read 60 MPH when actual speed is 62.3 MPH. (Use Tire Comparison and see Speedometer Error)

as @blert mentioned, many things contribute to ride quality and handling. If you are riding on OEM shocks and over 50,000 miles they are way overdue for replacement. I've been using Monroe OE Spectrum (formerly Sensatrac) shocks for years and are comfortable riding but not designed for performance handling. What shocks are installed now?

Tires affect ride quality a great deal. Highway or touring passenger (P rated) tires will "usually" ride much softer than all terrain (LT rated) tires. Also, tire pressure makes a big difference. Unless you're heavily loaded I would run no higher pressure than 32 PSI to soften the ride.

Body mounts are a tough one. Almost all 2001-05 Sport Tracs have issues with the "A" and "B" pillar FOAM body mounts dry rotting. Problem with OEM Ford replacements is they are discontinued and stupid expensive when you find new old stock (NOS) on eBay. Prothane 6116 or Daystar KF04015 polyurethane kits are good aftermarket replacements but after I recently replaced my A and B pillar mounts found them to be considerably firmer riding. Dorman offers rubber mounts complete with metal shells but they are more expensive.

@caddytrac
Post more details about your truck and any suspension work that has been done.
 
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caddytrac

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I just bought this vehicle 1 week ago so there is limited information. I was told one shock was replaced ( because the others were still good) LOL. BLERT mentioned the Monroe shocks and I priced them at $61.99 each. With all the things I need I'm putting together a list and it's cost.
As far as the body mounts I checked them today and the one in the front and the one in the back look good. The two in the middle are not there LOL... I did a little hunting today and found prothane ones but didn't have the hardware. The rubber with hardware is what I would like to find. Is there a way to just replace the middle ones and leave the end ones alone? Almost looks on utube like you might as well do all four on each side. Thoughts?
 

blert

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Usually won't need the body mount hardware. It's pretty tough stuff and will probably clean up nicely if the truck didn't come from the rust belt. Give them a good inspection before ordering parts though, just in case. Fore and aft locations on mine were fine, I changed them anyway because, why not. It's already up in the air and I wasn't going to leave 20 year old bushings in when I have new ones sitting in the kit.

They only changed one shock? Yeeashhh! The things folks will do.
Monroe OE Spectrum at rockauto are 30.99 fronts and 33.89 rears. Here's a code for 5% off...
178806486162832038
...put it in the "where did you here about us" spot.

How many miles on it?
 
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EddieS'04

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What suspension parts can I put on that will greatly improve comfort?
One thing to remember. It is a sport truck. Rear leaf springs and front Torsion Bars. That is a big issue despite softer shocks. Too soft of a shock you may not like the braking nose dives and hard leans in fast curves. Upgraded anti sway-bars are non existent now-days.
 

caddytrac

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Blert, thanks for the shock info and the code. The truck has 139K on it and doesn't seem to like it was well maintained. I did find out today that it has a new radiator in it, I noticed what looked like oil in the radiator and overflow. Took it to a mechanic who said it was residual stop leak, there must have been a radiator leak and they tried to stop it with stop leak. It didn't work so they changed the radiator. I keep checking the oil and trans fluid and so far there isn't any water in it. I will have to flush all the junk out of the engine and heater core. Right now the plan is to keep mostly water in radiator and drain every few day. Is there a better way to do it?
 

DILLARD000

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Disconnect hoses at firewall & flush heater core foreward+backward with garden hose,
then reconnect hoses backwards from what they were before.
After you've a satisfactory coolant system flush with 100% Deionized\Distilled water,
can use low pressure air <20psi to blow most water out of system,
then fill with a premium 50/50 antifreeze
MotorCraft# VC-7DIL or Zerex#zxg05ru1 or Peak#pkpb53\10x
that has lubricants & rust inhibitors & no 2EHA.
More info at Engine Coolant
 
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blert

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Disconnect hoses at firewall & flush heater core ...
I found it easier to disconnect the short hoses at the other end. Gives you a little bit to work with so you can direct the flush to a catch pan and an easier reach with the garden hose. Plus, I didn't want to take the chance of damaging the heater core inlet/outlet. I think it is aluminum so, easily borked up.

Check ShockWarehouse also. They are little more expensive but don't charge shipping. You might get them for a bit less.
 

swshawaii

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caddytrac

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I found it easier to disconnect the short hoses at the other end. Gives you a little bit to work with so you can direct the flush to a catch pan and an easier reach with the garden hose. Plus, I didn't want to take the chance of damaging the heater core inlet/outlet. I think it is aluminum so, easily borked up.

Check ShockWarehouse also. They are little more expensive but don't charge shipping. You might get them for a bit less.
Thanks, My son said he can get me all new hoses that are braided, so I just cut the heater hoses and then put a coupling in for now.
 

caddytrac

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@caddytrac

Your local NAPA store probably has Monroe 37177 (RWD) shocks in stock. Benefit buying locally is if you need to exchange for warranty and saving on shipping. Check their 20% off "bucket" sale and you may be close to RockAuto's price when you factor in shipping. BTW, I've been riding on these shocks for over 40,000 miles and love them for comfort.
I was hunting pricing of shocks and this popped up, never seen this before.
 

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swshawaii

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Home Depot "entered" the auto parts business years ago. Most vehicle specific parts are shipped to store or home. Regardless of where you buy shocks, it's important the seller is an authorized dealer for warranty or exchange. Good luck.
 

Larry Holmes

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One thing to remember. It is a sport truck. Rear leaf springs and front Torsion Bars. That is a big issue despite softer shocks. Too soft of a shock you may not like the braking nose dives and hard leans in fast curves. Upgraded anti sway-bars are non existent now-days.
Wish I had bought the beefy sway bar when it was still available from the custom parts offerings of 10 years ago. I put 265/70R16 Dueler Alenza All Season Lux SUV tires on after a swaybar lift key provided the clearance but now I have to back off speed on the curves to avoid the hard lean.
 

Larry Holmes

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New guy here...
I had to give my car to my 16 year old daughter so I went out and bought a 2001 2wd sports trac. The seats are far more comfortable than my car but the ride, not so much.
What suspension parts can I put on that will greatly improve comfort? So I could replace the shocks, but what type would I install to get the best ride? The same could beasked for all the suspension parts.

And advise would help. This is my daily car and project car.

Thanks
You can get a superb ride with new shoes from Bridgstone albeit increased leaning on curves. I just installed

DUELER H/L ALENZA PLUS 265/70R16 112T OWL ALL SEASON LUXURY SUV although the 255’s would suit your 2WD better. After running AT tires for the last 100K miles the difference in the ride is night and day. Rated at 80K miles, I expect it to be the last set of tires I’ll have to by since I am already pushing 160K.​

 

swshawaii

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Wish I had bought the beefy sway bar when it was still available from the custom parts offerings of 10 years ago. I put 265/70R16 Dueler Alenza All Season Lux SUV tires on after a swaybar lift key provided the clearance but now I have to back off speed on the curves to avoid the hard lean.
IIRC, someone on here or EF ordered a Hellwig 7648 from SD Truck Springs. Said they were made to order and could take a couple months. Used Explorer Express "X-Spec" 1-1/8" rear sway bars are extremely scarce. I've been looking for years to replace my Addco 633 I currently have installed. IMO, upgrading the stock undersized 19mm (3/4") rear sway bar was by far the best handling and safety upgrade I've ever done next to tires and shocks. However, if you have a lifted suspension, rear sway bars limit articulation when off road.

May want to contact SDTS if interested.
 

caddytrac

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OK, so now that I had a few weeks of driving my 2001 (6/2000) sports trac with 139K I am finding all kinds of small problems. Presently I am working on the cruise control that doesn't work. I replaced the buttons on the steering wheel (horn works) I replaced the deactivation switch on the master cylinder. I followed the direction to put the vehicle in self diagnostics and all the buttons work, it says the brake position sensor is bad. But, the brake lights work and the electrical print only shows one switch inside the sensor.
Kinda stuck as to where to look now, any thoughts??

Thanks
 

blert

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Sorry, can't help you here, I've never had an issue with mine. I can say that first thing I would do is find the brake position sensor, disconnect it, and clean the connectors. Maybe also lube the mechanical bits, if it has any, and dielectric grease on the connector bits.

When you replaced the switch on the master cylinder did you make sure to use the updated switch that doesn't catch fire? I think the new one is a black switch. Or at least have the fusible link installed. It was recalled years ago for spontaneously frying itself (even if the truck isn't running).

Welcome to owing a 20 year old truck that uses a bunch of electronics. We are asking a lot of these old girls. Get yourself a OBD2 scanner, it will save you a crap ton in the long run. Search FORScan and get one of their recommended adaptors.
 
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