Originally Posted by KenR
Well I can tell you what NOT to use. I ordered a set of Pro Comp ES1000 shocks for my E350 with 185,000 miles on it. I knew better - these were cheap shocks and they suck. They're really no better than the OEM's they replaced and may actually be a little worse.
I'm waiting for UPS to deliver the Bilsteins I should've bought the first time. I've had good experience with the brand in other applications so I hope these will be the ticket.
Here are the Bilstein part numbers I ordered:
33-176840 (don't remember which are front or rear)
I'm also adding a steering stabilizer (24-174534 plus brackets from Ford) as I've read that makes a big difference as well.
Following up on my previous post in this thread about shocks...
I installed the Bilstein's and they made a tremendous difference in the way my van handles. No more dive under braking or wallowing around in turns. In fact the steering and brakes feel much more responsive - I mean dramatically. It no longer bottoms out on the bumps it used to.
I also did the steering stabilizer mod which uses the OEM brackets from an E350 dual wheel chassis (google: ford van steering for details), along with a new Bilstein damper. This mod didn't have as dramatic effect as the shocks but it was still noticeable. The van tends to stay much straighter in its lane and doesn't wander so much. I had just had new tie rod ends and an alignment so I know the steering parts are tight.
Anyway, two worthwhile mods for E series vans - probably the best ones I've done to mine anyway, and makes driving the beast much more enjoyable.