Re: Soften the impact of bumps?
An '88. I'd check all the bushings in the suspension, front and back. Old rotted bushings will keep your suspension from moving just like a worn out shock. Look at the ball joints that connect your steering linkage to the spindles for slop. Worn wheel bearings can feel like a suspension problem too.
'04 3.0 xlt: thrown rod = dead.
Planned mods: 5.0 swap (got the donor already, it's nardly), 4/5 suspension drop(DONE), traction bars, 8.8swap, 3.55's w/LS . Auto to Manual conversion. Lots more in the works.