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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks, first time poster but plenty of experience with kids and used car repairs! I'm pretty handy in the garage, but I've never tackled springs or struts. The only suspension part I've had to replace on the kid's Taurus is a stabilizer bar and that was a snap. My Wife just took it in for new tires and they told her the rear springs were broken. They quoted her $800 for repairs. Of course I googled it and it appears it's an epidemic! It's an '01 Sedan.

Can this be safely done with relative ease in the driveway? If so is there something I should be soaking with penetrating oil? I am "assuming" these have been broke for a while and is it safe for her to drive around town until I can get the repairs done?

Thanks
Leatherneck
 

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Shop manual shows how it's done. You will need an external spring compressor. You have to take out the back seat and package tray to get at the upper strut mounting bolts. Do this after you remove the nut on the trailing strut, brake line retainer and pinch bolt on the strut itself. Pinch bolt, trailing arm nut, brake line retainer and stabilizer bar links (take off both sides) will require penetrating oil in your case unless it looks like this underneath (pic is of my 91 LX):

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Will buying the Monroe or Gabriel all in one kit make the job easier?

 

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Greetings leatherneck and first let me thank you for your service to our great country! There are lots of great threads about rear struts and the dreaded broken springs on here, so many in fact that you could spend days reading it all. I would recommend at least doing a search and checking out a few threads just to give you some background.

I've always done as much mechanical work myself as I can but I am no expert. I just recently replaced the springs and struts in my '00 Taurus and I've just got a few comments then I'm sure others will offer more advice also.
- It's definately do-able for you to do that if you're a little mechanically inclined.
- You will save a lot of money and you can easily justify any additional tools you might have to pick up.
- Do it as soon as you can, broken springs can destroy a tire at the wrong time.
- You can remind your wife often how much money you saved :D
- Get a can of PB Blaster at Wallmart and start soaking those dreaded pinch bolts. A lot of people will also recommend a better home-brew mix of 50/50 ATF and acetone that is supposed to be the best penetrating mixture.
- If you live in the rust belt assume the pinch bolts will break and you'll have to drill them out. If they don't break you can crack a beer and celebrate! I was able to get mine out after a lot of PB Blaster, patience, long breaker bar and elbow grease but I still drilled out the threads and used a 7/16 grade 8 bolt instead of replacing the pinch bolts.
- Don't try to replace just the springs and reuse the struts. The struts are probably due for replacement anyway. Moog and Monroe offer 'quick-struts' that come with the springs already installed and all you have to do is swap them out.
- This is a good time to also check the rear brakes (drum or disk) to make sure they are okay.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Wife just got home and I took a look. I guess I can see where the springs are broke near the bottom of where they are sitting. The car has 129k and Lord knows how long they have been broken? I'll take a look around the forum and get as much guidance as I can.

Thanks for the warm welcome. :)
 

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My advice: don't use Monroe struts, as a handfull of members have had nothing but trouble with them, including myself (on another vehicle). I would go with Gabrial ready-mount struts (pre-loaded with new springs), haven't heard any complants on those brand. I see you live in the NE, so corrosion could be an issue, so also buy plenty of WD-40 to spray around rusted bolts. Check the topic finder on the rear struts, it could be a good father/son project for a sat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tip. I am actually from the Midwest and just changed it in my profile. Seems like I am joining a new car forum every other month as my Daughters have been through about 5 cars in the last year. :(

The Taurus has been a mixed bag of emotions and now this. Sounds like I can tackle it though and I pray I don't snap any bolts!
 

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Thanks for the tip. I am actually from the Midwest and just changed it in my profile. Seems like I am joining a new car forum every other month as my Daughters have been through about 5 cars in the last year. :(

The Taurus has been a mixed bag of emotions and now this. Sounds like I can tackle it though and I pray I don't snap any bolts!
The broken springs issue only occurs in the rust belt, due to road salt during the winters. It had to do with the coating Ford used on the springs, and it's not just a Taurus issue, it also happend on the Escorts from that era, starting from the 90's. Also, some members who live in the rust belt had issues with the springs rusting on the Monroe Quick Struts, within the first year! I'm happy I don't live where they salt the roads, as I would hate to work on something with rusted bolts. All older cars have their own issues, but at least you don't have car payments!

If you decide to tackle this job yourself, pay attention to the rear shelf area, as it too is prone to corrosion. When your in there to replace the rear struts, you should buy a few cans of undercoating to spray down that problem area (check the topic finder on that issue).
 

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I would recommend Monroe Quick struts and the new rear pinch-bolts AK49 I think is the part number. I have not had a problem with the quick struts on my 01 Sable, however I did not chose this option for my 97 Taurus. I am using brand new Monroe Sensatrac struts with Eibach lowering springs (which is not for everyone, trust me). The quick struts give the car more of a 4x4 stance, but overall the ride quality is there.

This is a pretty easy operation to take on and will save you a lot of money in the long run. It is very recommended that you should have an air compressor to make the job faster though, and I was blessed to have one while working in the driveway. The job was done fairly quickly (with the exception of the snapped rear bolt on the sable which took me 3 days to rectify). The Taurus rear was done within 2 hours from start to finish.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just ordered a couple Gabriel Readymount assemblies from Amazon. I don't know how they can offer the same part# as others for 1/2 the price and free S&H but I'll take it! I would like to fix them this weekend but I'll tell the Daughter to stay off the highway and limit her driving. I would not doubt that they have been broke for a good while so hopefully they won't explode and ruin the new tires before the parts get here.
 

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Okay, I too am new here, My problem is also the rear struts and springs. Both shot. I have the Monroes home now. Okay, how the heck do you get to the top screws????I realize you have to pull back the rear deck to access them but HOW!!!!!!!!! I see you can't get to them through the trunk and the back seat only folds down partially. I don't want to rip the fabric or tear anything...I tried looking for step by step photos everywhere but can't find any. I really think installing them after getting to the 3 screws will be fairly simple but getting to the screws are the toughest point..All the bottom screws have been soaking in Blaster to help loosen them
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, I too am new here, My problem is also the rear struts and springs. Both shot. I have the Monroes home now. Okay, how the heck do you get to the top screws????I realize you have to pull back the rear deck to access them but HOW!!!!!!!!! I see you can't get to them through the trunk and the back seat only folds down partially. I don't want to rip the fabric or tear anything...I tried looking for step by step photos everywhere but can't find any. I really think installing them after getting to the 3 screws will be fairly simple but getting to the screws are the toughest point..All the bottom screws have been soaking in Blaster to help loosen them
The rear deck will come off intact with a little work and wiggling. You won't tear it up. Be careful not to break the rear window defrost wire.
 

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Okay, I too am new here, My problem is also the rear struts and springs. Both shot. I have the Monroes home now. Okay, how the heck do you get to the top screws????I realize you have to pull back the rear deck to access them but HOW!!!!!!!!! I see you can't get to them through the trunk and the back seat only folds down partially. I don't want to rip the fabric or tear anything...I tried looking for step by step photos everywhere but can't find any. I really think installing them after getting to the 3 screws will be fairly simple but getting to the screws are the toughest point..All the bottom screws have been soaking in Blaster to help loosen them

You know you have to remove the seat back - correct? The high-mount brake-light you have to get underneath it, pull it towards you and lift up, the rest are simple pop-out retainers.

when you get to the bottom bolt PB-Blaster is helpful but don't forget to heat it up as well - MAP gas is better than propane

Strut/Spring Assembly Replacement - Taurus Car Club Maintenance and Modification Wiki
 

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When I pulled some off a Taurus, I pulled the corners of the carpeting under the rear window after removing the upper back seat, loosened the nuts, got everything off and disconnected in the wheel well area, then finished unbolting the 3 bolts inside and that's it. I was talking to a mechanic in his gauge earlier this summer when they had a gen 4 in for rear struts, that's exactly how they removed the interior.
 

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How do you get to the top of that rear strut from in the car? I got the car in the air now, I thought I'd be able to get to it by just folding that rear seat. I can't even see the top of the tower!
 

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Got to the top, but job undoable her in Michigan. 6 hours trying to loosen the swaybar end link and pincher bolt and neither will budge. A week of pb blaster also. Taking it to a pro.
 

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quick question....is this job doable by yourself? I did the front and it would have been impossible to get the old strut out of the knuckle and the new one in without 2 people going at it full force....assuming the pinchbolt comes off, is it a problem to get the strut out quickly?
 

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it really depends on the condition of the car. i have had some where they came out in a breeze and others that i fought for 2 days with. when i do fronts i remove the lower control arm and strut all in one piece. makes it a lil easier.
 
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