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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting ready to remove and replace my rear struts. I want to put on new stabilizer end links as well. I have searched this forum as well as internet and several parts websites. The end links are offered as standard or heavy duty. I'm not sure how to decide. On some websites the standard and heavy duty are the same length, on others one is about an inch longer. Would either be OK, or are the heavy duty intended for taxi duty? Sometime this summer will do the front struts and want to ask your experience, did you end up shy on length and have to drop the subframe to fit new strut into knuckle? Thanks for your consideration. I went for KYB Strut Plus, hopefully a good choice.


Scott
 

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If you are replacing rear struts there is no subframe but the dreaded pinch bolt that may snap. Use penetrating oil and heat and work it out little by little. I have had good luck with cheap links in the back. Driveworks from Advanced Auto seemed to survive at least five years in salt belt. I actually used a two jaw pulley puller to push out the strut from knuckle but used the strut rod nut to protect the strut during the process. KYB are excellent, I like them.
 

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I went for KYB Strut Plus, hopefully a good choice.
I like KYB too, especially their Gas-A-Just (when are available).
Had bad experience with Monroes, maybe it was just my luck.

On my fronts I used the KYB Strut-Plus and it did improve the original mushy suspension by a lot.
On my wagon rear, I have different setup, so I had only the option to replace the shocks with Excel-G.
 

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For the rear end links they basically self adjust to the length so the length doesn't matter. As for heavy duty they should either have thicker bolts or stiffer bushings. You won't notice much difference either way. They are just a long bolt in a sleeve with 4 bushings, 4 washers and a nut.
 

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I am getting ready to remove and replace my rear struts. I want to put on new stabilizer end links as well. I have searched this forum as well as internet and several parts websites. The end links are offered as standard or heavy duty. I'm not sure how to decide. On some websites the standard and heavy duty are the same length, on others one is about an inch longer. Would either be OK, or are the heavy duty intended for taxi duty? Sometime this summer will do the front struts and want to ask your experience, did you end up shy on length and have to drop the subframe to fit new strut into knuckle? Thanks for your consideration. I went for KYB Strut Plus, hopefully a good choice.


Scott
When you remove the pinch bolt: note in the pic, the indexing tab will be resting and rusted to the bolt shank. You will be running the threads against the tab. The weld will be above the Knuckle. Use a hack saw and cut the tab off at the top of the knuckle and it will then be free of the bolt threads. Lot better chance of getting the bolt out in one piece.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have watched several YouTube videos as well as advice posted here. I began spraying down the bolts, especially the pinch bolt a week in advance. I have watched them work the bolt in and out gently to remove corrosion. I am in Colorado, so not rust belt but they do use magnesium chloride on the ice. I have a normal propane torch, will that be hot enough? I don't want to break the bolt and have to drill out. I suppose patience is the key. I don't know why but got a killer deal from Advance Auto, $176.00 each at O'Reillys, $94 and some change a piece on Rock Auto plus shipping. Advance Auto $86.99 each, with free shipping and used the 25% discount code, came out to $141.00 for both strut spring assemblies with free shipping!!! $70.00 a strut spring for KYB Strut Plus with free shipping. Intend to do the fronts sometime this summer. Thanks for the advice and tips.

Scott
 

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You need heat!

A propane torch won't do it! Oxygen/Acetylene is best, MAPP might work. The problem is rust packing up in the bolt shank area. Heat will melt the plastic threadlock on the threads, but the shank of the bolt is rusted undersize and will break. The ONLY penetrating oil to use is KROIL! It's expensive for a reason! Apply Kroil many times over a week or so before attempting removal. Get the bolt boss red at minimum before turning bolt and work it in and out carefully. GOOD LUCK!
 

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^^^+1 on the corrosion on the shank. It literally fills the shank to hole clearance on all the eight rear struts I have done. I have a OA torch but key is to melt the thread lock and try to back out bolt at least a fraction of inch to let the oil flow into the joints and heat more and apply more oil. But you live in a different area so you may not have any issue. If you snap the bolt a left handed drill bit is the way to go. You put drill in reverse and drill and because the bit drills in reverse direction as it drill it will try to back out the pinch bolt. I used them two times and once the shank is drilled out the threaded portion backed right out. I used the snapped off head and center drilled it with a pilot hole and used it as a guide to drill center of the pinch bolt.
 

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^^^+1 on the corrosion on the shank. It literally fills the shank to hole clearance on all the eight rear struts I have done. I have a OA torch but key is to melt the thread lock and try to back out bolt at least a fraction of inch to let the oil flow into the joints and heat more and apply more oil. But you live in a different area so you may not have any issue. If you snap the bolt a left handed drill bit is the way to go. You put drill in reverse and drill and because the bit drills in reverse direction as it drill it will try to back out the pinch bolt. I used them two times and once the shank is drilled out the threaded portion backed right out. I used the snapped off head and center drilled it with a pilot hole and used it as a guide to drill center of the pinch bolt.

I have never twisted one off and I am in the serious rust belt. I use electric impact gun and go back and forth over and over until I wear the rust out. Doubt the gun will break the bolt. My very old IR gun gets hot by the time I wear out. I use wheel bearing grease on the cleaned out clearance hole when putting a new bolt in. I would not reuse a bolt where the shank has been rusted and made weak.


-chart-
 

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I used a strut spring compressor and compressed the strut/spring assy to get my fronts out and in. i bought an inexpensive compressor and had to cut the rods down it fit it all in the fenderwell. front or rear...ford didn't have a better idea! it can be a ball buster of a job to change 4 struts depending on rusty corroded bolts. I replaced everything...inner / outer tie rods, stabilizer links, total break job...rear brakes complete too, stabilizer links. tires and alignment by others. I've changed 4 struts on my dodge neon in 2 hours, i lost track of time on the ford...it was worth the outcome. the car value would have been exceeded if i had all that work done by a auto repair place.
 

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I just finished doing this same job on a 2003. Before doing anything else, the night before I beat on the pinch bolt area with a standard steel hammer. I wire-brushed off all of the rust from the threads that were exposed and then, after all that, I applied copious amounts of PB Blaster.
The next day I used a large $50 electric impact wrench from Harbor Freight and the pinch bolts came out fairly easy. Took about 30 seconds each.
I sprayed Fluid Film into the strut clamp so if I have to disassemble, I wont need my son to jump up and down on the brake drum to work the strut off of it.
I didn't use any Loctite on the pinch bolt. No way!
After assembly, I sprayed Fluid Film on the outside of the bolts and most everything else.
I repeated the above procedure for the sway bar links to remove them. One had been broken off.
The sway bar links I used are Moog K700541 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit. Easy configuration.
I installed FCS struts 1336303 from Rock Auto. $49 each.

Now I have to hunt down the wire short causing fuse #28 to break. The fun never ends!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Replaced my rear struts/springs Saturday. I had done a lot of reading and thank you for your advice. I was pretty apprehensive about snapping one or both of the pinch bolts. I have made a career of breaking things with more force is better. I cannot claim experience nor ability as I have never done struts on a Taurus. I sprayed things down for a week in advance, used an electric impact wrench from Harbor Freight, sorry Snap On. The pinch bolts came out relatively easily, what a good feeling. I credit good luck along with a dry Colorado climate which is not as conducive to rust. It took me a while to align new strut with the three holes in the rear deck shelf. Tomorrow I want to replace new sway bar end links. I have read and watched some video. Right now car is on two jack stands with the suspension hanging. The end link is about 11 inches and the space to insert looks to be 6-7 inches. Someone said the suspension needs to be compressed to create more space. Another video showed using a 4 foot length of pipe to pry down on the sway bar. The bolts to the sway bar bushings look in pretty good shape. Would rather not loosen them but probably can. What is best method to install the rear end links, compress rear suspension and use pry bar??? Thank you.

Scott
 

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Replaced my rear struts/springs Saturday. I had done a lot of reading and thank you for your advice. I was pretty apprehensive about snapping one or both of the pinch bolts. I have made a career of breaking things with more force is better. I cannot claim experience nor ability as I have never done struts on a Taurus. I sprayed things down for a week in advance, used an electric impact wrench from Harbor Freight, sorry Snap On. The pinch bolts came out relatively easily, what a good feeling. I credit good luck along with a dry Colorado climate which is not as conducive to rust. It took me a while to align new strut with the three holes in the rear deck shelf. Tomorrow I want to replace new sway bar end links. I have read and watched some video. Right now car is on two jack stands with the suspension hanging. The end link is about 11 inches and the space to insert looks to be 6-7 inches. Someone said the suspension needs to be compressed to create more space. Another video showed using a 4 foot length of pipe to pry down on the sway bar. The bolts to the sway bar bushings look in pretty good shape. Would rather not loosen them but probably can. What is best method to install the rear end links, compress rear suspension and use pry bar??? Thank you.

Scott
Rears easy, have to both at once.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Completed the rear strut replacement and new sway bar links on Sunday. Felt fortunate the pinch bolts cooperated. Sometime this summer will do the front strut/spring assemblies. I did the rear first because I thought I had a broken spring on the left rear, turned out to just be a broken sway bar end link. Changed out because 143,000 miles is enough on original struts and springs. Sometime this summer will do the front struts/spring assemblies. I have done reading, research, and video watching and wonder what the chances are to have to drop the subframe for the extra clearance to remove and install new struts? Do both sides of the subframe need to be jacked to drop the subframe? I think I read somewhere that four inches is the maximum safe drop for the subframe. Thanks to all of you contributors went from new purchase in June, 2000 thinking I may be able to check the oil to doing quite a bit of maintenance. I have done alternator, starter, fuel pump, brakes front and rear, spark plugs, camshaft synchronizer, air pump, rear struts, all fluid exchanges, and more. There is a lot of collective knowledge here, thank you.

Scott
 

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Completed the rear strut replacement and new sway bar links on Sunday. Felt fortunate the pinch bolts cooperated. Sometime this summer will do the front strut/spring assemblies. I did the rear first because I thought I had a broken spring on the left rear, turned out to just be a broken sway bar end link. Changed out because 143,000 miles is enough on original struts and springs. Sometime this summer will do the front struts/spring assemblies. I have done reading, research, and video watching and wonder what the chances are to have to drop the subframe for the extra clearance to remove and install new struts? Do both sides of the subframe need to be jacked to drop the subframe? I think I read somewhere that four inches is the maximum safe drop for the subframe. Thanks to all of you contributors went from new purchase in June, 2000 thinking I may be able to check the oil to doing quite a bit of maintenance. I have done alternator, starter, fuel pump, brakes front and rear, spark plugs, camshaft synchronizer, air pump, rear struts, all fluid exchanges, and more. There is a lot of collective knowledge here, thank you.

Scott

Scott, we've got the same car and I would love to replace what I think are the original rear struts (210K miles). This thread is really helpful, especially knowing which new ones you found to buy. Where did you get your new sway bar links? Did you replace anything else (I'm thinking probably bushings)? What specifically did you use to spray on the pinch bolts? If you have time to give any other pointers, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!
 

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I went with Moog when I did all four struts two years ago. It really stiffened the car and the car sits higher.

Moog said it would settle down after 500 miles. It never really settled down. Not a big concern though.

I did the job because one of the front springs broke and poked a hole in the tire at 90K. Otherwise, the original struts still had more life in them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I chose KYB Strut Plus SR4011 which is the strut with spring assembly. Advanced Auto was less than Rock Auto at $86.99 apiece, Rock Auto 94.99 each plus shipping, O'Reilly's was $176.00 each. I ordered online, got free shipping to my front steps, applied a 25% discount code and paid $171.00 for the pair. No right or left on the rear, need two. I used PB Blaster starting a week in advance, someone posted Kroil. Be aware that the way it is constructed you can spray head of pinch bolt, inside there is a gap, spray there as well as back of bolt. I used Moog Stabilizer Bar links K8805 about $7.99 each. This is standard duty, there is also heavy duty design, these were easy to assemble and install. The stabilizer bar is bolted to the bottom of the trunk two areas with bushings. If not too corroded make sure they are tight. Two YouTube videos show the procedure very well. Ford Tech Makuloco, and South Main Auto. The stabilizer bar end links puzzle me, are warned not to exceed 15 ft pounds which seems like they will loosen up and rattle. When positioning the new strut had better luck when light out, could see the three holes on the parcel shelf better, rest strut on knuckle to support while you go inside to secure the three nuts. Brake line nut is 10mm, pinch bolt is 18mm, the strut rod nut is 13/16, parcel shelf nuts are13mm, stabilizer end link were 13mm.

Scott
 
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