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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay so here are the problems I am looking at with my wagon.

The suspension all around seems worn, or maybe it is because the darn thing is so heavy.

I can push the front end down easily and it seems as though it sags a lot if I sit on the front bumper (I'm only 115 pounds <,<. The bounce test by pushing the corner down even right on top of the strut results in a lot of movement, and it bounces more than twice before settling again. Same thing if I rock the whole car sideways left to right. If I slam on the breaks there is considerable nose dive as well.

The rear just seems weak. 600 pounds over the rear wheels and i have tires inside the wheel wells. Standing on the rear bumper makes it sag a bit too and it is easy to push down.

Going over speed bumps or what have you on the road doesn't result in the vehicle being overly bouncy, it stabilizes itself, but the amount of compression movement itself seems excessive.

Everynow and than I do carry heavy loads in the back as i work for an animal shelter, so sometimes it is moving fencing or hauling several hundred pounds of food or such. When I push down on the rear i expect it to be more like a truck sense it is able to carry 8 people, somewhat stiff.

Is it normal for the wagon to be soft all around, or even the sedan for that matter. Its like riding in a crown vic except I feel the road, but the suspension movement makes it seem that way.

It does not have S.A.S. and seems to hold itself at the or close to the proper stance.
 

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Has It Been That Long?
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Sounds like the suspension is worn, especially the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So is that to say the car should be stiffer all around, especially the rear? I was given the car by my parents when i was in high school and have no idea what a 2003 model is suppose to feel like. I know it has gotten worse over the years, but don't remember what stock is suppose to be like
 

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At that age it is safe to say that the struts and shocks are likely due for replacement, especially if they are original. As they wear they will compress much easier and rebound control will degrade. You description of the bounce test certainly sounds like they are well past their prime.

As for the softness, the Gen 4 Taurus has a pretty soft suspension to begin with. If you carry a load quite often, you may want to consider replacing the rear springs with Cargo Coils. For about $100 they will greatly increase load carrying ability. The Moog part number is CC879.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
True. I guess it is 12 years old at this point, but it only has 80K. Bit it is also a city car >.>

Those cargo spring, do they require any modification to the mounting hardware or is it just swap and be done. I see the ends on them are narrower than whats on my car.

I've also read that doing the rear spring is a pain because you have to take apart the suspension from the inside rather than at the wheel to drop it enough to remove the springs >.>
 

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CC879's are for wagons, CC859's are for sedans. ;)

The cargo coils will drop in just like any other spring. No modifications needed. Not the easiest job in the world, but nothing that can't be tackled in a couple of hours in a driveway with jack stands and hand tools.
 

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Does your wagon have the rear jump seats? It sounds like you got the softer rear springs.

I agree that it is time for quick struts in the front and KYB gas-a-just rear shocks.
 

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Does your wagon have the rear jump seats? It sounds like you got the softer rear springs.

I agree that it is time for quick struts in the front and KYB gas-a-just rear shocks.
All Bull wagons have the rear 'jump seat'.

Definately time for a rebuild of the suspension. Go with the cargo coils when/if you replace the rear springs. The fronts are the same as the sedan so there's no issue there. My 01 Wagon sits at normal ride height in the rear but drops down when there's a load in it pretty easily. Mine has 150K on it. I replaced the rear shocks and that helped some but springs will do the trick in the rear, especially if you plan on hauling some stuff/people in the rear.

One other thing to replace while you are back there for cheap insurance is the ball joints. The fronts are the same size as the rear and they are replacable so it would make sense to do them too if you are going to have to disconnect them to get the rear spring out.
 

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The rear seats were almost standard. 99 was also the random part delete year.

The rear seats was also a fleet delete option.
 

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The only thing nice about tired springs is that with a few hundred pounds added to the right places, your car looks like it's lowered. :)

New shocks/struts will suppress the floaty feeling when loaded. To get rid of the sag, new springs are required. The Moog cargo springs are the way to go for the rear. In the front you can go to Moog Gen3 springs, which are 20% stiffer than the Gen4 springs. That's what I did on mine. The rear cargo springs are still on my "to do" list.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok so let me summarize and question everything i have read here. Just want to make sure. I've done a bit of reading on the side.

The GEN 3 struts will fit on the GEN 4 without modification. I am guessing that I could buy GEN 3 quick struts for the Front from a parts store and they will be better than the ones for the GEN 4 in terms of stiffness? (Front)

I do have 3rd row seats. I took a closer look at my springs and thee coils do appear smaller at the base on the axle than get wide and even at the middle and body. I am guessing these are also the "cargo springs" type on the vehicle?

The Cargo spring will fit in place of OE without modification? (Rear)

Since I would be down there, Can I use a better Sway Bar from a previous GEN without Modifications? Which one could I get and plug and play (Install without extra work)?

Is the only way to get the rear spring out is the take apart the axle from the center of the body (Where a diff would be)? I have heard that taking apart everything at the wheels would not clear them. So would one have to do both, or assuming they want to do just the spring they could leave the wheel components intact?
 

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The GEN 3 struts will fit on the GEN 4 without modification. I am guessing that I could buy GEN 3 quick struts for the Front from a parts store and they will be better than the ones for the GEN 4 in terms of stiffness? (Front)
This is backwards. The Gen 4 struts are quite a bit stiffer than the Gen 3's. The spring rates are all but the same on the front between them, though the Gen 3 springs are a bit stiffer. Overall you're better off with the Gen 4 setup in the front. This is irrelevant on most quick struts though, as many manufacturers use the same part numbers for Gen 3's and Gen 4's, the exception to this being the KYB quick struts. I would go for Gen 4 shocks on the back as well as they are also stiffer.

I do have 3rd row seats. I took a closer look at my springs and thee coils do appear smaller at the base on the axle than get wide and even at the middle and body. I am guessing these are also the "cargo springs" type on the vehicle?

The Cargo spring will fit in place of OE without modification? (Rear)
All Gen 4 wagons use the same rear coils, and yes, they are a progressive or "cargo" coil. The Moog cargo coils are dramatically stiffer than the OEM ones though.

Since I would be down there, Can I use a better Sway Bar from a previous GEN without Modifications? Which one could I get and plug and play (Install without extra work)?
The Gen 1 rear bar is a solid upgrade if you can find one, but it may be too much without a corresponding front bar upgrade. I would look for a Gen 2 rear bar. It would balance well with your stock 20.6mm front bar.

Is the only way to get the rear spring out is the take apart the axle from the center of the body (Where a diff would be)? I have heard that taking apart everything at the wheels would not clear them. So would one have to do both, or assuming they want to do just the spring they could leave the wheel components intact?
I've always done them by just popping the ball joint, but I also always use spring compressors. For as little as they cost, a pair of them may be a good investment to make your life a lot easier.
 

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Since you have to get an new alignment anyways, while you are tearing apart the rear suspension, install the rear camber bolts.
MOOG Part # K8460
Rear To Lower Control Arm; Wagon; adjustment range from -1-1/4 to 1-1/4 deg. $25.99

That way the alignment can be spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not having any luck finding a GEN 1 or GEN 2 bar. Would the change from GEN 3 to GEN 4 be worth it cause i can find those somewhat easily? or would the change be so small it would not make a difference?
 

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You can do the springs by several methods. 1. dropping the LCA by the inner bolt. 2. remove the ball joint, tension strut bolt. 3. remove LCA to knuckle bolts. The first method is a bit easier IMHO as you don't have to work with some large suspension fasteners that are often heavily rusted and just hard to work off.

In any method you will have to remove the brake caliper and shock to the knuckle so it can drop lower.
The cargo coils are a drop in replacement. It does come with one new isolator that is slightly different. I can't recall if it is the top or bottom. Either way you can reuse the other side 's isolator if it is in good condition.

The Gen 3 and 4 rear sway bar is 13mm. I believe the gen 1 is 15mm and will work, according to other members who have written about it. I have never done this. I think they said you need to use the links from the gen 1 to make it work.

Rock auto does list a ball joint for the rear station wagon. Moog k500208, This is a relatively new listing. I know people have said the front ball joints work in the rear wagons. For some reason Moog lists a different part number and it is a bit less money than the front ball joint. I am not sure what is effectively different. I did notice the Outer Diameter where is it pressed into the knuckle has a straight knurl on it to prevent rotation. All of the Taurus front Ball joints I have seen do not have this feature....Interesting! Maybe the fronts are a bit more heavy duty? I don't know.


Mad Scientist, I would like to see what kind of spring compressor you are using as I have tried and can't get one, let alone 2 on the spring. There just is not any room in the rear. Maybe you have something different than what I have. Or I just don't get how you do it.
 

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Does anyone know if the MOOG cargo coils CC879 come with the set of 4 rubber seat insulators? I'm looking at RockAuto and the pic doesn't show them but the pic for the Raybestos (variable rate) springs also shows the insulators (same pic for ACDelco), these are only $10 more for the set. If you order the insulators separately it could be another $40.
Also, need confirmation... The MOOG pic shows a few more coils compared to the other brands and it looks more like an older fashioned variable rate spring. The Raybestos/ACDelco look like a straight rate spring but is listed as a variable rate.
Anyone with info on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bill.
 
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