How do you replace the front struts and coil springs on Taurus - Sable?

Be sure to review the "Related Questions" below for much much more about Taurus / Sable front suspensions

You need to go to a car parts store, and get a repair manual for your car. They cost about $16.00 Or, go to a Library.

The Autozone website offers free access to the Chilton's Repair Guide - see "Related Links" for the strut replacement procedures for the first 3 generations of Taurus / Sables And their struts.

NOTE: Autozone now requires free registration to access the repair guides. More than worth the extra effort for these photo/illustrated instructions.

1998 Taurus / Sable struts

Having just replaced ball joints on a 1998 Sable this week, I can warn you that getting the ball joint that is pressed into the bottom of the steering knuckle, disconnected from the lower control arm is likely to be a HUGE BIG PROBLEM (see 'Related Questions' below for discussions on this.)

I do not believe it's possible to remove the strut without disconnecting / removing the steering knuckle.

If you go ahead and do the struts, read up on the ball joint problem and be prepared to deal with it.

Ball Joint NOTE: the short-story is that the ball joint is likely to have to be cut in half to release the knuckle from the control arm.

I was on my 3rd Pittman Arm puller when I gave up and yanked the control arm from the vehicle and let my local 'real' (not chain-store type) auto parts store use a press on it to get the bottom 1/2 of the joint pressed out of the control arm. (took 8 tons of pressure!)

Other than that, it's pretty easy!

TIPS

  • If it were me, and it was, I would recommend replacing the bearings/hub assembly ($55), ball joint ($25) and outer tie-rod while you're at. Front-end Make-over

if you do not have a spring compressor, i suggest having the work done at a front end shop.

im not sure really how to replace them but if you are going to do it yoursself i would suggets to take the parts in and have them compressed some places to it for free

Compress the springs with a spring compression tool for that purposee and make sure you know what you are doing. Remove the struts. A motor manual from your local library would be helpful here.

after replacing a few strut assemblies on these cars (mostly sables and mostly pre-2000) I found the most difficult part is the pinch bolt holding the strut to the steering knuckle. a cheap shop press or a trip to a shop with a press to remove that particular bolt is more than worth the time and money. the first one i removed with a vice, 12lb sledge, a bruised hand, and more than a day of my time. second one: 15 min trip into town, $130 shop press, 15 min trip home, 20 min to assemble, pressed the bolt out in less than 5 min with no damage to the steering knuckle. go with the press, ;)