The struts in your 2001 Ford Taurus are the portion of the suspension that dampen bumps in the road and provide stability during cornering. Struts age slowly, reducing the ride quality over time. Some people prefer to change the struts when they feel that their cars drive less smoothly than they used to; others only change the struts when these components physically break. The struts in your Taurus can be replaced without special spring compression tools, making this an easier fix than in some similar vehicles. Replacement struts can be purchased or ordered from most auto-parts stores. Expect to spend about 45 minutes replacing each strut.
Things You'll Need
- Socket wrench
- Socket set, metric
- Jack stand
- Hub remover
- Torque wrench
- Pry bar
Replecement of the Front Struts
Remove the center nut from the top of the strut under the hood and loosen the three surrounding nuts. Do not remove the three nuts.
Loosen the front lug nuts, then raise the vehicle and support it on a jack stand. Remove the wheel. The lift point is on the frame rail, about a foot behind the front wheel. Refer to you Taurus owner's manual for a diagram, if you are unsure of where to support your car.
Unbolt the brake caliper and slide it off the rotor. Suspend it with a piece of wire to prevent strain on the brake hose. Slide the brake rotor off the hub.
Unbolt and remove the tie rod end. Do not use power tools.
Disconnect the stabilizer bar link from the strut. The link is a metal bar connected on the rear of the strut, just below the spring. A nut holds it in place.
Separate the lower control arm from the steering knuckle by removing the pinch nut and bolt then spreading the joint.
Bolt a hub remover to the hub and press the axle shaft out. Suspend the shaft with a length of wire. Do not let the shaft pull outwards.
Separate the steering knuckle from the strut (it is attached the same way as the lower control arm was). Remove the steering knuckle. Remove the upper nuts from the strut and pull the strut out of the vehicle.
Install the replacement strut by reversing of the removal procedure. Tighten connections in the following order, to the listed torques:
Strut to steering knuckle: 72 to 97 ft-lbs
Lower control arm to steering knuckle: 72 to 97 ft-lbs
Stabilizer bar to strut: 57 to 75 ft-lbs
Tie rod end: 35 to 46 ft-lbs
Upper support nuts (not center): 39 to 53 ft-lbs
Caliper: 18 to 25 ft-lbs
Center nut (tighten with vehicle on ground): 170 to 202 ft-lbs
Replacement of the Rear Struts
Remove the rear parcel shelf. Loosen the lug nuts and raise the car with the jack. Support the vehicle with a jack stand and remove the wheel. The jack point is on the frame, just ahead of the rear wheel.
Unbolt the brake valve from the control arm, then suspend the arm with a length of wire. Remove the bracket that mounts the brake hose to the strut and move it out of the way.
Separate the stabilizer bar link from the strut--it is located behind the strut and connected with a U-bracket.
Remove the nut from the rear end of the tension strut. The tension strut runs forwards from the bottom end of the suspension, crossing the frame rail. Pull the wheel spindle rearward, separating it from the tension strut.
Unbolt the strut from spindle. Pry the joint with a pry bar to remove the strut from the joint.
Remove the three bolts connecting the strut to the body. They are located under the shelf that you've just removed. Remove the strut, taking care not to damage the brake lines.
Install the replacement strut by reversing the removal procedure. Tighten connections in the following order, to the listed torques:
Stabilizer link to strut: 60 to 84 in-lbs
Strut to spindle: 35 to 46 ft-lbs
Tension strut to spindle: 35 to 46 ft-lbs
Tips & Warnings
- If you're replacing a broken strut, be sure to replace the opposite strut as well, so as to prevent the suspension from being uneven and causing the car to pull.
- "MOTOR Auto Repair Manual, Vol. 1;" MOTOR Information Systems; 2003
- Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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