A few weeks ago I got the chance to the purchase lowering springs for my sable. I got Eibach lowering springs that aren’t even made anymore for 96-99 Taurus SHO (yes the bubble one with a V8) used, from a friend. Now the whole suspension setup is the from 96-07 for the Taurus. The Sable is just a Taurus with different body panels but otherwise the same car. Back to the suspension, my Sable needed new struts at all 4 corners, badly. For that task I got KYB Accel G/GR-2 struts from Rock Auto. Fast forward to the install weekend; I (without any help yet) got the car up on jack stands and began the tear-down.
I started with the rear of the car, because the rear pinch bolts on these like to put up a fight when being removed. The passenger’s rear pinch bolt came out no problem, the driver’s rear was a different story. Driver’s rear was a nut and bolt combo that had replaced the OEM pinch bolt setup. The bolt end snapped inside the knuckle and nut came off no problem. I was left with the rest of the bolt stuck in the knuckle, needing to get drilled out. Not a fun job to do... But in the end both rear struts came out in the end.
With both rear struts out, it was time to start on the front. Same pinch bolt style but this time it’s a nut and bolt combo from the factory. Driver’s front came out no problem. Passenger front however, another fight....And that is the end of the first day of working on car.
During the final hours on day one, I could not for the life of me get the passenger front pinch bolt out. The bolt had bent down, basically keep the bolt in place no matter how hard I hit with it still on the car. Now we’re at the morning of day 2, I decided to purchase a tool I had been wanting to get for a long time. An Air Hammer! Got up at 7 am, did my morning things, went out in my mom’s Explorer and went to my local Lowe’s. Got my air hammer for under $40 with tax, the air connector and a 1 year warranty included. Now back at the house to get the bolt out with my new air hammer! Get everything opened and set up. I started on trying to get the bolt out and it just would not move. Thankfully by the time I almost gave up on getting it out my team of helpers had arrived! We decided to pull the lower control arm off still on the knuckle and strut. My friend Phil went totally mad with the hammer and eventually got the bolt to move. At that point we took everything over to the vise and I got my air hammer on one end while he hammered on the other end. Finally getting the bolt out! Now with the bolt out I could get started on putting the springs onto the new struts and moving the top hats around, WRONG. When I pulled the LCA out I found that on of the bushings was SHOT and I had to replace it. I won’t go into how that parts replacement now, maybe another time...
Now while I’m messing around with swapping suspension parts around, Phil (the one who got the bolt out) is welding up my exhaust system get rid of my flex pipe 3rd cat repair. I pretty much let him rip and do his own thing. I gave him one goal on the exhaust, NO LEAKS.
Phil did good! When everything was all back together and the car was running there were no exhaust leaks.
Swapping the springs and struts around was going perfectly. I got reinstall the passenger rear strut on day 2. And that concluded day 2, exhaust was almost done, all the lowering springs were on the new KYB struts and I was happy.
Now we’re on Day 3. All the suspension components were ready to be installed, exhaust just needed some last touches before being installed and then the car was done. My team was back at my place to help again. I let Phil do his own thing on the exhaust while I drilled out the spot welds holding the strut towers in. That when smoothly for me.
I ground down the welds, painted the bare metal and painted the top hats. Bare metal was painted matte black and the top hats were painted a Ford metallic blue.
That part of the project was the easiest one overall. Around 6pm my team had left me, the exhaust was done and I was left alone to put the car back together. I had the rear of the car completed and now I to fight with the front struts... The only way I could get the front struts in place was by hammer the knuckle onto the bottom of the strut. I was hammering away for 1/2 an hour then I could finally put the new nut and bolt in. That was the passenger side completed. Driver’s front was the same case, 1/2 of hammering and slowly watching the knuckle slide up the strut. With that, all the struts were in place and the wheels could go back on the car. But I was stupid tired and wanted to go to bed. That ended day 3.
I’ll call this bit “Day 3.5”. This is when the car was finally completed. I got up at 7am, before I even had breakfast and put the wheels back on and lowered the car back onto the ground. Now it had started snowing the night of Day 3. So I was putting the car back together in the snow. In the end I wasn’t gonna let that stop me.
The car was done. Got the car aligned later that day and that was that.
Thanks for reading! I think my next article will about “My life with a lowered car, so far...”