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How to Change Struts on a Mercury Sable

by Don Bowman; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Spring compressor

  • ½-inch drive air gun

  • Set of ½-inch set of sockets

  • Set of wrenches

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Set of 3/8-inch drive set of sockets

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

A Mercury Sable strut supports the vehicle through the spring incorporated in the strut, supports the upper arm of the spindle, acts as a shock, and is an integral part of the steering with the top bearing plate. Severe or abnormal bouncing when driving on uneven or rough roads indicate worn struts, and can cause several handling problems. When a bump is encountered, the vehicle should not bounce more than one time if the strut is good. If the vehicle does bounce more than once, the struts probably need to be changed.

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the wheels using the ½-inch air gun and the appropriate socket. Lift the hood of the vehicle.

Remove the brake line where it is attached to the lower part of the strut. Use a wrench—this bolt is normally 10mm on all model years of the Mercury Sable.

Remove the two large bolts and nuts using an 18mm socket and the air gun. Remove the bolts by hand and separate the strut from the spindle by pushing them apart.

Remove the three 13mm nuts on the top of the fender well under the hood. These nuts hold the strut to the fender well. Use a 3/8-inch drive socket and ratchet.

Remove the strut from the vehicle--it is loose and will pull out of its cradle with your hands. Stand it straight up.

Put the strut into the spring compressor and tighten it up until the top bearing plate has no pressure on it and it turns by hand. Remove the top nut on the strut with the ½-inch air gun and socket. Remove the top bearing plate by hand and lift the spring off of the strut. Be extremely careful lying the spring down since it is under compression.

Remove the cover over the strut rod and the rubber spring seat. Release the strut rod in the new strut by pushing the strut rod down while pulling the plastic holders off the shock, then let the rod extend.

Hold the strut upright with the side away from you just the way it is to be installed into the vehicle. The strut’s bracket with the holes for the spindle should be facing you. Place the rubber seat in the spring saddle, making sure that the indentations match the ones in the strut.

Slide the spring into the strut, making sure that the bottom end of the spring sits in the indentation in the rubber saddle where it sat on the old strut. Install the top bearing plate with the studs oriented in the same direction as they will be when installed. Screw on the top nut above the plate and tighten it with the ½-inch drive air gun and socket.

Loosen the spring compressor with the ½-inch air gun and socket and remove the spring compressor. Place the strut up into the fender well and pass the studs through the top holes. Screw on the three nuts on the top-side and tighten them with the 13mm socket and ratchet.

Insert the spindle arm into the recess in the strut and insert the two large bolts. Screw on the nuts and tighten with the ½-inch drive air gun and socket. Reattach the brake line to the bracket on the strut and tighten the 10mm bolt with a wrench.

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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