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Jonathan Pell
Jonathan Pell, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience:  Many years in the field, ASE certified Ford Technician
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1998 ford contour SVT front strut replacement how to

Customer Question

1998 ford contour SVT front strut replacement how to?
removed lower strut bolts and cannot lower arm enough to get strut out - cannot get very much compression with spring compressor since the space is so tight. do I need to remove the knuckle or anything else to get this done?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
Yes you do have to remove the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle, You should not have to use the spring compressor until the strut is removed from vehicle, just remove the top strut mounting nut, remove the steering knuckle and the strut should just fall out easily.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
to remove the steering knuckle, I need to remove the t55 torx bolt for the lower ball joint and the sterring control arm too? are both of these a bolt that is also "press fit" or jsut very snug? in other words can I use a drift to tap them up and out or how is that done?
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
it is a snug fit, The easiest way is to remove the torx screw and get a force multiplier (hammer) :) and tap on the lower control arm and the knuckle will slide right off ball joint. When I do this at the shop I spray pb blaster or wd 40 on it and let it sit about 10 minutes before I tap it. This makes for an easy removal with no headaches.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i removed the knuckle but the arm won't go any lower. how do i remove the steering arm "ball joint"? do I need to to get free? do i need to be concerned about the CV joints getting pulled out or dislocated?
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
The cv joint should be fine, you should be able to get a long prybar and pull down on control arm and the knuckle should lift off just enough to slide it off the ball joint. It would make it easier to unscrew the cv joint so you will have more flexibility to be able to do this. Having an assistant may help
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Knuckle is free from the LCA. LCA is not moving any lower because the LCA is touching the subframe - I can pivot the strut but was worried that the steering arm will force me to "stretch" the CV joints and possibly damage them - if that is not a worry I think I can get them free
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
please resend or add a small text so I can see your latest answer - thx
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
The cv joints are fairly sturdy and worst case scenario if you do happen to separate one of the the joints, you can just pop it back in place with no harm done. But I rarely ever have that problem of them separating.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
the strut is out! I am trying to compress the new replacement spring and I'm pretty scared about compressing the spring all the way for 3 coils close enough to touch but the rest of the spring still just too long to fit. do i need a second pair of sprng compressors to allow me ot grab 4 coils and make this easy??
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
Make sure the compressor is attached well and just use caution because those springs can be dangerous if aren't paying attention. and yes you have to have 2 compressors 1 on each side and tighten them evenly and it should be very smooth from here the hardest part is done already.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have a set - one on each side and was jsut worried that if I compessed the 3 coils I can "reach" with this compressor I borrowed from AutoZone, that I would need to make all 3 touch to make the sring short enough to all me to "build up" the strut prior to installation. will that much compression be OK?? do I need a 2nd Set of two compressor to grap the forth coil and compression easier?
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.
oh sorry I misunderstood the 1st time, no just one set is required. The compressor is very tough and will take that much stress so dont worry I know the first time will be a little tense. just tighten the compressor as much as you can then take the top nut off and the compressor will hold the spring in place it won't pop loose so dont worry.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yep - got that part done and it was almost compressed enough - it did pop but only about 1/2". I have a new spring since one of the fronts broke! this passenger side spring was the unbroken one and the new spring from AutoAone (AZ) is slightly shorter so installation should be a breeze. Its 5 coils in height and about 3" per winding. the compressor tool can only grap 3 coils and I want to make sure the spring can be compressed to where those 3 alomst touch to allow me to put the peices of the strut together - so far I can make them reach.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i meant to say can't make the top and bottom parts of the strut reach - just keep compressing - spring won't break??
Expert:  Jonathan Pell replied 4 years ago.

No the spring will not break I have had to do that same thing hundreds of times to the point where all the coils are touching.

Jonathan Pell, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience: Many years in the field, ASE certified Ford Technician
Jonathan Pell and 6 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
how do you reconnect the ball joint?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thankyou so very much for your help! we figured it out! have a great night

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