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How to Replace Shock Spring Assembly 02-05 Mercury Mountaineer

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How to Replace Shock Spring Assembly 02-05 Mercury Mountaineer

Created on: 2014-10-23

Learn how to replace the struts on your 02-05 Ford Explorer with this video guide from 1A Auto.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Pry off the center cap with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step 2 :Disconnecting the Strut
    • Apply rust penetrant to the strut mount nuts
    • Pry out the inner fender clips with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Pull off the inner fender
    • Remove the three 13mm nuts from the strut mount
    • Remove the 21mm bolt from the bottom of the strut
  3. step 3 :Removing the Sway Bar Link
    • Apply rust penetrant to the sway bar link
    • Turn the sway bar link with a 16mm socket and ratchet
    • Remove the 15mm nut from the top of the sway bar link
    • Hold the sway bar link sleeve with vise grip pliers
    • Loosen the sway bar link from the bottom with a 16mm socket and ratchet
    • Push out the sway bar link with a hammer and punch
  4. step 4 :Removing the Strut
    • Apply rust penetrant to the lower strut nut
    • Hold the strut bolt with an 18mm wrench
    • Remove the 21mm nut from the wheel knuckle
    • Loosen the two 21mm nuts that hold the control arm to the frame
    • Lift the wheel knuckle up
    • Pull the strut down and out
  5. step 5 :Installing the Strut
    • Lift the strut into place
    • Start the three 13mm nuts onto the strut mount
    • Turn the bottom of the strut to line up the bolt hole with the control arm
    • Push the 21mm bolt into the bottom of the strut
    • Push the 18mm bolt into the wheel knuckle
    • Fasten the nut onto the strut bolt
    • Tighten the strut bolt and nut
    • Fasten the nut onto the wheel knuckle bolt
    • Tighten the wheel knuckle bolt and nut
    • Tighten the three 13mm nuts on the strut mount to 20-25 foot-pounds of torque
  6. step 6 :Installing the Sway Bar Link
    • Put a washer on the sway bar link
    • Put a bushing on the sway bar link
    • Slide the sway bar link through the control arm
    • Put a bushing on the sway bar link
    • Put a washer on the sway bar link
    • Put the sleeve onto the sway bar link
    • Put a washer on the sway bar link
    • Put a bushing on the sway bar link
    • Slide the sway bar link through the sway bar
    • Put a bushing on the sway bar link
    • Put a washer on the sway bar link
    • Fasten the 15mm nut onto the sway bar link
  7. step 7 :Tightening the Suspension Parts
    • Support the suspension at ride height with a jack
    • Tighten the sway bar link nut to compress the bushings
    • Tighten the two bolts that hold the control arm to the frame to 110 foot-pounds
    • Tighten the wheel knuckle bolt to 110 foot-pounds
    • Put the inner fender into place
    • Push the plastic clips into the inner fender
  8. step 8 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
    • Reattach the center cap

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Jack Stands

    Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Rust Penetrant

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Wire Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

    A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)

    Torque Wrench

    Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    13mm Socket

    15mm Socket

    16mm Socket

    21mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

    16mm Wrench

    18mm Wrench

Installation Video
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Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to replace the rear strut on this 2003 Mercury Mountaineer. We show you on the passenger's side but the driver's side is the same procedure. The items you'll need for are a new rear strut from 1AAuto.com, a 13 through 21mm socket and ratchet, piece of pipe for some extra leverage, flat blade screwdriver, a pry bar, jack and jack stands and torque wrench.

Start off by prying off your hub cap. Then remove these 19mm lug nuts and if you don't have air powered tools, you want to loosen them up while the vehicle's on the ground, raise the vehicle and remove them the rest of the way. Now just pull the wheel free.

Now, you want to remove these three nuts at the top of your strut. Just spray them with some penetrating oil and let them sit and then also spray the bolt at the bottom of our strut and let that sit. On our vehicle, I believe these were originally 13mm and they had actually rusted down so that a 1/2 inch wrench actually worked best. You can see I put the wrench onto one of the nuts and then I hook another wrench in that gives me some leverage and I can get the nut going. Like I said, it was kind of a process, I got the 13mm wrench on there first, realized that there was some flaky rust, so then I went to the 1/2 inch wrench and that went on. The other thing is a lot of times, one of them broke off which was fine. Actually, it sped the process up but another one of them I had to just loosen and then tighten a few times and spray it with penetrating oil before it came off.

To get to one of the bolts, you'll have to move the shield. To do that, you just pry out these clips and then remove the four clips down the side. To do that you just twist out the center with a Phillips screwdriver and then pull the clip out. If yours are broken or have sand in them and they won't come out, then just pry out, put some wire cutters in there and just clip the tops off. Once you've gotten all of them, just pry out and pull that panel free. Now you can access that back nut.

Now, remove this 21mm bolt, using your socket and ratchet and a piece of pipe for some extra leverage. Once you get it out to this point, you should be able to just pull it free.

Start off using some penetrating oil and coat that. The bolt for the stabilizer link is from down here and it's a 16mm. It's always really good if you can put your wrench on it and turn it. What this means . actually there's two really good things going on here, you can see I'm turning it and that nut is not moving. The other thing is you're turning it and this plastic isn't moving. Sometimes the hardest part is getting this whole shaft out of the plastic. If you can't turn it or it tends to turn the plastic as well, what you can do is use a hammer and a chisel and break away all the plastic when you get to that point. As you can see, I was able to turn it with a 16mm. This nut on the original is a 15mm, I'm just going to remove this nut. We'll just fast forward as Mike removes that nut. Once you remove the nut, it should just pull out but if the bar still won't pull out from the bottom, just lock onto the plastic with some locking pliers and use a 16mm socket and ratchet and try and get it out that way. If it still only goes so far, you can use a hammer and a punch and just knock it out the rest of the way that way. Once you pull it out the plastic part will just lift up and out.

You need to remove the bolt that holds the outer, lower control arm. That nut is 21mm and the other end of the bolt is 18mm, so I use a socket and ratchet with a pipe for some extra leverage to get it loose. Then, hold the bolt end with an 18mm wrench and remove the nut the rest of the way.

Now you just need to loosen the two bolts that hold the control arm to the body or the frame. There's one there, they're 21mm nuts. There's 18mm heads on the bolts, but they actually have tabs on them to hold them in place. Use a 21mm socket and ratchet and a pipe for some extra leverage and just loosen those up a couple of turns. Once those are loosened, you can pull your lower control arm down and lift up on your wheel knuckle. Then you can lift your strut up and out.

On the bottom, is the old strut. Above it, is the new one from 1A Auto. You can see they're identical and they'll fit exactly the same. Make sure you have the lower part of the strut lined up so that the mount, obviously, goes front to back, so that the bolt will go in and then feed the top up and in, just look up and in until you get those three studs lined up. Once you get them lined, push it up in there and start the three nuts on to hold it.

You may need to turn the bottom of the strut just a little bit to make sure it lines up well. You shouldn't have to turn it much, just adjust it a little bit so the bolt will go in easily. Once you get it lined up, just lift the lower control arm into place and then push your bolt back through the strut. Then, put your other bolt back in right here on the wheel knuckle, just hammer that in and then hammer this bolt in just a little bit. You want it to be about that distance right there, put the nut on the other side and then just tighten that bolt into the nut. Then put the nut onto this bolt and then we'll fast forward as Mike tightens both of those up.

Then just tighten up those three nuts at the top of the strut. You want to tighten these up between 20 and 25 foot pounds which is just good and tight with a small wrench. Now take your sway bar and load it up with a washer, then a bushing, then your lower control arm. When it goes through, add a bushing, then a washer and then that tube and then another washer and another bushing. Then your sway bar, just push it up through the sway bar and then another bushing and a washer and then that nut. Now just tighten that up.

To tighten up the suspension parts, you want to simulate it as if your car was in the level riding position. You can see I'm jacking it up off of the lift with the jack and now I'm tightening up the sway bar link. You tighten it up until the bushings are basically squeezed down and they're about the same diameter as the washers. Again, with the weight of the vehicle on the suspension, tighten up the three nuts that go into the bolts, there's the two that go to the control arm to body and the one into the control arm to the knuckle. Those all tighten to 110 foot-pounds.

Now take this panel and feed it back in underneath, get the holes lined up, and then push these clips back into place. Then, for these four clips, you just push in the lower part of the clip, and then push the center in to lock them.

Now replace the wheel and then replace the lug nuts. We'll fast forward as Mike tightens those up. You want to tighten them while the vehicle's in the air just preliminarily and then lower the vehicle and tighten them the rest of the way. Then you want to torque each of these to 100 foot-pounds in a crossing pattern. Then take your hub cap, line it up and hit it back into place.

We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Wire Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

  • A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 13mm Socket
  • 15mm Socket
  • 16mm Socket
  • 21mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 16mm Wrench
  • 18mm Wrench

2002 - 2005  Ford  Explorer
2002 - 2005  Mercury  Mountaineer
2002 - 2003  Mercury  Mountaineer
2002 - 2003  Ford  Explorer
2004 - 2005  Ford  Explorer
2004 - 2005  Mercury  Mountaineer
2003 - 2005  Mercury  Mountaineer
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