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Spring Installation DIY....

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Note: My vehicle is a 2012 with Performance Package. This procedure should work for any 2010+


I tried to take pics through the process and thought I'd write up a how-to for anyone willing to tackle their own spring install. First, I must complain and give ford 2 big thumbs down for making the lower shock mount part of the wheel hub/spindle assembly. I've installed springs on many cars and have never had to deal with removing the wheel hub/spindle assembly for a spring swap. With that said, it wasn't as difficult as it first looked. Total install time (minus a couple of tool runs) ~4.5 hours.


You'll need various metric deep sockets, wrenches, & jack stands. I cant remember the sizes and should've written them down, but I do know a few important tools you'll need.


  • 32mm deep socket for the axle nut
  • 10mm socket and 13/16 spark plug socket for the shock/spring removal (unless you have an open/pass through socket which I did not have)
  • breaker bar & rubber mallet
  • spring compressor
  • 200 ft/lb torque wrench





1. Remove wheel center cap to gain access to axle nut. I jacked the car up, removed the wheel, and popped the center cap. Reinstalled wheel and lowered.


2. With the 32mm deep socket, breaker bar, and the car fully back on the ground, loosen the axle nut. Do not remove completely.


3. Jack the car up and remove the wheel. Place jack stand underneath.


4. Remove caliper and set aside somewhere ensuring the brake line is free from strain. I set mine on a small step stool.


5. Remove nut that mounts lower control arm to the wheel spindle assembly. Here's a pic of the nut removed. Sorry for the blurry pic, but you get the idea. Make sure to use something to hold the shaft in place as you loosen the nut. I used a small adjustable wrench.




6. Remove the tie rod nut and move the rod out of the way. Remove the shock/sway bar link nut and move the link down and out of the way. Loosen the lower shock mount nut but do not remove. Pic with red arrows shows what was just described. There's also a black tube/line running to the back of the wheel hub/spindle assembly. I'm pretty sure this is the ABS sensor (not 100%). Remove the bolt holding it in and move the line out of the way.




7. Remove the axle nut.


8. Loosen the upper shock mount. Do not remove them completely, but loosen them up a bit.




9. Push the lower control arm down and out of the way, disengagng it from the wheel hub/spindle assembly. The arm has a lot of tension, so you'll have to put some muscle into it in order to get it low enough to move out of the way.


10. Put a jack under the front rotor for support.


11. Now the fun part is getting the axle to separate from the wheel hub. Turn the steering wheel TOWARDS the side you're working on. Use a rubber mallet to tap the center of the axle where it comes through the rotor back a bit. It wont fully disengage at this point, yet.


12. Remove the four upper shock mount nuts in step 8. At this point the jack is fully supporting the the shock, wheel hub/spindle assembly.


13. More fun and probably the most difficult part. I had to lower the jack at the right level, turning the wheel hub, & pulling to get the axle to fully separate from the wheel hub. This was a PITA mainly due to the weight of the entire assembly. Keep working it and you'll figure out the best way to maneuver it out of there. The shock being loose here gives you a little bit play, but you may want to remove the lower shock mount bolt completely to give you a little more.


14. Here's what it looks like when everything's out.




15. Here's the shock/spring with wheel hub removed




16. Use the spring compressor to compress the spring enough to remove tension from the upper shock mount plate.


17. Removing the recessed nut to get the spring out will require either a pass through socket & ratchet or 13/16 spark plug socket for the nut and 10mm socket to hold the shaft. I used small 1/4 drive extension and put it through the spark plug socket, then attached the 10mm socket on the end of the extension. Place the 10mm socket on the shaft, then the 13/16 spark plug socket over that. Use a wrench to turn the spark plug socket and a ratchet on the end of the extension to hold the shaft in place.



18. Remove dust cover and old bump stop. Slide new bump stop down onto shaft and put on dust cover. Make sure the bump stop slides all the way onto the thick part of the shaft and doesn't stop near the threads.


19. Put the spring compressor on the new spring and compress it just enough that when placed back on the shock, the threaded shaft comes all the way through when the upper shock mount plate is put back in place. Make sure the lower pig tail is matched up with the lower spring isolator.


20. Put the upper shock mount plate back on and install the nut on the shaft. Tighten until it stops. Note there is a notch & arrow on the upper shock mount plate. Make sure to turn the plate where the arrow is pointing toward the face of the rotor. When installing the assembly back into the vehicle, ensure the arrow points to the face of the rotor.


21. Reassembly is just the reverse. Easier said then done, I know.


22. When putting the shock/wheel hub/spindle assembly back in place, it was easier for me to rest the unit on a jack and raise it up into the shock tower. When the upper shock mount bolts came through the shock tower, I loosely installed two nuts. This gave me enough play near the hub to move it around and install the axle and lower control arm.


23. I don't know the torque spec of the axle nut, but my "calibrated arm" (after breaking the nut loose) along with my experience on other vehicles had me thinking it was probably at least 200 ft/lbs. When everything was back together and the front still jacked up, I torqued the axle nut a little by hand. Then installed the wheel and lowered just enough where it made contact with the pavement and torqued the nut down to 150ft/lbs. Then fully lowered the vehicle down and took my breaker bar and tightened another 1/4 turn.





1. Definitely a helluva lot easier than the front. Jack the rear up, place on stands, and remove the wheel.


2. Remove the swar bar end link nut and move the link out of the way. Remove the two bolts holding the rear sway bar to the bottom side of the body. The green arrow in the pic shows the bracket holding the sway bar up. The rear sway bar will drop and rest on top of the exhaust piping. Loosen the lower control arm bolt/nut and remove the nut but not the bolt.



3. Place a jack under the lower control arm. Jack the assembly up until you hit the "sweet spot" where the lower control arm bolt slides out. You'll have to play with it to find the spot, but you'll know when you do.


4. Press down on the lower control arm and remove the spring.


5. When installing the new spring, make note of the lower pigtail position. The lower control arm isolator is molded already with the correct pigtail orientation. Make sure it sits in the groove and not on top.


6. Reassembly is reverse of removal.





Hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask any questions or comment with notes to make installation easier (things I may have missed or a better way to do it).



Eibachs installed:



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Not sure if you pointed this out, but when mine were done, the installer had the spindle pull free and drop causing one of the ABS sensors to be damaged. Said he had never had one fall off like that. He wasn't supporting it because he said they always stick together (before this...) Sensor came in the next day and everything was A-OK when I picked up the Flex.

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Excellent write up. Just as a side note, In order to get the rear camber settings into spec on my car, the shop that I used made the lower control arms adjustable. I am not exactly sure how but I do know there was some drilling involved in the arm where you have that arrow pointing in the last pic of the write up. I have put enough miles on the car since to know there is no wear issue.

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Fantastic write up. I just changed over from the Eibach's to H&R's last Tuesday and what a difference. Your way is exactly as I did it too, just in about 3 hours for me since I had just done the other lowering kit about 6 months ago. Ford has never been famous on their front strut/spindle assembly. At least the rears are coils/shocks as the rest of the SHOs I have owned and lowered had the same PITA suspension at all four corners. Time consuming wasn't the word.

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  • 6 months later...

Ok - this may be a silly question. I don't own a SHO yet, but I plan on lowering springs to be my first or second mod behind a tune.


On the front end, is it possible to remove the lower shock nut on the hub and separate the strut/spring assembly without removing the hub from the LCA? Seems this would be much easier than removing the brake caliper and axle nut. Maybe there's not enough clearence to get the LCA low enough to pull the strut/spring out?

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I do believe possible, but this would be a two person job. The weight and manipulating everything for one person would be next to impossible especially the reassembly. Undo strut mount, separate ball joint, tie rod end, and pop the drive shaft from the trans. And it should be free other than have to remove caliper and disconnect wheel speed sensor.

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I don't know if you'll have enough play in the assembly with the axle still mounted to the wheel hub. It's been a while since I've been down there, but if you can get the axle separated from the hub, you might be able to lower the LCA enough to pull the strut out...

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How different are the front suspension layouts from the previous platform to the D3 platform? I found the attached video which shows the method I was trying to explain:




The strut assembly is very similar in the new Taurus. That might work. I'd be curious to know if it worked for you when you're done.

I didn't think there was enough play with the the axle still mounted to push the LCA down far enough to slide it off the shock.

This video may prove otherwise.....

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 months later...
Has anyone tried the potentially new method for performing this upgrade? I'm just making sure the methods here are still the prefered methods...



I'm going to be installing the H&R's this weekend, has anyone tried to do the removal and install without removing the whole assembly (as per the vid)? I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle but if it saves time then what the heck.




OK scratch that, I did some research and when I put my summer tires back on I really didn't pay attention but something was different about my front end compared to this write up! My 2013 has a different strut than the 2012, please attached diagram. It seems they changed the design, it looks like it will be a LOT easier to remove the front struts on the 2013 (mine is a PP).





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  • 2 weeks later...

For my 2011 I pretty followed this sticky. I used a center punch to push the axle stub out of the wheel hub and that worked like a charm. Also I used vise grips on the lower control arm nut top instead of a small wrench which ended up working better for me. Re-installing the front struts was a lot easier when using my jack to push it up into to the top mount. The rears were a joke compared to the fronts.

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  • 2 years later...


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