How to change struts on a mercury cougar

Written by dan ferrell
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How to change struts on a mercury cougar
Change the struts on your Mercury Cougar. (Photo courtesy of IFCAR at Wikipedia.org.)

Worn out struts make for a poor ride on your Mercury Cougar, especially on rough roads. Working in an organised manner, and with the required tools, you can change the struts on your Mercury following these simple steps.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Floor jack and jack stand
  • Wheel lug wrench
  • 8mm Allen wrench
  • Hollow socket
  • Wrench set
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Nose pliers
  • Steering knuckle puller
  • Pry bar
  • Torque wrench

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Instructions

    Removal

  1. 1

    Park your Mercury Cougar in a safe place with enough room for you to work around the front of the car.

  2. 2

    Loosen the wheel lugs on the side of the strut you want to change. Raise the vehicle using a floor jack and safely support it on a jack stand. Then remove the tire, open the bonnet and disconnect the black, negative battery cable.

  3. 3

    Loosen the strut piston retaining nut. The nut is located on the strut tower-inside the engine compartment-holding the top of the strut assembly to the car body. You might need to remove a plastic cap from the top of the tower to gain access to the retaining nut. Use an 8mm Allen wrench and a hollow socket. As you hold the strut piston with the Allen wrench, slide the socket over the retaining nut. Then use a wrench to remove the nut while holding the piston tight with the Allen wrench.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the sway bar link attached to the strut assembly-working from underneath the vehicle-using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

  5. 5

    Disconnect the brake hose and anti-lock/wheel speed sensor wiring attached to the brackets on the strut assembly. Use a wrench or ratchet and socket.

  6. 6

    Remove the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle. Remove the cottar pin form the castle nut holding the tie-rod end to the steering knuckle using a pair of nose pliers; remove the castle nut with a wrench and disconnect the tie-rod end using a steering knuckle puller.

  7. 7

    Remove the pinch bolt holding the steering knuckle to the strut joint using a wrench or ratchet and socket-you might need to force a pry bar or screwdriver on the strut/knuckle joint to pull it apart and release the strut. Pull the strut assembly off the vehicle.

    Installation

  1. 1

    Set the new strut/coil assembly in place and position the base of the strut into the steering knuckle. Thread the knuckle to strut pinch bolt, but do not tighten it yet.

  2. 2

    Install the strut retaining nut with the hollow socket as you hold the strut piston with the Allen wrench. Then tighten the strut/steering knuckle joint bolt to 40 foot lbs. (54 Nm) using a torque wrench.

  3. 3

    Install the sway bar link, brake hose and anti-lock/wheel speed sensor wiring to the strut assembly. Install the tie-rod end to the steering knuckle using a new cottar pin. Install the tire and lower the vehicle.

  4. 4

    Connect the black, negative battery cable and check the vehicle for proper operation. Verify wheel alignment if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • You can rent special tools like steering knuckle puller and torque wrench from most auto parts stores.

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