The struts on your 1998 Ford Escort help decrease the long-term longitudinal compression of your vehicle's chassis and suspension by dampening the shock of daily travel. Although the struts act as shock absorbers, they differ in design from shock absorbers, with the spring fitting around the strut rather than sitting beside it. This design feature can in fact make changing the struts fairly challenging, but you can overcome this by using a spring compressing tool. If you have this tool, you can easily perform this procedure and save a great deal of money.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Ratchet and socket
- Tire tool
- Jack stands
- 2 spring compressing tools
Disconnect the negative battery cable using a ratchet and socket. Raise the front of the Escort using a jack. Lower the car onto jack stands, then remove the tires.
Unbolt the top of the strut tower, located above the wheel well, using a ratchet and socket. Unbolt the lower strut bolt connecting the strut to the strut brace, using the ratchet and socket.
Lift the strut and spring together out of the vehicle. Separate the spring from the spring cap by placing a spring compressing tool on each side of the spring and cranking the spring compressing tools in alternating fashion with a ratchet and socket until the spring separates from the spring cap.
Unbolt the spring cap nut using the ratchet and socket. Pull the spring from the strut, then install the spring on the new strut by tightening the nut with the ratchet and socket. Compress the spring using the two spring compressing tools and alternately cranking them with the ratchet and socket. Insert the top of the strut into the strut tower and the bottom of the strut into the strut brace. Reinstall the strut brace bolt and the nut on the top of the strut, using the ratchet and socket.
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for the other strut.
Remount the wheels, lower the Escort, and reattach the battery cable.
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