Suspension - Replaced Springs and Shocks | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Suspension Replaced Springs and Shocks

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by SkYp3r, May 16, 2013.

  1. SkYp3r

    SkYp3r I Don't Like Spam!

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    Hello All!

    I just got back from replacing my old shocks and springs with a new Quick Strut and Spring kit i bought off ebay. What a difference! Car sits higher and rides a lot smoother. I doesn't bottom out when under load and no more weird noises going over speed bumps :D

    I'm here posting my progress as I'm trying to get this car back to original state. The previous owner never changed major parts i think, and used the car lightly (1998 Ford Escort SE Wagon with 95k miles, original owner) So far so good. it was a quick in and out change along with four new tires. I think I didn't spend much for the kit of two front and two rear quick struts. Not brand name parts but it rides fine in my opinion. Same with tires, I bought them for very low price, also not name brand i think.

    Here's the link for the quick spring and shock kit
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&vxp=mtr&item=310669079661#ht_1843wt_1165

    I purchased 4 tires at a local tire shop by my house for $265. They were Leao Tyre - Lion Sport GT - 185/65R14. I drove it to work today, and sooo much better than the bald ones i had before lol

    My main concern now is a squeaking noise I get when going over bumps or making turns. It only happens when the car shifts weight or something. im not sure but my friend that was helping me switch the kit told me it could be the control arm bushings? I took a couple of photos of today's work along with a quick video clip, demonstrating the squeaking sound. Tomorrow when i go to work I'll see if i can get my car to make any other noises other than the squeaking sound. In order for me to get to work on time, I have to take the highway so I'm sure it'll make all the noise it has then :)

    Any info on what may be the cause will help! Since i want to do the alignment asap, I don't want to spend the cash making the alignment.. then replacing the part to then require another alignment :! Thanks in advance!

    old front strut and spring assembly to the left, new one on the right
    [​IMG]





    old rear strut and spring assembly to the left, new one on the right
    [​IMG]

    I was originally going to get pics to get a before and after ride height but forgot half way in lol
    [​IMG]

    Heres a photo of what I found. I think I need to replace that lol
    [​IMG]

    Its not that deep, I didn't see any leaks. car brakes fine with no pulse on the brake peddle :!
    [​IMG]

    Here's the video demonstrating the squeaking sound.. sorry if you can't hear me.. It took me three times to record this. I sound goofy on camera -__- (**the video will take you to my photobucket account**)
    [​IMG]

    oh and Thanks [pextor] for the tracer tail lights! ^-^
  2. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Greetings.

    Control arm bushings if like 2nd-Gen are basically rubber isolators. If you want to eliminate that possibility just hit them with some lubricant and go for a drive.

    Once that has been eliminated, hit the ball joints.

    Once that has been eliminated, put silicon lubricant on the strut bar and let it run down into the seal.

    One-by-one you can eliminate the potentials.

    Front or rear ? Long squeak, rotational squeak, momentary squeak associated with body-shift ? Didn't see or notice where the video was linked. Lots of moving suspension parts of front. Do your brakes pulse at all ? Running on warped rotors I've had the caliper slide mounts squeak; even momentarily on a hard turn.

    Never heard of "Leao" before. Seems like there are ever-increasingly a lot of brands that don't have a name in this market now. For the next purchase, keep in mind that a bad tire(s) can kill. Since I hit 70-90 every time I hit the highway, need better snow traction, quite a bit more partial to spending (reasonably) more on tires.

    Yeah if you were bottoming-out, had bad springs. Surprised they weren't broken.
    techman_hou and SkYp3r like this.
  3. SkYp3r

    SkYp3r I Don't Like Spam!

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    [Intuit] Sorry for the late reply.. I ended up lubricating the control arm bushings and eliminated the squeaking sounds when turning or going over speed humps..

    As for the knocking sound.. I ended up finding out that all of my engine mounts are bad.. Transmission being the worst of them all as it had NO rubber.. Just bouncing around on bare metal hah. That explains why when changing gears you hear that clunk sound.. same when coming to an immediate stop, trans shifting down i guess..

    I haven't replaced them yet, trying to find time, parts and a how to, to do it myself if i can.. with the help for a friend i hope hah..

    Thanks for the info though! Im trying my best to stay interactive with feoa.net !!
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    To replace those bottom motor mounts, I think the easiest way would be to take out the battery and the battery tray, and unbolt the 'driver side' motor mount under the tray. Then you can jack up the trans and engine, enough to have room to switch out the two mounts that are underneath the trans, but above that front to rear crossmember. Just make sure that nothing is getting squashed or stretched when you jack up the motor.
    Also dropping that front to rear cross member makes changing the bottom motor mounts easy - since you may need to lower the rear-most side of the trans in order to get the 'through bolt' slid out of the motor mount back there. But dropping the crossmember may be tough, if the front bolts or the nuts in back are rusted up.
    Both Ford and Rockauto.com call that lower rear-most mount a 'transmission mount', and call the other three mounts 'motor mounts'.
  5. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Bad engine mounts on these are extremely, extremely rare at this point. Glad you figured it out and came with the feedback.

    Re the above-mentioned cross-member, be sure to use plenty of lubricant and avoid cross-threading those bolts when reinstalling. These areas are directly exposed to road salt. Use torque specifications.
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    And dont blame me if anyone tries to drop that crossmember, and has one of the bolts break off the captive nut that is inside the left-to-right crossmember below the radiator. I have already had that happen, got to spend a few hours on a weekend with my oxy/acetylene torch fixing things; after removing the front bumper, condenser, radiator, etc to get at the area!
  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    The upper motor mounts can go bad???
    You might not like those crap Chinese struts in another 10,000 miles.
    You could have gotten made in USA Monroe Econo-Matic the about the same money from Amazon or Rock Auto (273 shipped after 5% discount code). I have 100,000 miles on mine. You probably won't get nearly that many miles on your Chinese special struts. Plus I won't send any Americans to the unemployment line.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    ndlm8888 likes this.
  8. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Paint is EXTREMELY important when it comes to springs. Inspect the springs closely and do NOT buy if the paint is already scratched, or is easily scratched. Had a new spring get ate-out from a breach in a matter of a few years. The damage wasn't at all obvious until I removed from the strut assembly... and they fell apart at the point of the breach. When I went shopping for new strut, mount and spring assemblies, (a.k.a. "quick struts") I found cheap paint that was already scratched, exposing shiny metal on a pair of Monroe. The KYB struts I purchased had excellent, unblemished paint and were stamped "assembled in USA" while the strut was stamped "made in Japan." They were more expensive but worth the cost as this was my third set for the rear including OEM. My front are still OEM with no signs of problems what-so-ever.
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Folksl; arent each of us sending Americans to the unemployment line each time we work on our own cars - instead of taking it to a repair facility, or buying a newer car?
  10. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    The difference *might* be that people have always worked on their own automobiles**, but the trade deficit has been ever-increasing more especially since the electronics-boom of the 80s.

    ** The number of home-mechanics *might* even be less overall since the early-nineties when manufacturers began going solid-state on the ignition system, and heavily increasing the amount of computerization of passenger automobiles. Interestingly, one of the primary contributors to the decreasing trade gap of late, is reportedly our oil exports.
  11. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    It's one thing to buy a cheap import, because it's cheap. But the OP bought an import of questionable quality for almost the same money as a reputable brand made in USA. That's a real amateurish move, and they could have asked here or elsewhere first. If someone doesn't have much money and they buy a cheap import, (meaning that it's less than 1/2 the cost of a US made product) I don't blame them.

    Nobody responded to the upper engine mount replacement failure rate?? Or did Intuit do that my saying Bad engine mounts on these are extremely, extremely rare at this point.
  12. 97MTracer

    97MTracer FEOA Donator

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    Not to thread jack but what struts that are about the same price can you buy in the US? I'm wanting to get my suspension in good order. My scort doesn't take pot holes too well.

    -Thanks
    Kyle G.
  13. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Try these.

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1119338,parttype,15174


    The Monroes are around $65 each
  14. 97MTracer

    97MTracer FEOA Donator

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  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Usually slightly cheaper on Amazon, just get your part numbers correct.
  16. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    I don't think the quality is there with Monroe any more. In the last 3 years I've been seeing increasing numbers of complaints about monroe parts, the quickstrut assemblies in particular, across many "owner-fixer" car guy forums. Things like incorrect and faulty valving, incorrect spring rates, early failure, improper assembly. I put monroe shocks on the rear of my minivan and they failed after a year, and I don't put many miles on it now.

    Anyway, I've got Monroe on my "Never again" list.
  17. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Yeah the paint on those Monroe springs was look'n pretty shabby. As mentioned, paint on springs is especially important.
  18. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    If they failed you can return them. They doing that with your made in China specials!
    IIRC, a lot of the "failed" Monroes are really just a loose upper strut bolt on quick strut assemblies. That's something that should always be checked before install on anything. Even if Monroe's are as bad as you say, they are still probably better then the made in China no-name specials. That and as poorly paved as roads are around where I live, I prefer the softer struts of Monroe's.
  19. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    Well it was just after a year and a year was all they gave me on that part... another "OEM identical quality" part that lasts less than 10% of the time/miles the OEM part did.
  20. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    "Another" should be underlined. I think parts manufacturers and re-manufacturers in general figure our cars won't last long enough find out what kind of crap they sold us.

    Auto shops don't go for that. Shop at the same places they do... CarQuest, Napa and Dealership. They don't like having their work come back in short-order. Bad for business.

    EDIT: There are of course many exceptions... like muffler/exhaust shops that routinely put that HORRIBLE aluminized steel crap on...

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