Last post on Dec 01, 2012 at 9:47 AM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
What is this discussion about?
Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Sedan, Wagon
#732 of 2996 Alignment Info from Mebcaux
Jan 20, 2003 (2:33 pm)
Thanks for the information and phone call. I sure wish I had gotten your post a few months ago. I sold my Taurus in late October to CarMax. I was tired of constantly getting it aligned and getting two new tires each year. Although it was a minor problem, I was tired of spending so much time at the tire shop getting it aligned only to have Ford tell me it wasn't done properly...etc. etc. etc. I unloaded the car and leased a 2003 VW Passat Wagon, with which I am EXTREMELY happy. Hated the thought of leasing, but it was the easiest way to get out of the Taurus and keep my notes the same. Thanks again for the information. I do hope everything works out in your favor in the end. Take care!
#733 of 2996 Update re: #719-- 2000 Taurus Alignment Problems
Jan 20, 2003 (5:19 pm)
Happy to help! Ironically, I also took a hard look at the Passat Wagon before deciding upon Taurus! Given all the trouble you had, you might still consider filing complaint with NHTSA and/or FTC, as well as going after Ford under the warranty, which should have covered the losses you experienced.
Update to all on strut tower issue:
I called what I understand to be one of the most reputable suspension, frame and axle shops in the Denver area. Their service manager told me they have done hundreds of these repairs on Tauruses and Sables in order to properly align them. He explained that (if I understood him correctly) the weight of the engine is sufficient to cause the frame, body, and strut tops to bend inward slightly over time, making it impossible to achieve proper camber on realignment. He stated that this is foreseeable, and that welding the strut plates to the body is therefore a very poor design, but one many manufacturers now employ.
He also stated that, whereas many attempt to correct the problem by drilling out the welds and repositioning the assemblies, they find that this often will not enable sufficient correction. They instead normally prefer to use a strut-bending tool, as it usually results in better correction. His estimated cost to repair: $195 for both sides, plus alignment of $48.50.
The Goodyear shop does not use a strut-bending tool, but instead will either drill the welds or realign the subframe. Their charges: $150 for both sides, realignment at no additional charge if I return within 30 days.
I would welcome any thoughts on the relative merits of strut-bending versus weld-drilling, sub-frame realignment.
By the way, I still think this is a design defect, but I won't try to resurrect the debate on that point!
#735 of 2996 Taurus unibody flex
Jan 20, 2003 (10:16 pm)
Sounds to me like a Taurus with the sagging front unibody sheetmetal could benefit from good old fashioned engine bay cross-braces spanning from one strut tower to the other. I guess the engine compartment is too tight to allow for something that bulky, though. I have seen late-model performance cars that manage to shoehorn an old-style cross-brace in. Or maybe the Taurus could benefit from some better engineering next time around! Lord knows mine could have used some...
Jan 21, 2003 (1:46 am)
Strut tower braces are available for Taurus, but the tradeoff is that the hood support gas struts have to be re-located or replaced by a prop rod. They won't clear the brace when the hood's closed.
#737 of 2996 1993 Clunk Noise
Jan 21, 2003 (10:03 am)
Its been a long time since I've posted, but I wanted to let those with the early 90's Taurus know what I've figured out with the front end clunk. It comes from where the Control Arm mounts to the subframe. The bushings go on the front side of the control arm (the back side of the control arm mounts to the middle of the ball joint - the control arm then goes through the side of the subframe and mounts to the front of the subframe.)
The problem mostly occurs on the right side, below the oil filter on cars with the 3.8L engine. (of course including sable and continental) There is a metal ring welded to the inside of the front subframe. If the weld becomes broken - the ring will move in and out when you first hit the gas or stop abruptly at low speeds. Have a mechanic weld on the ring and put in new bushings.
No more of that noise - of course there are many more...
#738 of 2996 Taurus alignment problems--strut towers/unibody flex
Jan 21, 2003 (2:56 pm)
Dear "wijoco" and "alcan":
The strut tower braces sound like a great idea. I wish they'd just installed a prop rod, to start with. The hood support gas struts on my 1990 SHO failed long ago, so I now use a broom stick to hold up its hood! Effective, but a pain to retrieve it from the trunk when I need to check oil, etc., and not too elegant.
Jan 21, 2003 (5:20 pm)
The components you are referring to are tension struts, not control arms. They attach to the subframe at the front and the control arm at the rear. Tension strut bushing failure can result in excessive torque steer and brake pull due to alignment (caster) change. The control arms are the components which have the integral ball joint on the outboard end and pivot bushings on the inboard end.
Jan 21, 2003 (9:07 pm)
That's good to hear. Make sure you get a thorough flush and fill on that system...
When I mentioned the compressed air in the heater core, that was in the fall as routine maintenance. We didn't have a compressor, so we used to hook up the hose to the hot water tap as you did (as I recall, mom didn't like it too much).
I'm getting great heat from my '96, and the coolant is green and clear, so the previous owner may have dealt with it before I got it. I'm glad to hear that the heater core hoses are accessible, it's been too damn COLD for me to bother checking where they are. I just keep checking the coolant and hoping for the best.
BUT, for some frightening reading on the coolant system, check this out: