2014 Broken Strut.. Self inflicted, Please help *Pics* - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-24-2014, 12:33 AM   #1
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Exclamation 2014 Broken Strut.. Self inflicted, Please help *Pics*

First off.. I'm pretty embarrassed for having to make my first impression this way... I'm a long time ''learner''on this forum and unfortunately put myself in a position tonight where i need to break my silence and ask for help.. Any and all feedback is appreciated, even a little bashing is warranted.

First off I think it's important to get out of the way that i'm not a formally trained mechanic by any means but with the proper tools and decent instruction I'll always take on the challenge to do something myself while learning in the process.. Not to mention the money that can be saved.

Let's dive in:

2014 GT/CS (650 miles)

Attempting to install SR Lowering Springs.. Not my first time with a spring compressor although if you saw me tonight you'd think otherwise. I followed this video for a little guidance



Got the driver side strut removed and as I'm tightening the spring compressor, (Equally and gradually on both sides until I see the top of the spring slightly separate from the top of the strut), I notice a few small ball bearings fall out.. BB size and greased.. As I stare at the ground in disbelief, spring fully compressed, a few more trickle out. I didn't even attempt to remove the top bolt from the strut at this point due to me being in shock. I just removed the compressor and stared at this mess for a half hour.



I'm almost positive I bent it too somehow





--What did I do wrong compressing the spring?
--Is it possible to pick up a strut at a local dealer or would I be waiting for them to order it just as I would if I ordered it myself online?
--Is anyone out there who's completed a spring swap willing to part with some useful tips to prevent me from making this mistake again?

I am determined to finish this job on my own.. I know it's not rocket science.. This is my 3rd 'Stang but first I've purchased new.. I wanted to do everything perfect. I'm beside myself for leaving her in such disarray over night like this..



Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.. I am forever indebted to those who come to my aid in this time of need.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:41 AM   #2
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Don't feel like the lone ranger. I had this happen to me last week but mine was due to the stock spring not being compressed far enough. I rounded up the bearings and cleaned the grit off of them, regreased, and installed them back into the retainer holder. After you put the two halves back together spin the assembly a few times to lube the bearings, then install the new spring.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:44 AM   #3
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Finish removing the stock spring and you will see the assembly bracket. Your strut should be fine.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:49 AM   #4
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you have no idea how much i appreciate the prompt responses.. I don't plan on tackling this tonight however you've made it so i can at least sleep somewhat peacefully..

Is it at all possible to over compress the spring or to compress it in a way that would bend the strut?

And finally.. Can you please elaborate on where I should be replacing the bearings?.. At a glance I couldn't see where they were coming from..

Thanks again
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by OhSix750 View Post
you have no idea how much i appreciate the prompt responses.. I don't plan on tackling this tonight however you've made it so i can at least sleep somewhat peacefully..

Is it at all possible to over compress the spring or to compress it in a way that would bend the strut?

And finally.. Can you please elaborate on where I should be replacing the bearings?.. At a glance I couldn't see where they were coming from..

Thanks again
I would go ahead and finish removing the factory spring. When you remove the top strut nut the caster camber plate will be released and you can see where the bearings go. If you didn't tighten the spring compressor evenly that could have done it. I didn't compress my spring far enough so when I removed the top nut the spring and strut went one way and the bearings went another. Make sure to compress your springs a good bit. You don't realize how tall they are until you have them removed.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:14 AM   #6
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I would go ahead and finish removing the factory spring. When you remove the top strut nut the caster camber plate will be released and you can see where the bearings go. If you didn't tighten the spring compressor evenly that could have done it. I didn't compress my spring far enough so when I removed the top nut the spring and strut went one way and the bearings went another. Make sure to compress your springs a good bit. You don't realize how tall they are until you have them removed.

You hit the nail right on the head.. I would have to say that tightening unevenly was my mistake. I definitely had it compressed enough but you're right, that stock spring is a beast. Just knowing that the bearings coming out isn't game over is a huge relief. I did this at 6:15 pm east coast... Parts dept. closed at 6.. I've been a mess since then

Any thoughts on electric torque wrench vs hand tools for the spring compressor?

And do you think that over tightening while uneven could bend the strut? Sorry for being repetitive but I just don't want to reinstall if it's bent.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:19 AM   #7
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You hit the nail right on the head.. I would have to say that tightening unevenly was my mistake. I definitely had it compressed enough but you're right, that stock spring is a beast. Just knowing that the bearings coming out isn't game over is a huge relief. I did this at 6:15 pm east coast... Parts dept. closed at 6.. I've been a mess since then

Any thoughts on electric torque wrench vs hand tools for the spring compressor?
I used a small 3/8" impact and just bumped each side of the compressor to keep it even. You can use hand tools but you might have muscle spasms after getting the spring compressed.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:38 AM   #8
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I used a small 3/8" impact and just bumped each side of the compressor to keep it even. You can use hand tools but you might have muscle spasms after getting the spring compressed.
Lol, I meant impact not torque.. i'm having issues today

Spring compressors are scary man... when that thing is tightened down it feels like a loaded gun with a hair trigger.. I think its my inexperience with the tool that makes me fear it the most..

What kind of grease did you use for the bearings?
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:53 AM   #9
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That's the strut mount that came apart and it's fairly common. The stock strut mounts are junk.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:42 AM   #10
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Yep. This is a common thing. Just about every Mustang site has talked about spring removal, and the ball bearings dropping.

Your not alone, and among good friends here on this site. Welcome aboard!
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:33 AM   #11
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I did the same thing a couple weeks back man long time learner as well I opted to get the konis American muscle had a good sale on adjustables.

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Old 04-24-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
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OhSix750,

The factory strut mounts can be a pain when removing them for the first time. They tend to spit out these small bearings when the springs aren't compressed evenly enough for removal. Even with a evenly compressed spring, they'll sometimes still spit out a few ball bearings. Don't beat yourself up about it! You can always re-grease and install the bearings back into the strut mounts.

If you need help with additional tips to finish the install or anything else, let me know. I'm here to help!

Shane
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #13
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I immediately replaced mine with Gt500 mounts. Stock are low quality and will break eventually. Gt500 mounts only work with 05-10 shocks. Steeda hd mounts may work for you if you bought 11+ struts.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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Yep. This is a common thing. Just about every Mustang site has talked about spring removal, and the ball bearings dropping.

Your not alone, and among good friends here on this site. Welcome aboard!
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And welcome!
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:08 PM   #15
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2014 Broken Strut.. Self inflicted, Please help *Pics*

You don't need compressors.. With the vehicle on the ground remove the strut nut... Voila! And then once you put on new springs all you have to do is barely push down on strut mount to get nut started and then tighten. Just make sure that the spring and strut dont come apart before you get them out of the car. Or you will lose a bunch of your bearings. Jack it up slowly while holding onto the strut. You can also use a jack at the lower control arm if you have the wheel off already and just jack up the vehicle till it's off the jack stand on that side and then loosen nut.
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