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1998 Ford contour front strut only one Nut on top

I have a broken spring on left front strut and when I looked at the engine compartment to see what I need it only has one nut in center with black collar and I was told when replacing these never remove center nut but it is the only one there is that with collar the only thing holding this strut on at top dont want to mess with till I am sure.

You’re doing something this dangerous without instructions?! If you had the strut/spring assembly out, and you took that central nut off the strut, it could KILL you! If you take that central nut off, with the strut/spring assembly installed, it could still hurt you.
Click on this link: It shows the strut mount which is retained to the car body by three small nuts. You can remove these nuts, if that’s what the repair manual instructs.

Hellokit is right. This is NOT a job to be doing without skill and the guidance of a service manual. The service manual will show where the mounting nuts are and how to proceed safely. A coil spring that is suddenly released is a dangerous projectile.

You WILL need to replace both front springs, since the car is so old. If the struts are bad also, consider getting a set of Monroe QuickStruts. The whole kit and caboodle is included- strut, spring, upper mount, spring isolator, etc. Probably cheaper than replacing all the parts that are worn a la carte, and a lot safer, too. You don’t have to mess with removing or installing the springs from the strut assembly.

But you’ll still need to have a manual.

I told you I have done them before where the three nuts are on top with the center nut but on this car there arent the three nuts on top with the center one

You can remove that center nut to remove the strut assembly. Once the strut assembly is removed, you’ll find another center nut below the one that was removed. It’s here where a strut spring compressor is required to remove that nut.

But I agree with NYBo. If the spring is broken it probably means that strut is shot. So by the time you purchase new springs, struts, and upper bearings, you’ll have more money into these parts than you would with a pair of Quick-Struts. And if you don’t have a spring compressor, add that cost into it.

Tester

I have replaced front struts and springs before with a manual and always had the three nuts to take off and when I came across this car I just purchased from private owner for $100 for a starter car for my son who just got his permit and before doing anything wanted to make sure that that wasnt the main center nut since it was the only nut on top in engine compartment because the next task would have been to try and get the compression tool under the wheel well but you are sure that is just an outer nut right then I can disasemble on my work bench like normal.

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1b/d6/d9/0900823d801bd6d9/repairInfoPages.htm

Here’s an exploded view of the strut assembly. As you can see, there’s a mounting nut, and below that is the retaining nut.

Tester

If you ever do the rear struts, these require that the strut springs be compressed BEFORE removing the struts.

Tester