Replacing a shock absorber on a 97 Taurus GL

When it comes to automotive I’m sadly woefully ignorant so I’d like to know how difficult of a job this actually is? Does it really require the entire backseat to be removed?

"When it comes to automotive I’m sadly woefully ignorant . . . "

First, you need a good repair manual.
Second, I believe that a Taurus would have (shock) “Struts” all the way around. These are a shock and spring (DANGER - under compression) and bearing/mount assembly that is removed as an assembly. With the proper knowledge, tools, and precations, the assembly is dissasembled.

An alternative is to remove the entire assembly and replace the entire assembly with something like Monroe Quick Struts, available at many auto parts stores.

Don’t try this at home until you know what you’re doing.


I plan on having someone do it for me and I’m going to buy a Monroe Quick Strut for the job I was just wondering if it’s as time intensive as someone told me.

97 Taurus GL
Missing Information:
Is It A Sedan Or A Wagon ?

This Just In . . .

I did a little checking. I believe the sedan has struts and the wagon does have shocks (outside of the coil springs).

If it’s a wagon . . . DANGER - The control arm needs to be supported to hold the spring compression prior to removing the shock.

Either sedan or wagon, shocks or struts, it looks like you need to access the area behind the seat back. And either way, find out what’s going on before atempting any repairs or dciding it’s more than you want to tackle.


I have a sedan. Sorry for not providing the required information! I have a few qualified mechanics in mind I just do not want to get taken for a ride (No pun intended) since I’m not from this area and I really don’t know a lot of people.

I just want to make sure that the OP understands that shocks and struts are always replaced in pairs, not individually. If you replace just one of those rear struts, the ride and–more importantly–the handling will be unbalanced to such an extent that it could well be dangerous.

Either have both rear struts replaced, or replace all 4 at the same time.

Find The Local Library. Many Have Auto Repair Manuals Available In The Reference Section. You Can Browse That And It Should Give You More Insight.

The back seat and the rear package shelf have to be removed to gain access to the upper strut mounting hardware in order to replace the rear struts.


I’m really short on cash at the moment so I am only going to be able to replace one at this time. I think that should get me by for a little while.

You will most likely have to pony up for a four wheel alignment. From $80-120

What Exactly Is Wrong With The Struts (Or Mounts) ?
Unless A Dangerous Situation Exists, I’d Wait, Particularly On A 1997 Car.

Chances are, this is not an investment.


It’s not an investment the car has 200k miles and it’s something I use to get around town and occasionally travel about 160 miles occasionally.

What Exactly Is Wrong With The Struts (Or Mounts) ?
It Is Positively Dangerous ?

The rear passenger side tire is toe-in and when I drive the car it has an extremely noticeable rattle on that side. I’m not exactly sure what the problem is but when I got my oil changed they highly suggested I get it replaced and not take it on the highway.

The rear struts have no effect on the toe adjustment in the rear. To adjust the toe you need this kit.


You’ve all be an invaluable asset I cannot thank you enough. Anyone know where I can get a cheap pair of Monroe 181616s haha.

Tell Us About This Place That Changed The Oil And Gave Advice. Some Oil Change “Experts” Know Little About Cars. Many Try And Sell Repairs.

I’m Not Telling You The Car Is Safe - I Can’t See It. However, I Will Tell You That Many An Old Car Can Rattle And Still Be Safe Enough To Drive, Even With A Rattle In A Strut Mount Or Control Arm Bushing Or Jounce Bumper.

What kind of shop or mechanic did you use ?
Any unusual tire wear, especially where the questionable strut lives ?
Can you say that the rest of the car is safe, ball joints, tie-rods, brakes, etcetera ?

I’m not a mechanic, but some folks here are. Tester gave you advice and he is a technician.
You may need another opinion. Give us some information.


Do you know the difference between toe and camber when talking about wheel alignment issues? I ask because if in fact the rear wheel is toed in now it’s going to be exactly the same after you replace the strut. Excessive toe is an indication of trouble somewhere other than the strut. I know money is tight but I’d spend the $50 or so that a reputable independent shop would charge you to inspect and diagnose your problems. That way you’ll know exactly what needs to be fixed and what’s safe and what isn’t.