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Broken springs?

kmagkmag Member Posts: 98
edited March 2014 in Ford
Had my 94 Escort GT into the local Firestone for an alignment, which they recommended last time I had the car there for a flat repair. They tell me both rear coil springs are broken!

Now this car has 115K miles, I used it for a 60+mile commute up to 105K, now my wife drives it. Never used it to haul heavy stuff, go off-road, or anything severe.

I would guess that springs do not just break while the car is not moving. So it would have to have occured while driving. And I would think that it would cause some sort of noise or commotion, or have some effect on steering, or a sudden new vibration or pulling would show up which would be noticable. None of that happened. IVe just noticed the humming sound from the cupped tires the last 3k or so. So are they yanking my chain?

Comments

  • brucer2brucer2 Member Posts: 157
    I don't know how common it is for Escorts, but I do know that a number of Contours and Mystiques have had the same problem. To verify the broken spring you can jack the car up so that the wheel hangs down, and then you can see if there are any cracked coils.
  • kmagkmag Member Posts: 98
    checked this out on contour.org...sheesh! Apparently this is a BIG problem, many have broken springs, some at 20-30K miles! And what is my other car but a Mystique. Its a 99, most with problems on contour.org were 95-98s.

    You would think that it would be a trivial matter to make a low-tech item like a coil spring last the life of the car. They probably saved a few cents in the mfg. process, and now it just adds another entry to the long list of Ford's quality control issues.
  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    I have had so many fords that have had broken springs.It is quite common on thunderbirds/cougars
    (fronts)taurus/sables,windstar/villagers etc.I had a front one break right in the middle on my thunderbird.I was waiting at a light.I thought someone had hit me the shock was unbelievable.Abuddy of mine had one break in his garage-parked.He has a windstar.He did not know what happened till the next day when he tried to back up and sliced his tire.Corrosion and poor design are to blame.
  • 87ranger287ranger2 Member Posts: 13
    Phil Edmonston has had several meetings with Ford execs regarding this problem. Take a look at lemonaidcars.com After the page loads scroll down to the info.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    we have a number of spring breaks up here in road salt territory. I have had a main rear spring leaf break on my ranger, probably a small rock flipped between the leaves in one of our between-season shell craters from a tire provided the wedge. but that was the first I have ever had. the only spring Dad ever broke was one torsion bar on a nasty Le Bar(f)on with the alleged "400 lean burn" engine, which was among the worst engineering mistakes Chrysler ever made.

    there seem to be a fair number of recalls in salting states for spring and suspension failures since the FWD cars became standard in the US.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    I've worn out three spring compressers putting front coils in late '70's to early '80s full size GM cars and Dodge vans form the same era. Early Taurus/Sable front springs, and Contour/Mystique rears are right up there too. Escorts after '92 brake a lot of rears too.

    Harry
  • kmagkmag Member Posts: 98
    Im wondering if it will be worthwhile, or necessary, to replace the springs. My car (94 Escort GT) has 116K, value drops like a rock as do most domestics. Edmunds TMV average condition is $874 trade, $1,440 private party. "Rough" condition is $656 and $1,154. I had only planned on keeping it another year or so, and puttin $500+ into springs wasnt in the plan! What would likely happen if I just drive it as is? Will the alignment change often & wear out the tires? Is there a safety issue?
  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    i wouldn't drive the car with two broken springs.they could shift and puncture a tire.
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    Would there be anything wrong with welding the springs in place so they cannot move out of place? I know you can't weld the spring back together to make it work like new, but rather weld the two halves together then to the spring seat. Or, maybe kmag could go to a salvage yard for them. They couldn't be that expensive and should be easy to find. Go rent a spring compressor at a parts store and installation should be relatively quick and easy.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    Are the way to go, get the whole strut assembly. That way you don't need any special tools to change them. Don't mess with the nut on the strut shaft, drop the mount by loosening the small nuts in the trunk, after disconnecting the bottom. Then just bolt the same parts from the junk yard in. On the rears, you can probably get by with out an alignment too. You should be able to do it yourself for about a hundred dollars or less.

    Harry
  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    junk yards are a good option but it is like doing the job twice if they do not remove them off of the clunker for you.i think 500 bucks is a little steep for just springs.i would get another opinion.if you can remove the strut/spring assembly your self you could bring the assembly to a good parts store.many stores will transfer the new springs onto your struts for a modest price.
  • kmagkmag Member Posts: 98
    The estimate was actually around 400 for two rear springs + 90 for an alignment + tax.

    I have no patience with working on cars, nor do I have the proper tools, or the time, so fixing it myself is not an option. Having the springs welded seems like a good idea. Where would I go to do that? A body shop? Could they do it while the springs are on the car
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    Welding a spring is asking for trouble, if you are going down the road and the weld breaks, you or someone else may get hurt, and it will be your fault now for the improper fix (I have seen places that can "re-curve" springs, but I would never get a broken one welded). I would try first with the manufacturer in case of any re-call on the suspension system , if that does not work then the Salvage Yard idea is the next best to avoid a High $$$$ new unit
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    Rando is correct, you really cannot weld a spring. The alloys used to make springs are such that the heat from welding would decrease the temper in part of the spring. A welded spring would thus not have the proper ride height or force/displacement characteristics ... as well as being very likely to break.
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    springs in of themselves are not that expensive looking at $50 or $70 for both
This discussion has been closed.