© 2002-2011 IEEE. The Nb3Sn quadrupole MQXF is being developed as a part of the large hadron collide (LHC) High Luminosity upgrade. The magnet design was tested on 1.5-m-long short models, sharing the same cross section with the full-length magnets. Various azimuthal and longitudinal preloads were applied, studying the impact on the magnet training and on its mechanical performances. The experiments demonstrated the possibility to control the magnet prestress. However, various factors, coil size among the others, may affect the stress variation between and within each winding. This variation could prevent the magnets from reaching the magnet performances, as for example as a result of the critical current reduction of the Nb3Sn strands. This paper analyzes the mechanical performances of the short models, studying in particular the stress variation on different coils. The measured coil size was used as input in the numerical simulations, and the results were then compared with the strain gauge measurements. Finally, the short model experience was used to evaluate the feasibility of a loading operation that does not rely on the strain measurements.