Auto air ride suspension problems

Tiny
PATRICK COOPER
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • 147,000 MILES
My rear air bag leaks I sprayed soapy water the bag I see air bubbles coming out of I know I need a new bag. I want to change them both how do I remove the bags and where would there be the cheapest place in San Jose CA to find them thank you
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 AT 10:59 AM

35 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We are all over the country so we do not know any shops to recommend. Before you start removing things, be aware that Ford does not support cars more than three or four years old, so you may not be able to get replacement air springs. This has been a real common problem so the aftermarket industry has done a real good job of making retrofit kits available that use the normal coil springs. You wont notice any difference in ride quality but you will lose the automatic height-adjusting feature. There are also replacement air shock absorbers available for that, but you will have to investigate to see if there are automatic controls available or if you can hook them to the car's compressed air system.
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 AT 2:16 PM
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
  • 136,000 MILES
I sent in a question yesterday about an air suspension problem. I am in the process of changing email services so I don't remember which one I provided. Either one will work.
I added a donation for a prompt response from a certified professional, which has already been deducted from my account. Can you tell me when I might expect your reply, and what form it will be sent? Will it come by email?

Also by asking a question and donating, am I automatically registered as a member?

Your prompt reply to this and/or my question would be sincerely appreciated.

Dennis
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
We don't even have a way to find your question so if you have a link to it, please provide it.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
Hello Wrenchtech---

Thanks for the tip. I wasn't aware I was in an open forum, but communicating directly with someone at 2CarPros. I'm new at this so I would appreciate your understanding.

I used the name of Bigdennyboy2 to submit my followup question, trying to find out if the answeer was forthcoming. When I submitted my initial question My name was submitted as Bigdennyboy, but I couldn't use it because it was "taken" (by my first submssion)

So, this was the question for which I would appreciate your help:

There is a problem with the air spring system on my 1999 Lincoln TC. The back end sat down over night one day last week. Having had lincolns before I felt quite sure it was a leak in the air spring(s). After new air springs were installed, they wouldn't inflate.
Each time the car is started, the compressor starts and runs for a minute or two then shuts off, without any evidence of any air having entered the air springs. As a test, a used compressor that apparently was ok, was connected to the line and the result was the same as when the original pump was run. The compressor ran for a minute or so then shut off. Also, in both cases, the compressor outlet line was disconnected and was replaced by a connector with a stub piece of short hose to sense the air coming out of the compressor. The air stream at the end of this short hose was very weak, both in volume and pressure. When the engine was run for a while, the compressor continued to to cycle on and off in the same manner as described above, producing a weak air discharge. Is it possible that a control device such as a relay or solenoid ahead of the compressor is stuck in a partially open position, preventing a full flow af air to or from the compressor to the system?
As an additional observation, one side of the electrical connector to the pump has two black wires, one pink wire and a gray wire. A mechanic said that the pink wire that connected to the blue wire on the other side of the connector showed no sign of any power. I don't know whether this is significant, but I thought I'd mention it.
I would appreciate your expert analysis of the problem, given the symptoms above as well as a suggested solution. If you have any questions, I will try to respond immediately.
Thanks in advance for your prompt reply.

Bigdennyboy
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
The pink is the vent control. It's not supposed to be powered. There are all kinds of things that could make this system act that way. It has a control module, relays and a data bus that feeds data from various other sensors. It should also have height sensors on the differential. This will not be a simple thing to diagnose if the problem isn't obvious.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
Thanks Wrenchtech

Thanks for your answer.

Doesn't the fact that the compressor is delivering a very small volume of air at least point to a cause? Could it be such a thing like worn internals of the compressor(s)?

If it was a control problem wouldn't it seem unusual that air in a small volume would be delivered by the compressor?

Bigdennyboy
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
I don't know what you are calling a small amount. They don't blow very hard. You said the compressor is shutting off before the car is lifted. That still leaves it wide open for any possibilities, including the compressor.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
Hi Wrenchtech

I'm sorry I wasn't specific using the term "small amount" of air. The volume (cfm) nor the pressure (psi) at the tube outlet were not measured. But I would think that there would be a strong stream of air, both volume and pressure, to inflate two air springs whose volume is about a cubic foot and which support a couple thousand pounds load.

As an expert do you know what the delivery volume and pressure of the compressor should be?

Bigdennyboy
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
There is no published specification for that. Again, there are a dozen or more reasons for something like that. The line could be leaking somewhere among other things. This is not a problem that you will find a magic answer online. The system has to be inspected to determine the cause of the problem. This system also stores trouble codes that can be accessed with a factory scan tool or equivalent.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
I guess I know why 2CarPros calls your rating of urgency for an answer, a donation. A donation is something one gives freely without an expection receiving anything in return. That's about what I got.

If a problem is obvious, it doesn't require an expert mechanic to solve, does it?

I appreciate your patience in communicating with me, so maybe you've earned the $10 "donation". But I sure didn't get what I expected. At least a suggestion that might lead to a solution of my problem.
Bigdennyboy
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
I'm an automotive technician, not a magician. This is a very technical problem which would not be easy for even an experienced tech actually working on the vehicle and using thousands of dollars of advanced diagnostic equipment. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in test equipment just so we can do our job and even then it's not easy. I can answer technical questions or I can supply schematics and diagrams but if I could solve problems like this from home, I would never have to go to work. I don't get your money. The site uses that to help other people. I think your expectations are quite unreasonable.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGDENNYBOY2
  • MEMBER
Hi Wrenchtech--

I didn't mean to imply that you get the donation. Sorry.

If you have schematics and/or wiring diagrams of the Lincoln Towncar air suspension system I would appreciate it if you could attach them to a reply. That would be a really helpful reply.

Regards,

Bigdennyboy

.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
Here ya go
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
REVBILL777
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 LINCOLN TOWN CAR
Own a 1999 Lincoln Town Car 4.3 liter. Bought the vehicle at local Lincoln Dealership same year made.
Have 105,000 miiles on the car with no oil leaks, no a/c problems etc.

Went out yesterday to find that the complete rear of vehicle was lower than the front. AIR SUSPENSION light was activated above odometer.

Opened trunk and turned off air suspension. Waited for a while to let it reset. Turned the air suspension back on then turned on the key without starting vehicle and waited. Did not hear the familiar humming sound heard in past when vehicle was leveling back to front.

Today rear of auto is still lower than front and did not hear the compressor activate at all. Any advice would be appreciated as do not like the Lincoln dealership service repair as did not do very good job of even repairing small items while vehicle was under warranty.

Thank you in advance for your response.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Unfortunatly if you try the fuse and it isn't blown, your stuck! The light is on because the System has stored a trouble code(s)! If you want to avoid the dealer, you will have to find a shop that can read the codes! The other thing to check is, on the rear axle their is an adjustment arm that control ride hieght, see if it came off! The trouble with Linc, is the tubing between the compressor and the air springs chafes on the steel parts of the car, and over time can wear a hole in the line! Then the compressor will run till it burns out.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
REVBILL777
  • MEMBER
Wanted to Thank merlin2021 for his courtesy in answering my query. I did check the fuse before read his post. Fuse was blown. Replaced fuse, un-hooked battery, then reset the air suspension switch in trunk. Unfortunately the car has not leveled out. I do not remember hearing the compressor running but looks like will have to go to shop.

Thanks again merlin2021. I would give this person a 10! It is good to be an American when someone who doesn't know you will reach out and try to help.

Thanks again for your time and information.
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+2
Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PAE003
  • MEMBER
Hey, I bought a 2000 Lincoln Town Car from a dealership about 2months ago and 3 weeks ago my car stopped leveling out. The rear is sitting on my tires, and my car is so low to the ground that the gas tank and stuff gets banged up if I drive it so I haven't driven my car in 3 weeks. I am a college student and I really need to know how much I am looking at in order to fix it. I need my car. Seems like we have a similar problem. DID YOU GET YOUR '99 FIXED, IF SO HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
REVBILL777
  • MEMBER
Yes I ordered my parts from American Air Suspension.
It is located at americanairsuspension. Com. My LTC had a bad compressor, and after buying the compressor for $180.00 with extra dryer from above stated place the car did air up to reg. Height. I did wait a few days to see if the car was going to start going down and found out the air shocks were leaking. Ordered the new Arnnot air shocks and remanufatured solenoids from American for $245.00. Out I guess $425.00. If you take it to the Lincoln dealership they will start out at $1200.00 on up. There are instructions on most of the material on lincolnsonline. Com for the air suspension system. You could have a bad height sensor located on the air shock. If it were me I would make sure I had the driver door closed with the a/c, radio, etc. Off and turn on the key to the spot just before start. If the compressor is working you will hear it come on as soon as you turn on the key and it will run for almost a minute. If the compressor is running you may have a height adjustment missing on the air shock. That is the easy fix. If you don't hear the compressor running, check the 30 amp fuse on the driver side under hood, really need the vehicle instruction manual that should have come with the vehicle. On my car it is the last fuse closest to the firewall marked 30. If you find you have a bad compressor you might as well go ahead and order the whole system as I did and get some of your firends at college to help you. You will need two jack stands and preferrably two hydraulic car jacks. Good luck in you finding the prob. If I can be of anymore help give me a shout.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
REVBILL777
  • MEMBER
I forgot to tell you if you go to lincolnsonline. Com you have to click on the tech at the top of page and it covers many probs with LTCS. There is even a pictured sequence of how to repair the air suspension system. My compressor as yours will be under the air filter in front of fender welll. You just have to undo the air filter intake, take out the sensor with a left twist and it should slip out of the way so you can snap or unscrew two rubber screws that hold the plastic flap over the compressor. If your fuse is blown and you replace it, the a/c will get very hot quickly if you turn on key with door closed, it is gone so need to turn off switch in trunk or unplug fuse. You will know for sure then that a/c is gone.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)
Tiny
REVBILL777
  • MEMBER
Got all the parts from american air suspension. My son and I replaced the arnnot air shocks and rebuilt solenoids in about an hour and half.
Thanks to everyone that answered my questions I saved around $800.00 and now have a happy wife.
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Monday, February 15th, 2021 AT 12:18 PM (Merged)

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