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Thread: rear suspension problems

  1. #1
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Riding the weekend and the check suspension light came on 1996 lincoln 120". Stopped for dinner and checked fuses and all. Had one blown fuse and I replaced it but now my suspension will not come up. The fuses are now good and the pump comes on and runs. The bags have pressure on them so I will assume they are not busted. Any other thoughts would help.

    Would love to fix and not spend a whole lot but I am about to put springs on it and get rid of the bags.

    Also if someone can tell me where the height sensor is so I can check it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Sounds like load level sensor, does the suspension rise at all? or is it sitting way low

    I have been on springs for past two years, never had a problem, Bags are good but tendancy to blow
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  3. #3
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    Sounds like a wiring problem, probably right at the pump (located under the air filter box). If the compressor is pumping but the car isn't raising, the problem is either wiring or the bag solonoids. On the top of your air bags there are these little solonoids that electronically allow air to flow in/out of the bag, if they do not get the right signal from the system the compressor can run all day and the bags won't accept the air.

    I would check the wiring harness at the pump first for anything that doesn't look right.

    FYI - if the compressor is running then the leveling switch (located to the left-center between the rear axle and frame) is still working.

    The system kind-of works like this... the leveling switch is activated by weight in the car. When activated it tells the compressor to start and also opens the bag solonoids to allow the air into the bags. Once the level ride switch reaches the proper level it tells the compressor and the bag solonoids to shut off.

    The reason the system is made this way is to: 1) not have high pressure in the long air line. 2) If an air line blows the air bags stay up.

    Hope that info helps you understand the system a little.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Originally posted by Mr.Frugality:


    Now if you really want to keep this repair cheap and reliable, you can do what I did:
    Take a piece of wire long enough to go from the battery to the air compressor (I used a pair of jumping cables, but if you use this, be very careful not to touch the other end of cable to any part of car while connected to battery)with one end of wire attatched to battery post + , take the other end of wire and splice into red wire on compressor (I used a clean razor blade to peel just enough insluation off red wire to wrap other wire on, by doing this you are keeping the main wire on compressor in one piece, not cutting it so when your done, a small piece of electrical tape is all that's needed to cover the missing insulation, now quickly turn the ignition key to the on position so the solenoid's can open, go to right rear wheel well and place hands under wheel well, lift in a rocking motion as hard as you can, let go, repeat several times until you get the air bags 100% filled (or till the height you want), immediatly go to trunk and switch the air suspension switch off, take jumping wire off of compressor, turn key off.
    The above is a portion of a reply to my message.
    I did this procedure and nothing happened. Are we suppose to unplug the computer first or not.

    Here is everything i have done.
    All the fuse are new the relay is new. The compressor work with no visable air leaks. All the door ajar and trunk ajar switch work properly. I do not hear any air leaks in the rear of the car. i have took the tires off and checked the air bags to see if they had pressure which they do. I did find the height sensor and it is there and hooked up. the only thing i can not get to is the solenoids on the to of the bags. But is it normal that they both fail at once.

    The car is sitting very low but everything i try so far will not get the rear up. I dieing here any help is appreicated.
    Thanks
    If anyone wants to call email and i will send my phone number.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Originally posted by Mr.Frugality:
    Hi sound's like an air bag solenoid problem. If one is bad, it send's wrong info. to computer, making it look like both are bad. The solenoid located at top of air bag CAN be changed with rear of limo being lifted/held by jackstand's. Just raise the rear enough for you to get your head/body underneath, use jackstand to support weight of car, try not to raise more than you have too, reason: you want to reach the top of airbag from below with your arm. Go underneath car near axle, look up and find small air line that goes to solenoid at top of air bag. Take a small (like hobby tool small) flathead screwdriver, "pop" the small clip off of solenoid in an upward motion, don't worry about destroying old clip since new solenoid has a new one included. Now CAREFULLY (when the solenoid pops out, it will release the pressure and air in bag, be careful) twist the solenoid till it won't turn anymore, PULL SOLENOID OUT CAREFULLY, now with solenoid out, disconnect air line by pressing down on o'ring washer and pull on line at same time. Install line on new solenoid by pressing into o'ring washer until you feel a click, you will know that it's locked by pulling on line, if it comes out, repeat. I would replace both since the part new is around $30.
    If you don't want to mess with this, just bypass the system. Here's an easier way than I explained in last post: Raise rear (both left and right side)of car so rear wheel's are just touching the ground. Use jackstand's to support weight of car. What your doing here is taking pressure off of the airbag's. Now jump the compressor so it turned on. With compressor on, look at rear bag's. Are they filling up at all? If yes, while bag's are filling, slowly lower each side of car. Turn swith in trunk to "OFF" and turn compressor off when desired height is reached. If bag's did not attempt to fill up, one or more solenoid's is locked in the closed position and is not letting air in.
    put new solenoids on and NOTHING took the computer out of the loop and jumpered the compressor NOTHING.

    I am ready to scream!!!

    The only thing left to replace is the computer and the height sensor, but by the time I go nickel and dime very thing to death I could put spring on there.

    Any other thoughts will be appreciated.

    Thanks

  6. #6

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    Do you have a limo mechanic ? A good one will save you thousands of dollars a year.
    Dean Schuler

  7. #7
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Mr.Frugality's Avatar
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    For more testing procedure's including how to check wiring, go here:
    www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00061.html
    A true leader seeks the leader in others

  8. #8

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    Hi, I've been through this as I'm sure many others with older cars have. My 120 split a bag, I was sent to a Midas shop and was told the mechanic was familiar with our suspension. Called me and sugested springs and air shocks with the (tire) valve for filling. He put in Crown Vic springs and 180lbs psi in shocks ($500)could vary psi according to weight load as high as 240psi. From an auto parts store you can buy a compessors that will pump 250psi. It worked well enough, but I longed for air bags. The compressor worked but not well. Bought a new one $330.00 and two new bags from, Arnott Inc. and a ride height sensor also checkout www.lincolnsonline.com/tech They know there stuff, as does Arnott, 2 solenoids clips and "voila" air bags.
    If you've put in new solenoids you've done all the hard work already. Like Digger said / compressor,lines, height sensor, solenoids and bags. Could be module but I've always found it's the mechanical items that wear out.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Originally posted by There&Back:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Mr.Frugality:
    Hi sound's like an air bag solenoid problem. If one is bad, it send's wrong info. to computer, making it look like both are bad. The solenoid located at top of air bag CAN be changed with rear of limo being lifted/held by jackstand's. Just raise the rear enough for you to get your head/body underneath, use jackstand to support weight of car, try not to raise more than you have too, reason: you want to reach the top of airbag from below with your arm. Go underneath car near axle, look up and find small air line that goes to solenoid at top of air bag. Take a small (like hobby tool small) flathead screwdriver, "pop" the small clip off of solenoid in an upward motion, don't worry about destroying old clip since new solenoid has a new one included. Now CAREFULLY (when the solenoid pops out, it will release the pressure and air in bag, be careful) twist the solenoid till it won't turn anymore, PULL SOLENOID OUT CAREFULLY, now with solenoid out, disconnect air line by pressing down on o'ring washer and pull on line at same time. Install line on new solenoid by pressing into o'ring washer until you feel a click, you will know that it's locked by pulling on line, if it comes out, repeat. I would replace both since the part new is around $30.
    If you don't want to mess with this, just bypass the system. Here's an easier way than I explained in last post: Raise rear (both left and right side)of car so rear wheel's are just touching the ground. Use jackstand's to support weight of car. What your doing here is taking pressure off of the airbag's. Now jump the compressor so it turned on. With compressor on, look at rear bag's. Are they filling up at all? If yes, while bag's are filling, slowly lower each side of car. Turn swith in trunk to "OFF" and turn compressor off when desired height is reached. If bag's did not attempt to fill up, one or more solenoid's is locked in the closed position and is not letting air in.
    put new solenoids on and NOTHING took the computer out of the loop and jumpered the compressor NOTHING.

    I am ready to scream!!!

    The only thing left to replace is the computer and the height sensor, but by the time I go nickel and dime very thing to death I could put spring on there.

    Any other thoughts will be appreciated.

    Thanks </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I decided to pull the air line out of the compressor and see if there was any air coming out and there was none. So I took the dryer can off and turn the compressor and still no air coming out.

    is there any fixing this or is it just replace and go on.

    thanks

  10. #10

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    The compressor assemly is designed to also bleed the air presure down in the system ie:vent. Height sensor calls for air to raise and it also calls to bleed air back through the compressor assembly, the control box. Your compressor may or may not funtion properly. Did you replace the ride height sensor or check the circuts function.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Mr.Frugality's Avatar
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    There's a valuable do-it-yourself article at www.lincolnsonline.com/tech that explain's how to ADD an emergency valve tapped into main air line that will alow you to fill it up at any air pump.
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  12. #12

    Default Rear suspension problems

    I am visited first time to this site. This site contains most valuable information this information is very use full to any vehicle driving persons. Some times rear suspention problems occur that time we need mechanic to fix that problem. Number of members are discussing in this site, and giving their valuable suggestions to others. I like very much this site.
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