1992 Lincoln Continental

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  #1  
Old 10-05-03, 03:25 PM
pjasutis
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1992 Lincoln Continental

Need to find out why the air suspension totaly deflates, only in the front after I drive the car 3 times in a day.

I can hear the compressor running but the car is not leveling.

Thanks for the Help.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-05-03, 03:45 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs down

Lots of reasons for problems in these. This is a piss poor system that will soak you fiercely when it starts to go.

1) The air struts often develop leaks
2) The compressors go bad.
3) The lines leak
4) The system gives a lackluster ride and the "benefits" never outweigh the problems this system gives.

My coworker had one of these (an early 1987 rear drive). His father in law went for 3000 bones (Ya, that's right) to redo this system, the air bag blew out again in 2 years when my coworker had it. He fixed the system (the bags were 125 each) and pitched the car for a rear drive GM. Best move he could ever make.

Unfortunately, your car is also saddled with a head gasket blowing 3.8 engine and a piss poor transmission. Now might be the time to think about a replacement vehicle down the road.

As for the actual problem at hand, as mentioned above, lots of pitfalls on this one. Memory serves me that Gabriel and some of the other aftermarket companies make replacement strut kits that eliminate this system.

Basically, a Continental is a gussied up Taurus platform, so the struts can be retrofitted to it and that's what these guys do.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-03, 09:06 PM
cheapfurcoat
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Allow me to answer your question without so much of the Ford bashing rhetoric that seems to waft around here like ground fog.

Your Lincoln probably has a lot of miles on it. Either way, it is 12 years old. The air suspention systems on these cars consist of a compressor, desicant dryer, 4 air bags each with a solonoid and a computer to control the system.
9 times out of 10, the problem lies with the fact that the desicant dryer has stopped absorbing the moisture from the system. It is surely worn out after 12 years, even if your car has few miles on it. When this happens, the solonoids that control the air that is pumped into and released from the air bags to get wet and stop working.
Your car is designed to bleed air out of the bags when it is turned off and pump up when the car is started. When the system gets wet, all kinds of weird things can happen. When the weather gets cold, it gets even worse as the moisture in the solonoids can freeze.
These cars have a fairly simple way to diagnose problems with the suspension with the on-board message system in the dashboard. You need to go to the library and get a manual that tells you how to run your car through the diagnostic tests. This series of tests will confirm or rule out a malfunctioning solonoid, damaged air bag or malfunctioning computer.
If it passes all the tests, you can be pretty sure that the moisture in the system is the culprit, in which case you need to get a new dessicant dryer and have the system bled.
Hope this helps.
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-03, 09:40 PM
mike from nj
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my co-worker drives a 220,000+mile grand marquis with the same system. his 'rear' air bags became dry-rotted and wouldn't hold air too long, the car sank overnight everytime. he used a squirt bottle filled with soapy water and found the leak pretty easily. $125 each at the lincoln/mercury dealer and it's been working fine ever since. they took all of 5 minutes to replace. his engine and trans have held up better than his suspension---no problems yet.

where is the caprice today?
where is the crown vic today?
 
  #5  
Old 10-06-03, 06:44 AM
Joe_F
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125 for each air spring is alot more than a vehicle with a 15 dollar shock and a spring that lasts the life of the car and takes just as much time to replace.

As I said, this is a problematic system. So much so, the aftermarket guys have developed alternatives to bypass them and do away with it.

Some vehicles have been junked because it takes more to make the car sit level than the vehicle is worth.

My point is to do an assesssment in the long haul about this vehicle. It has a lot of negatives going for it.

No sense putting a load of money into a bottomless pit. My coworker had this EXACT vehicle. He also dumped it when it started to soak him.

Original poster's choice.
 
  #6  
Old 10-06-03, 09:08 AM
Joe_F
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Allow me to answer your question without so much of the Ford bashing rhetoric ---

Actually, Ford did a good enough job on their own. Count all those A/T service bulletins. There's enough there to wallpaper an office:

http://alldata.com/TSB/32/92320111.html
 
  #7  
Old 10-06-03, 09:35 AM
Joe_F
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where is the crown vic today?---

Since Crown Victoria models don't all have this air strut system, I suspect those suspensions are holding up rather well.

Ford specifies that the police car/fleet models (probably 1/2 of the Crown Vics sales) have regular springs, shocks and suspension.

Mike: If it were so good, why doesn't Ford specify it for Police cars/fleets which typically make up half the Crown Vics sales?
 
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