Town Car rear suspension.....


Old 04-12-02, 09:23 AM
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Town Car rear suspension.....

Hello friends, I have a 1990 Lincoln Town Car that the rear suspension has given up. It does have that pitiful air system. What I need to know is how to determine what has failed and if there are any booby traps on this deal that I need to know about before I start on it. I don't know if its computer controlled but when working would level the car without being started because at times it could be heard running with no one near the car. Thanks for your time and input....Mike
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Old 04-12-02, 11:27 AM
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Check the links in my signature file for some ideas Mike.....

That or a good repair manual or subscription should lead you through it.

Yes, this is terribly pesky air system.
Old 04-15-02, 06:37 PM
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Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
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its computer controlled and you need a Ford star tester to get air back in the bags.Ifyou Have 60k or more the bags are most likely bad front and rear.About 3 grand to fix.
Old 04-16-02, 05:50 AM
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My coworker fixed them in his 87 Continental for 125 bucks a bag . 15 minutes and he did it himself!

That being said, an subscription for 25 bucks yearly should give you what you need to know Mike.

The bags tend to rub on other parts of the car and eventuallly deflate. It's a terrible system

Usually the bags themselves (called air springs) or the sensors go.
Old 04-16-02, 06:56 AM
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There is a rebuild kit for the air bag valve available.
9 times out of 10 this is your problem.
Old 04-16-02, 11:05 PM
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Air bag valve???

There's no such part on a Ford air ride system.

The Town Car system uses a compressor/drier assembly, nylon air lines, 2 air springs, 2 air spring solenoids mounted atop the springs & a microprocessor controller.

The air spring solenoids rarely fail & are not rebuildable.

The compressor & the air springs themselves are the weak points of this system.
Old 04-17-02, 01:01 AM
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Angry Not air bag valve! Restrictor valve!!

I have replaced several of these valves located on the air bag.
It is also known as a restrictor valve,Due to the fact that they keep the air from returning to the compressor when inflated.
Some people refer to them as a dump valve.
They are located where the nylon hose goes into the bag.
So apparently they must exist,Unless I just imagined I did them?
Ford must also think they exist or they wouldn't put out a rebuild kit that didn't exist.

Last edited by Billdo49er; 04-17-02 at 01:39 AM.
Old 04-17-02, 05:39 AM
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Either way, the system stinks. Regular metal coil springs work fine for everyone else. Lol.

Easiest way is to get an exploded view of the system from the Ford dealer's parts department and then you can see what parts are in it.

Then, refer to a good service manual (try the links in my signature file) for diagnosing where the problem is.

My guess would be a rotted out or deflated/chaffed air bag. Common problem. It rubs on other suspension parts.
Old 04-17-02, 10:23 PM
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Billdo49er :

Is this the part you're talking about????

Another view:

If so, it's called an AIR SPRING SOLENOID. Not a dump valve, not a restrictor valve.

Here's a description of what it is & how it works.

If there's a rebuild kit available, please post the part number. These things are made of molded plastic & can't be disassembled without destroying the housing.

I've seen exactly ONE failed air spring solenoid in 13 years of both Lincoln-Mercury dealership experience and Ford large fleet experience.

All images Alldata LLC. Used with permission.
Old 04-18-02, 05:43 AM
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There might be AFTERMARKET companies that redo them. But I agree with Knuckles on a Ford part number for the kit.

I know there's a website on these blasted air bag systems and companies that service and refurbish them.

Either way, it's a hokey and oddball system. Metal coil springs work fine and last for a long time, thank you .
Old 04-19-02, 08:11 PM
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I havn't done one in about 10 years,So I wasn't sure of the exact name.Just what some people referred to them as.
They are repairable though and I could've of sworn it was a Ford kit.I'll have to find some of my old contacts on this and get back to you.

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