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2000 Lincoln Continental Air suspension

imhottt1971

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I have a 2000 Lincoln Continental I have noticed lately some rear air suspension problems we have owned it almost 2 years it has custom 19 inch Giovani rims on 225 35 19 inch nitto tires recently about 8 or 9 times the car has been on the ground in the rear start the car and it rises to full expansion of air bags get out of the car shut the door and car lowers to what I would say is factory height if the car sits it does go down sometimes but what I have been doing is turning off air ride switch and it holds air and does not lower that leaves me to believe air bags are holding air we just went on a long trip and with 4 people full trunk and full tank of gas the car would lower if we all sat in it with full gas and trunk it would struggle to go up so I turned key on stood out side of car and it raised up we got in and we were fine when I parked just disabled the system now today I washed it emptied the cars trunk just full tank of gas not disabling the switch in trunk and the car was low in garage I started it aired it up and disabled it and it holds air can someone help me diagnose this it is driving me crazy thanks jon
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
The 2000 Continental has two rear air springs but 4 height sensors. The dynamic suspension module has a number of features that are not found on the simpler Town Car system. So, I think your description of the problem is:

1. When the suspension switch is off the car maintains its ride height, no lowering over the course of a few days;
2. When the suspension switch is on the car lowers to the ground sometimes but not always;
3. When the suspension switch is on and the ignition is on the compressor will raise the car above the normal ride height and then vent to normal ride height and maintain that ride height;
4. When the car is loaded with people and gas and a trunk load the compressor has difficulty raising the car from its lowered position, but when people leave car then compressor can raise the car to ride height and can maintain that ride height.

Does that sound right?

The compressor sounds weak, but that does not account for suspension lowering with the switch on and not lowering with the switch off. I will do some more research on how the system operates.

Good luck.
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
The compressor is supposed to deliver a minimum pressure of 150 psi and that could be compromised by the drier being very wet or the compressor pump being weak. To determine which one, you can run a little test to save some money. Remove the pressure line from the drier (to the rear air springs) by compressing the quick connect locking ring while pulling out the air line. Run the compressor and see what air pressure you have, 150 psi is very strong. Remove the drier as per the attached procedures. Make sure the O ring is removed. Then use a hair dryer to pass hot air through the drier from the pump side to the small outlet. There should be a stream of humid air that should increase in volume/pressure and reduce in humidity as the silica gel is dried. It may take a while to dry out. Then reassemble the compressor and re-install and see if that fixes or significantly improves the compressor output. If not then replace the compressor and drier. On the Town Car the drier can be taken apart and the crystals dried in an oven. The procedure is in the Lincoln Tech forum here: http://www.lincolnforums.com/forums/threads/10647-Town-Car-Air-suspension-compressor-drier-service the procedure you want is attachment #5 but I don't know if your drier is the same.

With the car on a level surface you can check the ride height. Allow the suspension to raise to trim height and switch off the air suspension. Measure the height of the rear fender lip to the bottom of the rim. It should be 24.25" with stock tires and rims. Stock rims and tires are 215/60R16 which has a diameter of 26.1" and a 5.1" tire height (ground to rim when unloaded) while the 225/35R19 has a diameter of 25.2" and a 3.1" tire height (ground to rim when unloaded). The stock tires will deflect (and therefore lower the car) more than the low profile tires. So you can probably convert that 24.25" ride height (measured from underside of fender lip to bottom of the rim) with stock tires to about 29.25" from underside of fender lip to the ground with stock tires, allowing for a small deflection. The low profile wheels and tires would measure about 28.5" from underside of fender to ground with no deflection. I don't think the suspension height sensors will know or care that the wheels have different diameters, they are working on relative dimensions of body to chassis heights.

So what is the suspension ride height from the underside of rear fender to the ground when the car is on a flat surface with the low profile tires at all corners and engine running (or ignition turned on) when the suspension switch was turned off.

Now, with the ign off and the hood open, turn the suspension switch on and the suspension should start lowering. So listen where the air is venting and have a spray bottle of soapy water to help define the source. With the hood up you should be able to hear if the vent at the compressor is open, and whether both rear springs are losing pressure at the same rate.

The rear suspension height sensors have a sensor wire (black with a pink tracer) and a power wire (red with a black tracer) that goes from the left sensor to the right sensor and then into the trunk connector and up to the suspension module in a tray under the parcel shelf. If you can access those sensor wires and get a voltage reading the suspension high is 0.5 volts and the suspension low is 4.5 volts.

Good luck.
 

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imhottt1971

Junior Member
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yes that is a very accurate description thank you
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imhottt1971

Junior Member
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well I checked the compressor dryer like instructed no moisture and I was not able to test compressor pressure but it seems strong raises car right up any more suggestions thanks john
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
So what about the other test in my post #3: when the suspension is up to trim height and you switch the ign off (and leave the suspension switch on and the hood raised) and listen for where the air is venting as the suspension lowers. This test relates to problem #2 in my post #2.

With the suspension switched off there is no loss of air from the system, but with the switch on there is a loss of air that the compressor is covering and wearing out as a result. So the above test will see if the air is being vented at the compressor that would mean the suspension module is opening the vent solenoid and one or both air spring solenoids, or somewhere else.

Good luck.
 

imhottt1971

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well after that test i finally had time to do some more testing with switch off as i said the car holds air and does not leak but the other day we were all geting in the car and i usually turn switch on we all get it compressors turns on we wait for it to level out and then drive away. but this time my daughter was putting on her shoes when i turned on the switch and with no key in ignition the suspension started to lower and from passenger side rear wheel she heard air leaking does this help thank you and as far as it being level ignition on hood open i heard no leak from under hood the car would pump up compressor would turn off and thats all
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
You can test the position of the leak by spraying soapy water around the solenoid and watching for bubbles.

Sounds like the passenger side rear spring solenoid has shorted and is powering the solenoid open, but this would not normally cause a leak. The open solenoid would allow air into the line to the compressor and since the vent solenoid in the compressor is closed (no sound of an air leak there) there should not be a leak. So there must be another problem with the solenoid to allow air from the spring to leak out, possibly where the air line joins the solenoid.

The spring solenoid is not expensive, so I would replace it. Attached is the replacement procedure. You don't need the ride height adjustment procedure. To vent the air springs of air leave the suspension switch on and raise and support the rear of the car and the air springs will deflate from the vent solenoid at the compressor, and from the leak at the passenger spring solenoid. Once vented then turn off the air suspension switch because you don't want the system powered.

Good luck.
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Attachments

G-707391

I have 2 air compressor and they both turn on for a few seconds then shut off... Like 2 to 5 seconds... Any help
 

GBM

Member
63
10
8
I have a 1995 Continental which we converted to Coil and Springs... the air suspension stranded my mother .. over 80 years old repeatedly ... and the local Lincoln dealer could not fix it.. we even had the regional rep come out to the house and he had no suggestions to actually fix the situation . It is a nice car with the problem air suspension gone. It has the DOHC 4.6 engine. A shame Lincoln could not fix it properly. It was only about 12 years old at the time and lots of other Lincoln owners were having the same problem.
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islandwoodsie

New member
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3
I have know 3 Lincolns that were SCRAPPED due to air ride suspensions going bad and the $2,500.00 price tag to be repaired. Had i known that a spring replacement could have fixed the problem i could have been a Hero.
 

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