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2000 Town Car Air Springs

claudiel19

Junior Member
17
2
3
Thread starter #1
I know this subject been hammered on many times over but I believe it's that time to replace the air springs on my 2000 TC. The ride is bouncy, it slightly sags (not too much) and I can hear the compressor kick in every morning (not sure if this is normal) and sounds like this video
.


Now I hope its not time to replace the compressor as well, it seems to work fine although I'm worried about that noise and whether it's a sign that:
A. it's being overworked or
B. it's starting to fail.

As far as the springs go, a quick google search gives me many options that look pretty affordable. My question is which brands should I be staying away from? (my impulse is itching me to pull the trigger on the ebay $55 set. But my logic is telling me they're probably cheapos).



2000 tc air spring google search.JPG


On a side note - as far as the front suspension goes is it just a struts / shocks combo that is the equivalent of the rear air spring / compressor combo?
 

Town

Senior Member
3,814
41
48
Ottawa Ontario Canada
#2
It is normal for the air suspension to vent the air springs overnight to lower the rear by about an inch. So in the morning the compressor (a good one) will run for 15 seconds or so and lift the rear to normal trim height. If the rear sags significantly more than an inch then likely the air springs are leaking, but could also be O rings not sealing the solenoids to the air spring. Turn off the air suspension switch in the trunk and raise the rear of the car (with all the precautions that requires: wheel chocks, axle stands and jack(s). Check the rubber bladder near the plastic lower part of spring for cracks that have widened. Spray soapy water solution where there are cracks and look for bubbles. Spray the solenoid area at the top of the spring in the plastic where the air line attaches and look for bubbles indicating bad seal with O rings.

The car in the video has a very low rear suspension height and the compressor is worn out since it is taking forever to raise the rear. The compressor will time out after 3 minutes and stop to cool down to protect the system. The drier may be waterlogged and need drying or replacement. The compressor has rubber isolators that wear out and make a lot of noise but can be replaced. The video shows a noisy compressor.

Your poor ride may have more to do with the shocks than the air springs. Air springs have a natural damping effect on suspension oscilations. But less air in the springs means a lower ride height and softer spring rate. If the car looks level then the springs are fine. The top mounting bolt for the rear shocks is hard to access, but the fronts are easy to replace.

As with most things quality goes down with the price. If you can replace the air springs and solenoids yourself (and like it) then a cheaper product may last you long enough, but if you have to pay for the labour then you will want a better quality product. I think Arnott components have been recommended by others as good quality products. But I don't know myself.

The front suspension of your car is by coil springs mounted between upper and lower wishbones. The shock is a separate unit and easily replaced without touching the spring. A strut usually includes the shock and spring mounted into a unit that is a top mount to the frame and is free to turn as the wheel hub turns for steering. The 2003 and up models include a coil over shock mounted as a unit between the upper and lower wishbones. It is not a strut but is removed as a unit and the spring and shock can be disassembled and replaced individually or as a set.

Good luck.
 

claudiel19

Junior Member
17
2
3
Thread starter #3
It is normal for the air suspension to vent the air springs overnight to lower the rear by about an inch. So in the morning the compressor (a good one) will run for 15 seconds or so and lift the rear to normal trim height. If the rear sags significantly more than an inch then likely the air springs are leaking, but could also be O rings not sealing the solenoids to the air spring. Turn off the air suspension switch in the trunk and raise the rear of the car (with all the precautions that requires: wheel chocks, axle stands and jack(s). Check the rubber bladder near the plastic lower part of spring for cracks that have widened. Spray soapy water solution where there are cracks and look for bubbles. Spray the solenoid area at the top of the spring in the plastic where the air line attaches and look for bubbles indicating bad seal with O rings.

The car in the video has a very low rear suspension height and the compressor is worn out since it is taking forever to raise the rear. The compressor will time out after 3 minutes and stop to cool down to protect the system. The drier may be waterlogged and need drying or replacement. The compressor has rubber isolators that wear out and make a lot of noise but can be replaced. The video shows a noisy compressor.

Your poor ride may have more to do with the shocks than the air springs. Air springs have a natural damping effect on suspension oscilations. But less air in the springs means a lower ride height and softer spring rate. If the car looks level then the springs are fine. The top mounting bolt for the rear shocks is hard to access, but the fronts are easy to replace.

As with most things quality goes down with the price. If you can replace the air springs and solenoids yourself (and like it) then a cheaper product may last you long enough, but if you have to pay for the labour then you will want a better quality product. I think Arnott components have been recommended by others as good quality products. But I don't know myself.

The front suspension of your car is by coil springs mounted between upper and lower wishbones. The shock is a separate unit and easily replaced without touching the spring. A strut usually includes the shock and spring mounted into a unit that is a top mount to the frame and is free to turn as the wheel hub turns for steering. The 2003 and up models include a coil over shock mounted as a unit between the upper and lower wishbones. It is not a strut but is removed as a unit and the spring and shock can be disassembled and replaced individually or as a set.

Good luck.

Thanks town,

don't know what I would do without you. Or this forum in particular.
 
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