Poor ride quality - how can it be improved?

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MarkX

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I don't think this is a simple fix; rather I think it is a suspension engineering flaw inherent to the Continental product line. Wheel sizes and tire designs may have some influence but it is more than that. I experience this sort of ride harshness in my Reserve on 19" Michelins. This is the single worst aspect of this car. For a while, I had been thinking that I had been spoiled by my long string of Mercedes-Benzes but now I think it is more than that.
 

Todor

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I was going to switch to air suspension once the warranty was out for a more comfy ride.
That's an excellent idea. I researched air suspensions allot for my hot-rod. For comfort you need "rolling sleeve" air bags - good donor model is the E53 BMW X5 it has front McPherson rolling sleeve air springs. For the rear it would be more complicated, but there are some rolling sleeve springs that will fit.

What is more important is a. actual comfort from the inherently stiff air springs and b. good control of ride height. Here are the solutions:
a. Expansion tanks connected to the air springs with big crossection hoses such as at least 1/2 inch diameter. Expansion tank lowers the spring rate while preserving the load carrying ability at the same pressure.
- Expansion tanks should be actuated (connected and disconnected) with high capacity solenoids. This way you will have two settings of the springs - comfort and sport.
- Another super comfort setting would be connecting left and right springs with the same gauge hose, this would give even lower spring rate as well as ability to transfer air between springs - all hydractive suspension cars have this setting - Citroen, Rolls Royce, Toyota Land Cruiser, Big Infinity SUV's etc. At certain steering angle, the solenoid for left and right is closed as well as in sport.

b. Ride height should be controlled by mechanical device such as the ones found in old Mercedes Benz from 60's and 70's with some inert time around center position in order to preserve air from the control tank and thus reduce compressor up time. You could use 3 or 4 such devices 2 on the front and one at the rear axle, but 4 separate leveling devices are better.

This system is simpler and cheaper than the circus phone app controlled suspensions, but is much more safe, comfortable and functional.
 

Town

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I don't think this is a simple fix; rather I think it is a suspension engineering flaw inherent to the Continental product line. Wheel sizes and tire designs may have some influence but it is more than that. I experience this sort of ride harshness in my Reserve on 19" Michelins. This is the single worst aspect of this car. For a while, I had been thinking that I had been spoiled by my long string of Mercedes-Benzes but now I think it is more than that.
Do you have the suspension set to Comfort? The setting shows up on the instrument panel just to right of fuel gauge and slightly above.
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MarkX

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Do you have the suspension set to Comfort?
Yes.

The dealer delivered the car with cold tire pressures of 35 psi all around. I am beginning to think I should bleed them down to 33 psi but I sincerely doubt I will get much improvement. We really feel it over highway expansion joints or potholes.
 

Town

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Yes.

The dealer delivered the car with cold tire pressures of 35 psi all around. I am beginning to think I should bleed them down to 33 psi but I sincerely doubt I will get much improvement. We really feel it over highway expansion joints or potholes.
Those kinds of impact pressures will be felt in all cars that I have driven (not driven MB though). My car does the same but is better than my Town Car for impacts and ride quality. The lower the profile and the higher the speed rating and pressure the worse it is. Tire pressures change with ambient temperature and speed/loading. The recommended tire pressure is 33 psi which is what I keep my tires at (check in early morning without sun heating them) and check every week. My pressure gauge gives pressure to 1/10 psi and correlates exactly to my TPMS readings.

What I notice is that tall profile tires absorb impacts better than low profile tires, but the rebound energy is severe and can overwhelm the dampers and springs and move the car around at speed. I like the Lincoln compromise.

Sorry that your Lincoln doesn't match the comfort of your other cars, but it is probably working as designed, which I think is great engineering. Perhaps your dealer can check out your car.
 

Todor

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I think he might need some sort of tough suspension inspection. Ball joints, bushings, stabiliser bar links and bushings, the so called comfort pad above the McPherson. Maybe even the dampers. Why not take the car to one of those suspension check stands that shake the car and measure damping force? Now there is a new kind of stands, pads you park on which move front-back and sideways and a technician listens with stethoscope and tells you what's wrong with the suspension.
Maybe front control arms.

And again, thread wear 800 A/S tires might be the main reason. I have literally thrown away a set of Dunlop AT-23 285/60/18 after one summer. They rode horribly in my 2.74 ton empty weight Land Cruiser with hydro-active self leveling suspension.
In the end I was inflating them 160kpa, that's 23.5 psi and still they just rode horribly.

Just borrow a set of wheels and tires from someone or buy a used set with summer only tires and try.
 

jhartz

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The replacement Continental (2020 with 20" Goodyears), does ride slightly rougher than the 17with 19" Michelins. I lowered the air pressure to exactly 39# cold, helped.
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Todor

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The replacement Continental (2020 with 20" Goodyears), does ride slightly rougher than the 17with 19" Michelins. I lowered the air pressure to exactly 39# cold, helped.
Goodyears are horrible tires. Night and day difference when I replaced them with Falken Azenis FK510. What is qurious is that the Goodyear's sidewall is much more softer, but the Falken rides much smoother, and Goodyear are padded with foam, but the Falken is quieter.
Also, wet traction or grip of the Goodyear are simply dangerous. Aquaplaning resistance is simply non existent.

Wonder why Lincoln chose that size 245/40/20 instead of going to 255/40/20 which are closer in diameter to the 19's 255/45/19 which ride much better.
 

MarkX

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A Conti Reserve that I thought about buying had 20" wheels (that I didn't want) with Goodyears. That might be the default brand for that wheel size.
 

Treat center

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Goodyears are horrible tires. Night and day difference when I replaced them with Falken Azenis FK510. What is qurious is that the Goodyear's sidewall is much more softer, but the Falken rides much smoother, and Goodyear are padded with foam, but the Falken is quieter.
Also, wet traction or grip of the Goodyear are simply dangerous. Aquaplaning resistance is simply non existent.

Wonder why Lincoln chose that size 245/40/20 instead of going to 255/40/20 which are closer in diameter to the 19's 255/45/19 which ride much better.
Tudor.....I understand the tire rides is quieter HOWEVER what about the frustrating loud THUMPs we get when driving over highway expansion joints or potholes or bridge expansion joints, or lane reflectors, etc?
 
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Todor

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Tudor.....I understand the tire rides is quieter HOWEVER what about the frustrating loud THUMPs we get when driving over highway expansion joints or potholes or bridge expansion joints, or lane reflectors, etc?
Same cause. Hard plastic tires. I really can't understand people driving nice new cars with A/S tires. I had two cars imported from the US in the last year and a half, both pretty good shape, almost new, first set lasted one 40 mile trip and I picked the phone and ordered a set of summer only treadwear ~300 Dunlops, second set was the Conti, gave them a chance for a couple of thousand miles. Completely pointless exercise, everything is horrible, noise, ride, aquaplaning, no words to describe, the Goodyears went in favor of a set of Falken FK510, summer only. - have you heard me complaining about ride or noise? Eastern Europe does not have the best roads, believe me.

I can recall, you switched to 18's, which is good, but you bought some sort of Bridgestone A/S with treadwear ~680, which is very hard plastic, the OE Goodyear are 500. On 18's 235/55/18 will give you a diemeter very close to the stock 19's or you can use straight S-class summer only 245/50/18.

Why don't you get a set of used junk summer only and try them? 18's are to be inflated 2.3-2.4 bar.
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jhartz

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Maybe a different car? Test drive a 2020 Jaguar XJL and see if it's the ride you want. Jaguar -- for thirty years -- has been removing minor harmonics with upper shock mounts with soft foam. But that is the difference between a $70K (US) sedan and a $95K car.

My Reserve rides much better than my wife's brand new RAV4, too.
 

Todor

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Maybe a different car? Test drive a 2020 Jaguar XJL and see if it's the ride you want. Jaguar -- for thirty years -- has been removing minor harmonics with upper shock mounts with soft foam. But that is the difference between a $70K (US) sedan and a $95K car.

My Reserve rides much better than my wife's brand new RAV4, too.
Before I ended with the Continental I was on rather long quest of tracking X350 and X358's with the 4.2, I was and still am in love with the ride, maybe the best one there is at all. Unfortunately, all are too neglected. Only downside were the front seats that were not entirely up to the class of the car.

Anyway, the Continental is by far a better car, more practical, etc, much better handling and maneuvering. Although sportier ride, but without harshness.

Anyway, tires are extremely important, mine rode very close to what the OP is describing with the OE Goodyear.

So, here is a list ot tires that are either known to me or I consider nice riding.
Rules: no run flat, no A/S, summer only or winter only with the tri-peak and snowflake
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 | 235/55R18 (tirerack.com) - not known to me, research them.
Pirelli P Zero (PZ4) | 235/55R18 (tirerack.com) - well known tire in Europe, nice qualities, but doesn't behave well below 18-20C
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 | 235/55R18 (tirerack.com) - DM-V2 has been my winter tire on the Land Cruiser 100 for 15 years, very high quality, good treadwear, soft ride, some noise, but not unpleasant.
All 235 section tires should be inflated 240kPa cold minimum.
Bridgestone Turanza ER30 | 245/50ZR18 (tirerack.com) - OE Mercedes W222 tire size
Continental ContiSportContact 5 | 245/50ZR18 (tirerack.com) - used those, nice tire
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D DSST RunOnFlat | 245/50R18 (tirerack.com) - used both 3D, 4D and one other flavor of winter Dunlop, all quiet and soft riding
All 245 section tires should be inflated 235kPa cold minimum.

All in all, I pretty much don't like the limited choice. Maybe due to season.

Also, have the suspension checked.
 

MarkX

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Judging from my own experience (see my post in this thread above) and complaints from other Forum posters, I think it is a waste of time and money to seek a tire-related or wheel-size solution. This issue seems to be reported by various owners regardless of the tires or wheels fitted. The problem is the suspension engineering which would be a challenge for private owners to resolve.
 

Todor

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Judging from my own experience (see my post in this thread above) and complaints from other Forum posters, I think it is a waste of time and money to seek a tire-related or wheel-size solution. This issue seems to be reported by various owners regardless of the tires or wheels fitted. The problem is the suspension engineering which would be a challenge for private owners to resolve.
Unless you buy Dunlop AT23's 285/60/18 for a 2.74 tonn dry weight Toyota and they are so horrible that you think the car is falling apart, broken and worn out. Then you struggle with them a summer and a half sometimes driving them at 1.6 bar/23 psi and that doesn't help as well, then you put them in the trash bin. Then you buy summer only Michelin or Nokia, the thing is quiet and rides like a dream.

Bad tires can ruin a car.

Mercedes, especially S-class has suspension engineered for run flat tires, so it just doesn't rely on tires for ride comfort. Not so with the Continental.

In this thread I don't see valid arguments. You say 20 in Goodyear A/S are bad, and 19 in Michelin A/S are a little less bad.
I tell you I have thrown away three sets out of the top of my head, otherwise they are more, on three different cars and it was the tires.

Someone has to be driving on nice summer only.
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OmegaLincoln

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My MKS(s) were more comfortable rides than my continental. That's because this continental has a feel for the road.

I think part of the continental demise was people were expecting that plush comfy ride of Lincoln and Ford gave them a luxury sport sedan with excellent handling. All of a sudden, the top sedan was driving more like a mustang instead of a crown vic. I don't think the brand was ready for it. And didn't know how to market it.
 

MarkX

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I think part of the continental demise was people were expecting that plush comfy ride of Lincoln and Ford gave them a luxury sport sedan with excellent handling.
That would be plausible except that Ford has dropped production of all four-door cars citing lack of market interest in that format. From now on, trucks, SUVs, and Mustangs only. Besides, I think some of the later Ford four-doors had pretty good handling, too. Now maybe if they had made the Contis in Bavaria instead of Flat Rock, they would have had some street cred.
 

OmegaLincoln

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That would be plausible except that Ford has dropped production of all four-door cars citing lack of market interest in that format. From now on, trucks, SUVs, and Mustangs only. Besides, I think some of the later Ford four-doors had pretty good handling, too. Now maybe if they had made the Contis in Bavaria instead of Flat Rock, they would have had some street cred.

That just says all of their fate(s) were tied together. The launch of the continental was a big marketing deal. At least at my dealership it was. Part of the problem was how it was marketed. That backseat package focus really didn't make much sense. Nobody buys an 80k car to chauffer people around. In fact, who cares how the backseat passengers ride? Should of focused on HP, luxury and handling.

I don't remember the Fusion getting the same hubbub. So to put all that money into the Continental and have it close shop within 4 years... There's more to the story. I don't see Honda, Kia, Toyota...all shutting down their sedan lines. This was more of a pride move if you ask me. Trends don't change that fast. Just ask the F150.
 

MarkX

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This was more of a pride move
Well then, GM must suffer the same affliction, if you look at the Cadillac CT6 that was roughly comparable, if a bit more expensive, you see the same fate. Unimpressive as the Conti’s sales numbers were, the CT6’s were worse. And it is no more, either. I drove both before I bought and there’s no question in my mind which is better but neither American car is in production while the imports thrive. Go figure.
 
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