question for the experienced

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Toddray4168

New member
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A long fan of Town Cars i have finally found myself in the position to purchase one at 51 years old. I have health problems and this may very well be my last vehicle so i want to make a good choice. I had read about the different years losing options towards the end when the manufacturing went to Canada and had also heard that the air ride was removed in the last few years. Basically I would love any advice on what the best years to purchase are and if it is true about the air ride. Thank you in advance for any responses.
 

Norms1stTC

Well-known member
526
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There is truth to the air ride in the later years when production was moved to Canada, tbh with you, I went to coil springs on mine a year after I had it due to motor and air bag failure after 20 years with the oem parts still functioning but leaking air bags and a pump that came on sporadically....and never went back. The cost of parts on these air ride suspensions are ridiculous for OEM, and that's if you can even find OEM anymore, most of what's out there in this area of parts is all Chinese made garbage and by the time and more importantly the money saved was a no brainer for me, and I haven't noticed much if any difference at all in the ride, if I were to fix my air ride to the tune of a little over $500 US vs a $58 dollar set of coil springs and insulators that will usually last the lifetime of the vehicle , I'll take the $58 dollar fix everytime. And with you being in bad health, I wouldn't think anything of it to have coils installed , nor worry if they're on there already. Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy yourself with these vehicles.
 

oktowncar

Well-known member
Ford will charge a ton of money if you want them to do it ( at least $1700 minimum) and Ford will be gathering parts from the local parts store to do the job..

Bags can be found relatively cheap. You can bargain shop and find them in pairs for a better price on sites like eBay or Amazon.
I purchased some eBay bags earlier this year that was China made. The fit and finish are of good quality, no issues.
A compressor with dryer can be found for 260 bucks on the rock auto site
Solenoids for 22 bucks at rock auto

The majority of the parts today are coming out of China. There really is no avoiding it.
You can do the replacement work over a weekend with little issues
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Iron Maiden

Member
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My wife has hip problems..I am almost 70 years old with joint problems as well... we love our 2003 TC with the air ride suspension...would not change it..we live
in the higher elevations of Arizona with twisties and bumps ...no way we would get rid of air ride...best riding car we have ever owned...
 

1985 Owner

New member
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I am 51 myself and bought a 1985 Town Car in July (when I was 50). I absolutely love this car. From what I've read online, people really like the 80s Town Cars.
It's a Signature Series and does not have air suspension. Instead it has springs and shocks. I recently had new springs installed on the back.

I can't compare it to riding a Town Car with air suspension; however, this car has a nice soft ride down the highway, like floating on a cloud.
 

DoubleJ

Member
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I can't find any evidence that my 2011 ever had air ride in the rear. There's no switch, no controls, no nothing other than 2 coil springs. I can see where the switch was supposed to go, and I looked back in there for it, but no dice. It was a single owner car, older gentleman with dementia, and no mention was made of any modifications or even any repairs at 80K miles. Shocks and struts were stock, bushings are shot, body is damaged, pulled out FORD sparkplugs, plug was in the trans pan, FORD filter in the trans. I think they put gas air and oil in it and maybe a set of tires...but maybe not, they were also shot.
 

Jhensley1607

New member
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Air ride was eliminated for all 2011 Town Cars, and have heard some 2010's did not have it either. I have a lot of the factory brochures, and the 2011 specifically doesn't even mention the air ride when it is all over the other documents in the prior years. All 2009 and prior have it. It is inexpensive to have fixed if you use an independent shop, which is what I would suggest to keep this special feature so few cars have anymore. The bags can be found all day long for $150 each on line, and small shops are used to replacing these. I paid $300 in labor to have mine replaced a couple of years ago.
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Toddray4168

New member
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Air ride was eliminated for all 2011 Town Cars, and have heard some 2010's did not have it either. I have a lot of the factory brochures, and the 2011 specifically doesn't even mention the air ride when it is all over the other documents in the prior years. All 2009 and prior have it. It is inexpensive to have fixed if you use an independent shop, which is what I would suggest to keep this special feature so few cars have anymore. The bags can be found all day long for $150 each on line, and small shops are used to replacing these. I paid $300 in labor to have mine replaced a couple of years ago.
Thats specifically what I was wondering. I had heard that when they moved plants from the states to Canada is when options started to fade, then I heard it was 2008,2009 and even that some had them in 2010 and 2011 depending on model. It doesn't seem like readily available info anywhere on the topic. Granted if I had my choice it would be a 2011 with all bells and whistles but if getting a 2010 0r 11 means losing air ride and other options it would be worth purchasing a 2007/08/09 with all available options instead. After searching they can be found, it may be a drive and with used I place miles and condition as priority.
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Iron Maiden

Member
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Thats specifically what I was wondering. I had heard that when they moved plants from the states to Canada is when options started to fade, then I heard it was 2008,2009 and even that some had them in 2010 and 2011 depending on model. It doesn't seem like readily available info anywhere on the topic. Granted if I had my choice it would be a 2011 with all bells and whistles but if getting a 2010 0r 11 means losing air ride and other options it would be worth purchasing a 2007/08/09 with all available options instead. After searching they can be found, it may be a drive and with used I place miles and condition as priority.
I don't see a problem keeping air ride...you can still get parts... and have it repaired or do it yourself..is what I will do if needed
 

G-353959

I just bought a 06 town car. To me the ride is Shakey and the steering wheel seems to shake alot. Tires are balanced, air suspension is good but it seems to be a rough ride. Do you guys notice any of this with your town cars? Only 54k on her
 

07-TC-SL

Member
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To me one of the biggest "pros" of the Town Car is the super plush luxurious ride. I would not buy one without the air bags. Arnott aftermarket bags have an excellent reputation and are a very reasonable replacement cost compared to OEM. You do what you want but I would never run a TC without air bags. So I wouldn't buy a 2011 model ;)

My car was built in May 2007 which was the last month of production in the US. After that they were all built in Canada. But to my knowledge only 2011 was the year of no air bags on all trim levels. It may have been optional on some 2010's or other years, I'm not sure.
 

Iron Maiden

Member
44
28
18
To me one of the biggest "pros" of the Town Car is the super plush luxurious ride. I would not buy one without the air bags. Arnott aftermarket bags have an excellent reputation and are a very reasonable replacement cost compared to OEM. You do what you want but I would never run a TC without air bags. So I wouldn't buy a 2011 model ;)

My car was built in May 2007 which was the last month of production in the US. After that they were all built in Canada. But to my knowledge only 2011 was the year of no air bags on all trim levels. It may have been optional on some 2010's or other years, I'm not sure.
Same here 2003 TC... Best ride ever... airbags are a must for me...this cars' ride is superb...
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04TC

Junior Member
354
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Tampa, FL
I just bought a 06 town car. To me the ride is Shakey and the steering wheel seems to shake alot. Tires are balanced, air suspension is good but it seems to be a rough ride. Do you guys notice any of this with your town cars? Only 54k on her
Does the steering wheel shake all the time or only when braking.? At what speeds? You are correct it shouldn't be shaking
 

Norms1stTC

Well-known member
526
1
363
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I just bought a 06 town car. To me the ride is Shakey and the steering wheel seems to shake alot. Tires are balanced, air suspension is good but it seems to be a rough ride. Do you guys notice any of this with your town cars? Only 54k on her
Could be a lot of things.....tires need balanced, loose lugs, needs alignment, front suspension components failure, it definitely shouldn't be shaky at all.
 
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