Town Car air suspension problems? Read this thread!

zinctwentyone

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I was just pricing them and didn't know it was included in the compressor itself, that's good as it saves around 100.
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I have replaced the compressor, the spring solenoids and of course the air springs themselves. My passenger side still deflates if left over night so I obviously have a short somewhere that is allowing that solenoid to vent when the car is sitting. I would like to splice in a new connector clip to the spring solenoid but not sure where I can can a new connector clip?
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hi dumpsterguy840,

There would have to be a concurrent short in the vent solenoid power wire for the one spring to deflate. Or I guess a damaged air hose line. Have you checked for an air leak at the solenoid junction with the spring housing, possibly bad O rings or a bad air spring?

Good luck.
 

TABBOOMA

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Except a bad air line would not cause that problem. The air has to get out of the spring. You either have a leaky spring or o-rings. Did you grease them good at installation? If not, you may have torn them.

Short is not the correct term. Shorts open fuses, but as Abe says both the spring solenoid and vent solenoid would have to be energized at the same time. Very doubtful, if not impossible
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hi TABBOOMA,

The air line damage was not meant as a stand-alone problem but in conjunction with a failed spring solenoid that is "open", i.e. in lieu of vent solenoid open. Not likely, agreed.

Good luck.
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TABBOOMA

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If that were the case, I'm not sure how the springs would ever inflate. It wouldn't take much of a leak to keep the compressor busy.

If it's leaking when parked, it puzzles my why it wouldn't leak when in motion.
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hi TABBOOMA,

Yes, a very small leak that takes a long time (overnight) to leak a noticeable amount of air. Just something to consider when spraying soapy water at the spring, the spring solenoid and the air line connecting the two solenoids. Just a thought.

Good luck.
 
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So once the air is pumped into the spring the only way for it to exit is to vent from the Spring solenoid?

Should the compressor kick in if the car is not running?
 

TABBOOMA

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So once the air is pumped into the spring the only way for it to exit is to vent from the Spring solenoid?
That's how it's designed, but air springs can leak when they get old or the seal rings between the spring and the solenoid can spring a leak as well.

Should the compressor kick in if the car is not running?
The engine does not have to be running, just the ignition switch in the run position.

Except when the key is in the OFF position, the RAS system is active for 60 minutes after the switch was put in the OFF position and may run if needed to get it back to trim height.
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I don't have a car lift in my garage, what is the best method in a garage to lift the vehicle and and gain access to the springs and solenoids to spray the area with soapy water to check for leaks (I imagine the air spring has to have pressure on it to identify a leak)

I was given the impression that if i left the trunk switch in the on position and jacked the rear off the ground by the frame the air springs would vent completely, however when I did this the springs didn't seem to vent much and this makes removing the springs and gaining access to the solenoids pretty tricky. Any insight as to what I am missing?
 

TownCars1

Senior Member
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Houston/TX
I don't have a car lift in my garage, what is the best method in a garage to lift the vehicle and and gain access to the springs and solenoids to spray the area with soapy water to check for leaks (I imagine the air spring has to have pressure on it to identify a leak)

I was given the impression that if i left the trunk switch in the on position and jacked the rear off the ground by the frame the air springs would vent completely, however when I did this the springs didn't seem to vent much and this makes removing the springs and gaining access to the solenoids pretty tricky. Any insight as to what I am missing?
I was able to get my hand in there and twist the solenoids to release the pressure, they are a two stage affair to remove, so the first twist releases the air and then the second removes the solenoid. So it doesn't throw out the solenoid when you do that.

But if you can find a way to release the air in another way, that's better. I saw the redneck method on YouTube of stabbing the bags with a knife, but I didn't want to go that route.
 
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Yeah this has become a long thread and maybe I should start a new one, here is a quick recap.
2 new air bags, 1 new solenoid, 1 new compressor, 1 new control module - and the car still sinks the longer it sits and it appears the side with new spring solenoid sinks lower than the other side.
 

TownCars1

Senior Member
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Houston/TX
Yeah this has become a long thread and maybe I should start a new one, here is a quick recap.
2 new air bags, 1 new solenoid, 1 new compressor, 1 new control module - and the car still sinks the longer it sits and it appears the side with new spring solenoid sinks lower than the other side.
Sounds like you need to reseal the solenoids. Did you use any kind of grease on the orings?
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TABBOOMA

Banned
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I don't have a car lift in my garage, what is the best method in a garage to lift the vehicle and and gain access to the springs and solenoids to spray the area with soapy water to check for leaks (I imagine the air spring has to have pressure on it to identify a leak)
The same as it would be any place on this planet. Lift the vehicle by the frame so that the suspension 'hangs'. Sure you would have to have pressure in the springs. How would it possibly leak if there was equilibrium between the springs and the atmosphere?

I was given the impression that if i left the trunk switch in the on position and jacked the rear off the ground by the frame the air springs would vent completely, however when I did this the springs didn't seem to vent much and this makes removing the springs and gaining access to the solenoids pretty tricky. Any insight as to what I am missing?
You're missing the fact that anytime the car is lifted the RAS switch should be in the OFF position. Anything else is silliness and bad procedure. Check your owner's manual.

If you want to check the springs etal for air leaks, the last thing you want to do is deflate the system. Turn the switch off, then raise the vehicle as described above and start checking for leaks.

Yeah this has become a long thread and maybe I should start a new one, here is a quick recap.
2 new air bags, 1 new solenoid, 1 new compressor, 1 new control module - and the car still sinks the longer it sits and it appears the side with new spring solenoid sinks lower than the other side.
Why only one spring solenoid?

IMO, replacing one was over repair if was not FUBAR.

Well if it sinks while sitting you have a leak. That simple. Your mission is to identify where that leak is and repair it, whatever it takes.

As TownCars1 mentions, if you didn't lubricate the solenoid seal rings, you may have possibly compromised their integrity.

Good luck.
 
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Thank you for your feedback. I am well aware of the switch needing to be off when raising the car, this vents the air bags and the danger is when the car is lowered to the ground (some old airbags don't survive the experience)

I wanted to deflate the system so that I could pop the air spring off it's mount and maneuver it so that I could get a get grip on the solenoid to twist and remove it (because my BFH doesn't fit up inside the frame so well) and inspect the O-Rings and replace the 2nd Solenoid. I did not grease the O-Ring and will address this.

My next step is to lift the car (with the switch off) and check for the leak (assumably by spraying soapy water on the solenoid and the springs if they weren't brand new).
 

TABBOOMA

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Popping the spring off of the axle seat is not a good idea as your chances of tearing something up in that area is pretty good.

Try removing the hairpin retaining clip from the top of the spring. That might possibly give you enough wiggle room to get your paws in there and remove the solenoids.

By not lubricating the o-rings you probably rolled them or took a hunk out of them. Regardless, take the old o-rings to your local hardware store and match them up. Lube them and the bore they fit into before assembly of the solenoid to the spring. Be sure there is an o-ring on each side of the single back-up washer (spacer).

I’m betting that’s where your leak is.

Good luck.
 

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