Town Car air suspension problems? Read this thread!

spurlockda

Junior Member
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Ordered Arnott air springs, Parts Geek solenoids, Tasca upper & lower retainer clips and then a Dorman radiator fan. I’ll tackle the shocks and compressor/dryer after a couple of paydays.

As I read through a lot of posts, I read about people swapping out the rear sway bar to a bigger one to stop the “buffalo sway” (no joke, that’s what someone wrote) but I know what they mean. Tackling those interstate clover leafs at a hundred mph definitely induces some sway:oops::censored: I wish I could get dynamic 4 point suspension:ROFLMAO:
 

spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
CuttingToolGuy: I’m not from Phoenix (where my Lincoln decided to start breaking) and I haven’t been able to find any junk yards with LTCs. With all the retirees, you’d think there’d be thousands of them?

One thing I’m looking for is that black plastic cover that sits over the center of the engine. A local “mechanic” thought it just lifted off. I think he must do a lot of deadlifts because he fractured it into at least four pieces. He also, while changing out coils, cross-threaded one of them and it blew out on the way to work less that a couple of hours after he “installed” it and then 20 miles. Sigh!

Next wallet emptying project. Been finding aluminum shavings in that small pencil sized in-line filters.
 

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
242
118
43
Northern Illinois
CuttingToolGuy: I’m not from Phoenix (where my Lincoln decided to start breaking) and I haven’t been able to find any junk yards with LTCs. With all the retirees, you’d think there’d be thousands of them?

One thing I’m looking for is that black plastic cover that sits over the center of the engine. A local “mechanic” thought it just lifted off. I think he must do a lot of deadlifts because he fractured it into at least four pieces. He also, while changing out coils, cross-threaded one of them and it blew out on the way to work less that a couple of hours after he “installed” it and then 20 miles. Sigh!

Next wallet emptying project. Been finding aluminum shavings in that small pencil sized in-line filters.
Hi, spurlockda.

I'm replying to both of your posts here. Dorman is known for "re-doing" OEM parts to "more or less" OEM standards. I didn't know they made air springs, though it isn't a surprise. I have read no comments on their air springs. Other parts they've (re)made have varied in "public approval." I don't know about Parts Geek solenoids, either.

Not going with Motorcraft (new old stock) air springs and solenoids, I'd have gone with Arnott for both. I have yet to read of someone who regretted buying Arnott products. While I intend to buy Motorcraft units for my "re-springing," that is more because I'm trying to keep the car somewhat "original," as in "collector-car-original," while still being a somewhat well-cared-for daily driver.

The Arnott air springs should also be "fresher" than the Motorcraft items, assuming that the current Motorcraft stocks are "new old stock" rather than being made within the last year or so like the Arnotts. While being in the package on the shelf is not even remotely as hard on the air springs as being in service on a car, the air springs are basically textile reinforced rubber bags. So, "fresher" does eventually tend to be better.

As for finding "last-series" Town Cars in junkyards, they are there, but you have to look for them. Beyond wrecks, "black swan" incidents, and so on, the people who have them are taking care of them and keeping them on the road, just like you and me. And, they didn't exactly sell like hotcakes when built, either. You will "tend" to find them more frequently in "big" cities where they were burned-out in taxi or Uber/Lyft service. Since they are all too old for that now, the "supply" of dead donor cars has dropped.

You should have your "mechanic" pay for the damages he did. It's the same engine basically as a Mustang. If the mechanic can't work on it without causing damage, you should sue and have him pay the claim from mowing lawns in Phoenix, since he doesn't really seem qualified as an automobile mechanic.

In my case, the cover, "nut," and stud were all missing. I had to get the part number for the stud from Ford Parts Giant, and then order the part by number from Tasca. The cover itself, while an actual Ford product, attractive and functional, wasn't exactly the version that came with the car. But, it works until I find something "better."

Good luck getting "caught up" with your 2003. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks.
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spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Hi, spurlockda.

I'm replying to both of your posts here. Dorman is known for "re-doing" OEM parts to "more or less" OEM standards. I didn't know they made air springs, though it isn't a surprise. I have read no comments on their air springs. Other parts they've (re)made have varied in "public approval." I don't know about Parts Geek solenoids, either.

Not going with Motorcraft (new old stock) air springs and solenoids, I'd have gone with Arnott for both. I have yet to read of someone who regretted buying Arnott products. While I intend to buy Motorcraft units for my "re-springing," that is more because I'm trying to keep the car somewhat "original," as in "collector-car-original," while still being a somewhat well-cared-for daily driver.

The Arnott air springs should also be "fresher" than the Motorcraft items, assuming that the current Motorcraft stocks are "new old stock" rather than being made within the last year or so like the Arnotts. While being in the package on the shelf is not even remotely as hard on the air springs as being in service on a car, the air springs are basically textile reinforced rubber bags. So, "fresher" does eventually tend to be better.

As for finding "last-series" Town Cars in junkyards, they are there, but you have to look for them. Beyond wrecks, "black swan" incidents, and so on, the people who have them are taking care of them and keeping them on the road, just like you and me. And, they didn't exactly sell like hotcakes when built, either. You will "tend" to find them more frequently in "big" cities where they were burned-out in taxi or Uber/Lyft service. Since they are all too old for that now, the "supply" of dead donor cars has dropped.

You should have your "mechanic" pay for the damages he did. It's the same engine basically as a Mustang. If the mechanic can't work on it without causing damage, you should sue and have him pay the claim from mowing lawns in Phoenix, since he doesn't really seem qualified as an automobile mechanic.

In my case, the cover, "nut," and stud were all missing. I had to get the part number for the stud from Ford Parts Giant, and then order the part by number from Tasca. The cover itself, while an actual Ford product, attractive and functional, wasn't exactly the version that came with the car. But, it works until I find something "better."

Good luck getting "caught up" with your 2003. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks.
Unfortunately the prices of the OEM parts ended up being toooooo much so I had to go with the Arnots for the springs but OEM for the retainers and such. Then when the fan crapped out, that added expense changed my plan. If I win a lotto, I’ll go back to 100% OEM.
 

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
242
118
43
Northern Illinois
Unfortunately the prices of the OEM parts ended up being toooooo much so I had to go with the Arnots for the springs but OEM for the retainers and such. Then when the fan crapped out, that added expense changed my plan. If I win a lotto, I’ll go back to 100% OEM.
Hi, spurlockda.

No need to apologize for putting new air springs from a reputable manufacturer in your car. It is your car after all. If anything, I would have to nod respectfully to you sticking with the air ride system where more than a few LTC owners have replaced the works with steel coil springs. I have considered Arnotts, and if I were being less OEM OCD, I would fit them myself. I've yet to hear anyone say or write that they wished they hadn't fitted Arnotts.

When I bought my 2001, I only paid $1700. The car was low mileage for the year, and generally in good shape. I've spent more than that in repairs (admittedly including new tires,) and I've only owned the car eight months. But, everything works. I have one window regulator that is "fading," the "semi-slow" leak in the rear springs, non-factory front floor mats, and a minor exhaust issue to sort, but otherwise, I'm good. The car runs and drives like a luxury car should drive.

Once again, good luck on getting yours sorted. Please let us know how things go for you.

Thanks.
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
284
116
43
Ordered Arnott air springs, Parts Geek solenoids, Tasca upper & lower retainer clips and then a Dorman radiator fan. I’ll tackle the shocks and compressor/dryer after a couple of paydays.

As I read through a lot of posts, I read about people swapping out the rear sway bar to a bigger one to stop the “buffalo sway” (no joke, that’s what someone wrote) but I know what they mean. Tackling those interstate clover leafs at a hundred mph definitely induces some sway:oops::censored: I wish I could get dynamic 4 point suspension:ROFLMAO:
I did a larger rear bar (later cop/taxi car) with new joints n rubber and replaced the watts link and all four control arms along with new bags and the wallow in the rear is tolerable, but I imagine if one went to drive it and had no prior seat time it'd be a little shocking. That watts link was a step backwards from the
previous setup. I had a 90 with rear springs at the same time I bought this 04 and it rode both better and drove like a normal big old car. I'd hate to have to do some actual evasive driving at speed with it, the mass transfer or roll center or whatever it is in these cars is rough.
 

spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Hi, spurlockda.

No need to apologize for putting new air springs from a reputable manufacturer in your car. It is your car after all. If anything, I would have to nod respectfully to you sticking with the air ride system where more than a few LTC owners have replaced the works with steel coil springs. I have considered Arnotts, and if I were being less OEM OCD, I would fit them myself. I've yet to hear anyone say or write that they wished they hadn't fitted Arnotts.

When I bought my 2001, I only paid $1700. The car was low mileage for the year, and generally in good shape. I've spent more than that in repairs (admittedly including new tires,) and I've only owned the car eight months. But, everything works. I have one window regulator that is "fading," the "semi-slow" leak in the rear springs, non-factory front floor mats, and a minor exhaust issue to sort, but otherwise, I'm good. The car runs and drives like a luxury car should drive.

Once again, good luck on getting yours sorted. Please let us know how things go for you.

Thanks.
Well, Parts Geek turned out to be a YUGE mistake. After they processed my credit card successfully, they DEMANDED that i provide a copy of my driver's license. They stated that although they now had my money, they had to have my DL to verify my address. Being prior military, my whole career involved OPSEC (operational security) and when the gov't switched to these new "Real ID" types of DL I wasn't comfortable giving them a copy of it. I contacted the Nevada DMV and they emphatically said that that I should NOT give them a copy because there have been instances of bad folks counterfeiting the new IDs and/or identity theft. I offered to provide alternate methods of address verifications but the would not budge. i cancelled my order and filed a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General. This week, I will be slamming them on all of the media platforms like Yelp and etc.. The AG's office suggested reporting them to the BBB, FTC and etc.. Sigh!
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spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Parts Geek is kinda questionable in reputation. Might check with rockauto, or even amazon and ebay.
Yes sir, i'm actually rereading the 9 pages of the sticky looking at other folk's experiences and sources. Thanks for your post because i had forgotten about Rock Auto (maybe because of the jingle of theirs :ROFLMAO: ).
 

spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Hi, spurlockda.

As for the solenoids themselves, you could get them from Arnott. Just a thought.

Good luck.
The Tasca OEM solenoids are within $10 of matching everyone else's so I thought I would go with them but I haven't heard back from them to try to include them with the other parts I bought from them. I left my phone number with them for the "don't lose your place in line, we'll call you back" no luck yet.
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spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Solenoids and all retainers are supposedly on their way from TASCA; Arnott air springs and radiator fan on their way from Rock Auto; I'm praying everything gets here asap so i can get back on the road. my boss is concerned about my health so work is on hold :oops::devilish:

Next will be the radio, air conditioning, seat motor and instrument cluster digits flickering.

I wish Ford wasn't so greedy that they are raping people by charging so much for the factory manuals. i'm sure they have recouped the investment they made to develop and field the manuals. Seems like if you spend money to buy their cars, they'd allow you to access the manuals for a reasonable price - commensurate with their age. Ok, I'll wake up from my dream now.
 

spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Whoops, forgot one. The front seal on the diff? Is it like the old fashioned diff's where I disconnect the rear universal and pull the short yolk out and the remove and replace the seal? I'm skeptical since it's a Lincoln?
 

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
242
118
43
Northern Illinois
Solenoids and all retainers are supposedly on their way from TASCA; Arnott air springs and radiator fan on their way from Rock Auto; I'm praying everything gets here asap so i can get back on the road. my boss is concerned about my health so work is on hold :oops::devilish:

Next will be the radio, air conditioning, seat motor and instrument cluster digits flickering.

I wish Ford wasn't so greedy that they are raping people by charging so much for the factory manuals. i'm sure they have recouped the investment they made to develop and field the manuals. Seems like if you spend money to buy their cars, they'd allow you to access the manuals for a reasonable price - commensurate with their age. Ok, I'll wake up from my dream now.
Hi, spurlockda.

I agree with you on the manuals, though that is more a "paradigm change" driven by dealership desires, combined with a "don't give a f??k" attitude about private owners and fleet operators.

Having every manual "in the cloud" clears up room on the shop floor. In 2010, fast internet access is the norm, especially for car dealers. My personal opinion is that they should make available at least for download a "single year and model" version of the manuals, or at least a "multi-year same model" version of the manual.

If I were a repair shop, the yearly subscription would be at least somewhat reasonable for everything Ford and Lincoln have made since "whenever." But I could give a f??k less about a 2013 Ford Focus or a 2020 Lincoln MKT. And, I'm not "making" any money when I repair my own car; certainly not enough to pay for a year's subscription to the manuals.

Now, if you have some "foresight," you can "visit" four times a year or so for the 72 hour pass and pdf or print hard-copy of everything you need. If you get together with a couple of friends, you can do this even easier. But I too miss the days when you could buy the paper manuals one time, and have them.

Tasca ships via USPS when they can. They're in Rhode Island, and all their stuff goes through NYC. So, the shipping is just a little slow right now.

Good luck.
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
284
116
43
Had pretty good luck with ebay on manuals, set up a search alert and keep an eye out. Still expect to pay a bit, but they are pretty well done.
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spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
I searched thru the posts looking for info and attachments for the front seal replacement on the differential. Can anybody point me to the right post threads?

Does anyone know what happened to "Town"? I hope he is OK! He was outstanding!
 

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
242
118
43
Northern Illinois
looking at ebay now and some people are selling service manual DVDs for around $10? Is that a ripoff looking for a guy like me?
Hi, spurlockda.

The service manual DVDs are most likely legit. Like any eBay seller, check out their reviews and so on, to make sure they are a "legit" seller who consistently delivers what they claim to be selling.

Before buying the DVD, make sure it includes all the manuals for your car. If it has a bunch of other Lincolns, but not your year of Town Car, it's a waste of time even if they pay you $10 to take it.

Also, confirm whether this is a "factory printed" DVD or a "home copy." The "home copy" DVD won't last nearly as long as a factory-printed DVD, because home-writable DVDs trade off longevity for being able to be "burned" by a consumer instead of being "printed" in a factory and being unchangeable. This lack of longevity does need to be taken into consideration.

Good luck.
 

spurlockda

Junior Member
26
12
3
Had pretty good luck with ebay on manuals, set up a search alert and keep an eye out. Still expect to pay a bit, but they are pretty well done.
Found another
Hi, spurlockda.

The service manual DVDs are most likely legit. Like any eBay seller, check out their reviews and so on, to make sure they are a "legit" seller who consistently delivers what they claim to be selling.

Before buying the DVD, make sure it includes all the manuals for your car. If it has a bunch of other Lincolns, but not your year of Town Car, it's a waste of time even if they pay you $10 to take it.

Also, confirm whether this is a "factory printed" DVD or a "home copy." The "home copy" DVD won't last nearly as long as a factory-printed DVD, because home-writable DVDs trade off longevity for being able to be "burned" by a consumer instead of being "printed" in a factory and being unchangeable. This lack of longevity does need to be taken into consideration.

Good luck.
Stand by. That was a lot to digest for an old war horse who spent more time IN the military than as a civilian. We didn't have to use ebay much.

I copy all that you said - I think? If I end up with some Edsel manuals then I'll know I didn't understand as well as I thought :oops::rolleyes::ROFLMAO:
 

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