My air ride is malfunctioning! (Mark VIII) - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Angry My air ride is malfunctioning! (Mark VIII)

I'm not sure what the problem is here. I first had a problem in OK not too long ago. It was 19 degrees and my air ride pump kept clicking until I got the error "CHECK AIR RIDE". I figured it was just the cold freezing up the pump. So I drove to the gas station and back to where I was staying. Restarted the car and the pump aired up the bags without a problem. I drove home (about 1k miles) the next day and parked in a garage in the basement. The following day I went to work and came home and parked in the basement again. It was pretty cold, about 25 degrees. Went down to hop in about a half hour later to find my car sitting on the floor! I started it and it aired up completely. No funny noises or sounds of leaking air. Went out, parked it back at the house and didn't have any more problems. Two weeks later I was DRIVING down a dirt/gravel road and the front end completely dropped and I high centered in the road. Scared me to death. So I get out and look around and the car starts airing back up. No problems the rest of the way home. It was 19 degrees. Tonight (2 days later) I am driving home and the car drops the front end again! It was 14 degrees out. I was on pavement, so I just slowed down and got home. When I got in the driveway the pump starts going for about 15 seconds and stops. The "CHECK AIR RIDE" message pops up. I pulled into the garage and restarted the car. Aired up no problem. I've been home about half an hour and it's still just fine. Hasn't lowered at all.

I have not have any problems in the past with the air ride system. I've had the car about a year and a half. It does no leak at all, even when sitting without being started for a week or so. This is my daily driver, so it rarely sits. Even when driving the pump only runs if I've been driving fast and then slow down (the car lowers at high speeds and raises back up at lower speeds). My first thought was maybe a sensor was bad, but the two times it completely dropped on me in under 5 seconds has changed my mind. Is there maybe a bad release valve? Something that won't cost me a thousand dollars to fix?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 10:55 PM
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I don't know if the mark has a air tank like a big truck does but if it does drain the water from the tank when its above 32 degrees. It could be that when it drains the tank that ice freezes in the valve holding it open.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Any idea how to do that?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 06:11 AM
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Mark VIII's don't have a tank.

You symptom sounds like you have a valve that isn't working properly. Some times it works and some times it doesn’t. I don’t know if a bad bag would give you those symptoms.

I would let the system air up to the normal ride height and then turn off the system with the switch in the trunk. That disables all the valves, pump, and electronics.

If it drops again, you know you have a valve/bag problem. If it doesn’t then it is something between the valves on the bags and the pump; either mechanical or electrical.

I’ve heard these guys are really good to work with:

Good luck!!

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 12:56 PM
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I'm guessing you do have a leak and it's in the fold of the bag somewhere. Only shows up at a certain point in the travel of the spring. As 94DD says the first troubleshooting step is to air it up, turn off the air ride switch and drive it around. If it drops, you've got one or more leaks. Step 2 is the soapy water....

The links posted above are to the most knowledgeable source on Lincoln air ride that I know of. Eddie will help you get it fixed. He's been supporting the Mark VIII community with knowledge sharing and quality parts for a long time. Please support him by buying his parts.

Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:
You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
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