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Lincoln Navigator Suspension



  • First I want to say I really appreciate any advice I can get on this... Really...

    I have a 2003 lincoln nav with air ride suspension. I had an intermittent "check suspension" light coming on. The last time I drove it, I pulled in to the driveway and saw the front pass side wheel well all the way down on top of my tire (22" wheel). I had my wife get in, turn ignition on with door closed, and watched as it tried to raise that side. I could immediately see weather type cracks in the bottom of the boot and could hear air escaping from the cracks (especially when i pressed on the side of the airbag.

    So I ordered a popular after-market airbag (arnott) online and it arrived. I immediately noticed that the solenoid fits a bit looser in this unit, but it looks to be okay. I dissembled the airbag / reassembled / and replaced all of the O-rings on the solenoid and air bag assembly.

    As soon as the car starts to air up now, I hear a gasp of air come from somewhere. The car lowers again.. The pump immediately keeps pumping and as soon as it gets to the same pressure again, I hear the air escape. This is happening over and over and the car will not rise. I was told that the air may be coming from the "end cap" where it mounts to the underside of the car. The tech told me these end caps warp and may have to be replaced also....

    Has anyone else had this experience when they replaced their air bags? I can't seem to figure out why the air is escaping at what seems like the same point as it raises. I even traded solenoids with the drivers side and have the same condition.... Any ideas? Thanks!!!!
  • I think I found my problem so I'll post it for now and see what happens. Basically, if you replace the bag, you should (or in my case HAVE to) replace the top plate. Its Lincoln/Ford part # 6L1Z-18A099-CA and the dealer wants $160.00 for it. I think Arnott has an aftermarket for 55 or 60. Here's the reason behind it that I found posted by a Ford Mechanic:

    "Posters Question: 2003 Lincoln Navigator air suspension leaks, right rear area, and SUV bottoms after being out when in temperatures 32 F and will not function until in temp. 70 F. In warm temp no problems. Ford dealer replaced seals and rebuilt air bags.

    Already Tried:
    suspension seals and bags replaced by Ford dealer because this suspension issue recurs initially temp did not affect, it was intermitant, after rebuild I had the SUV in the mountains, not problems going there, but after being out in temp 30 degrees, suspension right rear, I could hear an air leak, 10 minutes later no lift to the car and the car bottom out until I got off the mountain to temp greater then 60 F

    ANSWER - the spring cap is the sealing surface for the upper seals, and when the vehicle gets enough miles on it the surface wears enough to allow a leak, if the springs are taken off the car and checked in a tank of water, they will not leak, but with the weight of the truck on them they leak, I have replaced a bunch of these and when all the other parts have been replaced and the truck still drops, you can be assured that the spring caps are worn.

    As the weather gets colder, the metal slightly shrinks and allows the air to leak past the seal, even if the seals are new, so I highly recommend replacing the spring cap."
  • Ok I have checked the fuses they all test good. But when I unplug the 4 prong connector to the relay I have no power going in or out? So now what can I look for? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • nonosnonos Posts: 6
    in need of help, I own a 2004 navigator and yes as i see i have air suspension problems, :sick: i already changed the air compressor, and the relay that sits on top on the air compressor, and still nothing i believe it's the height sensor but i don't know where it's located? does anyone know? and can i inflate the air-bags individually ?

    and yes i have checked all the fuses. any help would be greatly appreciated
    contact me here or at , this car rental thing is getting very expensive.
  • can anyone help me i have a 2004 navi and the drivers side air bags are expanded at its max and will not release the air. I have checked the fuses all good where can i locate the censor to see if they are bad. its not a good look lopsided
  • My '02 Gator's compressor is fried (been on life support for quite a while). I extracted it, but damaged one of the air lines in the process. Does anyone have a part number or equivalent replacement for the air line? I visited the dealer, but although they tried hard to help, they couldn't make heads or tails of the parts diagram and description to actually ID what it is I need. :mad:

    I've googled around but haven't had much success so far. It's hard to tell if some of the stock line you can buy is the same as that in the Gator (about 3/8" O.D. with an internal white core tube that has an I.D. of about 1/8").

    As a side note, if your compressor fries, you can still reboost your suspension until a repair is made. After you extract the old compressor (or if you can pull the air lines off of it), turn your car to the run position (without starting). After a short time you'll hear some relays click for the suspension. Now, using a standard shop air compressor, blow air into the correct line (for me, the top line is for the rear) until the rear end rises. Quickly turn off the car ignition and then the air suspension bypass switch (having a helper is nice!). The latter will keep the system from purging the air you blew into it, and you'll have a decent ride back :D
  • nonosnonos Posts: 6
    hay gryhnd1,

    you sure your compressor is fried? i thought mine was too ran out and bought another compressor and that did'nt work, till i found out it was a relay.:-()
    i spent $300+ for a compressor i did not need. make sure all your fuses are good first, if you already have please dis-regaurd.
  • Thanks. Ya, it needs to be replaced. It's been sounding like a shaking box of rocks for a couple years now. This is the second time it's failed. The first time I was able to restart it with some poking and prodding. Fuses are good too.

    Anyone have tips on sourcing some air line?

    BTW - I am on day 2 with the compressor removed and the rear bags are still holding the air I injected from my shop compressor. At least the urgency to replace has been diminished.
  • bronconvictbronconvict Posts: 12
    edited February 2010
    I have received many Emails since I first Posted my email for help.*********

    Here is a LINK to the 2003 and UP model year Suspension Service Manual

    Bronconvict's 2003+ Susp. Svc. Manual

    Hope it all Helps as I have helped as many people as I could. If the link doesn't work
    please reply..... Please share with everyone..
  • ken110ken110 Posts: 2
    Can anybody tell me how to attach the front lower sensor arms on a 2003 Navigator?

    The front lower sensor arm on both the left and right sides periodically fall off, and that side of the vehicle becomes lower (and in some cases higher) than the other side, along with a bouncy ride. When it happens, I simply slide the arm back on; it stays on for a while and then falls back off. I don't know if I'm attaching it correctly, or if there are any special clips I should use. Can anyone help? The suspension system works perfectly while the arms are attached.

    Thanks alot.
  • ken110ken110 Posts: 2
    Did you ever find the answer to your problem? I am having the exact same problem with my 2003 Navigator, and I'm trying to find out the same information you were looking for.

  • How hard is it to replace the ball joints? I know there's a special tool needed but what other issue's would I run into? I'm not a mechanic so I really don't have a clue but money being as it is doing it myself is my only real opion.
  • koeserkoeser Posts: 1
    Please help! I took my 98 Navigator to the shop for air suspension, they replaced the control module, and a sensor under the front end, and it still does not work $900 later. :mad: The compressor was replaced about 6 months ago, so it's fine. But the rear end is all the way down. We disconnected the rear air valve from the compressor, and used a air hose to test the bags and lines. No leaks they hold air just fine... untill we plug the air line back into the compressor. ( We did all this with the car running, and compressor switch on) We think it may be a height sensor or the rear solenoids, any ideas?
  • evawevaw Posts: 1
    I have been told that when running level ground on some SUV's that 4 cylinders will shut down to save on gas. Does anyone have any knowledge of this??? If so please let me know which auto's and just how much does it help and on which of the larger SUV'S. Looking at Denali's, Escalade's, Navigator's, & Enclave's!!
  • rtbnsn1rtbnsn1 Posts: 1
    My 2005 navigator is lower on the driver's rear than the passenger. I replaced the solenoid on the rear strrut but it still hasn't leveled out. The solenoid cost $166 at the dealer. I have checked all fuses and there is no leak in the system. Can anyone offer any advise since I am very $$$$reluctant to take it to the dealer.
  • I just wanted to say that this forum has been so helpful. BUT I have a question, if the suspension in the Navigator is giving all of us this much trouble shouldn't Ford take notice and address the problem. Well friends that is what I have been trying to do with passion for the last 48 hours. Of course Ford is blowing me off. I implore all of you to make a big deal out of this as well. WHY? Because Ford assumes that since we own Navi's we have the money fix the car ourselves multiple times and that it will no longer be our problem. I don't care if it was $10.00 or the $1000.00 that my local dealership wants to put a new relay and compressor in mine. I work hard for what I have, and have no desire to shell out any of my money for something that is FORDS fault. I mean look at all the websites and business dedicated to this issue alone. When you buy a car you have regular wear and tare, this is such a big deal that it don't seem that way. When you get a car modified it is usually to improve the car from the factory, not to take a step backwards. I mean be honest those of us considering either the Steel Shock conversion are doing so to remove all headaches of the Air Suspension. We aren't talking about racing clutch in a Mustang for performance we are talking about having to get ried of the factory componet for an inferior item just to keep them on the road. Please contact Ford so they will resolve some of these issues. Just go to the Lincoln's owner page, and go under contact, you will get a very prompt reply, telling you that they really don't care. God Bless and have a great Day.
  • cissicissi Posts: 9
    I live in Sweden and started this line about the air suspension. Because I didnt get any help from Ford.
    They dont deal with so many cars like this here so I needed help to know what it was so I could tell the garage and find out if this is a problem they could fix. I couldent take it on a truck and move it from place to place. But help , absolutely not.
    So I will never again own anything from Ford. I have red they are in finance trouble becuase of the world financial crize , but they behave as they didnt needed any more customers.
    I am really so angry over that they even can behave like this . So my money will they never get again.
    If anyone has a good idea in somehow making some sort of a protest list . Maybe
    facebook ? If everone who feels the same will sign ?
    So that Ford gets this . You know also in big company things like this the board never maybe hears about. So people "on the floor" who deals with customers can really do damage to a company.
    I feel also that this is a issue a lot of lincoln owners has problem with .Even if it stands that they shall be changed when service after so and so many miles.
    On my car they went about exactely on this miles. And my service appointment was not before 14 days after. They should absolutely keep good over this limit .
    So no even if I love my Lincoln ,never again. And never Ford because of their ignorance for their customers.
  • I am new to this forum and any forum for that matter. How do you find the answers to the questions that other people post?
  • My 01 Navigator seems to riding a bit higher that normal. Also it does not make the clicking noise that it used to make after i park it. I think that clicking noise is what the owners manual refers to as normal for deflating or lowering. Also my check suspension light has been coming on intermittently for a while now. I have tried to switch my 4x4 switch to low range to see if that would reset it, to no avail. Any suggestions to help me trouble shoot this problem? I just want my normal ride height back.
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