Ford Expedition Air Ride Suspension

skinautiqueskinautique Member Posts: 5
How do you deflate the air suspension system in order to replace the front air shocks? Chilton says to plug in a coder to send codes to deflate it. Is there a procedure to do it manually?




  • expedhelpexpedhelp Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 expedition 5.4L v8, 123K miles.....on June 22, 2006 with 115K miles the vehicle ran very rough and the rear end was almost sitting on the tires. I took the vehicle to a Ford dealer who diagnosed and replaced the air ride compressor and relay. Now 11 months later at 123K miles (only 8K in a year and I drive almost all local and no towing) - I have the same problem again. Does that sound right? Should that type of costly repair not even last a year?

    Any advice out there, please?
  • mattiepmattiep Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 GMC Sierra. We had to put another transmission in it. We drove it about 700 miles and now it won't go into low or overdrive. The guy at the transmission shop said it showed to be running 16mph in park. We have changed the computers out and that did nothing. Do you have any suggestions?
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I think you're looking for the Silverado & Sierra Transmission Problems discussion.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bk000bk000 Member Posts: 1
    How much noise does the air suspension make? Do you hear the air compressor everytime you start the vehicle?
  • cabriojazzcabriojazz Member Posts: 3
    It could be possible that your air suspension has a slow leak causing the pump to run excessively which is leading to early failure.
  • dohrmcdohrmc Member Posts: 14
    My 2002 Expedition has air suspension, and usually after it has been sitting for a while, I will hear the pump banging away up front for a short while. I complained to my dealer about the racket, and he didn't mention the TSB out on the suspension pump. After the car sits for a while, you will most likely hear the pump. Incidently, the air pump can be obtained online and taken to your local mechanic for replacement. I am considering doing that on my Expedition.
  • hackethacket Member Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem with my 98 expedition. after it sits for a day or so, the rear end is sitting almost on the tires. after i start it and move a very short distance, the load leveling will kick on and level out the suv. I think this is due to the leveling swith going out. Does anyone have input on this and can you tell me where to buy the switch. Also, I saw something about a tsb on the pump for this system. any aditional info on that. Thanks for any info
  • jimprvjimprv Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I have a 2007 Ford Expedition XL with the heavy duty tow package since I pull a 26 foot travel trailer. Is it possible to have the shocks changed to air adjustable shocks to provide a smoother ride. Does one change both the front and rear to air adjustable shocks.
  • kh400kh400 Member Posts: 1
    You could have a leak in one of the air bags that act as springs in your rear suspension and the pump literally pumped itself to death. I would definitely have the air bags checked before shelling out for a new pump only to have it happen again. Good luck!
  • bigexpo_driverbigexpo_driver Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2006 Eddie Bauer Expedition back in 07'. Surprisingly it didn't come with Air Ride Suspension. I've searched quite a few websites that sell air suspension kits, but its hard to find one specific to my year vehicle; meaning, their air suspension kits stop at 02' models. I know that one exists for my year vehicle, but if anyone knows a website who's air suspension kits cater to my specific vehicle, I'd sing at your next birthday party, lol.
  • eddie99bauereddie99bauer Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Expedition that has an air ride suspension. Everything seems to work fine except for the rear drivers side. It does not seem to lift up as high as the other side. It was just recently at the ford dealership to be put on the computer to check another problem and they said nothing about the suspension. Does anyone know if they can be individually adjusted somehow or will it need replaced?
  • scnolescnole Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Expedition and the pump kicks on when I start it and while I am driving it. Could there be a leak at the pump or bag? Can I repair it?
  • JudodadJudodad Member Posts: 1
    I have an Expedition with a similar problem. My suspension does not have any leaks but, the compressor runs until the ride height is correct and then deflates all day. I've been told by a Ford tech (off the record), that there may not be anything wrong with out susp. syst. And, that all we need to do is "reset" the switch or something to that effect.
    Also, I found out that Strutmasters offers a coil over conversion kit that is only $200 and replaces the air bags with coil over springs. If I can't figure out how to reset the system, I will buy and install the conversion kit.

  • daswift1daswift1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 expedition 5.4 v8 4x4, the rear is nearly sitting on the tires and arter inspecting I have come to find that the air dryer is cracked and seperated from the compressor. My question is should I just replace the dryer and compressor or should I replace the air bags as well.
  • bluejackbluejack Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Expedition Eddie Bauer that the air ride will completly deflate for no reason, after starting and driving it a few yards it will return to ride height. The compressor runs at the initial start and a few times after. It will set for several days and stay inflated,and then in only a few hours it will be deflated. My question is what is this TBS sensor discussed in another forum and where is the load leveling sensor located.
  • jamie31jamie31 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 expo that is doing the same thing was it the height sensor or do you know yet.(you can buy that sensor at ml
  • musicman6221musicman6221 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Ford Expedition with air ride suspension and it seems that the load or height level sensor kiscks in and oujt at various times. Is there any way to calibrate that unit or does that part have to be removed and replaced?? If so where can I find instructions on how to get this accomplished once a used replacement part has been located and purchased? THanks for any light you can shed on this problem
  • chris92381chris92381 Member Posts: 1
    i want some tips on what is going on and what can i do for the air suspension.
  • johnsgv1johnsgv1 Member Posts: 1
    I have reviewed the suggestions about the Air Suspension System. I do have an additional question. Is this system associated with any fuses, if so where is it located and what is the name/size of the fuse.
  • expjbexpjb Member Posts: 1
    We could hear the air escaping from the suspension at the rear of the truck for sometime and after a night of sitting on the driveway like many other contiributors it looked like a low rider. The compressor would come on from time to time and was not troublesome. We loaded up the truck for a camping trip recently and the compressor was working overtime and ended up sounding like a harley motorcycle is under one of the front wheel arches and remains like that. The back end still raises and the ride is ok all be it embarassing.
    My questions are:
    Is the compressor shot?
    Are the back end airbags for the suspension independent for each wheel?
    How long is it OK to drive it like this?
    Can the compressor be relplaced by a novice (me) I can see it?
    Do you have to replace the airbags?
    Anyone have any idea how much would it cost to have the compressor replaced along with the airbag (a delership or a shop like midas)

    Thank you in advance to anyone who can help with information
  • fordman35fordman35 Member Posts: 1
    mabe one of your air pockets have a hole in it
  • tha_homietha_homie Member Posts: 1
    My problem seems to have slowly progressed.At first I would have to wiggle the wire to the switch under the passenger front fender for it to kick on the pump and it would be fine.Now it will kick on the pump for about ten seconds and the rear raises maybe 1/4 inch and still looks like its sittin on the tires.....any suggestions pls?
  • airconmanairconman Member Posts: 14
    This may work for some of you having air ride suspension problems. It has worked for me for the last few years on my '97 Exp EB. I had the compressor and relay go out multiple times. Every time one went, the other did too...when one burns out it burns the other out (or at least I was told). And every time I had repairs done (to the tune of $1000 plus each time) I wound up having one or the other part replaced a second or even a third time within a 30 day window. So clearly this is a messed up system. In desperation I pleaded with service guy at the dealer to fix it once and for all. His solution... turn off the system after the air bags are pumped up. There is a switch on the passenger side under the dash. The air bags will hold the air pretty well when the system is turned off - better than when the system is turned on. When you turn the system off, the check suspension light will come on and stay on (I just live with it). A couple of times a year I turn the system on when I am going to be driving around town. The compressor will usually come on within twenty minutes and pump up the airbags. When it is done I stop and turn the system off and I am good to go for another six months. I have been doing this for four years now and while it is not ideal, it works for me and I have not had to put more money into this terrible system. I have 250K miles on this car and other than the suspension it has been a pretty good vehicle. Hopes this helps others! :)
  • christopher30christopher30 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 97 ford expedition sitting on its tires practically... i know alittle bit about the system but not enough to fix it.....but my question is im not getting no power to the compressor,so i went and got a new relay from the dealer and still no power,but the compressor works if i jump it with a jump pack.....can anybody help me figure this out..i know i had a leak from the sensor that was on the frame rail so i changed that as well.....just no power and a very uncomfortable ride for my pregnant wife...Please Help....
  • airconmanairconman Member Posts: 14
    Possible short term patch - if you can jump the compressor and get the air bags to pump up, then turn off the suspension system. There is a switch under the dash on the passenger side to turn off the suspension system. You will get an instrument light that says "check suspension", which I ignore. The air bags should stay pumped for a while - I do this twice a year, so the rear bags stay pumped for six months. This way I do not burn out the relay or compressor. Hope this helps you - a little inconvenient but cheap, and it works for me - been doing it for four years.
  • christopher30christopher30 Member Posts: 2
    yeah i know where the switch is....but even when i jumped the compressor it still didnt pump up....but im pretty sure the sensor which had a crack in it also had alot to do with the air leaking out.....but as soon as i get them pumped up i defin will turn the switch off.....
  • bradexpeditionbradexpedition Member Posts: 2
    I own a 2000 eb expedition. my problem is the air bags deflating.when it is drove to work or anywhere it airs up but comp is constantly turning on and off. it can sit in driveway all night and stays up then all at once it drops to the ground until truck is started. now it seems it drops to the ground everytime truck is stopped for more than an hour.i know one airbag has a pinhole leak but something else is releasing the air all at once. i'm at my wits end. any ideas,suggestions? somekind of valve maybe?
  • az83az83 Member Posts: 1
    I been struggling with this darn air suspension also. After I had to drive from La. to San Diego on broken bags I replaced everything from sensors to bags. Now bothers me that every time I turn the truck of the driver side deflates a bit more than the passenger. Then self levels when car starts. That bugs the ish out of me and I don't now if the yahoos who installed it did it right or is there a leak. if I am parked level shouldn't the air bags on both sides deflate the same amount. Can any one clarify.
  • onequickchevyonequickchevy Member Posts: 1
    Replace the rear air bags with coil springs. You do not need the kit from strutmasters, go to your local car quest and get part number cch cc80841 and a new set of shocks. Just did mine and it was less than 150.00. It now rides great, and i never have to worry about the air ride again. It even tells you how to get rid of the check suspension light. Good luck!
  • bradexpeditionbradexpedition Member Posts: 2
    i think my load level switch is going out and i'm looking for a set of bags. anyone know where to start looking for these items? are they expensive? thanks. :)
  • esbsportsesbsports Member Posts: 1
    Im having the same problem. Is yours a 2wd or 4wd? cause when i call about that particular part number they say thats the 2wd spring and i have a 4wd EB.
  • jgisherejgishere Member Posts: 3
    I am experiencing the same problem. I went to ford and talked to them about all the replacement parts. I am a do it yourselfer and according to what I found the only way to match what you nend perfectly is the vin number. I also found out that a compressor from ford is $586, air springs are $283, a relay is $153. I myself can not afford to pay that much. So I went Arnott Inc. and talked with them about a replacement kit that was less that the compressor alone. I have heard that a conversion kit to springs is good to. The one that I thought would work the best was out of my price range so therefore I went this route hoping to get another Five years out of my 1998 Ford Expedition (EB) 4x4. So I got my parts and now have comensed to putting them in and ran into a problem that I hope I can get some help. The compressor came out easy and changed out easy. The airbags are the troublesome part. I got the bottom off and the retainer clip off and the selinod loose but touches the frame of the car. My next issue is to get the carter key out so that I can drop the air bag out and replace it with a new one. The airbags are new to me and therefore have not learned how to get them out.
  • jgisherejgishere Member Posts: 3
    I am need some pointers on where and how to remove the carter key holding the top of the airbag in on my expedition. I have dettached the botom and taken the retaining clip off the sileoind. According the instructions the selinoid should come right out but bottoms out at the back of the frame and I am guessing that I need to remove the cater key but do not no with what or how. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks
  • jgisherejgishere Member Posts: 3
  • barluc99barluc99 Member Posts: 4
    My air susp on the back of my 98 eddie bauer 4wd exp has just crapped out. The check suspension light had been on and the compressor has been noisy for some time. Sat I backed out of the 2 ft of snow we have and shortly after I noticed its sittin basically on the rear end now. Rather than mess with finding a needle in a hay stack I am considering changing the system over to a conventional spring/strut system. The rear end is pretty strait forward but I assume you change the front over as well? Next question is where is a good place to get a air suspension replacement system from and how much hassle is the front to change over? Thanks
  • funwithnubzofunwithnubzo Member Posts: 1
    it took me some time to figure that thing out too but all I do is shimmy my hands to either side of the key and pull together. I also have long skinny fingers so maybe some needle nose pliers would work also?
  • atlanticblowsatlanticblows Member Posts: 1
    I read several posts and someone claimed that car quest cch-cc80841 would replace the bags to coils. my questions are

    does the vehicle sit high or low? I prefer higher then lower
    when I called carquest they will not guarentee they will fit. Any solutions or ideas. Strutmaster is a rip off, there must be a better way

    [email protected]
  • dmostellerdmosteller Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 If you replace the rear bags with springs do you have to do the front at the same time or can the system be split ? Also I tow a lot and does this spring system affect towing load? FYI I live and tow at high altitude and find my Expedition performs much better on premium gas.
  • dmostellerdmosteller Member Posts: 2
    I'm a poor self fixer I need a good cheep manuel on ford truck suv is there such a thing
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Member Posts: 339
    Chilton and Haynes both have them.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Sometimes you can find good stuff online. My library has an online repair manual for free.

    Online Repair Manuals
  • skinautiqueskinautique Member Posts: 5
    '97 EB 4X4. Wife pulling out of parking lot when the rear suddenly drops I haven't gotten under the rear yet (dark). Compressor fine, and front half works well. What is the most frequent cause of this? Is it the air bags themselves, or could it be something else? Are both rear wheels on the same circuit, or are they inflated separately? Any suggestions on where to look is appreciated. If it is the air bag, how easy/hard to replace, and has anyone had it done at an independent shop (cost?)? I've done plenty of work on other cars; don't like working on this and don't have the time (unless it is a simple 1-2 hour job).

    Thanks in advance.
  • richardthe3rdrichardthe3rd Member Posts: 7
    I have a 1997 ford expedition and have repaired this problem my self 3 times if the truck goes low in the rear it has a leak in the lines or in the shock most of the time its the shock the pump should not come on all the time you can check it .Just go on the right side of your truck and turn off the pump if the truck gets low in the rear after a few days its a leak.
    and it will burn the pump ouuutttt! pump is about 250 300 dont wanna keep doing that.
  • richardthe3rdrichardthe3rd Member Posts: 7
  • barluc99barluc99 Member Posts: 4
    saved myself the hassle and replaced with conventional springs and new shocks. I did have access to a lift and air tools.......was down and out in an hr and a half.
  • richardthe3rdrichardthe3rd Member Posts: 7
  • richardthe3rdrichardthe3rd Member Posts: 7
  • skinautiqueskinautique Member Posts: 5

    It ended up being the right rear air bag. Plastic top blew out. Got a new one and it works fine now. There is a small leak somewhere because if I leave the system off, in a day or so it starts to get a little low in the rear. But for now I'll just leave it off and turn in on every few days until I get time to try to search out the leak.

    Thanks for your help.
  • skinautiqueskinautique Member Posts: 5
    Rides exactly the same. I only replaced the bad one, and no problem (only concern was that the Firestone part number was different than the original and it was constructed slightly differently. However, it fit just like the original. I got the air bag through a dealer back east that discounts parts. With 2nd day air it was still about $50 less than what the local dealers wanted here (No. Cal).

    I've replaced the compressor once. Got a refurbished one and it works great.
  • richardthe3rdrichardthe3rd Member Posts: 7
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