Can I Manually Add Air to a 1994 Town Car Rear Suspension?

skidman2skidman2 Member Posts: 4
edited June 2017 in Lincoln
I am trying to help a neighbor who drove her Mother's '94 Town Car home last Oct (8 mos ago) - 150 mi trip.. The car has been sitting undriven since then, and the rear end is now bottomed out with the tailpipe touching the ground.

I charged the battey and the motor starts immediately. When I turn the ign on, I DO NOT hear the air pump running. The 30A fuse is good and the rear switch in the trunk tests good - passes voltage. I am at the end of my testing time and knowledge on this system, so have this question ... Is there a way to manually add air to the suspension system so it can be driven to a mechanic - or at least determine if the air shocks still hold air?

Any help here will be appreciated. Thanks.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    From all I've read, the answer is no. There is a schrader valve on the pump but that's for a technician to test the system. You may have a problem with the axle sensor so check on YouTube for checking the sensors that allow the pump to operate.
  • skidman2skidman2 Member Posts: 4
    I think I read somewhere that a '90 model did have a Schrader valve that could be used. I read a piece about the system but have a few questions on that.
    1. Logic says that voltage leaving the rear switch would go to the 'sensor' arm mounted between the axle and the body. Is there only one sensor or is there one on each side?

    2. Logic says that the 'output' of the sensor would go to a control module, which then controls either adding air via the pump or dumping air from one or both air bags, right?

    The system is reporting an air suspension fault about with a warning chime 30-40 seconds after the ign is turned on.

  • skidman2skidman2 Member Posts: 4
    One more question ...
    I have an OBD II reader. Would there be any fault codes to localize the problem? Have not tried that.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,691
    Your OBDII reader will not work, this system would be considered OBDI. Trying to lift the rear via the Schrader valve will only work if the system is commanding the shut off solenoids at each air bag open.

    FWIW when testing this system Ford designed the diagnostics around it's NGS Scan tool and by using a break out box for pin testing. When looking for a shop to deal with this you need to find one that still has those tools. The only other choice is to eliminate the air suspension system and install coil springs at all four corners. That's actually an affordable solution considering that you usually end up chasing one fault after another with this old system.
  • skidman2skidman2 Member Posts: 4
    Hey Cardoc3 -

    I do have the OBDI Ford cable for my tester.
    1. So, would I maybe see any fault codes related to this issue?
    2. Your second sentence is a bit confusing. If it is sitting low, shouldn't the solenoids be told to close?
    3. Where is the Schrader valve - on the pump assembly?
    3A. Is it accessible without removing the air filter box?
    3B. Is it a legitimate move to inject air at that point - will it try to inflate the air bags without doing any other
    system damage?

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on the idea of just replacing all that Crap with regular springs. But the situation is that the lady just wants to sell the car (150K+ miles). Her mother drove it into the side of her (Mom's) house (hit the gas instead of the brake) and smashed in the front end. Some bozo down there put another front end on it but it wasn't the right one because the hood latch won't keep the hood closed all the way. It now has a yellow handle to release the hood & it will not fully engage the hood loop to hold it all the way down. Hood won't fly up but it won't stay fully latched either.

    Plus the car looks like Hell now from sitting under a tree for 9 mos. Can't get the key to open the trunk (may be a WD-40 fix), but the motor starts immediately and the daughter said it drove and rode good on the trip to Charlotte..

    I don't intend to do a major fix on this (unless it just requires a cheap part), just trying to find a way to get the [non-permissible content removed] end up off the ground so somebody can drive it away.

    Pls adv. Thx

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