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Lincoln Navigator Suspension



  • Today on my way to work everything is going ok, normal ride everything is just fine. Coming home from work it was a different story, I was bouncing all over the place rear end dropped almost to the ground. I have owned my Navigator since '99 when I originally bought it. One thing I noticed after fooling around a little was the compressor is not kicking on at all, as it normally does as soon as I close the door or put it in gear. Any ideas as to what could be causing this, I have read mainly about compressors and solenoids going out. Any way to dig in and check this out without just plug and play testing. I have any equipment needed at my fingertips. Any help is appreciated. :(
  • Hope you are having luck with the 99 Navigator. We replaced several components on my 01 Navigator in order to get the system working again. The compressor and dryer were the first things to replace, followed by the relay which is behind the right front headlight, followed by the onboard suspension computer located under the dash, ontop of the radio. All this left was the height sensors and the wiring. If you've never had any problems from the suspension before, the compressor is the likely suspect. Did you notice that the compressor ran noisley for a long time in order to air up the suspension system? If so, the compressor was probably on it's way out. The new compressors have rubber mounted noise dampeners which really quieten the system down when it's airing up. We received an error code for the relay when we initially scanned my suspension system. We replaced the relay with three different relays and received the same error code each time. Our inclination at that time was that either we had a short in a wire or the suspension computer was out. I located a used computer at a junk yard for $50.00, installed it and the system aired up with no problems. It's a process of elimination if replacing the compressor doesn't fix it. Good Luck
  • I had my tires changed at Sears Auto Center. Shortly after that, within a couple days, the car had dropped in the rear and we were bouncing off the road on every dip or ripple in the road. A mechanic friend said if the tire shop did not turn off the suspension before they changed the tires, it would put a pinhole in it and it would take a few days for the car to drop. So I contacted Sears and they said it was not their fault, they did turn off the suspension before installing new tires. So I complained to the BBB, and it is still not resolved. Meantime, I found this site and thought to run it past the guru's there, to see if anyone has some insight. The compressor use to come on everytime I parked it, but now it never comes on. Any ideas or suggestions? :confuse: :confuse:
  • My truck has been driving fine, all of the sudden yesterday I drive it and it feels like I'm going over a million little speed bumps. The truck does not rise. For a few days now the "check air suspension" light comes on from time to time. It looks like a low rider! Any idea of what I can start checking?
  • Start by checking to see if the compressor is working or not. You have to check the compressor with ALL the doors fully shut. I don't know about the 04, but previous years will have the compressor (as from drivers seat position) on the right side of the vehicle, sort of below the windshield washer jug. You should be able to hear the compressor start within 2 to 3 minutes after starting the car. If it's not evident at that point, you either need to go to the Lincoln dealer and have the suspension computer scanned to see what the problem might be. There is a relay behind the right front headlight that would go bad on earlier models, but for the most part, there can be a lot of trial and error before you find the problem. Check for good grounds, loose wires, compressor lines that may have come off etc.
    Good Luck
  • Neslon51

    I do not hear the compressor at all. I'm just hoping that by checking everything else, it could be something other than the compressor. I will check it after I get off from work and will post back.

    Thank you
  • I think the relay is what has gone bad. The only place that has the relay is the dealership. The relay's are $110. Is this pricey?? I can't believe that something so small can cost that much. Are there any online shops where I can get this cheaper?
  • Where did you find a compressor for $115??
  • brimybrimy Posts: 3
    Hi All,
    I have an '03 Nav. Had a screw in one of my tires and air pressure was low. Then the chesck suspension light came on!
    Leak turned into a flat (no surprise!) before I got it changed. Turned off the air ride suspension before changing tire and turned it back on, now she's riding low on the left side (back and front)! Is there a way to reset the suspension?? :confuse: :confuse:

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • I have a 2003 lincoln navigator and my front end down on the tires and the truck wont raise up. the pump comes. Do anyone know what the problem could be? I had one person tell me that the leveling sensor is bad and need to be replace. thx.
  • hi everyone please help! i replaced my compressor for the rear suspensiion 4 times already it seems everytime i change it it lasts a month then it burns the compressor. i changed the relay i put new airbags thinking that was the problem and still nothing after 4 compressors my truck still sits in the garage. how can i find out wheres the short at thats making the compressor burn out. please help

  • After having gone through numerous problems with my 2000 Navigator, we finally solved our issues by running a dedicated ground to the compressor from the battery, and then being 100% sure we had good contact at the wiring harness that connects to the relay behind the right front headlight. I even went to a scrap yard and bought a used suspension computer from a 99 Navigator to try to solve my problems but I believe the dedicated ground and the wiring harness were my biggest problem.

    We've gone over a month without the system falling to the frame.

    Good Luck
  • During a test drive by a mechanic at a brake shop, the rear suspension on my Navigator dropped. They checked to see what the problem was and told me that an air line near the master cylinder had come loose and the rear air bags were not working. I then drove to a Lincoln dealer and was told that the rear air bags had to be replaced, along with the master cylinder that the brake shop had just installed (which by the way did not correct the spongy brake pedal). My fee will be approximately $1,000 for the rear air bags alone. Is this a fair price.
  • i have a 1998 navi and the air-ride comes on constantly and the front end feels as if it keep goin up and down as the compressor keeps comin on. HELP!!
  • brimybrimy Posts: 3
    I finally went to a dealer after having terrible experience elsewhere!!!
    $700 later they changed the rear height sensors (parts only costing $240; labor $115/hour :( ) I'm ridin' right!!! :) :)
  • Hey guys, I am new to this board and am hoping to get a little bit of help.... Everything was working fine on my truck until I went to get new tires on it. After I picked the truck up I noticed the CK SUSP light was on............. I have read a couple of other sites and was told that when they raised the truck up that the key wasn't off and that would have cause the problem. I also seen a post that said to disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes and it would reset everything and it would be fine. Well I did that... it was disconnected for 3 hours and the only thing that was reset was the clock. Everything still had its memory as if the battery was never disconnected..... So my question is, has anybody else been in this same situation where they went to get tires put on or rotated, etc. and then the CK SUSP light was on. What did you do to fix this problem?..... Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Im new to this forum, but looking for info about how air ride works on 03-04 models. I am getting ready to buy a used Gator (my 99 was totaled !) I noticed on a couple of ones that I went to look at sat lower in the front ??? I didnt test drive either one and I did have at least one door open at all times.
    So I take it that it may be normal to sit low in front until you start truck and close ALL the dorrs ?? Do you have to put in gear or drive ??
  • Your tire dealer should have known that on the inside of the car is a toggle switch on the passenger side of the car, below the glove box, against the firewall, (user manual will show exact location). If this switch isn't turned off before jacking up the car, you will have to go to someone with a diagnostic computer, probably a lincoln dealer, and have the suspension computer re-calibrated. The ignition switch doesn't have anything to do with the suspension being turned on or off.

    Good Luck
  • All doors must be completely closed, including the rear door and window. If you are standing outside the vehicle with the engine running, you should hear a clicking noise at the front and rear of the vehicle. This is the sensors checking ground height prior to engaging the compressor. In my experience, once the system is pressurized, the vehicle should remain up for 10+ days at a time.

    Good Luck
  • I had the master cylinder replaced 3-times in the past 2-weeks. I still have a spongy brake pedal that sometimes goes all the way to the floor. I was told that 2 of the master cylinders were defective. So is the 3rd one defective also, or is the problem elsewhere?
  • You said you had the master cylinder replaced three times already. Did the repair shop show you the old one or could they have made an attempt at an in-shop rebuild on your old one? There is nothing wrong with rebuilding the master cylinder in the shop as long as someone can verify the "core" is rebuildable. I've personally installed several master cylinders on my personal vehicles and I've never had one rebuilt unit that was bad. You may have something in the fluid that is ruining the seals.

    Did your repair shop check your entire system for leaks, bleed, flush and install new fluid? Have they checked out your calipers?

    Good Luck, ask lots of questions at the repair shop.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    I'd say either way you need a new repair shop. They're either using faulty parts or not diagnosing the problem correctly.
  • After 4th master cylinder was installed (all in about a 2-week period), I get a call from the dealership stating that my Navigator still has a spongy brake. When pressure is applied to the brake pedal aggressively, the car stops just fine. But once stopped, it slowly begins to sink. I agreed to pay to have the booster replaced though they could not guarantee that this would solve the problem. They swore they've checked everything and cannot determine what is causing the spongy brake. If the dealership mechanics can't find the problem, who can I go to?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,040
    Easy - a MORE qualified mechanic. I assume they haven't found any obvious fluid leaks, so my next guess would be air in the brake lines or the master cylinder.
  • I have rececently bought a 2004 Navigator. I have begun having problems with the air suspension (especially the front suspension) not airing up when it is cold out (cold is a relative term, as I live in the south, but 30 - 40 degrees is cold here). After a while of running (15 or 20 minutes) it seems to warm the engine compartment up and the front suspension will start working. Until then though, you feel like your in the rodeo . . . very rough ride. I am concerned, as I am planning to travel to the "North" country (missouri and illinois) and I imagine the "cold" weather here is Tx is a heat wave. Any suggestions? I can hear the air compressor pumping when during this time that the front end looks "slammed", but it doesn't work until it seems like it "warms" up. Works normally when the weather is warm.
  • I am far from an expert, but here is my less than two cents worth opinion. I have read several owners discuss several different causes of their air ride suspension woes. The one that may fit yours is: check for air leaks around the connections. Since things contract when they are cold and expand when they are warm that could explain why a connection (or connections) is failing in the cold but holding when it’s warm. Again, just a thought since you mentioned that the compressor is coming on whether it’s "slammed" or not.

    My problem with my 03 was different than yours. The compressor got really loud for a little while and then didn't come up. When the front suspension didn't come up I also noticed that I didn't hear the compressor any more. The dealer replaced the compressor and relay for $700, luckily under warranty.

  • My 'new' 2004 navigator's front suspension goes flat over night. It fills after about 10 minutes of running the next day. Any ideas ? :cry:
  • 1. My air suspension light came on for about two weeks and as I was sitting with the truck idling, I heard a loud clicking sound. I drove about 20 miles and parked it for a couple of days. The next time I tried to drive it, it dropped, (back end sitting on the wheels) bounced and rode very rough. I took it to a repair shop and the mechanic says that he thinks it is the compressor. He says that he can hear the compressor coming on, but the truck is not airing up. He suggests replacing the compressor for $600 and then go from there to see what the real problem is. Any suggestions? (Thinking about pulling from the repair shop and taking to the dealership to put on their machine) either way, I'll probably get ripped, but the dealer has the computer for my truck and repair shop is just guessing.

    2. Any O2 sensor problems out there? Check engine light came on, went to auto shop and they said that my O2 sensors were the cause for the light coming on. Appreciate any advice. Thanks
  • The most common problem with Ford air ride suspension is leaky bags. Anyone should be able to troubleshoot the system by doing 2 things. Disconnect the compressor and check it for air output. If it can be replaced, surely it can be tested.

    The other is using a slight amount of shop air, artificially inflate the system once it's disconnected from the compressor. This can tell you if the system after the compressor is air tight.

    Just a note: Never raise the car off the ground and activate the air ride system.

    As far as your O2s go. They certainly could be bad. Not only length of time but several other things can destroy them. Chemicals of all sorts can wreck them. Something as mundane as the wrong sealer used on an intake can have an effect. Running too rich can do that as well.

    O2's are also considered a "tune up" item and are recommended to be changed every 60K miles or so. But remember to maintain your ignition and fuel system as recommended as well. Doing one without the other is useless.

    Whenever you have a sensor code. It's a good idea to check for at least the presence of voltage and ground when applicable at the sensor. With many feet of wiring and several connectors usually between the sensor and the PCM. There are numerous opportunities to have a failure that is not the fault of the sensor.
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