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#3146450 - 04/08/16 11:37 AM Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
Hi All,

For full disclosure, I'm not a car guy. I think my mechanic may be screwing me over and I would appreciate some insight. I've been having problems with the air-suspension on my 99 crown victoria. Basically, when parked, the rear drops. As soon as I start the vehicle, the compressor kicks in and the rear end rises back up. I took my car to the local shop to have them take a look. They charged me $520 to put a set of "air springs" on the rear wheels. I don't know if these guys did a terrible job but my problem still exists. When parked, the rear end drops. When I say drop, I mean it just lowers ALL the way down (tires up in the well). Again, if I start her up, the compressor kicks in and brings the rear up. I brought it back to the shop. The mechanic told me that he would expect the rear to drop when parked??? THAT'S the whole reason why I brought the car to them in the first place!! I'd have never agreed to pay $520 on air springs if I had known that I'd be in the same exact situation. When I brought this to the mechanics attention, he started side stepping and explained that the actual airbags (in the original suspension) were now totally blown. Implying that they are more badly blown than when I first brought the car to them 4 weeks ago. It sounds like BS to me, but as I stated initially, my knowledge is limited. He tried to make it sound as if the air springs AND the older airbags work in conjunction.

Can anyone lend some insight? Is this guy trying to pull one over on me? From my understanding the air springs should bypass the older bags all together...that's how he explained it initially. He also says that the air springs are designed to release the air when the car is off. If that were the case though, then why wouldn't he bring this to my attention BEFORE I paid him $500. I've been taking my family's vehicles to this shop for 10 years. They've been reliable in the past but they have dropped the ball on several jobs in the last year. The mechanic offered to apply the $520 towards replacing the rear end, which he estimated to be a $3200 job. Wow, what a joke!

Insight and advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
John


Edited by fmpro (04/08/16 01:48 PM)
Edit Reason: changed airshock to air spring

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#3146458 - 04/08/16 11:51 AM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
Chaplian Offline
Insert witty title here
Poobah

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5444
Loc: Chicago, IL
These cars do not have air shocks. Your air bags are leaking, or your air bag solenoids are leaking. (Or both.) The rear end is not supposed to fully drop when parked. It might drop a wee bit, about an inch at most, but it should not squat.

Do NOT install air shocks on your car. This guy is a [censored] idiot and is taking you for a ride. They never came with them. You also don't need rear end work. These cars use normal shocks.

These are the rear air bags you need:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ARNOTT-A-2105-Rear-Strut-Air-Spring-Suspension-Bag-Bladder-Pair-Set-for-Ford-/370910315272?fits=Year%3A1999%7CModel%3ACrown+Victoria&hash=item565bfa4308:g:J8MAAOSwmmxW1qeF&vxp=mtr

And these are the air bag solenoids that should be replaced at the same time: http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/ARN0/K2122/06637.oap?year=1999&make=Ford&model=Crown%2BVictoria&vi=1354418&ck=Search_C0418_1354418_3420&pt=C0418&ppt=C0035

If you want, you can replace your shocks also. You want KYB Gas a Just for a police interceptor of the same year.

For the air bags, it should be 1-2 hours of labor MAX. It's not a hard job, especially with a lift.


Edited by Chaplian (04/08/16 11:51 AM)
_________________________

2003 Crown Vic HPP- 226,xxx miles. Projector Retrofit. 3.27s. Dual exhaust. 11.25" torque converter. Arnott Limo Duty HPP-rate rear air springs. (Stolen by the old man)
1995 Impala SS- 28,293 miles. The Lovely Lady
2003 BMW 325i Sedan- 138,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Bilstein shocks, polyurethane bushings, Projector Retrofitted lights, 330i brakes, 330i rear-end, 235/45/r17 Sport Comp 2s. Autocross machine.
2003 BMW 325i Wagon- 118,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, M3 differential (LSD), M3 rear suspension/brakes, 330i front brakes, M3 6 Speed manual, Alcantara headliner.
2017 Mazda3 GT Hatchback- 57,xxxx miles. 2.5L, fully loaded. The Daily Grind.

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#3146482 - 04/08/16 12:19 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19761
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
What an idiot. The air suspension is stupidly simple in these cars. You have conventional shocks, same as any other CV/GMQ, with a set of air SPRINGS in place of regular coil springs. What he should have done is replace the air springs, they are about $100 each, and would have solved your problem the first time. There is no need for rear end work unless you have other issues going on, the springs literally clip onto the axle on the coil spring perch and are secured at the top by a big cotter pin. You don't even have to disconnect anything except the air line and plug on the solenoid.

A competent mechanic can change the air springs an solenoids in under an hour.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#3146506 - 04/08/16 12:23 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: Chaplian]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
Thanks for the response Chaplian! I mistyped in my second paragraph and referred to the part as "air shocks". I meant to say air springs. I'm pretty sure he installed something similar to the link you posted. He made it sound like the air springs were meant to replace an integrated airbag that is permanently attached to the rear axel. I'm going to find out the exact part that he installed. I'm also going to take my car to the dealership to see if they can give me an estimate. Perhaps they can shed some light.

This guy billed me 138 for the parts and 3 hours labor but is claiming that the air springs are designed to release all of the air when the car is off.

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#3146514 - 04/08/16 12:25 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
Chaplian Offline
Insert witty title here
Poobah

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5444
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By fmpro
Thanks for the response Chaplian! I mistyped in my second paragraph and referred to the part as "air shocks". I meant to say air springs. I'm pretty sure he installed something similar to the link you posted. He made it sound like the air springs were meant to replace an integrated airbag that is permanently attached to the rear axel. I'm going to find out the exact part that he installed. I'm also going to take my car to the dealership to see if they can give me an estimate. Perhaps they can shed some light.

This guy billed me 138 for the parts and 3 hours labor but is claiming that the air springs are designed to release all of the air when the car is off.



No, he's an idiot. $138 for parts? You can't get 2 air springs for $138. What the hell did he replace, the shocks?

The air bags are not permanently attached. They're incredibly easy to change.

They are DEFINITELY NOT supposed to release all of the air when shut off. That makes no sense.
_________________________

2003 Crown Vic HPP- 226,xxx miles. Projector Retrofit. 3.27s. Dual exhaust. 11.25" torque converter. Arnott Limo Duty HPP-rate rear air springs. (Stolen by the old man)
1995 Impala SS- 28,293 miles. The Lovely Lady
2003 BMW 325i Sedan- 138,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Bilstein shocks, polyurethane bushings, Projector Retrofitted lights, 330i brakes, 330i rear-end, 235/45/r17 Sport Comp 2s. Autocross machine.
2003 BMW 325i Wagon- 118,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, M3 differential (LSD), M3 rear suspension/brakes, 330i front brakes, M3 6 Speed manual, Alcantara headliner.
2017 Mazda3 GT Hatchback- 57,xxxx miles. 2.5L, fully loaded. The Daily Grind.

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#3146522 - 04/08/16 12:31 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19761
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
No, they really should not release any air at all when the car is off. I can leave the air suspension shut off in my car for weeks and have it not drop an inch. And I'm using a Frankenstein of parts from 3 different junkyard cars, including bags from a '94. When I bought my car the previous owner had converted it to coil springs and hacked up all the wiring and air lines for the air suspension, so it was a bit of work to get it working again.

If he replaced the air springs and its still leaking then you either have a defective solenoid on one or both bags, or he did not change the o-rings that go between the top of the bag/spring and the solenoid. Unless the car is actively raising or lowering, you can think of the air springs as a balloon with the end tied off, with the solenoid being the knot.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#3146530 - 04/08/16 12:34 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
stalag Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 3970
Loc: Columbus, OH
The OP got taken. He has a bad solenoid somewhere in the system. The parts should have been $270 for both springs and an hours labor. For what the OP had been charged the shocks should have been replaced. In standard operation the air suspension when car is off turns off an hour after the key is turned off. If the components are holding air properly, the suspension should see minimal drop at best (1/2 to 1 inch at most) and usually nothing if perfect over the course of 12 hours. Bluntly the OP was screwed by his mechanic. I would find another one via Angie's list.


Edited by stalag (04/08/16 12:36 PM)
_________________________
Stalag;___________Just for Rizzo I am posting this in my sig. Coolants
2001 Lincoln Town Car Cartier L, 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis (extinct)
On my LTC the following mods/upgrades were added. Heinous motorsport control arms, Command Automotive SD-1 rotors (these rotors can no longer be obtained), Calipers by Goldlinebrakes.com in silver with Hawk HPS pads (now running Ford OEM), MSD COP's. MZT is also applied with programming from BOC. j-mod is now done. Final rebuild of transmission done by Gearstar.

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#3146546 - 04/08/16 01:05 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
This makes me furious. Thanks so much for shedding some light on this matter. I'm going to ask him to fix it or give me my money back. What a joke!

I'll let you guys know what happens.

Thanks again,
John

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#3146730 - 04/08/16 02:57 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
So, I found out what was installed on my vehicle.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/MON3/MA815.oap?evaritm=MON%2B--%2BMA815

Monroe Max-air. Is this even compatible?

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#3146746 - 04/08/16 03:01 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
Looks like this part is compatible. Would this setup still require a solenoid?

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#3146754 - 04/08/16 03:05 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
Sorry for the multiple posts. I just realized that this is an air shock. Not the the same thing as this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ARNOTT-A-2105-Rear-Strut-Air-Spring-Suspension-Bag-Bladder-Pair-Set-for-Ford-/370910315272?fits=Year%3A1999%7CModel%3ACrown+Victoria&hash=item565bfa4308:g:J8MAAOSwmmxW1qeF&vxp=mtr), right?

Did they simply replace the standard shocks with these? Do stock Crown Vics just have a coil shock by default?



Edited by fmpro (04/08/16 03:08 PM)

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#3146762 - 04/08/16 03:05 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19761
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Yeah, they fit, but no, that is not what you needed. I would see about getting your money back. You might have needed shocks anyway, but putting in air shocks is just a joke, especially at the price they charged you. Either they are really ignorant of how the air suspension works, or they are really trying to take you for a ride, I really hope its just ignorance.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#3146770 - 04/08/16 03:09 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
Chaplian Offline
Insert witty title here
Poobah

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5444
Loc: Chicago, IL
So, either they're that incompetent and stupid, in which case you want a new shop. Or they're taking you for a ride. In which case you want a new shop.

Start looking for a reputable shop. These guys are jokes.
_________________________

2003 Crown Vic HPP- 226,xxx miles. Projector Retrofit. 3.27s. Dual exhaust. 11.25" torque converter. Arnott Limo Duty HPP-rate rear air springs. (Stolen by the old man)
1995 Impala SS- 28,293 miles. The Lovely Lady
2003 BMW 325i Sedan- 138,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Bilstein shocks, polyurethane bushings, Projector Retrofitted lights, 330i brakes, 330i rear-end, 235/45/r17 Sport Comp 2s. Autocross machine.
2003 BMW 325i Wagon- 118,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, M3 differential (LSD), M3 rear suspension/brakes, 330i front brakes, M3 6 Speed manual, Alcantara headliner.
2017 Mazda3 GT Hatchback- 57,xxxx miles. 2.5L, fully loaded. The Daily Grind.

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#3146794 - 04/08/16 03:19 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
Chaplian Offline
Insert witty title here
Poobah

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5444
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By fmpro
Sorry for the multiple posts. I just realized that this is an air shock. Not the the same thing as this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ARNOTT-A-2105-Rear-Strut-Air-Spring-Suspension-Bag-Bladder-Pair-Set-for-Ford-/370910315272?fits=Year%3A1999%7CModel%3ACrown+Victoria&hash=item565bfa4308:g:J8MAAOSwmmxW1qeF&vxp=mtr), right?

Did they simply replace the standard shocks with these? Do stock Crown Vics just have a coil shock by default?



The shocks are not touched when you replace air bags.

This is how a normal rear end functions: there is a coil spring and then a shock absorber. With air suspension, you replace the coil spring with an air bag.

What this idiot did was replace the shocks, which in his defense were probably bad, but not the air spring, which was the actual culprit.
_________________________

2003 Crown Vic HPP- 226,xxx miles. Projector Retrofit. 3.27s. Dual exhaust. 11.25" torque converter. Arnott Limo Duty HPP-rate rear air springs. (Stolen by the old man)
1995 Impala SS- 28,293 miles. The Lovely Lady
2003 BMW 325i Sedan- 138,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Bilstein shocks, polyurethane bushings, Projector Retrofitted lights, 330i brakes, 330i rear-end, 235/45/r17 Sport Comp 2s. Autocross machine.
2003 BMW 325i Wagon- 118,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, M3 differential (LSD), M3 rear suspension/brakes, 330i front brakes, M3 6 Speed manual, Alcantara headliner.
2017 Mazda3 GT Hatchback- 57,xxxx miles. 2.5L, fully loaded. The Daily Grind.

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#3146858 - 04/08/16 04:15 PM Re: Air Suspension - 99 Crown Victoria [Re: fmpro]
fmpro Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Utah
Man, you guys have been so helpful. With this information, I was able to confidently contact the service rep. He was insisting that the air spring was permanently attached to axel. That's why he was telling me that I was looking at 3200 to take care of it. I informed him that his technician was wrong thanks to the information you all provided. I asked for my money back or for the job to done correctly. He's mulling it over and will get back to me. I offered to give him the URL to this thread for reference. We will see.

Thanks again!
John

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