Driving Uphill

Lincoln Mark VIII

  1. Braindead

    Braindead New LVC Member

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    I know this must have been answered before and a went through 100+ pages of Mark 8 requests and then I saw the tally;
    1146 pages !
    Only JUST over 1040 to go !
    I have a 93 Mark 8. Swapped out the front air for steel from a Thunderburp. I noticed there was a definite quickening of response in the front without any real deterioration of ride quality. I was liking this! No more wondering what height the car was going to be at when I go to get in.
    All was well for the first week, maybe ten days. Then the rear started to drop ever so slowly. I completely expected that, anything that holds compressed air with a rubber bladder eventually loses air. The problem is that when I turned the air ride switch on, nothing happened. What am I missing here ?
    On the other hand, is there a Schrader valve in the system somewhere? I can handle pumping it up every week.
    I always wanted to just have one for each side anyways to set it where I want it, just like my trucks with their airbag load levelers. How hard would it be to set it up with a Schrader valve for each side mounted in the trunk?

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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  2. Elessee

    Elessee Well-Known LVC Member

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    I have a Mark 7 and some experience with my car's air ride.
    Why would you need to turn the air ride switch on? My system has a switch hidden in the trunk. It is always ON.

    When the car loses air, from a leak or otherwise, or when you park on an incline, or for whatever reason one or more air bags needs air, the pump turns on automatically.
    Small manual adjusters, located front and back on my car, set the initial ride height. After that, like when a passenger exits and that side of the car rises, the computer automatically lowers it (and vice versa).
     
  3. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    So, you replaced the air suspension in the front with springs, but left it in the back. I'm pretty sure this is an all or nothing conversion. Air front and back, or springs front and back. How is the system supposed to figure out that only half of it is still there?
     
  4. Elessee

    Elessee Well-Known LVC Member

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    On mine, there are 2 level indicators on the front, left and right. (One for the rear, in the center of the car). When the car tilts, the sliding potentiometer(s) changes resistance, and the computer picks up on that. If you just lock those 2 front sensors in position, the computer might believe the front is always properly leveled (yeah I'm a dreamer..)

    As it is now, with the system turned off, filling the gas tank is like putting a person in the trunk. It will drop. It won't rise to compensate. Load luggage or back seat passengers, same thing...

    I use my car for everything, like trips to the dumps. One time the receipt said I had 1,100 lbs loaded in the car (seats were removed for space, and trunk was full of concrete and lumber.) The air-ride leveled it enough that I carefully drove it on the freeway...
     
  5. John_Carr

    John_Carr LVC Member

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    "]Thunderburp" = lmao
     
  6. Braindead

    Braindead New LVC Member

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    I usually leave the air ride switch in the trunk turned off. Originally I started doing that with the first Mark 8 I bought because it has a tendency to drain the battery because the air ride did not shut off after an hour like it is supposed to when the car is not in use. Not sure why it would happen other than that, because I just left it for weeks without a battery and it had not dropped at all, other times it will be sitting flat on the ground. Suffice it to say, it is a habit that I have not broken and it has not caused any issues before (on my third Mark 8, still have two). But I will just set it up for manual inflation from the trunk and carry an air tank. It will be a lot lighter without the compressor up front also. Thanks for the input to all. I was hoping someone else had been through the same situation as myself. But this is how to learn what a vehicle can and cannot do, test something, use what works, try something new, and test again.
     
  7. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    If the front does need to be active for the rear to work... you might be able to jumper the front electrical connectors with a resistor. Of what value, I don't know.

    Another option might be using a stand alone rear air ride setup from a Panther body, ( Crown Vic, Grand Marquis ), wired in appropriately.
     
  8. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    IIRC... the switch is to be turned off when the vehicle is raised off the ground for service... to prevent sudden movement of the suspension. It would also be for the same reason when working on the vehicle with the tires on the ground.

    I almost got pinned under an air ride vehicle because I forgot to turn the switch off. I was pushing up on the rear of the car... when it decided the rear was too high... and self adjusted.

    The last reason for turning the switch off... would be to use the bags like a pair of air shocks... after tricking the vehicle into over inflating them.
     
  9. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    This could work with slight modification. If the front sensors are still installed... you should be able to take a volt-ohm meter and get a resistance reading from the sensors at their currently installed height.

    Then just match a resistor close to whatever the reading is. Cut the wires on the sensor side of the connector... and solder the resistor to the wires... then cover with a heat shrink boot.

    However... make sure the rear of the vehicle is at least level with the front... otherwise you will get an improper reading on the front.

    Disclaimer:. I haven't been under a Mark anything in years... and my suggestion will only work if the front sensors only have 2 wires and you can get a correct reading from the sensors.
     
  10. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    .
     
  11. Elessee

    Elessee Well-Known LVC Member

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    The air-ride system itself should not use any battery power, even after days of sitting, unless someone opens a door and gets in, which tells it to raise (or lower) the car. Solenoids click.. the pump pumps.
    My old El Camino had air shocks. It's great for carrying cargo, so I know where you're coming from. These Lincolns are luxury cars. They try to do everything for us, and make life easy. I love the system, when it works.

    As to leaks, my car has 275,000 miles on the chassis. And it's older, an '88. Air system leaks (sometimes) made it drop over night, or suddenly, when parked at the curb. Very erratic behavior. One time, while driving winding mountain roads, the pump ran constantly. It couldn't keep the springs full. I'd stop, get out and pour water on the hot pump..
    I checked everything, air lines and whatnot.
    The leak was from the air bladders. They flex at the bottom when a wheel moves up or down. Tiny cracks in the rubber, due to ozone and general exposure, would open and close randomly, depending on exactly how the car was sitting or riding. Spraying kid's bubble solution revealed the leaks. A trip to the boneyard got me some "new" ones.
     
  12. Elessee

    Elessee Well-Known LVC Member

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    Yeah, I just got new tires and asked the guy if he was aware of the air ride, and the switch in the trunk. I always ask service people and so far, they always know about it.

    Mine gets low enough to smash a kitten. I think 3 inches at one spot. Seeing it drop that low was a surprise when it happened.

    As for locking the front sensors in an effort to trick the system, my instincts tell me the system is a lot smarter than that, and won't be fooled so easily. But in any case, if someone put the effort in, I'm sure the fronts could be eliminated without too much work, and with no ill effects.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019

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