Replacing front air springs on a 96 Lincoln Continental?

UK Linconti

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One of the front air springs has developed a bad leak!
Examination of the spring shows wear in the normal areas but not as excessive as I have seen on some of the Youtube videos.
I can feel the leak coming from one area high up on the air bag. The leak is next to the solenoid, that has been fastened with a plastic tie. The tie has been cut leaving the end rubbing on the side of the air bag when it inflates. I was wondering if there is any way to seal this single hole as a temporary repair till parts can be obtained?

Also the part concerned is Part No.: 3U2Z5310CA.
There is an Arnott replacement but Damn, they are expensive! Also Arnott ships from the EU to the UK, despite their site appearing to be located in the UK. This incurs 20% tax + handling fee.

They are not available from Rockauto, so I have been looking at China manufacturer/suppliers. They are available on Aliexpress. Anyone have experience of these suppliers.
Also any advice on fitting replacent front air springs on the Conti? Arnott include replacement O ring seals, but China sellers do not. Can these be purchased from anywhere seperately?


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FlaOkie

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Check out Strutmasters and Suncore - along with Arnott they are all in the air suspension replacement/conversion business.
I would stick with a name supplier over the China made - you get what you pay for.
 

UK Linconti

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Thanks FlaOki

I am on a budget at the moment, I also have a 1949 Alvis that I need parts for to get both cars on the road for Summer (not to mention the bathroom remodelling). I am aware of both Strutmaster and Suncore. I want to stick with air as long as I can get the parts. The Chinese parts are within my current budget and I am willing to take the risk as the Lincoln is low yearly milage. If it was my day to day runner I would buy top notch parts. Could be surprised by the quality of the China parts?

Re suncore, I did read somewhere that they use refurb shockers part of the Air/spring front shocks?
 

UK Linconti

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The Lincoln has been off the road for some months
I have now sourced 2x 3U2Z5310CA, yes from China.
However packaging was poor and one arrived with one of the plastic locating tabs broken off.
I cant see these plaing a major part in keeping the airs spring in place, being so weak?
Will this missing lug give any problems in fitting the new unit?

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UK Linconti

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The company I bought these air springs from promptly sent me a replacement, via Fedex from Guangdong China to UK. Shipped Saturday, arrived Wednesday.
The quality looks OK to me and it will get the car back on the road.

I am unable to find any information on replacing them, Chilton's Workshop Manual, gives very little info, and there is nothing on Youtube for front, only rear replacement?
Could do with an exploded view of all front suspension parts. This would be helpful for my local auto repair which will carry out the work.

Alsu they have supplied a packet of small seals but how does the unit seal on the bottom?

Be gratefull for any info or images of work?
 

Svets96

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I am lost myself with how I can provide any answers or help.

I know that '95-'96 Model years had only front air shocks and rears too. In '97 they went to rear air shocks only.

However I had come across this video of Lou Santiago changing out the air shocks on a '95-'96 Conti. Maybe this can be of some vital info:


This video shows toward the end where the front air shocks come out and shows what the front suspension looks like with air bags stretched:


Hope this helps you out.
 

FlaOkie

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The company I bought these air springs from promptly sent me a replacement, via Fedex from Guangdong China to UK. Shipped Saturday, arrived Wednesday.
The quality looks OK to me and it will get the car back on the road.

I am unable to find any information on replacing them, Chilton's Workshop Manual, gives very little info, and there is nothing on Youtube for front, only rear replacement?
Could do with an exploded view of all front suspension parts. This would be helpful for my local auto repair which will carry out the work.

Alsu they have supplied a packet of small seals but how does the unit seal on the bottom?

Be gratefull for any info or images of work?
Get yourself a Ford factory service manual that covers your year.
DVD copies are available on ebay, and don't cost a lot.
(My service manual is for years 2000 to 2002, so I can not help you.)
 

UK Linconti

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Thanks for the really useful videos, which I had not seen before.
Clearly shows the whole front suspension unit, and its removal, to replace with strutmaster unit.
There will be further dissasembly in case of replacing the airs spring part on the shock.

If anyone attempts this job, the three bolts on the top are not evenly spaced, mark one and adjacent wing with dab of paint to match bolts to holes on rebuild.

The video shows someone butched the wiring on this strut, and being replaced did not need the care to avoid damage to unit on removal. Pretty sure this would result in warnings flashing on the driver message centre?

I already have one error message on startup "check traction control", requiring press of reset. ABS sensors and wiring have been removed, as replacement sensors and tone rings are no longer available.

Someone sent me an iso file of a manual which I can't locate now?
I am amazed by shipping charges US-UK, for a key blank or dvd, at $12-16, when I paid $70 for 5.5Kg Fedex express from China.

Thanks to you both for this info
 
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