Help with front suspension dropping

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Help with front suspension dropping

Postby 83ssp » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:27 am

Hi, I have an 88 LSC I picked up several years ago that I’ve slowly restored to good driver status. However I now have a persistent problem with the front suspension dropping after sitting for an hour or two. I’ve replaced the compressor, drier, both front solenoids and o rings and both front bags. The front inflates fine when the car is run and stays inflated when driving. After shutting off the car and sitting for a few hours the front is dropped on both sides. This behavior occurs with the suspension switched both ON and OFF after inflation and shutting off the car. Could the rear bags or solenoids be leaking and causing the front to drop? I thought I read on here that could happen but I’ll confess I don’t understand. Any help anyone can provide is greatly appreciated. -Rich, Chandler, AZ
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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby CDW6212R » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:01 am

Welcome Rich. The solenoids and their o-rings are the one thing stopping air from leaving the bags, besides cracked bags. Given the parts you've changed, I'd do the o-rings again. The bags last close to 20 years, the solenoids are reliable too but if you changed them they should also be fine.

The big o-ring is deformed a bit when it's installed, so those sometimes don't seal as well with less age than the other parts, and reusing them is also a risk given the shape they take on. Look at the seating area for the big o-rings closely, clean it all well and smear a dab of lubricant on the area(a little spit works well if you don't have a decent silicone etc).
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby 83ssp » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:48 pm

Hi, thank you for the reply. I'll confess this problem has me baffled. I'll check the front solenoid o-rings again. I replaced them all when I did the front solenoids but perhaps they are not seated properly or became dislodged. I ordered a pair of rear solenoids as well and will replace those. I did not order rear air bags because they are the only thing that has always seemed to hold air :lol: This has been a problem since I purchased the car several years ago but it seems to be getting worse. Thanks again for the help. Will keep y'all posted.
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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby CDW6212R » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:28 pm

Do read a good bit of the threads here about the air suspensions. It will help to not spend too much time or money on the reliable parts etc, and go at the weak links first and often.

Shutting off the system, the switch, does isolate each air bag, and should maintain the air inside each no matter what else is going on.

The small o-rings don't often fail, given you replacing them already, do the big ones again. Having those as spares is a wise thing. Also, has there ever been any evidence of moisture coming from the air lines? Sometimes moisture builds up in the drier, and that interferes with proper bag inflation and holding the air. I'm not sure how best to diagnose that, I just read of people taking the drier apart and finding water(then cooking the beads and putting it back together). Just another last idea after the basics are done.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby oldschool1 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:43 am

I couldn't agree more except... for the soapy water test. This will LOCATE your leak.

See, viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6431
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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby 83ssp » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:19 pm

THanks guys...I will try these suggestions and report back. Will be the weekend before I get back to it.
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Re: Help with front suspension dropping

Postby 83ssp » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:44 pm

Well, things escalated rapidly today.
I read the writeup on o-rings. I pulled the car out. It was down on the left (driver) front and kinda down on the right. The back was sitting very high on both sides, higher on the passenger side.
I jacked it up in front and supported the body on jack stands. I took the front wheels off. I sprayed both solenoid and line areas on both sides with soapy liquid.
I heard a leak on the drivers side. The passenger's side was fine. I took the solenoid out on the driver's side. One of the small o-rings was not seated. I re-seated and carefully installed. I started to air up the bag and listened for leaks. No leaks. All good.
BUT, the bag would not inflate properly (was all wrinkled up). Seemed like it was way too long for the space. so, I deflated it again and took it out to look at it. The fold at the bottom had completely come undone. I took out the passenger side (deflated it first of course) and looked at it for comparison and the fold had partly come undone there although not nearly as bad. I discovered you can't really put the folds back in. At least I couldn't figure out how.
So, I 'bagged' (pardon the pun) it for the day...the car has no front bags and is riding low and I pulled it into my back workspace out of the way. Interestingly, with the bags out of the front, the rears are now completely dropped as well. Can anyone tell me why the folds would come out like that? And if you can put them back in? These are new Arnott bags. I'm pretty frustrated but I drank a bunch of soda when I came inside so I'm on a sugar high so all good :lol:
Thanks guys
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