Re: 2001 Windstar rear suspension questions
I'd go with a softer shock if the heavier springs keep the vehicle from bottoming out. Air suspension won't help much, as that can bring with it extra problems on vehicles that were originally designed for it. I have a Sprinter one ton van with air suspension on the back, on top of the stock suspension already in place and anywhere above 20psi unloaded really stiffens the ride considerably. A good compressor that is able to maintain pressure (and at least a 2gal air tank) will have to reside in the vehicle as under hood space is minimal. This will create noise, no matter where it is placed. I tried a frame mount, but after one winter, I found myself replacing cracked air lines (mostly from the salt that doesn't agree with the reinforced rubber lines). Placing the compressor and tank in the rear would be the best option, and people will complain - even the driver. Big rigs and the like have a belt driven compressor attached to the engine, which in itself is loud so the driver is used to it.
If it ain't broke now, don't fix it. The expense won't pay for itself in 2-3 years. Adding 1000lb constantly to the back of any van is a content of strain. Changing suspension components won't do any good other than using things you are now to keep proper ground clearance levels.
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!