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Old 06-15-2005, 17:04   #1 (permalink)
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Mark VII- no more air suspension :)

If anyone out there ever reaches that 'last straw' in the occasional, but inevetible air suspension maintenance battle, check out www.arnottindusties.com - I got their coilspring conversion kit and it was way too easy to install, car sits at same height as before(I had sensors in high position), rides same as before, etc...cost was $380 including shipping(first spring I bought many years ago cost me 167.00 from Ford- arnott sells them for 90 now though).

I had two bags leaking, compressor was making noise(needed new drier), was debating just getting rid of it, but in the end just couldnt...my cars are like old pets or something, just cant stand to let them go...so for a few extra bucks, Ive now got 4 bags/4 soleniods/1 compressor/1 electronic box/3 sensors/and a bunch of tubing - that can no longer fail... 'if it aint there it cant break' right? :)
Yeah a trunkload of luggage might bring the rear down, but heck, the cars 16 years old, doubt I'll be taking it on many more vacation trips...If I would surely theres always the old airshock solution :)



Only trouble at all in installing was rotating the rear passenger side upper mount- angle makes it awkward to tap on to rotate it into place- found an oil filter wrench makes a perfect handle for this. Drivers side just took a couple light taps with hammer handle to rotate into lock position- they snap in just like the old airspring collars did...
One BIG problem I had with the removal of one rear lower mounting bolt- the friggin steel insert rusted/seized to the bolt, and when I loosened it , it spun inside the plastic airspring- tried pbblaster/socket/clamp to press- no friggin way. made up a long driver to 'punch it out' with hammer- no way(was afraid I'd bend the far side of control arm), took a torch and MELTED the friggin airspring from the hole in bottom of control arm(lots of smoke/fire...nylon stinks), ripped it away, then picked away the molten plastic from the bushing, drilled 5-6 3/32 holes partway thru the bushing to shoot oil into, put the socket/clamp press back on it, then beat on it some more while heating it with the torch...BANG and it moved 1/8", after which it pushed right out...2 friggin hours of knuckle busting, cursing, smoky, dripping hot plastic, stinking fun...If Id have had my 3/4" ratchet at home, I woulda just pulled the lower arm and took it to work to press it out the next day...but no, had to do it the hard way...
SUGGESTION: even if your springs are "fine", next time its in the air for ANY reason, pull the two little lower rear airspring mounting bolts one at a time, add 'never-seize', reinstall- at worst you'll know ahead of time to expect fun when replacement time comes if one wont come out, at best you might save yourself a big headache later on- sooner or later that spring WILL need to come out
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