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Old 10-18-2005, 19:01   #1 (permalink)
ib2mestup via CarKB.com
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1996 ford windstar air bags

I have a 96 windstar and the air bags leak. I would like to know if anyone
can tell me where to start looking for the leak. I can hear the comperser
going and it airs up the van but in the morning the rear end is sitting back
on the ground. I look under the hood can hear the comperser going but still
can't see it.

Should I start at the compreser and work my way back or form the bags forward?
Are there any parts that wear out sooner than others? I hope this is
something I can fix I realy don't want to think about what a shop or
dealership would charge.

Thanx for any help
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Old 10-18-2005, 21:01   #2 (permalink)
Tom Adkins
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Re: 1996 ford windstar air bags

ib2mestup via CarKB.com wrote:
> I have a 96 windstar and the air bags leak. I would like to know if anyone
> can tell me where to start looking for the leak. I can hear the comperser
> going and it airs up the van but in the morning the rear end is sitting back
> on the ground. I look under the hood can hear the comperser going but still
> can't see it.
>
> Should I start at the compreser and work my way back or form the bags forward?
> Are there any parts that wear out sooner than others? I hope this is
> something I can fix I realy don't want to think about what a shop or
> dealership would charge.
>
> Thanx for any help

The most likely problem is a leak in one of the rear air bags (don't recall seeing
airbags on a Windstar, is it factory?). The air springs are a wear item and usually
fail at about 10 years. Look at the bags where they roll at the bottom, you will
probably see cracks in the rubber. Always replace them in pairs. Not only is the
compressor raising the car in the morning, it is keeping them filled while you are
driving. If not fixed soon, this will saturate the air dryer and the excessive run
time will damage the pump adding greatly to the cost of the repair. It's usually an
extremely simple job to replace the airsprings on a vehicle. I've done many Town Cars
and Crown Vics, takes about 15 minutes, 25 on a Mark VII.
There are companies like Strutmasters and Arnott that sell aftermarket air springs,
there are also coil spring conversion kits available for most cars.
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Old 10-18-2005, 23:01   #3 (permalink)
ib2mestup via CarKB.com
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Re: 1996 ford windstar air bags

Tom Adkins wrote:
>> I have a 96 windstar and the air bags leak. I would like to know if anyone
>> can tell me where to start looking for the leak. I can hear the comperser

>[quoted text clipped - 8 lines]
>>
>> Thanx for any help

> The most likely problem is a leak in one of the rear air bags (don't recall seeing
>airbags on a Windstar, is it factory?). The air springs are a wear item and usually
>fail at about 10 years. Look at the bags where they roll at the bottom, you will
>probably see cracks in the rubber. Always replace them in pairs. Not only is the
>compressor raising the car in the morning, it is keeping them filled while you are
>driving. If not fixed soon, this will saturate the air dryer and the excessive run
>time will damage the pump adding greatly to the cost of the repair. It's usually an
>extremely simple job to replace the airsprings on a vehicle. I've done many Town Cars
>and Crown Vics, takes about 15 minutes, 25 on a Mark VII.
> There are companies like Strutmasters and Arnott that sell aftermarket air springs,
>there are also coil spring conversion kits available for most cars.


I think the van did come with air bags , it's an LX, leather, dual air, 3.8
V6. do U think it's cheaper to replace the air bag system with a conversion
kit or just replace the bags?.....I do live in sothern NV I wonder like any
rubber part they wear out faster in a dry hot climat.


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Old 10-19-2005, 14:01   #4 (permalink)
Tom Adkins
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Re: 1996 ford windstar air bags

ib2mestup via CarKB.com wrote:
>
>
> I think the van did come with air bags , it's an LX, leather, dual air, 3.8
> V6. do U think it's cheaper to replace the air bag system with a conversion
> kit or just replace the bags?.....I do live in sothern NV I wonder like any
> rubber part they wear out faster in a dry hot climat.
>
>


If you repair it now it will be fairly cheap, if you wait it can get expensive. In
general, air springs are about $200\ea from Ford, $90\ea aftermarket. If you wait, a
compressor is about $400 from Ford and $200 aftermarket in addition to the springs
plus ~$50 for the dryer. These prices are without installation. A conversion kit is
about $350 + installation.
If you replace the air springs now, they will likely outlast the van.
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