I'm looking at three companies that offer replacement air struts (for '92
Lincoln Continental): Suspension Alternatives, Strutmasters, and Arnott
Arnott charges nearly $30 more per unit than the other two. Does anyone
have any experience with any of these companies, and opinions pro or con?
Going on the "You get what you pay for" principal, is the Arnott product
superior to the others and worth the extra dough?
I bought from Arnott when my Crown Vic needed new air springs and was very
pleased with the service and product. At the time, they were offering the
best price. My choices at the time were either Bagmaster or Arnott. I am
unfamiliar with the others.
I hope this is helpful.
On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 02:26:00 +0000, Paul of Dayton wrote:
I looked at Bagmaster earlier today. Their rebuilt units cost even more
than the highest priced new Arnott units, plus a core charge. I suppose
that might be a plus if I want to use the damping actuator system- the
others do not use it.
I'll sleep on it and decide in the morning. I'll probably go with Arnott,
if only because in the past I've been burned because I wanted the
"cheapest" part...which turned out to be more expensive in the long run.
I'll order new solenoids too, and maybe a new compressor. Might as well
make sure that the whole system is going to be right.
Thanks for your help.
On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 00:23:33 -0500, Tom Adkins wrote:
The compressor runs but it was under a bit of strain for a week or so.
Based on current symptoms I have some concern that it may not be venting
properly, as well as the O-rings needing replacement. Although, it could
be that the height sensors have been damaged, since it *was* operating
correctly until the so-and-so at that garage jacked it.
As for the solenoids, my concern is for the O-rings in those too. I know
that replacement O-ring kits are available but I don't know how
complicated it is to replace them, and for the $13 each I figure it's
probably better to get the whole unit than for me to screw around with
I found Lincolnsonline with the search engine and did a lot of reading
I'm glad you found LoL, it's a great site for Lincoln owners and one of my
favorites. (I have 2 Mark VIIs). I'm a fan of Lincoln air suspension personally.
Before you take the plunge, could you post your symptoms? If the car drops
parked, the air struts are suspect. If it sits too high, the struts are probably
I just brought up those ideas to, maybe, keep you from spending extra money on
can certainly be a pricy repair on a Continental. I really appreciate that
not trying to "cheap out" on the repair, as many try to do. I wish more folks
think like you do. I could overhaul the entire air system on a Mark VII for
$500. The air struts on the Contis can easily put the cost up to over $1300
compressor, on a system that is totally hosed. DIY prices, of course.
The o-rings for the solenoids should be available from any "good" parts store
few cents each, you just need to match them up from their stock. (Think nitrile
o-rings) There is nothing special about them. The O-rings are often included
replacement air struts, so check with the supplier first. Many of the solenoids
offered for sale are just cleaned, tested used ones with new o-rings. Make sure
lube the o-rings and hose connections with a product called Nylog, it can save
The ride height sensors are rarely an issue, even when improper jacking is
They have been known to fail, but they are way down on the list of suspects.
You mention that the compressor may not be venting properly. What makes you
that? A saturated dryer can freeze in cold temps and not allow the air springs
vent, thus keeping the car way too high. If it is really saturated, it can do
thing even when warm. If the springs don't vent, you may just need a dryer.
There "is" a vent valve in the compressor that has been known to rust up and
the springs vent, but I would do a bit more troubleshooting if I were you. It's
really common. A "new" compressor is ~$300 or better. Air springs\struts from
and other suppliers are very good, but the reman compressors can be a real
crapshoot.(Like you said, you get what you pay for). A week or so of "working
usually won't damage a compressor. Months of excessive running will. On a 92,
compressor replacement is a judgement call just due to age though.
Just an FYI, there was also a wiring issue to the front solenoids on some
that can cause strange issues. I'm not sure which years, but it was mid-late
harness was extended a bit for wheel travel and the splices can corrode if not
properly. I don't think it applies to your 92, but I can't say for sure.
Give us some details of the symptoms and mileage. There could very well be an
fix. These systems are actually quite simple, but they can be intimidating and
mysterious until you are familiar with them.
On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 22:53:20 -0500, Tom Adkins wrote:
The previous owner told me that Bagmaster had replaced all four struts a
year ago, but it turns out that only the fronts were replaced. He parked
it when the compressor failed, presumably due to the leaky left rear
strut. I replaced the compressor (with one from my '91 which had been
working correctly) and the burnt fuse and drove it for about a week or
The rears were obviously leaking but the fronts were working correctly,
until I took it for inspection. The inspector jacked (to check the front
end) it without shutting off the switch and dropped it hard when he was
done. It was parked after returning from the inspection station and not
The next day, the left side had dropped (front & rear) but the right was
still up. Subsequent testing showed that the right front would only
inflate, not deflate while the left rear would no longer inflate at all.
The first step, obviously, is to replace the rear struts. The solenoids
are cheap enough to get as insurance that I'll have them if needed. I
suppose a replacement dryer would be relatively cheap insurance as well,
and/or I could dry out and replace the O-rings from the dryer on the dead
 The '91 is deadlined due to a severe coolant leak which *appears* to
be coming from somewhere in the vicinity of the water pump but which has
not been definitively located. It was not so bad until another glorified
parts-changer (by his own definition) did a pressure test and, unable to
locate the source, dumped some kind of stop-leak in it. That's a
whole 'nother can of worms. The suspension, however, was working perfectly.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.