Air strut replacement manufacturers- opinions wanted

I'm looking at three companies that offer replacement air struts (for '92 Lincoln Continental): Suspension Alternatives, Strutmasters, and Arnott Industries.
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?
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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. PoD

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Yes sir, thank-you very much.
On Wed, 21 Feb 2007 06:55:13 +0000, Paul of Dayton wrote:

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I know both Bagmaster and Arnott were well recommended when I needed mine. The CV uses air springs in the rear, different than the strut types but both companies offered both.
PoD

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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.
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You won't go wrong with Arnott, I've tried others in the past and got a used strut with a new air bag installed. Had to send a core back, etc. That didn't impress me much. Bob
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Wrongway Napolitano wrote:

ok. The solenoids rarely fail. Check out www.lincolnsonline.com . There are tech articles about diag and repair of the air suspension system and one of the best Forums on the net.
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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 them.
I found Lincolnsonline with the search engine and did a lot of reading there.
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Wrongway Napolitano wrote:

I'm glad you found LoL, it's a great site for Lincoln owners and one of my personal 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 when parked, the air struts are suspect. If it sits too high, the struts are probably fine. I just brought up those ideas to, maybe, keep you from spending extra money on what can certainly be a pricy repair on a Continental. I really appreciate that you're not not trying to "cheap out" on the repair, as many try to do. I wish more folks would think like you do. I could overhaul the entire air system on a Mark VII for about $500. The air struts on the Contis can easily put the cost up to over $1300 ,with a 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 for a few cents each, you just need to match them up from their stock. (Think nitrile AC o-rings) There is nothing special about them. The O-rings are often included with the 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 you lube the o-rings and hose connections with a product called Nylog, it can save many headaches. The ride height sensors are rarely an issue, even when improper jacking is involved. 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 think that? A saturated dryer can freeze in cold temps and not allow the air springs to vent, thus keeping the car way too high. If it is really saturated, it can do the same 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 not let the springs vent, but I would do a bit more troubleshooting if I were you. It's not really common. A "new" compressor is ~$300 or better. Air springs\struts from Arnott 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 hard" 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 Contis that can cause strange issues. I'm not sure which years, but it was mid-late 90s. The harness was extended a bit for wheel travel and the splices can corrode if not done 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 easy fix. These systems are actually quite simple, but they can be intimidating and mysterious until you are familiar with them. Regards, Tom
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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[1]) and the burnt fuse and drove it for about a week or so.
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 driven after.
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 compressor.
[1] 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.
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