1997 Lincoln Mark Viii Air Suspension Troubleshooting

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The 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII has a sophisticated air suspension system that gives the vehicle a smoother ride than standard suspension systems provide. The air suspension system consist of an air compressor, front air struts, rear air bags, the associated air lines and ride height sensors located at each wheel. If any of these components malfunction, your air suspension system will no longer function as designed. The first step to repairing the 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII air suspension is troubleshooting the system to pinpoint the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 amp fuse (optional)
  • Flash light
  • Spray bottle with soapy water
  • Remove the fuse from the fuse panel for the air ride compressor. Inspect the fuse and replace it if it's blown, or reinstall it if it isn't. The fuse panel is located on the far left side of the dashboard, between the dashboard and the driver's door; the fuse is in location 28.

  • Shine your flashlight on the front air springs, behind the front wheels, to locate the ride height sensors. The sensors are flat pieces of metal that stick out horizontally from the air struts to determine proper ride height. If either sensor has damage, repair it before continuing, as it can send improper ride height information to the computer which will keep the air compressor running continuously as it tries to level the Mark VIII.

  • Spray the soapy water on both air struts and watch to see if the water begins to bubble. If the air struts have a leak, the escaping air will make bubbles in the soapy water. If you discover a leak here, have it repaired before continuing your troubleshooting.

  • Spray the soapy water on the air lines leading from the air shocks to the air compressor. Look for leaks on the lines and at the compressor in the same way you looked for leaks on the front air struts.

  • Follow the air lines from the air compressor back to the rear air bags, spraying the lines with soapy water along the way. If you discover a leak, have it repaired before moving on.

  • Inspect the ride height sensors at the rear air bags. Repair them before continuing if you find any damage.

  • Spray the air bags with soapy water. Repair any leaks you discover here.

Tips & Warnings

  • Air suspension repairs are often very costly and time consuming. Don't be surprised if repairs take several weeks and run well over $1,000 to complete.

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References

  • "Lincoln Rear Continental 1970 thru 1987, Mark Series 1970 thru 1992, Town Car 1981 thru 2010: Haynes Manual"; Ken Freund; 2010
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